Monday, July 8, 2024

How To Find Great Cruise Deals

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Rule #: Do Choose Your Room Location Carefully

Cheap Last Minute Cruise Deals. The 10 Best Ways To Find Them!

While not every cruise line does it, many will charge you different amounts for the same class of room in different locations of the ship. For example, a room on a higher deck will cost more than one on a lower deck. Through years and years of bookings, the cruise lines know which rooms are most desirable and charge accordingly.

Most times the premium you pay for room location wont seem like a big deal. The cruise lines typically frame it by adding something like $3-5 per person, per day.

Lets do the math, however.

A room with two people being charged an extra $5 per person, per day would rack up $10 per day or $70 in room location charges over the course of a week-long cruise. That may not sound like much to some of you, but that comes about to about 6-8 drinks from the bar if you were to want to spend your money on alcohol instead.

The rule of thumb is that the higher up your room is on the ship, the more you will pay.

For the absolute best rate for your particular room class, let the cruise line place you automatically at their lowest rate.

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.

Does It Pay To Plan Ahead Or Should I Wait Until The Last Minute

Its an age-old question does the early bird really get the worm, or are there perks to taking a wait-and-see approach? If youre booking a cruise vacation, youll find there are benefits to both strategies. Planning ahead is a great way to score big savings, as Royal Caribbean often runs early saver deals to guests booking well in advance. Its also pretty safe to assume prices usually go up as availability goes down the closer you get to your sail date, so booking ahead is a surefire way to lock in a great rate. That said, booking a cruise at the last minute can also yield some unexpected savings but only if the itinerary youre interested in hasnt sold out yet.

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List Of Repositioning Cruises By Cruise Line

Here is a list of repositioning cruises by cruise line, linking directly to the cruise lines website to help you find the best deal.

The Scoop On Shore Excursions

How To Find The Best Cruise Deals For Your Next Vacation

For a first timer, these can be confusing. Details arent often added to an itinerary until six months or so before sail date; check back regularly, snap up a place on any excursions that are of interest, and book earlypopular options can reach capacity long before sailing. In pre-pandemic times, it was easy to go off-menu and arrange private excursions, using independent companies, which can often be cheaper than the line’s options. But as cruising restarts, the focus on the ships own bubble, keeping passengers and crew together and safe, might mean these independent options aren’t available. Check the rules when you book, and keep checking as protocols like these are inevitably in flux.

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When You Find A Good Price Book

When you find a price you are comfortable with, take advantage of it and book your vacation. If you wait the prices are likely to change, and may go up based on the cruises popularity, time of year, or other circumstances such as ship redeployments or itinerary adjustments.

The longer you wait to book your cruise, the more cabins will be sold and the less choice youll have for the stateroom you want. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get on the cruise at all, at any price.

Where Repositioning Cruises Go In The Spring

The most common trend for Spring repositioning cruises is for ships to be relocated towards

  • European ports and
  • the Pacific Northwest for Alaskas summer cruise season.
  • Below are typical repositioning cruise routes during the spring months.

    • Northern Transatlantic: Florida Europe
    • Southern Transatlantic: Argentina & Brazil Europe
    • Panama Canal: Florida ; US Pacific Coast
    • TransAmerica Panama Canal: Chile Florida
    • Southern Transpacific: Sydney & Auckland Hawaii, California, & Pacific Northwest
    • TransAmerica Pacific: Chile California & Pacific Northwest
    • TransAsia: Asia Europe
    • MiddleEastern: UAE Europe

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    Lowest Repositioning Cruise Rates Often Emerge 2

    A pricing trend that has remained consistent over the years is being able to find some of the best repositioning cruise deals by booking fairly last-minute. Rock-bottom prices tend to appear two-three months before the repositioning cruise is scheduled to embark.

    This comes contrary to common advice for booking cruises. Often with cruises, its recommended to book as early as possible to score the best deal. And there are indeed some great repositioning cruise deals that can be scored in advance. But for particularly common routes, like transatlantic repositioning cruises, rates are sometimes slashed in the few months leading up to embarkation.

    This last-minute repositioning cruise booking strategy has been a tried-and-true method weve used to uncover some of the best repositioning cruise deals out there. Prices tend to drop when each cruises cancelation period ends, which is about 45-90 days out.

    Understand the economics at play. Those who book a cruise in advance have an option to cancel and receive a full or partial refund up until about 2-3 months before the cruise departs. This is known as the cancelation period and it varies by cruise line, ship, and itinerary. Once the cancelation period ends, anyone who booked the cruise are locked into it. Therefor, the cruise lines dont really know their true occupancy count is unknown until that time frame.

    A general rule of thumb is the following:

    It Can Also Make Sense to Book Repositioning Cruises in Advance

    Tips To Helps Enjoy A Cheap Cruise

    How To Find Travel Deals! GREAT Flight & Hotel Deals

    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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    Frequent Cruiser Ask About Any Alumni / Loyalty Discounts

    Cruise lines have their own past passenger clubs.; Holland America has their Mariner Club, Carnival Cruise line has their;VIFP program, Crystal has their Crystal Society and so on.; Each cruise line has their rewards for being a repeat passenger.; It may be in the form of a discounted rate, category upgrade, onboard amenities, welcome back parties or even complimentary wash and fold for your clothes.

    Cruise lines that are owned by the same company, i.e. Royal Caribbean owns Celebrity and Azamara, may offer past passenger/loyalty rewards or credits simply because youve cruised on one of their sister cruise lines.

