The Best Cheap Cruise Ships
Youll find some large price differences between different ships in each fleet. Cruising on a newer cruise ship will cost more than a cruise on an older ship. Why? Well, newer cruise ships are larger with more facilities on-board. People get excited about new ships and dont mind paying more, especially for the maiden voyages.
Are new cruise ships better? Not always. Cruise ships are thoroughly refurbished every three years, so even on the oldest ships youll never find peeling paint or shabby furnishings.
Royal Caribbean charges around $1 more per drink on the newest ships, which doesnt sound a lot but it can add up. Royal Caribbean drinks packages cost more on the newer ships too.
Rather than looking for the biggest, newest ships, dont rule out some older ships which will be as good as new once you get on-board.
Where Can I Find The Best Cruise Deals
Our cruise grid shows the lowest priced cruise for each month, and this can also be sorted by lowest price per day. For example, a 10 day cruise may be more expensive than a 7, but on a daily basis, the 10 night a better deal. Airfare is a big factor from Canada. Weve packaged the most popular cruises booked with flights from Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax for certain times of year.
How Much Can You Save On Last Minute Cruises
Saving money on a last-minute cruise is like finding cash in a treasure chest on the beach.
Its not uncommon to see deals priced as low as $25 or $30 per night per person for a last-minute three-day cruise.
Last year, we even saw a 4-night cruise on Norwegian Sky go for $89 per person thats $22.25 per night. Youd pay more than that for a single meal in a nice restaurant, but your cruise fare includes 3+ meals a day, accommodations, entertainment and transportation. Thats an amazing value that only a cruise can provide.
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Do Cruises Get Cheaper Closer To Sailing Date
Remember often the best way to secure a great deal is to be flexible. If you can widen the range of dates for your cruise you are more likely to find a bargain. If you can stay clear of the peak seasons, the chances of finding an offer increase. There is also the chance to pick up a deal on a cruise due to depart in the very near future if staterooms become available!
We update our cruise deals page daily with all of the latest offers we can find. The deals shown always represent extremely good value for money. You can guarantee these cruises will be snapped up quickly. Hurry and book the best cruise deal now before someone takes the last stateroom!
You Should Almost Always Pick A Port Within Driving Distance
Dont know where to start when looking for deals on last-minute cruises? Cruise Critic offers a very valuable piece of advice. If you live within driving distance of a departure port, focus your search on itineraries that depart from that port. Last-minute flights to get to and from a distant port can add up because they arent nearly as inexpensive as last-minute cruises. But an impromptu road trip is much simpler and cheaper to plan.
Next: Figure out what you really want.
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Where Can I Sail From
Last-minute cruise deals are available on cruises departing from UK ports such as Southampton, and also on fly-cruises which are packaged up to include flights from regional UK airports. Popular fly-cruises include Mediterranean cruises from ports such as Barcelona, Caribbean cruises departing from the USA and Transatlantic cruises which will include a one-way flight only. Cruises departing from the UK are popular with last-minute travellers because less planning is needed to hop on-board at Southampton.
Making Friends With Your Favorite Cruise Lines Reduces The Work For You
Shermans Cruise offers another valuable tip for finding bargains on last-minute cruises. You should make friends with your favorite cruise lines and not just by following them on Facebook or Instagram. Instead, you should sign up to become a member of your favorite cruise lines past-passengers program. Members of those programs often get priority access to deals, including deals on last-minute cruises. And if you sign up for the cruise lines newsletter, youll also receive alerts about sales and deals.
Next: Plan to travel during this part of the year.
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Are Cruises Cheaper In Wave Season
In the cruise industry, the period from right after Christmas, through to February is known as wave season because cruise lines see a big wave of bookings around January.
The reason for this wave is that Christmas is out of the way and people start to think about what they want to do in the coming year. Thoughts naturally turn to travel and marketers cash in on this by offering incentives to get people to book cruises.
Is January a good time to book a cruise? Possibly. There are some good deals. But there are also some medicre deals that are disguised as good deals. Just keep your wits about you and dont jump to book just because you saw a January Sale banner.
Comparison Shopping Will Give You The Best Deal
Cruise Critic reports that cruise lines impose restrictions on travel agencies and the discounts they can offer. But agencies that sell cruises do have some authorized ways of accessing lower prices or offering booking bonuses. That means that it pays to do some comparison-shopping. Many travel agencies have pages specifically dedicated to last-minute cruises and eleventh-hour deals, but you may also want to call to see if they have any deals that they cant list online.
Next: Keep this in order.
