How To Buy Cheap Cruise Tickets
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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.
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.
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.
Tip 10: Just remember that the boat will leave without you, so give yourself enough time to get back. Doug Parker recommends the company Shore Excursions Group whose activities are 30% cheaper and offers a guarantee that it will get you back to the boat in time.
Book Your AccommodationYou can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Perhaps you wait for calls from your trusty travel agent, or maybe you're a tiger when it comes to prowling the internet for low fares. You might book your cruise right when the brochure is first published, or you might bide your time until two weeks before sailing for those juicy last-minute cruise deals. But have you explored all the possible ways of nabbing that steal?
Let us share some of our favourite tips on how to get cheap cruises. While some might be old hat, others may catch you by surprise. Use them all, and you'll be ready to pounce on that cheap cruise when the right promotion comes along.
Last-minute cruise deals are a tough find in the most popular seasons and routes, especially if you want your pick of cabins. Summer travel and school holiday periods book up early, particularly for cabins that sleep three or more and are in demand by families traveling together.
If you a very specific cruise itinerary and ship in mind, we recommend booking early. The choicest digs on popular new ships will sell quickly, pushing fares higher the longer you wait. New ship sailings are also incredibly popular well in advance.
Fancy an exotic cruise? For some lines and sailings, you can forget it unless you book months -- or a year -- in advance. This is particularly true for bucket-list voyages to places like Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands and world cruises -- some of which can sell out in a single day. The same rules apply for theme cruises
Repositioning cruise deals, whether transatlantic or something less dramatic like ships moving into and out of Alaska, are some of the lowest cost per night/per person deals available. The second best deals are often those sailing on dates just outside the peak seasons of popular destinations. This might mean picking April or late September as the month to visit Alaska, March as your best bet to sail the Mediterranean and October for your Caribbean cruise -- before or after the summer swell of family vacations. In addition to low prices, you'll encounter fewer crowds. On the flip side, the weather might not be as ideal for sightseeing.
Don't have the time to obsessively watch cruise pricing like stockbrokers watch the Wall Street ticker? Cruise Critic rounds up deals across tons of major cruise lines and popular destinations, as well as last-minute cruise deals. These are accompanied by a Deal Score, which uses pricing data along with onboard credits, flight discounts, food and drink package deals and more. It's easy to use: The higher the Deal Score, the better the deal.
But if you'd prefer to go your own way on finding a deal, educate yourself a bit so you know when an advertised cruise deal is the real deal. Before you've booked a sailing, do some research on typical rates for the cruise you have in mind, and check back frequently (we mean daily, at least) to see if the fare has dropped. See what promotions each cruise line is offering and contact your preferred travel agent to see what pricing and promotional specials they're running.
In addition, bundling multiple vacation elements together can help you save on individual costs. Luxury and river lines sometimes offer promotions that will include economy-class airfare, or a pre-cruise hotel stay in the price of your upscale cruise.
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.
When 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.
Of course, booking last-minute airfare might wipe out any savings. Plus, you'll have a limited selection of cabin locations and dinner seatings. But if you're flexible and can drive to a cruise port -- or have plenty of frequent flier airline points to burn -- it's a great way to take a cruise without breaking the bank.
Booking a cruise for a group might get you the ultimate cruise deal: Free berths. 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. Keep in mind that 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).
Though not as exciting as sailing free when you book a large group, small group perks are out there too. Throughout the year, many cruise lines offer promotions that include free cruise fare for third and fourth passengers booked in the same cabin. Watch for the deals that also include those passengers in bonus offerings like drink packages or prepaid gratuities.
Are guarantee cabins on cruises really deals? A cabin guarantee, which basically means you're assured to get a cabin in the category specified -- or better -- means you can't choose your exact stateroom. And for giving up that privilege, many lines discount guaranteed cabin bookings about £50 to £100 per person off the advertised fares.
Frequent cruisers, like frequent fliers, can benefit from brand loyalty. Sticking with one line means earning perks like nightly cocktails in private lounges, free laundry, complimentary dinners in alternative restaurants, cabin upgrades and even free cruises once you've earned enough "credits." Past passengers can also take advantage of special discounted sailings throughout the year or be entitled to book new itineraries before the public can, often turning your cruise dreams into affordable cruise deals.
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.
Cruise Critic is a cruise-focused website that features reviews, tips, and advice to a huge community of cruisers. The Cruise Critic forums provide a place to ask questions, give advice, and get help booking your next cruise.
Cruisewatch is another metasearch engine and OTA that focuses solely on cruises. It monitors over 25,000 cruises and combines that information with price history and reviews to help you choose the best cruise at the best price. You can see price predictions for your selected itinerary and set up alerts that will email you whenever the cruise you selected drops in price.
Hot Tip: When booking a cruise through an OTA, be sure to use one of the best travel credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® because it earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on cruises purchased from any website or travel agency.
Bottom Line: When you choose to book your cruise through United Cruises, you can either earn United MileagePlus miles on your purchase, or you can pay for your cruise using your United MileagePlus miles.
Bottom Line: When you book a cruise through Marriott Bonvoy, you can pay for your cruise with points or you can choose to pay cash (I mean, credit card!) and earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your purchase.
Travelocity is a website that many travelers use to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. The simple interface and the fact that there are no booking fees will make this a good choice for many travelers.
Another option I have found is to start with through befrugal, then link through to Expedia. befrugal will provide cash back of 6% (only on the cruise, not on the taxes) after the cruise is complete. I have also done it with priceline this way, but they are currently only paying 4%.
I am surprised you did not mention CruiseCompete.com. Although not a booking site, it does provide an opportunity for travel agents to obtain your business. It is a great site for getting the best deal for a specific cruise.
Cheap cruise deals are fairly easy to find in most cases, and you can begin by considering what kind of features and itinerary you want. The more simplistic the experience is, the cheaper it is in general. On Expedia.com, you can filter for specific features and sort your results by price. By mixing and matching certain features, unforgettable experiences may be available with discount cruises. For example, booking a cruise with stunning restaurants and live performances while opting for an inside cabin without an ocean view window or balcony could be ideal for a traveler who doesn't plan on spending much time in their cabin anyways. 781b155fdc