Rule #: Dont Think There Is A Magic Website With Cheaper Cruise Fares
The cruise line website, Expedia, Cruises.com, Travelocity the list of sites where you can search for cruises is endless. The odd thing? They usually all have the exact same rates.
We researched the most popular sites for an upcoming Carnival cruise, comparing prices with the cruise lines official website. Weve tabulated the prices we found below:
So which site should you use?
We generally suggest booking through the cruise lines website. We like this because it takes out the middleman in booking your cruise. Should there be an issue, you can call the cruise line directly and everything is dealt with through their site.
However, many third-party sites can have special deals such as onboard credit thats not available if booking through the cruise line. We seen up to $750 in onboard credit just for booking through these types of sites, depending on their offers.
As well, third-party sites take your search across multiple cruise lines. So instead of just searching for Carnival cruises to the Caribbean in October, you can search every cruise line potentially finding a cheaper cruise with another line. Meanwhile, you typically wont pay any more than booking directly from the cruise line.
If you know the cruise line youd like to sail, we suggest booking directly through them. If you are open, then third-party websites give you the ability to search more cruise lines and itineraries to find a better price.
Choose Your Ship Carefully
Newer, larger ships with fancier features robot bartenders, roller coasters, exclusive restaurants, floating breweries, skydiving simulators, go-karts, snow grottos, escape rooms, etc. often have higher fares because of the popularity of these new and exciting options.
Older or smaller ships with fewer features will typically have cheaper overall fares, but they still offer amazing service, stunning ports of call, and many tried-and-true onboard favorites. Check when ships were most recently renovated and browse through deck plans to see what different ships offer. Comparing ship options with overall prices can help you find the best deal with the features youre most excited about.
The Best Cheap Cruise Cabins
The cheapest cabins are inside cabins with no windows. I almost always choose an inside cabin when I cruise. The only reason I would choose a cabin with a balcony is if I were cruising to a scenic destination like the Norwegian Fjords or Alaska.
Other reasons why people pay extra for a balcony include claustrophobia or having a baby who will only take naps in a bed.
Sometimes, youll find cruise promotions offering free or cheap upgrades to balcony cabins. However, these are usually only on cold-weather cruises where you wouldnt want to spend a lot of time on your balcony anyway.
The cheapest inside cabins are called guarantee cabins. This means that the cruise line chooses your stateroom number for you and youre guaranteed a cabin of that type, or better. If you want to, you can pay extra to choose your own cabin number but in my opinion, this is rarely worth it.
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Do Cruises Get Cheaper Closer To The Sailing Date
Its a myth that cruises get cheaper closer to the sailing date. In fact, cruise prices are cheapest when they first go on sale which is 18 to 24 months before the departure date. Only if the cruise doesnt sell out will there be a price drop. This will happen 6 to 12 weeks before departure.
The following graph demonstrates what often happens to cruise prices over time. The red circles are the cheap prices that you want to book!
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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How Can I Maximize The Value Of My Cruise Vacation
There are plenty of ways to get more bang for your buck when you sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Every ship in the fleet offers a range of delicious complimentary dining options, but you can dig into even more crave-worthy flavor by purchasing a Specialty Dining Package for less ahead of your cruise. Add a Specialty Beverage Package which includes unlimited alcoholic beverages, soda, and more and your experience is as close to all-inclusive as it gets. And with so many complimentary shows and attractions onboard, you can easily fill every sea day without spending a single dollar extra.
Royal Caribbean also offers deals based on departure ports and destinations, so if youre a flexible traveler looking for great savings, you can plan your next vacation around which itineraries are on sale. Just check your email or visit RoyalCaribbean.com/cruise-deals to stay up to date on promotions, sales and special offers. You can even browse sailings and deals by homeport, destination and season, so you can rest assured youre getting the best possible deal no matter when or where in the world you choose to set sai.
Dont Fall For Upgrade Offers
If youre wanting to sail as cheap as possible, then its all about booking a bare-bones room. Even if you are wanting to sail more comfortably such as in a balcony cabin but not break the bank, you need to be careful about upgrade offers.
Whenever youre booking, youll be asked about all sorts of upgrades. The costs of these offers adds up, but the amounts are small compared to the total cost of the cruise, so they may not seem like that much.
For instance, to move from an oceanview to a balcony cabin might be, say a hundred bucks. For some its well worth it. But remember that price is usually per person, so you can double the amount youll pay.
As well, even within the same cabin class there might be different prices for different decks or different locations on the ship.
In short, if you want to sail dirt-cheap, be careful of the upgrades.
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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.
How To Tell If A Cruise Ship Has Unsold Cabins
Youve got a flexible schedule, and you want to figure out which itineraries and ships have unsold cabins so you can get a deal. You might find its harder than you thought to figure out which sailings to watch.
Cruise lines do a good job of protecting this information on their consumer booking engines, Beci Mahnken, president and CEO of MEI-Travel, says. Some will allow you to see available inventory during the booking process while others will only show you a handful of options. Travel advisors sometimes have a clearer view of the inventory available on a particular sailing, but not always.”
Starting the online booking process is your best bet at getting a glimpse of how many cabins are available. Sites like Costco Travel and Best Price Cruises do a good job of showing full deck plans with available cabins, though youll need to manually check all the categories and decks for available rooms.
