Tips to Booking Cheap Cruises! By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Can you really pay pennies on the dollar for a cruise?
Before you book your next or first cruise, learn the different ways that you can save money. I once sat on a flight and accidentally saw the ticket price from a woman sitting next to me. She paid 1/2 what that I paid for the exact same flight. How frustrated I was! The same is true with cruises. The couple staying in the room next to you could have paid much more than you did, or even paid much less. You're probably saying to yourself right now, how is this possible, a room costs a certain amount and that is the price you pay, right? I am sorry but you're WRONG! I will tell you several different ways you can pay less on your next cruise. It doesn’t matter if you want to cruise on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney or any of the other fantastic cruise line. These tips WILL help you save money.
Prices Changes- Prices on cruises can fluctuate, not as much as airline tickets but they do move up and down. If the cruise you would like to take is far enough in advance, check weekly on these prices. Also, if your schedule is flexible, cruises are usually cheaper in January/February and in September/October. Depending on the time of year that you go can save you as much as 50%. Stay away from holidays and the summer months when kids are out of school and families are more likely to go on vacation, if at all possible. If you can go last minute, many times you can snag a super deal! Having a knowledgeable travel agent on your side, doing all this extensive research for you, will save you tons of time and tons of money!!
Find out the Cruise's Cost- The most important thing you need to know when getting started is how much the cruise that you would like to go on costs. Go to the cruise lines website and see if they are offering any deals and most importantly check with your travel agent. They often offer deals that include room credit. Your travel agent can even book you within a group which can offer you super savings!
Cruise Lines set the prices for cruises so the base price should be the SAME through every agency and every website. If one of them happens to have a group, many times they can offer you that discounted price. Sometimes the sites aren't allowing you to compare apples to apples (the prices don't reflect taxes and port charges) so you're not truly able to see the bottom line cost.
Call or visit your local Travel Agent! We have secrets we don't mind sharing! While they can’t actually lower the price of the cruise, many times they throw in extras like onboard credit. The agency is paid by the cruise lines, not you, so it benefits them to book the vacation for you! You are not paying extra to use their invaluable services!!
Last Minute Deals Can Save You 80%- If you live near a cruise port, then this last and best option is for you. The weekend before my last cruise, I decided to look up what the going rate was for the cruise. I was shocked to see that the same room I paid $450/person for was going for $119/person. Cruise lines do not like to have open rooms so many times they will greatly discount rooms so the ship will sail away full. This is the best way to get a killer deal on a cruise. However, you need to live fairly near a port or have a really flexible work schedule to take advantage of the last minute deals.
Want to Cruise like a Real Pro? Check out some insider secrets to saving money on cruises through our knowledgeable articles found on our website!
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