4 Important Tips for Affordable Cruise

Going on a cruise can be one of the most memorable vacations you and your family ever take. Of course, saving money on that cruise can make it that much more memorable as you’ll not only have more money to spend during the actual vacation but feel good knowing that you got the best deal possible on a luxury cruise.

Important Tips for Cruise

The Four Things you need to know before booking your Cruise

There are four things that you can do to help ensure that you get the best deal on your cruise for you and your family. These tips come straight from the cruise directors, travel agents and cruise lines themselves, so if there’s a better way to make sure you book an affordable cruise, the insiders don’t know about it:

Book Early

You always want to book your cruise as early as possible to take full advantage of Wave Season. Wave Season is the time period from January to March when all of the value deals and offers are in place. This is also a time when it’s harder for some families to travel, especially if they have children in school.

But by booking your cruise early, you’ll be able to enjoy the full benefits of Wave Season discounts, even though you might score a better bottom-line price if you wait to the last minute. That’s because when you book early, you’ll often be eligible for free airfare to the port city or onboard credits that you can spend to upgrade your cabin or put towards outings and services.

Try to aim for 4 to 6 months of advance booking time in order to ensure you qualify for added incentives and bonuses. You can even save more money by accepting unspecified cabin guarantees, but only if you don’t mind possibly winding up in a cheap room.

Book with a Vacation Package

When you go through a cruise travel broker, you’ll likely see a number of vacation packages. Most of these will save you money on just about every aspect of your trip, not just the cruise. That means your airfare, your cruise and any hotel stays in port cities will all be discounted.

That’s why it’s such a good idea to at least check through cruise vacation packages. You should do some homework beforehand so you know the a la carte prices of each aspect of the trip. For instance, if the hotel, airfare and cruise each cost $500 for a total of $1,500 but you see a vacation package advertising a $200 cruise but with $650 for the airline and $650 for the hotel, you really aren’t getting a deal.

Travel at the Right Times

We already touched on Wave Season being one of the best times to travel on cruises, but it’s not the only time you should be looking for deals. Stay away from the “high season”, essentially the time of year when school is out. This means avoid summer, December holidays and New Years as well as spring break.

If you want to get a good idea of when high season is, just look at a school calendar. Then, book other times such as after Thanksgiving towards the beginning of December. Look for Easter time specials and other spring holidays since those aren’t typical cruise times.

You should also be aware of where you’re sailing when taking time into consideration as traveling to Alaska during the winter isn’t going to be as much as during the summer. Check climates for Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises as they are generally more affordable before the summer and in the fall.

Consider Taking a Repositioning Cruise

Finally, consider taking a repositioning cruise or a cruise where the cruise lines are rotating their fleet to another tourist-heavy departure point that coincides with the season. As the high season in one region starts to die down, it’s only a short period of time when another region’s high season starts to pick up.

During this window, cruise ships must move to where the people are and that means a ton of ships and not too many passengers-supplies outweighs demand. For example, Caribbean ships sail up to Alaska for the summer just as ships move from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean for the winter.

These so-called “repositioning cruises” can save you a ton of money-as low as $40 each day per person. That’s because they are only one-way cruises and the sailing time is longer-typically 10 to 14 days. Plus, the ships make fewer stops at port, but you still get to enjoy the actual ship for far less than you would on a standard cruise.

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