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Which Cruise Line Is Most Affordable
It depends on where you are travelling and when. Within the mass market lines that comprise 90% of the bookings by Canadians, it will vary and this is the beauty of the tripcentral.ca grid we find you the lowest price or best value for all the major lines. Sometimes its Royal Caribbean, sometimes Celebrity, sometimes Carnival, Norwegian, Princess or Holland America. MSC and Costa are often the most affordable in Europe.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Book A Cruise
Cruise prices vary depending on the time of year. In order to book a cheap cruise, youre going to want to look at booking a cruise when everybody else is not booking cruises. When cruise demand is high the prices usually are too!
Wave Season generally runs from January to March and this is when cruise travel agents and cruise lines will try to entice potential passengers. Almost all cruises will have some sort of discount or freebie promotion at this time. When the new year starts people tend to start planning their year and as a result start to look at holidays. The miserable weather in Wave Season can also push people to consider booking a cruise.
Autumn/Fall & Winter
Autumn/Fall can be a brilliant time to book a last minute cruise. There are usually LOTS of bargains for cruises in November/December so starting to look for these in September/October can be a great option. Similarly, there are often really cheap cruises in January and February so looking for these in November and December can be a great move.
I am a big fan of a cruise in Winter. Ive been on a number of cruises in the Winter including the Mediterranean and canary islands, both of which I would wholeheartedly recommend. The weather in the Canary Islands is still warm for most of the winter and it makes a lovely change from the weather in the UK.
Different cruise destinations will have different peak times and some cruise regions will be more difficult to find a bargain than others.
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How To Time Your Search
A good time to start looking for last-minute deals is about 90 days before a sailing. This is the final payment deadline for many cruisesthe point where customers who have put down deposits on trips must send in the full amount due or cancel. After the deadline, cruise lines have a much better idea of how many cabins they have left to sell, and they adjust pricing accordingly. If a ship is heavily booked after final payment, fares for the remaining cabins will remain high or go higher. If there are an unexpectedly large number of cabins left to sell, pricing could come down.
The final payment deadline varies by line and itinerary. At Royal Caribbean, its 75 days for shorter voyages. Regent Seven Seas cuts things off as far out as 150 days on some trips.
How To Get Last Minute Cheap Cruise Deals
Doug advises that you start with a travel agent, as they have relationships with the cruise companies and can often get better rates and last-minute deals. And my experience has me agreeing. While there are many do it yourself options, travel agents often can find much lower prices and can act as liaison to cruise companies when something goes wrong.
If you want to go with the do it yourself angle, you only need to go to these three best websites for finding a cheap cruise:
These websites do a detailed job of scouring the web for cheap cruise deals. Vacations to Go is more of a travel agent/operator and thus often has better deals since they can negotiate with the cruise lines directly, but keep in mind that they add a lot of fees. Cruise Sheet is simply a website aggregator that crawls the web and then displays cheap last-minute fares. This is my favorite cruise site, as it seems to find all the deals and makes finding a cheap cruise easy.
In terms of timing, dont book early. As Doug states, the only benefit to booking early is to secure the room you want. If you want a specific cabin, book early. Otherwise, wait until the last minute. As I said in the beginning, cruise companies dont want to sail empty ships and so do heavy last-minute discounting be sure to sign up for cruise company newsletters to stay informed!
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How Far In Advance Should You Book A Cruise
In order to book a cruise for the cheapest price you have two options:
Book When The Cruises Are Released
If you can book far in advance, DO IT! I have friends who book their cruises years in advance, I rarely do this because Im not organised enough but it can be a great way to get a bargain.
In general, the price when the cruise itineraries are first released is the cheapest that theyll be. There are exceptions with last minute deals but for the most part, cruises are cheaper when the itineraries have just been released. If you look to book a new ship that is not yet built you can get incredibly cheap cruises.
Maiden voyages are often really cheap because the ship may still be working out some issues, training the crew etc.
If you do book a cruise really far in advance, dont worry that youre gonna have to pay it off straight away. Itll usually be 60 or 90 days before your cruise that the full balance will be required. Cruise lines will sometimes have special offers when they have a ridiculously low deposit. One of my favourite cruise lines, Princess Cruises, often have cruises with deposits from $1, you can find the deals on their website here!
Book Last Minute
As mentioned earlier, the price will usually drop around the 60 or 90-day mark. The cruise lines know then how many cabins they have to fill and they can adjust the prices accordingly.
Cruise Lines Have Experts To Price Trips
Cruise lines hire a lot of smart analysts to figure out the perfect prices to fill a ship at the highest prices possible. That means they often get the ships filled before having to resort of slashing prices just before the cruise departs.
