9 Ways to Save Money

by Female Abroad

No matter the cruise we all want to know that we are getting the best deal available to us and cruises are no exception. While some people look at cruises as a value onto themselves other people just look at the price tag and cringle. Well no matter who you are this article is geared towards making it easier for you to save some money while getting the vacation you are looking forward to.

  1. If you know for sure when you can travel then the best deals are the "introductory fares" which are available about 18 months prior to a cruise date. Some cruise lines do one passenger for the price of two, added on amenities, discounted fares, and even air-land packages (your airfare is included in the price of the cruise) so these can save you a lot of money. You will also get your choice of cabin as there will be lots of space still available.

  2. Now most people don't know when they will be able to take time off so booking that far out is not an option. Another option would be a "last minute booking". These are any cruise bookings made within 3 months of the departure date and will usually be 100% non-refundable so once you are booked, you are going. The good thing with these is that the cost of the cruise can be anywhere from 10 - 50% what the original value was. The downside though is that cabins are few and far between so you might not get a very good stateroom.

  3. With all the different cruise lines and locations, some cruise lines will put on deals to draw customers away from other lines so make sure to check out multiple lines and not just one! If you are flexible with your dates even, look at different sailing dates as prices can fluctuate week to week as well.

  4. If you live in a larger city another option available to you may be a specialized travel agent. There are some travel agencies that just book cruises and nothing else. Due to this they might have buying power that will get you better deals or added perks that you wouldn't get if you booked on your own. You should also give them a call if there is a cruise you really want to go on but it's showing as sold out as they might have a group block on space so they can get you in (kind of like what expedia, booking.com, traveolicty, etc have for hotels). Tour operators may also have the same blocks so make sure to ask around....

  5. The time of year that you book (not sail but just book) can also affect the price of the cruise. Waive season (January - March) is a great time to book as this is when cruise lines are offering all sorts of deals and perks to fill up their bookings and make some money. The next best time of year to book is Black Friday & Cyber Monday as cruise lines have also started jumping on the black Friday bandwagon to get slow selling cruises full.

  6. Travelling with kids also make getting deals harder as they can only be out of school for so long or during certain times of the year. As pretty much all other kids are out around the same times these are also the high season. If you are able to travel without kids or they are young enough to pull out of school then traveling during low season may be for you. On top of that, if there is a long weekend during the time you are travelling, prices will increase. If you are wanting the lowest prices of the year then travel after US Thanksgiving (November) and before Christmas (December) as kids will be in school and there are no holidays in between.

  7. Depending on your reason for going on a cruise, maybe you just want to get on the boat. Well if you are flexible then why not look at booking a "guarantee cabin"? These "cabins" are a guarantee that you will have a room on the ship... you just won't know which one. Sometimes you might luck out with a suite but that is extremely rare as the cruise line would rather upgrade everyone that paid for a room and then give you an inside cabin but if luck is on your side, you will get a really great room for an amazing price.

  8. When it comes to the ships, if you are not fussy then take a look at the older boats that are out there. They will usually be smaller and you'll be able to tell they are outdated but it could keep some funds in your wallet. Another option would be a renovated ship. These ships will have updated amenities but they will still be dated.

  9. Going alone? If you are wanting to head out on the open seas by yourself don't let "single supplements" put a hamper on your dream. Do some research! Some cruise lines may waive the single supplement for certain trips during promotions or the single supplement might actually not be as expensive as you think. Make sure to look around as well as call and ask questions. It might take some work but it could pay off in the end.

In the end, if you really want to take a cruise but have a set budget then why not look at a weekend cruise. It will get you out on the water and maybe to an area you haven't been before without breaking the bank.

The last thought I'm going to leave you with is "the cheapest cruise might not be the best". What do I mean by this? Check your inclusions! Some of cruises will omit things so you'll pay more in the long run. Compare inclusions as well as additional costs before deciding on the right one for you as paying a lump sum might be cheaper than going a la carte especially when it comes to things like drinks and short excursions.