Save At Least 60% With Expert Tips Tricks And Hacks
Whilst this article has given an overview of the cheapest cruises, I realise that not everyone wants bargain-basement holidays like I do! What if you want luxury for less? A balcony cabin or a suite? An exotic destination? A cruise and stay holiday?
Many of you will no doubt be familiar with Emma Cruises who has a very popular YouTube channel and cruise blog.
Like me, shes an expert in finding cheap cruise deals, but Emma has taken things so much further by developing an incredible online course entitled How to Cruise for Less.
Emmas course details the tips, tricks and hacks that she uses to cruise for $50 per night whilst securing upgrades and freebies. It contains video lessons, cheat sheets, checklists and handy tools to help you save at least 60% on advertised cruise prices.
As well as helping you to save money when booking your cruise, Emma will also teach you how to choose the best cruise line for your family, how to pack your suitcase like a pro and how to save money whilst youre on-board as well.
Emma is one of the worlds leading cruise experts and the opportunity to have her provide tailored advice before you hit the book button is priceless.
The best part? Emmas How to Cruise for Less course is super cheap! Youll easily make that money back, and so much more, with the savings youll make when you come to book your next cruise.
Eight Ways To Make Sure You Get The Best Deal On A Cruise
To the average consumer, it can seem easier to pin Jell-O to a wall than to find the best price on an ocean cruise especially because there are so many options: There will be more than 15,400 sailings in 2019 alone, according to Cruise Industry News. But you can find deals, especially if you are flexible about when and where you cruise and what type of cabin you stay in. All it takes is patience, vigilance and a bit of research.
As a consumer expert and longtime cruiser, Im well versed in securing decent prices. I also asked Cruise Critic editor in chief Colleen McDaniel and Emerson Hankamer, CEO of Houston-based Vacations To Go, one of the largest sellers of ocean cruises, for their advice on finding deals. Here are our suggestions.
Wait until the last minute … Most cruise lines have cancellation policies allowing for some sort of refund up to 90 days before departure. Thats why the biggest discounts usually appear in that three-months-to-sailing window. Cruise lines use a book-to-fill model, meaning they want to fill 100 percent of cabins for each voyage to maximize their profit, Hankamer says. Since they want to sell out the ship, they offer markdowns on any available cabins.
Daily is a consumer writer based in Colorado. Find her at dailywriter.net.
Tip 12 For Saving Money On A Cruise: Look For Repositioning Cruises Or Those With Odd Itineraries
I just snagged one of my best cruise deals ever: A 16-day full-transit Panama Canal cruise for $76 per person per day .; This is a repositioning cruise, moving the ship from Florida where it sails from during the winter months to Seattle where it will spend the spring and summer sailing to Alaska.;
You can often find great prices on these repositioning cruises or cruises with odd itineraries .
Very short 1-3 day cruises can sometimes also be a great value.; I have a whole post on them here if you want to learn more.
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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.
Tip 13 For Saving Money On A Cruise: Remember To Factor In Gratuities Port Charges Fees And Taxes
Throughout this post youll notice that Ive talked about the base cruise fare and in parentheses Ive clarified that the fare does not include port charges, fees, taxes, and gratuities.; If youre on a budget, be sure to factor in these extra charges.; The best way to do that is to do a mock booking to see exactly how much they will be.; On the Panama Canal cruise I mentioned above, the port charges, fees, taxes, and gratuities add up to an additional $1441.20 for two people.
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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.
Be Flexible With Stateroom Options
In addition to being flexible about sail dates, keep an open mind regarding the kind of staterooms and destinations youll find when booking a cruise at the last minute.
Certain itineraries have coveted staterooms that sell out months in advance. For example, veranda staterooms on Alaska cruises sell out quickly since everyone wants to see wildlife and glaciers from the comfort of their room during their trip.
If youre more concerned about how to find last-minute cruise deals than having a particular stateroom, then a discounted cruise deal is a good fit for you.
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Sail On An Older Ship
At many big lines, youll find that the newest, most amenity-filled cruise ships sell at a premium price. Older ships come with a discount.
