Wednesday, 2 May 2012

How to Save Money on a Cruise

If you’re considering a cruise for your next vacation, you are probably already saving money for the trip. Going on a cruise is a great way to relax and enjoy life. With not a care in the world, you can simply sit on deck and watch the ocean go by. Unfortunately, a cruise can be relatively expensive. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to cut down on expenses. Following are a few tips on how to save money on a cruise.

Wait Until the Last Minute

This concept resembles flying standby–you wait until the last minute to book your cruise. Most cruise lines require you to book your room months in advance. However, there are usually some last minute cancellations. That means there could be some open space a few days before the cruise is scheduled to leave. Cruise lines will sell these empty cabins at a reduced rate so they won’t have to leave port with no one in them. If you time things right, you could end up with a very nice cabin at a drastically reduced price. You have a good chance of finding a last minute opening by monitoring the websites of the various cruise lines.

Go During the Offseason

As with any vacation destination, it is cheaper to go on a cruise during the offseason. Because a cruise is a popular getaway, you can expect solid bookings during the peak vacation season. However, if you can take your vacation during the nonpeak months, you should be able to save quite a bit of money.

Shop for a Good Price

A time-honored way to save money on practically anything is to go looking for a deal. Go online and visit the website of various cruise lines to find out their basic rates. Determine which cruise you’d like to take, compare the prices, and find a travel agent that has a good reputation. Have the agent try to find the cruise you’d like at a price you can afford. A knowledgeable travel agent should be able to get a better deal than you.

Ask for Discounts

When you are shopping for a good rate on a cruise, you should make sure you ask the travel agent or booking agent whether or not they offer any discounts. Some cruise lines are very friendly to military personnel. They offer discounts for active duty or retired military people. Another discount that is available on some cruise lines is for frequent travelers. The more you travel with any one company, the higher your discount will be. There may be other discounts available but you won’t know about them unless you ask.

Book Early During Primetime

If you’re unable to travel during the offseason, or if you simply prefer going during primetime, you should book your cruise as early as possible. As soon as you know when and where you want to travel, you should try and book a spot before the cruise is actually advertised. That is when you will have the best opportunity to get a decent price.

Book Air Travel Separately

In many cases, a trip that consolidates air travel with the price of a cruise could end up costing you more than if you booked your air travel separately. If your flight to the spot the cruise is leaving from is delayed for any reason, the ship is certainly not going to wait for you. Instead, you should book your cruise, and then coordinate the rest of your travel schedule so you will be sure to arrive on time.

Don’t Insist on a Window Seat

The majority of cruise lines charge quite a bit more for rooms on the outside portion of the ship. You can save some money on a cruise by booking a cabin in the interior of the ship instead of insisting on a room with a view. Most people don’t spend a lot of time in their cabins anyway, so paying extra just to look outside a few minutes each day could be a waste of money.

Guest post from Tracy Sheldon. Tracy writes about boat insurance for BoatInsurance.org.


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