    Can I Bring My Own Alcohol Beer Wine On Board A Cruise Ship

    Generally not.; Cruise lines prohibit alcohol being brought on board and can confiscate or levy fines.; The issue is not only their monopoly on the sale of drinks and duty free bottles but the safety and liability of having excessive alcohol running free on board .; Dont try to sneak it or drugs or narcotics on board.; The laws are different based on ships registry and port of call its an embarrassing and expensive legal nightmare.;

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    Send Deals To Your Inbox

    The vast majority of cruise lines and agencies still rely on eletters to help fill cruise ships. Major cruise lines, such as Celebrity, Norwegian, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean, offer deals emails with ongoing promotions in addition to last-minute deals and short sales. For the hardcore deal-seekers who don’t want e-deals cluttering up their personal inboxes, we suggest setting up separate accounts just for bargains mailings.

    Whats The Most Expensive Room Or Cabin On A Ship

    How To Score The Best Cruise Deals

    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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    So Whats The Catch Of A Cheap Repositioning Cruise Deal

    These cheap repositioning cruise deals may seem like theyre too good to be true. But theyre totally legit. There are no major catches, really.

    Its a common misnomer that repositioning cruise deals are so cheap because theyre boring and stripped-down cruises. That is simply not true!

    Its actually quite the opposite. Cruise lines tend to ramp up activities, lectures, and entertainment during all those extra days at sea. It can be a lot of fun. We always keep busy and never get bored.

    The nightly four-course dinners include the same filet mignons and lobster tails passengers indulge in on regular weeklong cruise itineraries. The first-class staterooms are, of course, the same rooms. They dont strip down the staterooms for repositioning cruises. The high level of service remains the same too.

    Meanwhile, the many exotic ports that are visited along the routes are arguably the greatest appeal of repositioning cruises. Reaching some of these distant locations would cost a fortune to fly to. Thousands of dollars! Yet a repositioning cruise deal can provide a seamless and inexpensive way to reach many far-flung destinations, all while voyaging across the ocean in luxury.

    Despite our love and praise of cheap repositioning cruise deals, they certainly arent for everyone.;We strongly advise anyone to fully understand some potential downsides before booking your first repositioning cruise across the ocean:

    How To Find The Best Deals On Cruise Packages

    Having a cruise trip can be so much fun, and you will likely pay the same price for your entire vacation without worrying about running out of money during your cruise trip. Some cruise trips can indeed be expensive, but you will find trips that are affordable and fall within your budget by spending some time. Finding the best cruise deals for you is the hard part. However, it is doable, so make sure to find yourself the best cruise trip that provides you unlimited fun and a wonderful experience.

    Finding cruise deals is not that difficult. All you have to do is search for a trip on Google with the terms you are looking for, and you will find lists of cruise trips and packages under different budgets. You need to know ahead of time before booking your cruise.

    Keep in mind that cruise trips are available in packages. You can have a box for two, four, or a whole group comprising you, family, or friends. Naturally, the more people you have in the group, the more expensive the package will be. How many people will be with you on the cruise? Are you taking your kids and spouse? Many people find it enjoyable to cruise with whatever they like to all be part of the experience. It is a good idea to know a little about cruise trips and prices before you start searching for packages, as you can sometimes find great package deals for cruises that will be cheaper if you book a trip for a group.

    Get to know about pricing

    Start exploring deals yourself

    Timing is important

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    Extra Costs Of Repositioning Cruise Deals: Taxes & Gratuities

    Do know that the repositioning cruise prices mentioned here are before taxes, port fees, and gratuities. This is the industry standard when quoting cruise prices. So understand that the total cost of repositioning cruises will end up being just a bit more after factoring in these compulsory charges.

    Taxes & port fees for repositioning cruises will vary greatly depending on the ship and itinerary. But expect taxes to add at least $100, or more, to the total price for each person. This is all added to the repositioning cruise price during the booking process.

    Gratuities are the semi-obligatory tips to deserving wait staff, room attendants, and other crew. This service fee typically adds $12-$16 per person, per night and usually isnt charged until youre onboard the cruise.

    So taxes and gratuities do add to repositioning cruises prices. But even after budgeting for those costs, repositioning cruises are still incredible deals that often remain under $50 per day. In addition to those little extra costs, the section below details everything you should be aware of before booking a repositioning cruise deal.

    Beyond the compulsory charges, theres no major hidden costs for repositioning cruises beyond the typical extras passengers may want to indulge in. For those unfamiliar with cruising, additional expenses can include purchases such as alcoholic drinks, dining in specialty restaurants, shore excursions, wifi at sea, spa packages and other splurges.

    Finding Last Minute Cruise Deals

    How to find the best 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.;

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    Rule #: Do Be Flexible With Your Days To Cruise The Cheapest

    As you can see in the chart below, the fares for the same cruise can vary dramatically, depending on when you sail.

    Holidays like Christmas and New Years fetch the highest prices by far. These rates can often be double what you would pay in the lower season.

    The highest rates found around the holidays are closely followed by peak summer rates when families with kids like to cruise.

    The best times with the lowest rates? The fall months when people are back at school and work are less popular for cruising, meaning that rates hit their lowest. You can also find low rates in the time between New Years and Spring Break.

    Cruise Deals For Solo Travelers

    What about cruise deals for solo travelers?

    I have good news many last-minute cruise deals waive the single supplement fee. This means;huge savings for solo travelers. Since cabins are usually priced for double occupancy, if you book last-minute, you can potentially have;a;cabin;all to yourself by paying for the price of one occupant!

    Also, remember how I shared that my mom goes on cruises every year.

    She always cruises solo and she is able to secure her booking for an entire cabin as a solo traveler.

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