Three Things To Remember When Booking A Cheap Cruise
1. Smaller is cheaper Smaller boats tend to be less expensive since they offer fewer amenities and attractions.
2. Cruise in the off season Traveling off season will get you markedly cheaper fares.
3. Take a repositioning cruise Repositioning cruises are when cruise lines move ships from one part of the world to the next in anticipation of the upcoming season. These cruises are a great way to cross an ocean or sail down a continents coast on the cheap and can be found on any cruise booking website.
What about your flight? Dont book your flight with the cruise book it separately. Check out this guide to finding a cheap flight to lower that cost.
Look Closely At Packages
Many cruise lines offer bargain bundles that may include airfare, shore excursions, drink packages, specialty dining, spa treatments, or other items. These items are often discounted as part of the offer, but if theyre not deals youd be interested in using anyway, then it isnt a good price for you. Do the math carefully to decide if it would be better for you to purchase just what you want or need separately, or if youd rather just skip the deals altogether for even better savings.
Rule #: Do Sail On Older Ships For Cheaper Deals
Its not written in stone, but you will usually pay much less to sail on an older ship compared to a newer one. Older ships are still kept up and comfy, but simply cant offer the space or amenities as the larger, newer ships.
Over the past decade ships have seemingly transformed from seagoing vessels to floating amusement parks. From huge waterslides to walking promenades, robot bars, ice rinks, and more, its hard to believe what they can put on a new ship these days.
If you dont need these sorts of things on your cruise, then look for an older ship to get a much cheaper cruise.
Its difficult to compare apples to apples as different ships sail to different ports at different times, but we found two similar cruises to compare.
The first was a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbeans Symphony of the Seas from Miami, departing April 2020. Symphony of the Seas is among the cruise lines newest ships, and its priced accordingly.
The cheapest price we found for an April sailing on this new ship was $997 per person.
Compare this rate with a 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard another Royal Caribbean ship Empress of the Seas. We found this cruise departing Miami during the same month . Despite being one night longer, the trip was priced at just $439 per person for an interior cabin.
In other words, sailing the older ship in this example costs less than half the new ship despite the cruise on the older ship being a day longer.
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Ask For A Price Drop When Fares Change
If the cruise fare changes after you’ve booked but before you’ve made your final payment, it’s possible to take advantage of the lower rate. Enlist the help of a travel agent who can monitor pricing after you’ve booked, and who can request a re-fare to the lower rate.
If the fare plummets, you can request a rate change, cancel and rebook at the lower rate or request the difference in onboard credit. What you’re entitled to varies by cruise line, but it all leads to more money in your pocket. Note that some lines may have nonrefundable deposit policies always read the fine print before deciding to pull the trigger and cancel and rebook.
Time To Choose Your Best Cruise Deals
Norwegian Cruise Line regularly offers deals on select cruises throughout the year with multiple dates available for sailing! Youll find instant savings, plus Norwegians amazingly popular Free at Sea Promotion where depending on your sailing date and destination, offers may include FREE Shore Excursion Credits, Specialty Dining, Wi-Fi Packages or even an Unlimited Open Bar! Talk about the best cruise deals, wow!
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Are Cruises Cheaper Through A Travel Agent
Cruises should always be cheaper through a travel agent. If theyre not, then you need to find yourself a new travel agent!
Most cruise travel agents make money in two ways:
The bonuses that travel agents receive for hitting their targets can be huge. So when a sales target deadline is coming up, travel agents may be willing to sell cruises at cost price or even at a loss to earn their big bonus payment.
Whats more, some cruise travel agents use a specific business model whereby they buy up thousands of cabins in bulk for a cheap rate. Once the travel agent owns those cabins, they have to sell them. Even if they make a small loss on some of the cabins, its better than the loss that would be made if the cabins remained unsold.
As well as getting the best price on your cruise, there are other advantages to booking your cruise with a travel agent rather than directly with the cruise line. If youre booking flights and hotels too, a travel agent can get you the best package price, sort everything out for you and take charge if anything goes wrong.
To compare cruise prices from lots of different travel agents at once, I like to use Cruise Critic.
How To Get A Cheap Cruise For As Little As $30 Per Day
12/8/2018 | December 8th, 2018
Cruises can be expensive affairs.
First, ships reel you in with a cheap room and an onboard credit but then smack you around with high-priced drinks, non-included restaurants, and dollar-a-minute Internet.
