First off, well done! If you’re reading this you’ve already made a great decision in booking a cruise but whether this is your first or fiftieth there are always ways of getting them a little cheaper. The following are some tips we’ve picked up over the years that we thought might help you all save some money…
So read on to find out how you can save yourself some cash on your next cruise!
If you have your heart set on a specific ship, itinerary or cabin then booking early will give you a higher chance to nab those lower prices, it’s been found that early bird prices can be up to 50% less!
Or… book last minute!
If you’re retired, a little un-organised or just feeling spontaneous, then why not book last minute? It is a risky game but as long as you’re not too worried about which ship it is you sail on or where you travel to, you’re almost guaranteed to bag yourself a bargain as cruise ships always have cabins to fill!
Book an inside cabin
When planning your cabin, try and figure out how much time you will be spending in there because this could really affect the amount you spend. If a sea view isn’t that important to you, choosing an inside cabin or a cabin with an obstructed view will knock a considerable amount off the price. If you’re only planning to sleep in your cabin and not spend time in it relaxing, then why not save yourself a packet?
Travel at a low season
Avoiding peak times like summer, school holidays, Christmas and Easter is important when trying to save your pennies. Travellers will find better deals in the ‘shoulder seasons’ (months like February, October and November). Just remember that if you’re thinking about doing an off peak cruise around the UK in autumn… it could be a little chilly!
Depart from a port close to home
It may be a lot cheaper for you in the long run to travel from a port close to home where possible. Cruise lines such as Cruise and Maritime and Fred Olsen sail from ports other than Southampton, so those from elsewhere in the UK can save money by not having to travel all the way down south to meet their ship.
Book an older ship
Sometimes, only the newest and shiniest brand new ship will do! But if you’re interested in a particular destination and aren’t too worried about the ship you sail on, why not consider an older vessel? It will still be a comfortable sailing and you’ll find it’s much cheaper too.
If you like a tipple, all of your drinks can add up very quickly! The best way to save money on this is to get a drinks package if you haven’t booked a cruise that’s all inclusive. They’re very good value for money and come in different levels, so if you just want beer, or wine, or cocktails, or all of the above, you’re covered!
Pre-pay your tips
Pre paying tips normally works out slightly cheaper than having them added to your on-board account at the end of your holiday. It’s worth investigating or asking your specialist cruise consultant if this is the case to save yourself extra!
Kids sail for less
When booking a family cruise, look out for kids sail for a lot less with certain promotions. MSC and P&O often have great offers on, keep your eyes peeled and you could sail as a family for a lot less money!
Book a luxury cruise
(No we’re not joking!) Despite what you may think, if you compare the cost of a cheap cruise where you have to pay for all your flights, transfers, drinks, gratuities and excursions, to a luxury cruise where everything is included, it could mean that you’re spending more on a cheaper cruise! So make sure if you need to include a lot of extras that you’ve priced it up as it might be more value for money to get the luxury cruise instead.
Do it yourself
If you’re booking a fly cruise it’s probably worth your while looking into booking the flights yourself. Despite the fact it is safer to book the whole package through a travel agent or cruise line you may find it’s cheaper to book independently, as you will be paying extra to be covered by their ATOL license. If you’re happy to arrange your own flights and transfers, you will save yourself a lot. But do remember to build a little leeway into the planning, after all, if your flights delayed we don’t want you to miss the cruise! (We advise to fly out at least a day before and book a hotel for the night)
Consider booking a guaranteed cabin
You won’t be able to pick a cabin number or deck location, but the majority of cruise lines will sell cabins at a heavily discounted rate if you’re happy to book on this basis. Although you could end up anywhere, the less fussy amongst you will be happy to have a cheap cabin, regardless of whether you’re nearer to the theatre or the buffet!
Pay for your cruise all in one go
If you can afford to pay for all of your cruise in one go rather than paying the deposit and balance some cruise lines will chop a chunk off the price. Just bear in mind if you do decide to pay this way you need to check the terms and conditions these deals are often non-refundable.
Book a re-positioning cruise
If you enjoy your days at sea then it would be worth looking into booking a re-positioning cruise. A cruise ship will typically stick to one area for one season (say the Mediterranean in the summer), then sail to a different area for another season (say the Caribbean in the winter), whilst its sailing from one area to the next you can book yourself on-board for a heavily reduced cost. This is called a re-positioning cruise. There are a lot of days at sea, which for a lot of people is the appeal, ships can offer hundreds of different activities to do to keep yourself occupied.
So there you have it! Have you saved money by following some of these tips? Do you have your own tips to cruise for cheaper? Leave your comments below!// END - About the Author ?>