It is very rare that you will ever have to pay the full brochure price for a luxury cruise nowadays because there are always plenty of luxury cruise lines offering discount cruises and cruise deals. Here are my tips for easily finding even better cruise bargains for cruises that suit your travel requirements. With so many cruise deals out there getting a discount from the advertised prices should be relatively easy however, there are a few things you should consider before diving in and just booking the first cruise deal you come across.
Decide What You Want From Your Cruise
Remember, with cruises a lot of your time will be spent on board ship. You can’t simply pack up and leave if you don’t like it – you’re in for the duration, which is not a problem if you love the ship – but if you don’t like your ship it is going to be a poor trip. If you want a peaceful, romantic cruise away from the kids for a week it’s no good booking on a family activity cruise tailored to non-stop entertainment and activity. Imagine trying to relax by the pool with hundreds of screaming kids running around all day (Personal nightmare- Aargh!!).
On the other hand, if you want the full on family activity cruise with lots to occupy the kids you don’t want to be sat next to the pool with nothing to do and the kids constantly nagging you that they are bored. So decide from the outset what you want from your cruise and have it clear in your mind.
How Much Will It Cost?
Once you have decided on the type of cruise you want, find out how much the cruise lines themselves are charging for it (You can do this by visiting cruise lines websites). You now have a starting point from which to base your cruise bargain search and an ideal benchmark for comparison when you actually come face to face with a real cruise bargain.
Important Note: Finding luxury cruise bargains does not work in the same way as flights or hotels where you can grab last minute bargains – so don’t rely on this method in the same way that you would for a flight or hotel.
Use A Specialist Travel Agent
Cruises can be fairly complex to book, so when it comes to cruising undoubtedly the best option is to use a specialist or your own preferred travel agent. A reliable travel agent will listen to your requirements and provide solutions for your travel needs to the best of their ability. Whilst they might not be the absolute cheapest on every occasion they will, over time, provide the most consistent, long term and best travel experiences for you within your budget.
If you don’t already have one, try contacting a few suitable looking agents and ask to be put on their mailing list for cruise deals. If you are interested in a specific cruise line or destination make this known to them. A good agent will do tons of research on your behalf. They will ask about your cruise priorities, what you hope to experience, see and do as well as asking questions to help determine which cruise is right for you – and don’t be offended if the agent asks you what your budget is.
It’s perfectly acceptable to shop around, but tell agents that you are doing so and what prices you have got already. A good way to prepare yourself for this is to search through some websites and see what cruise offers are available.
More Tips To Bear In Mind
Children often pay full adult price on cruises if they are taking a full adult berth, so look out for child friendly cruise offers if you intend sharing your cabin with your children. Some cruise lines offer the option of allowing them to allocate any available cabin within your cabin grade.This might save you some money if the cruise line has spare cabins to upgrade you to the next grade or beyond, BUT the down side is that you run the risk of ending up in one of the worst cabins in the particular grade you paid for – such as close to or adjoining a disco, showroom or major service areas where noise levels are higher.
If you enjoy or intend to be cruising regularly, look out for and take advantage of repeat booking incentives or loyalty programs – Cruise lines like to retain their customers and keep them happy.
Don’t Delay – Book Your Luxury Cruise Deal
Just like my earlier post on finding the best flight deals (Easy Ideas For Finding Cheaper Air Fares), bear in mind that searching endlessly for the guaranteed cheapest cruise deal lower than everything else is like looking for the holy grail – it will never be found. Despite what some may tell you, No travel agent can absolutely guarantee you the cheapest deal. So don’t waste your time looking for that extra $20 saving – it could cost you dearly particularly if your original deal has since disappeared by the time you get back to it.
Concentrate instead on looking for the best solution to your travel needs that provides the best travel experience for you within your budget. So when you feel comfortable that you have found a great cruise deal, don’t waste further time and effort – book it.
You best option for finding a great cruise deal is to use a specialist or your own preferred travel agent, particularly if you travel regularly, to do all of the hard work for you. By taking the time to follow some or all of the suggestions above, I guarantee that you will find a great deal on your next cruise.
And finally, Remember, The Cheapest Price Doesn’t Necessarily Represent The Best Value.