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How To Get Cheap Cruise Deals

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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.

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?

$800 USD.

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.

Send The Latest Cruise Deals To Your Inbox

The easiest way to get the Inside Scoop on the latest cruise deals is by signing up to receive updates straight to your inbox with your email address. Then youll be one of the first to learn about the latest Norwegian Cruise Line deals where promotions can include Free Onboard Credits, 3rd-4th Guests Sail Free, Kids Sail Free and so much more.

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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.

Check Online Travel Sites

How to get a Cheap Repositioning Cruise Finding your ...

Did you know that you will never pay less by booking directly with the cruise line. Its actually cruise line policy and the arrangement they have with travel agents.

Large online travel agency sites like Expedia Cruises, Costco Travel, Vacations To Go and other websites will be running promotions as they partner with various cruise lines.

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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:

  • They receive a % commission on every cruise they sell
  • If they reach monthly, quarterly or yearly sales targets, they get bonuses
  • 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.

    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

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    Rule #: Dont Think Booking Far Ahead Will Save Much

    If last-minute booking doesnt offer much of a discount, then surely youll be rewarded by booking well in advance, right?

    Not so much.

    Rates vary the most by time of year not by how far in advance the departure is. For example, youll see similar fares for a cruise in September, whether thats three months from now or a year and three months from now.

    Now, thats not to say that the fare for a cruise well in the future wont drop at some point. If the cruise line has trouble filling rooms, they will certainly drop the rate. But many times, there is no huge advantage to booking a year or more in advance.

    Tips To Helps Enjoy A Cheap Cruise

    How to get a Cheap Repositioning Cruise Finding your cruise ship vacation deal!

    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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    Check For Price Drops

    If you live in a country where you can adjust the price of your cruise prior to final payment date , then a really good strategy is to check regularly for price drops.

    The basic premise of this strategy is to re-price your booked sailing and see if the price has changed.; If the price has gone down on the category stateroom you booked and you are before final payment date, you can contact your travel agent to adjust the price.

    In terms of how often to check for price drops, the most practical strategy is to check when a new sales promotion is announced.; Some folks will check daily, but that may be a bit aggressive for our taste.; You will want to check periodically, although if you employed our first tip and booked your cruise early, you may find the price you locked in is already a great rate.

    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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    Cruise In Shoulder Seasons

    If you can go on a cruise in the slower times of the year, referred to as the shoulder season, you can net some deeply discounted;cruise prices.; These are times of the year when most guests are unable or unwilling to go on a cruise.; Typically this is when school is still in session and/or immediately before or after a common time for vacations.

    If you want to target these slower times of the year, consider cruises during:

    • First two weeks of February
    • Early May

    Special Note: Cruise Deals After The Health Crisis

    Cheap Cruise Deals Info  How Can You Get Good Discounts ...

    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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    Defining Value Is Key

    How much of a bargain is a cheap cruise that requires you to spend twice as much on airfare? For instance, you’ll typically see more Anchorage-to-Vancouver voyages on last minute lists than the more affordable round trip Seattle itineraries. Why? Air is typically cheaper on the latter, which sails into and out of the same city. The former has you flying in and out of different airports, including one in Alaska where fares are often high. Account for that cost before committing.

    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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    Use Travel Rewards Or Loyalty Points

    Over the past 5 years, we have sailed on three cruises for only the cost of the port taxes and fees. How? Well, we used rewards points from our credit card and redeemed them for a free cruise.

    Whether you have general travel points, airline miles, or a cruise lines credit card, earning points and then redeeming those for cheap cruises is easy once you earn enough points.

    Indeed, you need to review the terms and conditions to make sure the offer is right for you. When deciding whether to join a rewards program or apply for a credit card, make sure that you understand the benefits and potential fees for said programs.

    For us, we have credit cards with the major cruise lines and airlines with which we regularly travel. With smart money management, we have used these for the above mentioned free cruises as well as dozens of free flights over the years.

    Of course, if you are loyal to a particular cruise line, you can also earn discounts and even free cruises. By enrolling in cruise line loyalty programs, you will earn points for each day you spend at sea. Once you achieve a high enough status with the brand, you can begin taking advantage of these perks.

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    Choose Your Ship Carefully

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

    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.

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    Tweet Your Way To Savings

    Tech-savvy shoppers can try Twitter for last-minute cruise bargains. Just about every agent and agency — including , and Best Travel Deals — is tweeting its best cruise deals. Take it a step further by customizing a list of deal tweeters using Twitter’s list function, in essence creating your own deals aggregator.

    When Do Repositioning Cruises Travel

    Repositioning cruises tend to be most active during the change in seasons:

    • Spring,
    • Fall.

    As an example, lets take a look at transatlantic repositioning cruises to illustrate these seasonal cruise relocations. The Mediterranean Sea boasts pleasantly warm weather and is high season for travel in the summer. So cruise lines often move ships to the Mediterranean in the late Spring to serve the many passengers who desire taking a summer Mediterranean cruise.

    Meanwhile, summer months are the Caribbeans hot and stormy summer offseason. So its only natural for cruise lines to move ships across the Atlantic Ocean by May, relocating them from ports serving the Caribbean to ports serving the Mediterranean and Europe.

    The reverse occurs each Fall. Thats when many cruise ships are moved from Europe across the Atlantic to Florida, among other home ports serving the Caribbean, in time for the winter high-season months.

    These transatlantic repositioning cruises form the most common repositioning cruise route. But there are many other repositioning cruise routes to consider.

    Alaskan cruises cant sail in the winter. So those ships need to go elsewhere, of course! Europe-Asia repositioning cruises can provide for port-intensive journeys between the adjoining continents. Transiting from North to South America can be an interesting voyage that often includes a Panama Canal Cruise. There are many seasonal shifts in cruising that bring about repositioning cruises.

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    Cruise Prices Can Be Confusing

    When you start looking at cruise prices, you can quickly get overwhelmed with different deals, special sales, bargains for certain sailings, package promotions, bonus offers, limited time discounts, and other pricing ploys. So how can you be sure youre getting the best deal? These 10 simple tricks can help you find substantial savings for any cruise.

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