Why Take A Cruise Vacation
If you have a place on your bucket list, chances are, a cruise will get you there. Cruises cover the world, taking millions of passengers each year to destinations like the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Alaska, Europe, the Mediterranean and even Antarctica. Cruising offers a tremendous value, with trips that include your lodging, meals and entertainment, all rolled into one. Some cruise lines even offer fully inclusive vacations, which cover drinks and tours ashore. Cruising means seeing the world while unpacking only once.
Cruises also provide a wonderful option for families, with many ships offering things like waterslides, mini-golf courses and fun clubs for kids and teens — all for free. Planning is easy: Pick your destination and the right ship for you. The cruise line makes it simple, offering packages to help you save on extras like alcohol, shore tours or even airfare.
Travelers say they choose to cruise because cruising often costs less per night when compared with staying at a hotel, where they’ll have to book — and pay for — all their extras.
How Do I Find The Best Last Minute Cruise Deals
Its easy! Check out our last-minute cruises and youll find the last cabins available for voyages happening in the next 180 days. While you might think these cruise holidays will cost more, these last-minute cruise deals can be more affordable as the cruise line wishes to bring aboard as many people as possible before it sets sail! As such youll often find cruise deals and cruise sale offers for a majority of these last-minute voyages. If youre in need of the best cheap cruise deals Australia has on sale today online, this is the best place to be. Well make sure you receive the lowest cruise prices on all the cruise holidays we have on sale. For massive deals to all the major destinations across the globe, look to no other place than Cruise Guru for all your cruise holidays.
Where Should You Stay On A Ship To Avoid Seasickness
The date range of your cruise will have more impact on seasickness than the placement of your cabin.; Mid ship lower decks experiences less rolling but in calm seas this is practically irrelevant.; Some itineraries traverse open seas more than others, and certain times of year are more likely to have better weather.; If you get motion sickness in a car or airplane, you will probably feel sea-sick, and that does not stop people from enjoying cruises you are better to speak to your doctor or pharmacist about motion sickness if you routinely get car sick.
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Is It Better To Be At The Front Or Back Of The Ship
The highest deck at the front or back of the ship will have more rolling motion than the lower decks mid ship but in normal seas its barely noticeable.; For getting around, it doesnt matter youre all over the ship anyway sometimes the front is convenient to your cabin location and sometimes the aft is.; And if youre mid ship it might seem more convenient but you will always be walking to the front or aft of the ship at some point and returning.; Mid ship feels like youre closer to everything.
Where & How Can I Find Cheap Cruise Holidays
One of the best places to find cheap cruises is of course right here on our website! Our crack team of pirates work night and day – well, mainly in the day as we drink rum at night – finding deals.
A great place to start is on our cruise finder which has loads of options to choose from:
Popularity of the cruise
For example, during the summer, Mediterranean cruises are super expensive as generally the weather is great and kids are off school, which in turn drives up demand. If you’re dead set on an affordable cruise to the Med, try and aim for non-peak travel periods .
However, if the Caribbean tickles your fancy, due to the dry and hot weather . So try and aim for late summer and early autumn if you want the best deals — but be warned, this is Hurricane season and so the weather may be unpredictable.
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Don’t Expect Peak Travel
There’s a reason why a cruise is being unloaded with little time to spare — and it’s not because it’s a hot seller. Calendar-wise, you probably won’t find a last minute bargain on Christmas or New Year’s sailings or spring break weeks. You might — but don’t hold out if you have your heart set on traveling during those times. On the flip side, you’re very likely to find plenty of variety in the shoulder season, such as the Caribbean during peak hurricane season or during the pre-holiday and the post-holiday travel lulls. But never rule anything out. Some years, holiday cruises or peak summer sailings don’t sell out like they usually do, and there are surprise bargains on normally popular itineraries.
Are Cruise Drink Packages Worth It
If you drink a lot on vacation, probably yes.; A lot would be a few drinks starting after lunch and throughout the afternoon, a cocktail before dinner, two glasses of wine after dinner, and more drinks after dinner during entertainment then yes.; But many people dont drink that much, and for them, unless it is a great promotional offer on the cruise fare with a small supplement over no beverage package, the drink packages are not worth it.; Also, both parties in the cabin have to buy the package so you both need to drink enough to get your moneys worth.; If you like ordering wine by the bottle, this is not included in drink packages only selected wines by the glass. Your waiter will also store unfinished bottles for consumption the next night.; Your itinerary will also determine how much time you are on board vs ashore so European, Alaska, and port intensive Caribbean cruises will have you spending less time during the day on the ship.; Some of the drink packages also include specialty coffees and other fancy non-alcoholic drinks that you should factor.; Coffee is free at the buffet, but an Americano or Cappucino at a bar is extra and on some drink packages, included.
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How To Find Those Unsold Rooms On A Cruise Ship
There are a couple of ways you can go about this.; If you are on a cruise lines email list you may get a message about last minute deals for particular ships.; You can also visit their websites every day and multiple times a day, because yes, the prices can change that fast.; Quite a few travel agencies also offer email newsletters with some of the best deals on these unsold cabins for last minute cruisers.
