Tips on Landing Top Cruise Deals
I love getting a bargain, especially when it comes to holidays. There are lots of offers available for cruise trips, making them among the best budget getaway options. This is why I’ve put together a guide to help you land some great cruise deals.
Step 1: Do your research
First things first – you can’t go looking for an excellent cruise deal if you’re not aware of what offers are out there. It is a good idea to have a long think about where you want to go in the world and take a look at what sort of prices these cruises are available at. Once you are armed with this information, you can begin to look for offers that beat these quotes.
Of course, unfortunately, these deals won’t just jump into your lap, and you’ll have to do some hard research to find your ideal holiday at an ideal price. This may involve hours spent looking at offers online, speaking to travel agents, or even phoning up cruise lines and seeing what special discounts they can give you directly.
Are you prepared to do this legwork? If so, you can progress to the next step.
Step 2: Look at when you want to go away
Obviously, whenever you go on holiday, you’ll pick a time of the year to travel that will suit you and your group. But there are three main travelling times that you should consider going on a cruise if you want to save the cash: 1) soon, 2) months away and/or 3) off-season.
With the first option, you can bag some great discounts if you book late in the day. Cunard offers cruise deals, like many other lines, for last-minute bookings, as cruise companies simply want to fill any spaces that they have left. The sooner to the departure date you book, the cheaper the holiday is likely to be, as operators face having to fill cancellations before leaving the port. Don’t forget though that you need to be uber-flexible if you do this, as you may have to drop everything to get a good deal on a cruise leaving next week, for example.
Alternatively, if you prefer to be organised and have time to get all your other travelling plans in order, you can book months and even over a year in advance. If you’re happy to wait a very long time before you can hop aboard the ship, this may be the best option for you – besides, think of all the time you’ll get to spend looking forward to your fantastic trip!
Travelling off-season is another great way to save money on your cruise holidays. I’ll explain more below.
Step 3: Choose off-season locations
Avoiding going on cruises during the school holidays and the peak summertime will enable you to save lots of money, as this is when breaks are more in demand and tour operators can happily hike up their prices knowing the places will still get filled. If you don’t have children, you should make the most of your flexibility and choose to go away at another time of the year, when it will be significantly less expensive.
Don’t forget though that countries also have their ‘off-season’, meaning that hot destinations don’t always remain hot throughout the year. If you’re happy to go to north Africa when the sunshine is milder than during the intense summer months, you’ll save a bundle. The other option is picking a place that boasts beautiful weather all year round, like the Caribbean. I, for one, certainly wouldn’t turn my nose down at lying on a golden beach in Antigua and topping up my tan in January or February when it’s freezing at home!
Step 4: Make sure the costs work out cheaper
It can be tempting to always go for the cheaper options (and I fall for lower prices all the time), but it is important to look closely at the costs. Ask yourself, what are you getting for your money? You may find that while you’re paying a lower price for the trip, you are also receiving significantly less.
Depending on how much cash you have spare or what you want from your break, you might decide it’s worth paying a bit more if it means you don’t have to fork out for expensive food and drinks, shows and spa treatments when you’re actually on the cruise itself.
Have you got any other tips for saving money on cruise deals to share with fellow holidaymakers?