A couple of years ago, I went on the Oasis of the Seas on a seven-day cruise around the Caribbean. The listed price of this cruise?
Thats expensive for a week of cruising. You could go to Southeast Asia for a month on that kind of money.
Luckily, there are, in fact, ways to take a cheap cruise for as little as $30 per day. It just takes a bit of skill, a lot of discipline, and a bit of sneakiness.
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Finding Last Minute Cruise Deals
Vacations are the highlight of the year for anyone. It is time to get away and unwind. To create incredible memories, and have experiences that will stick with you for a lifetime.
However, planning a vacation can be a big job, and whatever the trip may be, people are always looking for the best possible deal. This is especially true for families planning a vacation. One of the best value and easy to organise trips, especially for a family is a cruise.
Sometimes a vacation, whether it be solo, as a couple, or with the entire family can be a last minute decision. Other times, a last minute vacation may come about because you found a great deal.
Either way, if this is the case, things need to come together quickly and without too much planning, and thats what makes cruising the perfect last-minute getaway.
Special Note: Cruise Deals After The Health Crisis
To say that COVID turned the cruise industry on its head would be an understatement. The industry has never seen anything like it before and hopefully nothing like it ever again.
So how does that impact getting a deal on a cruise? The advice above is still the best. For instance, the time of year you sail and the ship you sail will still have the biggest impact on the price you pay for your cruise.
That said, expect there to be fewer deals in the years ahead. With the pandemic, cruise lines sold off older ships while also putting a hold on ordering new ships. The result is less growth in capacity for years to come.
Assuming that cruising does get back to normal, thats likely to mean strong demand for a lower number of cabins. In other words, high demand with lower supply should lead to higher prices.
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The Cheapest Time Of Year To Cruise
Certain months are much cheaper than others and this depends very much on the destination and the weather that you can expect at that time of year.
The cheapest time to cruise in Europe and the Mediterranean is December and January . This is mainly because the weather is cold.
The cheapest time to cruise in the Caribbean is August, September and October. This is because of hurricane season and the risk that cruises may miss ports or be cancelled altogether due to bad weather.
If your cruise is cancelled due to a hurricane youll get about two days notice, so hopefully, you wont have taken your flight, but youll probably have packed your bags!
The most expensive time to cruise is always Christmas and New Year when prices will skyrocket to double or triple the normal price. The UK school summer holidays can be pretty expensive too.
The Best Cheap Family Cruises
When youre cruising as a family, one of the most important things to pay attention to is the child prices.
Sometimes, kids cruise free and sometimes youll be charged the full adult fare for each child. Choosing a cruise where kids go free for a family of four will save you up to 50% on your total cruise price straight away.
Heres how much each cruise line charges for kids:
- Carnival Full adult price
- Celebrity Cruises Full adult price
- Costa Cruises Children under 18 pay only port fees and service fees
- Cunard Full adult price
- Disney Cruise Line Full adult price
- MSC Cruises Children under 18 cruise FREE when booking in the USA and from £119 when booking in the UK
- Norwegian Cruise Line Full adult price except when the Free At Sea promotion is on when kids cruise free
- P& O Cruises Full adult price in the school holidays and £99 per week in term-time
- Princess Cruises Full adult price
- Royal Caribbean Full adult price except when the Kids Sail Free promotion is on
Cruise prices for babies vary hugely, depending on the cruise line.
MSC Cruises and Cunard do not charge for children under two years of age. Costa Cruises, P& O Cruises and Disney Cruise Line charge a reduced fare for babies. Most other cruise lines charge the full adult price unless theres a special promotion on at the time of booking.
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Dont Forget To Factor In Gratuities
Tips for cruise staff members are an important cost that youll need to factor in.
Gratuities are charged per person, per day and added on to your bill for you to pay at the end of your cruise. The fees vary depending on the cruise line but are often around $15 per person, per day. When you add those on, a seven-night cruise for a family of four can cost an extra $400, or more.
However, not all cruise lines charge extra for gratuities. Some include gratuities in the ticket price of your cruise.
Cruise lines which dont charge extra for gratuities are:
- Celebrity Cruises
Book At The Last Minute
For those who can be spontaneous, flexibility can pay off. Check out our last minute cruise deals section, which features bargains on a variety of sailings leaving within 90 days — 90 days out being the typical point at which final cruise payments are due. In general, there are always plenty of Caribbean and Mediterranean cruise deals.