The older ships are, of course, older. And they sometimes dont have quite as much to offer on board as the newer ships. But if youre looking for a deal, they can bring great value.
A six-night Caribbean voyage on Royal Caribbeans just-unveiled Odyssey of the Seas starting on Feb. 6, for instance, currently starts at $749 per person. Similar six- and seven-night Caribbean voyages departing the very same day on the lines older Jewel of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas start at just $400 and $509 per person, respectively. Thats a 47% to 32% discount.
Jewel of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas are 17 years old and 14 years old, respectively.
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.
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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.
Where To Find Cheap Cruise Deals
Now you know which cruise lines offer the cheapest cruises as well as which ships to choose , cabins , destinations and the cheapest time of year to cruise .
The next step is to know where to look for the cheapest deals. My one secret to finding cheap cruise deals is
Dont go looking for deals, let the deals come to you!
Why? Well, lets imagine you own a cruise line for a moment Most of the time youll want to sell cruises with as much profit margin as possible, right?
Most of the time, you can rely on a steady income of high-profit sales. People search for your website, find what they want and book it.
However, that strategy doesnt work when:
a) Its getting closer to the sailing date but your ships are still half-empty
b) Youve just released six months worths of new itineraries so your ships are completely empty
In these cases, cruise lines will reduce prices and add on free extras to encourage people to BOOK NOW. When they do this, theyre no longer going for a high profit margin theyre going for volume of sales.
Now, imagine you work in the marketing department of the cruise line. The prices have dropped and its your job to sell as many cruises are possible. How do you get the biggest volume of sales?
You could reach out to contact as many potential customers as possible and tell them about the great deals. Or, even better, you get travel agents to do it for you.
How do customers find these cheapest cruise deals?
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Last Minute Cruise Deals
While you can save money by booking your cruise in advance, you can also take advantage of savings on last minute cruises. This is perfect if you already have planned vacation time or if youre able to get away with short notice, as the best cruise deals typically happen within a month of departure. Destinations vary throughout the year so be sure to take a look from time to time!
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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Track The Cruise You Want
McDaniel said that one of the easiest ways to make sure you get the best price is to track the cruise you want. On cruisecritic.com, you can sign up for price alerts, and can search by destination, ship, month, or departure port.
Prices change even throughout a day, she said. Pricing is constantly in flux for cruising.
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.
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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.
Skip The Newest Ships
Royal Caribbean places a premium on its newest cruise ships, since they are the “latest and greatest” cruise ships available and have the highest demand.; While we love the amazing innovations these new ships offer, if you are looking for a cheap cruise deal, they are found in the established ships in the fleet.
As new ships enter the fleet, their net effect is pricing for older ships in the fleet tends to go down. Think of it in broad terms like new cars.; New car models are priced higher than last year’s model.;;
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom, Voyager, Radiance and Vision class ships are priced extremely well, and price savvy consumers will often find terrific bargains on these ships.
If you are concerned that an older ship will mean a boring or less-exciting time, fear not. Royal Caribbean spends millions of dollars in ship revitalizations that have added new activities, features and amenities that almost make them feel like new ships.
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Always Try To Travel Offseason
If you have the flexibility to be able to travel offseason then youre always more likely to pay less. That means even more reductions off a last minute cruise to give you a rock bottom price.;
Its unlikely, for example, that youll secure a great rate for a Caribbean cruise in the middle of June. Demand is going to be high at that point with plenty of people able to travel. Wait till September and youre in with a better chance to save.;
Another great time to bag a bargain is in the first few days after New Years Day. If you can tie this in with a flight in between Christmas and December 31st then youre likely to get a great airfare too.
Other good times for last minute bargains are just before Memorial Day in May, the period leading up to Thanksgiving and the middle of December. ;;
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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How To Find The Best Last
Are you on the lookout for a great cruise deal? Do you like a bargain when cruising? Then this article is for you as I explore how to find the best last-minute cruise deals.
One of the best ways to get a great price for your cruise is to go for deals for last minute cruises. This is ideal if you are flexible about the destination and line you are prepared to cruise with.