When Is The Best Time To Take A Cruise
Enjoy the open sea lounging on the deck and by the pool on a summer trip, escape the cold British winters by exploring the Mediterranean, or soak up the last warm days of the year with a holiday in the autumn. If you choose the right destinations, a cruise is a worthy endeavour any time of the year.
That being said, you can save a few quid by booking in the off season, depending on where you want to go, and particularly if you find an early bird deal. For example, cruise providers are less likely to plan trips to the Caribbean and Southeast Asia during the British summer months, as it coincides with the start of the hurricane or rainy season in those areas. That means that .
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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.
Cruise Line Sales And Emails
The cruise lines occasionally lower their prices, though collectively theyve never been a fan of discounts. Youll get the first alerts of cruise sales if you subscribe to the lines email newsletters. Often, the companies will target members in certain regions of the country, and sometimes only email recipients can access the lowest sale prices. Youll find the best deals at times when certain cruises arent selling well. These could be traditional slow periods such as hurricane season in the Caribbean; it could also be a one-time-only sale. Look for sale emails roughly one to three months prior to the cruises departure.
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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.
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.
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How To Book A Cheap Cruise
Booking a cheap cruise is actually quite easy and requires only one thing: flexibility. See, cruise pricing is similar to tour pricing. The closer you get to the departure date, the cheaper the cruise becomes.
Because cruise ships dont want to depart with half-empty boats, so they drop prices steadily until that boat is leaving port, since for them empty cabins mean less money.
Cruises make the majority of their money from what people purchase on board, so they want bodies on those ships.
You can also book early, but I find last-minute bookings to be the best. And since you are booking close to departure, you need to be flexible with where you are willing to go or OK with not booking the actual cruise even if you booked your flights.
Another tip comes Doug Parker of Cruise Radio, When the kids are in school, the rates are the best. This holds true in all travel but especially cruising, because it is such a family activity. Dont travel when everyone else is traveling! If you do that or travel during the shoulder season, you can find the best rates. Chris from Chris Cruises also reiterates my recommendation: Book far in advance or last minute for the best fares.
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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Go For The Cabin Guarantee
If cabin location isn’t important, you might want to opt for a “cabin guarantee,” which basically means you’re assured to get a cabin in at least the category specified — and, if you’re lucky, even get an upgrade. However, you can’t choose your exact stateroom.
Many lines typically discount guaranteed cabin bookings about $50 to $100 per person off the advertised fares. However, if you’re prone to seasickness or sensitive to noise, you might want to reconsider the value of choosing your own cabin location so as to not end up near the elevators or riding the wave near the bow. Also, not all guarantee fares are eligible for booking perks, so ensure the value tradeoff is worth it before you commit.
If you’re willing to book in bulk, most cruise lines will offer free berths, depending on the number of passengers in the group. For instance, book seven or more double-occupancy cabins on Norwegian Cruise Line, and for every 10 passengers booked, one passenger can cruise for free. Each cruise line has its own threshold for groups; some lines consider 10 guests/five cabins to be a group, while others require 16 guests/eight cabins.
Group leaders can choose to spread the savings across the group or keep it all for themselves. Groups can get other perks, as well. Norwegian offers group members a choice of complimentary amenities beyond its Free at Sea promotion, such as extra onboard credit or a cocktail party for the group.
Tweet Your Way To Savings
Tech-savvy shoppers can try Twitter for last-minute cruise bargains. Just about every agent and agency — including Cruisedeals.com , Cruise.com 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.
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How Much Are Drinks On A Cruise
Youll find drink prices about the same as whats offered in most average chain restaurants at home.; Beer will be in the $6-7 range, Wine in the $8-11 range, and mixed drinks with regular spirits and simple cocktails within the range.; Prices are in US dollars and typically have an automatic 15-20% gratuity added to the bill.; They are not cheap, but they dont take advantage of their monopoly.; There are the odd drink specials on featured cocktails or multiple beer purchases.
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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How To Get Last Minute Cheap Cruise Deals
Doug advises that you start with a travel agent, as they have relationships with the cruise companies and can often get better rates and last-minute deals. And my experience has me agreeing. While there are many do it yourself options, travel agents often can find much lower prices and can act as liaison to cruise companies when something goes wrong.
If you want to go with the do it yourself angle, you only need to go to these three best websites for finding a cheap cruise:
These websites do a detailed job of scouring the web for cheap cruise deals. Vacations to Go is more of a travel agent/operator and thus often has better deals since they can negotiate with the cruise lines directly, but keep in mind that they add a lot of fees. Cruise Sheet is simply a website aggregator that crawls the web and then displays cheap last-minute fares. This is my favorite cruise site, as it seems to find all the deals and makes finding a cheap cruise easy.
In terms of timing, dont book early. As Doug states, the only benefit to booking early is to secure the room you want. If you want a specific cabin, book early. Otherwise, wait until the last minute. As I said in the beginning, cruise companies dont want to sail empty ships and so do heavy last-minute discounting ;be sure to sign up for cruise company newsletters to stay informed!