Other hard-to-fill cruises — such as shoulder season cruises and one-way repositioning sailings, where open-jaw airfare is required — can be deeply discounted at the last minute. Of course, booking last-minute airfare might wipe out any savings. Plus, you’ll have a limited selection of cabin locations and dinner seatings. But, if you’re flexible and can drive to a cruise port — or have plenty of frequent flier airline points to burn — it’s a great way to take a cruise without breaking the bank.
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What Are The Best Money Saving Tips For Cruise Deals
Thankfully there are plenty of things that you are going to be able to do to get the best cruise deals and they dont all involve you spending countless hours on your computer constantly refreshing the page to see if the cruise price has dropped.
Here we look at some of the tips that you are going to be able to save yourself a lot of money and will be able to enjoy an incredible break away. Paying less than everyone else onboard might also help to make your vacation even sweeter than it already was.
Before booking a cruise with one of the best companies such as Holland America and Royal Caribbean, you want to search long and hard to find cruise deals that suit you and your budget, and heres the 10 best ways to do that.
Leave The Deals Search To The Experts
If you don’t have time for Twitter, online cruise research or gathering up a group of 20 friends, nothing beats a good travel agent to help you score a deal.
Because agents often book in bulk and work directly with the lines, they have access to deals that normal cruisers don’t. Cruise lines will offer their top agencies special discounts that the agents can’t promote on their websites, so even if you see a good deal online, it’s best to talk to a real person and ask for the best fare.
Even if savings aren’t necessarily there for every sailing, agencies often offer deals with value-added perks like onboard credit or prepaid gratuities, which can amount to nearly $100 per person on a weeklong sailing.
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Disney Cruise Discounts For Military
Members of the US military and their families qualify for special cruise rates.
New!As of September 22, 2021, the following cruises had availability in the Military category. Prices given are lowest available fares for a single stateroom, in US dollars, including taxes, fees and port expenses, rounded to the nearest dollar. All sailings are from Port Canaveral unless noted otherwise. The room category available at that fare is in parentheses.
Please note: a single guest gets charged essentially the same price as two guests. Also note that 5-passenger rooms are rarely discounted for military members, but they do show up occasionally.If a price isnt listed, that doesnt mean the category is sold out, just that it isnt available with this discount.
Select number of guests to see total sailing price :
Valid for new bookings only. Other stateroom categories may be available at other rates. Rates based on double occupancy. Occupancy restrictions may apply. Excursions are not included. See Disney Cruise Line brochure for details and applicable terms and conditions. Other discounts do not apply. Only one discount may be used at a time. Rates in US dollars. The following are eligible for the Military rate: active duty or retired military 100% disabled retired military reservists for National Guard and Army Reserve with active duty orders Department of Defense personnel.
Tips To Helps Enjoy A Cheap Cruise
Tip 1: Cruises are not often all-inclusive and become increasingly less so each year. Chris states, the gravy is what people spend on board. Cruise ships want you spending, since thats where they have the best margins. However, if you are smart and disciplined, cruises dont have to cost much more than the price of the cabin itself. Heres how to save money while on board:
Tip 2: Skip the soda A long time ago, soda was free. Now, you have to pay around $3 USD for a tiny glass, or you can pay $45-60 USD for a soda card that gives you unlimited soda for the duration of the cruise. Youd have to drink a lot of soda to make that worth it. Instead, stick to the free water, iced teas, and juices on the ship. Your wallet and insulin levels will thank you.
Tip 3: Say no to photos Do you really need some cheesy professional photos of your family? I didnt think so. Get them done back home for less or take a digital camera and have someone take them for you on the ship.
Tip 4: Avoid the restaurants On most cruise ships these days, there are specialty restaurants that you can book for an added cost. Some are à la carte, some charge a set fee. Avoid these specialty restaurants. The food in the dining areas, the buffets, and the other shops is just as good and less costly.
Tip 6: Bring your own supplies Cruise companies will let you bring one case of your own water, soda, and beer, as well as a bottle of wine onto the ship.
Tip 8: Avoid the casino This goes without saying.
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Pay Attention To World Events
As weird as this may sound, pay attention to the news around the world. When a destination gets any negative press for things such as severe weather, events, or even social or political issues, cruises and tourist excursions in those areas tend to go down in price.
Tour and cruise companies will be looking to recoup from any cancellations and avoid any long-term losses by offering tourists incentive to continue to visit the destination. Sometimes cruise companies will respond with price cutting to even the smallest of events in a destination so, be on the lookout.