It doesnt always work out, so you will run across some great deals from time to time. Thats why its important to be on your toes and be ready to buy if you do find a deal.
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Why Book A Last
Booking late can be a good way to book a great cruise at a fantastic price. Cruise lines don’t want to have empty cabins, so as the sailing date nears, they’ll often drop the price in order to fill the last remaining staterooms. Sometimes, cruise lines even sell cabins at a loss, on the hope that they’ll make the money back via the on-board casinos, boutiques, bars and excursions. However, spending your money in these on-board venues is completely optional, you’re welcome to just book the bargain cabin-filler cruise, relax and enjoy your included meals and entertainment.
If youre flexible on the dates that you can travel, as well as your destination, ship and stateroom type, then booking a late cruise deal can mean that you make big savings. Cruise lines usually offer incentives for booking early, such as free drinks, free gratuities, free port parking or free on-board spending money. However, once these offers have ended, if there are staterooms left on board, that’s when prices may start to drop.
Where To Get Last Minute Cruise Deals
At Vision Cruise we specialise in finding our customers the very best last minute deals available. Whether youre looking for last minute cruises from Southampton. A great deal on a Caribbean cruise. Or youre just on the lookout for cruise deals that become available to all destinations around the world. If you cant find what your looking for. Give our cruise experts a call, and they can help you find the perfect deal.
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Things You Need To Know About Last
If youre like many travelers, you like having your vacation planned out months in advance, with all the reservations made and tickets booked. And if you think youd never switch up your advance planning for a more spontaneous kind of travel, we have three words for you: last-minute cruises.
Last-minute cruises are exactly what they sound like: cruises booked somewhere between several days and three months before the embarkation date. And for travelers with the flexibility to book a cruise on a relatively short timeline, theyre an easy way to find a bargain. Read on to get all the secrets you need to know about last-minute cruises.
What Is The Best Day Of The Week To Book A Cruise
According to Neil from Cruise Nation
My advice on booking a cruise would be to opt for Wednesday or Thursday. Monday and Tuesday we get a lot of pricing updates and those are then live for Wednesday and Thursday before usually getting updated again. Thats why we do our top 20 offers email on a Wednesday,
My last two cruises were booked with Cruise Nation, they have LOTS of last-minute bargains and are one of my favourite travel agents in the UK. Check out our deals page for an exclusive discount.
Not all cruise lines/agencies agree on which day is the best day to book a cruise. All sources do seem to say that you should book mid week though.
- According to Loney Planet, the best time to book a cruise is Thursday.
- Wheretraveler also says the best day to book is a Thursday .
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What Is Considered A Last Minute Cruise
When we talk about last minute cruises, we are talking about any sailing that is past Royal Caribbean’s final payment date.
In most cases, the final payment date is 90 days prior to when the ship is scheduled to depart.
The closer you get to the sail date, the more difficult find a deal may be, but the rewards may be higher given the cruise line’s desire to fill the room.
How To Book A Cheap Cruise
Booking a cheap cruise is actually quite easy and requires only one thing: flexibility. See, cruise pricing is similar to tour pricing. The closer you get to the departure date, the cheaper the cruise becomes.
Because cruise ships dont want to depart with half-empty boats, so they drop prices steadily until that boat is leaving port, since for them empty cabins mean less money.
Cruises make the majority of their money from what people purchase on board, so they want bodies on those ships.
You can also book early, but I find last-minute bookings to be the best. And since you are booking close to departure, you need to be flexible with where you are willing to go or OK with not booking the actual cruise even if you booked your flights.
Another tip comes Doug Parker of Cruise Radio, When the kids are in school, the rates are the best. This holds true in all travel but especially cruising, because it is such a family activity. Dont travel when everyone else is traveling! If you do that or travel during the shoulder season, you can find the best rates. Chris from Chris Cruises also reiterates my recommendation: Book far in advance or last minute for the best fares.
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How To Get Cheap Cruises: An Insider Guide
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Before I became a full-time blogger, I worked in the marketing department of a well-known specialist cruise travel agency for five years.
In that time, Ive sat at my desk and watched the price of cruises go up and down, and up again.
Ive seen cruises priced at £13 per night and cruises that cost over £4,000 per night. Ive spotted some incredible deals and Ive also scratched my head at why some cruises are priced so much higher than others.
I always like to have at least five cruises booked at any one time. People ask me how I afford to go on so many cruises? Am I rich? Do I have a rich husband? Alas, the answer is no! Ive just learned how to get cheap cruises from working in the industry.
Cruises arent expensive if you know how to find the cheap deals.