Cruise season is upon us and while cruises are appealing to people because of the cost, things can add up very quickly if you are not careful. Here are some helpful tips to save where you can on your trip so you can use that extra money elsewhere.
1. Book your cruise last-minute
There are many deals out there if you book your trip 3-6 weeks ahead of time. Sites such as Priceline advertise 80% off. Don’t forget to ask for a discount if you are age 55 and older. Cruise lines such as the Royal Caribbean offer a 55-plus rate for accommodations above the inside cabin category.
2. Be flexible in your travel dates
Knowing the peak times can save you a considerable amount if you avoid them. If you are not committed to going during a common time when the schools are out, then your chances of finding a deal are greater. Summers and holiday weeks will have the highest demand and therefore highest prices. You will find lower fares if you are willing to cruise during the the following times:
* January (minus New Years holiday)
* Most of February
* First two weeks of November
* First two weeks of December
3. Downgrade your living quarters
How much time do you really spend in your room when you are on a cruise anyway? All cruise ships have plenty of activities and of course when you in a port, you are not even on the ship. If you’re trying to save money, cabins without windows or balconies or rooms in less-than-ideal locations can be much cheaper.
4. Travel in a pack
If you are traveling in a large group, look for discounts there. This can be achieved by contacting a travel agent or the cruise line directly. You may even earn a free ticket if you book enough other guests.
5. How to save money on board
Most cruise lines are all inclusive, however, you will pay extra for bottled water or premium drinks. Find out what the cruise lines guidelines are in advance on what you can take on the ship. Some will allow you to bring your own bottled water onboard as well as a limited amount of alcohol which usually consists of beer, wine or champagne. If you plan on indulging in the premium drinks, look in to the drink packages but be sure to do the math ahead of time. If you don’t plan on drinking more than the cost of the daily rate, then it may not be worth your money to purchase one. Keep in mind you will be off of the ship in the ports and possibly eating or drinking during those times on your own dime as well.
Be sure to forward this to any of your cruise lovers to help them save in cost as well!