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Get The Best Hotel Deals
If youre looking for exclusive vacation deals, youre in the right place. Travelocity offers one-of-a-kind hotel deals and discounts that match every budget. Whether booking your accommodation for 1 night or 1 week, for a romantic getaway or a family fun trip, youll find a variety of discount hotels at your fingertips. Use the extra cash you saved on lodging to splurge on sightseeing: view local landmarks, taste authentic cuisine and experience the cultural sites now that youve saved big on your hotel.
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.
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Check Out Our Antarctica Tours Cost And Find Your Place In Our Vacation Group
How to travel to antarctica for cheap. Like any travel writer worth his or her salt, one of my lifes goals has been to visit all seven continents. If your travels to antarctica include backpacking in argentina, you may enjoy our post 8 must read argentina travel tips. An antarctic cruise means visiting a part of earth that has remained largely unchanged since aristotle first gave rise to the notion of terra australis, or the land of the south.
Please share them in the comments or on our facebook page. Although antarctica has a reputation for being fiercely cold, in the summertime, the antarctic peninsula can be quite inviting! Score even better deals when you include extras such as day tours to your booking.
During the peak of the antarctic tourist season, there is a constant flow of cruises to antarctica that leave on almost a daily basis. Several expeditions take place outside the peninsula region each season. An experience truly unique to expedition travel to antarctica.
You can also see more photos from our trip at our post, incredible antarctica. Theres no 2 ways about it: Compare that to the 30 million visitors london receives!
Travel on a cruise ship. Select a ship to see ship details, reviews, photos and itineraries. Reaching the antarctica is a mission too, with long flights and passage across the roughest seas on the planet.
Whats The Most Expensive Room Or Cabin On A Ship
Usually what they call the Owners Suite , but its more like an apartment. There are many affordable mini-suites and suites offered, and you need to compare the included amenities. The suites are targetted to people who live in large luxury homes and who expect more space, finer furnishings, and more attentive service. They are limited in number, book very far in advance, and are seldom discounted other than on a no cabin assignment basis.
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Access Military Senior Or Residency Rates
A number of cruise lines have special programs for seniors, military personnel and even teachers. For example, MSC Cruises provides discounts of up to 10 percent to active and retired military families on almost all sailings. AARP members can find exclusive senior discounts on multiple lines when booking through the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia.
Many lines also offer residential discounts. Here’s how it works: In essence, a line’s revenue stream is based on a formula that requires a certain number of bookings from various cities, states and regions. So, if it’s not getting enough bookings from one particular place, it’ll drop the price slightly — say, in Florida — to entice more Floridians to book.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get a residential discount, but it can’t hurt to mention your home city and state during the booking process, just in case. Even if it only saves you $50, it’s still $50 in your pocket.
Is It Cheaper To Go On A Cruise Or An All Inclusive Resort
A cruise will be comparable in price to a higher than average priced Caribbean or Mexican all inclusive resort package. By the time you compare drink included fares or packages and gratuities, average all inclusives to Cuba and Dominican Republic will cost less. If you dont drink alcohol, you will find lead in cruise prices, flights, gratuities comparable to even average all inclusive resorts. You will get far more entertainment on a cruise, and on balance, better food. It is also a great choice for children and in particular teens because there are more kids their own age on a cruise, more freedom, and more organized activities.
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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.
How Do I Afford To Cruise So Often
Ill be honest with you. I dont spend a lot of money on cruises. My holiday spend is pretty average, I just make the most of the money I do have available.
In fact, the total I spend on multiple cruises for our family of four each year is less than most people spend on leasing a car.
You could also raise the money for up to five family cruises per year by quitting smoking, making a packed lunch each day for work or getting a better deal on your household bills. As long as you know how to find good value cruises, that is!
So, read on to find out how to go on a cruise for cheap
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Best Rental Car Deals
Put yourself in the driver’s seat when you rent a car with Travelocity. Find a discount car rental from major car providers so youre in control of getting where you want, when you want. Whether youre reserving a car for a longer road trip or looking for rental car deals for the weekend, simply pick your style, load up your bags and head out onto the open road. Its as easy as that! Score a cheap discount on a rental car and youll be on your way in no time.
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.
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Be Open To Any Cruise Line
There are people that simply fall in love with one cruise line or they simply refuse to sail on a certain line. That can hurt your chances of finding dirt-cheap cruises. When you want cheap, youve got to have all the options on the table.
Truth is, after having sailed lots of different lines, I can tell you that yes, there are definite differences between them all. But in most cases the experience is much more similar than it is different.
After all, if one cruise line was just flat out bad, they wouldnt be in business very long. Theres just too much competition.
On that note, I like to do my searching for cheap trips on aggregator sites. Places like Orbitz they search all the lines at once and then allow you to filter by price. That way its much easier to search across all lines for deals instead of going to a ton of different websites.
Book A Repostioning Cruise
Many experienced cruisers book repositioning cruises to get the best cruise deal. It’s all a matter of supply and demand. Cruise ships sailing in destinations like Alaska or northern Europe must move to warmer locales in the winter months. Repositioning cruises include many sea days and are usually longer in length, so they might not be right for you.
Since many people do not like many sea days or cannot take two weeks off for a cruise, the demand is not as high, so cruise lines often offer great cruise deals on these cruises. Cruise lines also offer good deals on repositioning cruises since more sea days results in higher onboard revenue.
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