A cruise vacation is great no matter what time of year you chose to travel; however, by taking a cruise during the holidays you can also save money. While others are stressed from all of the holiday hustle and bustle, you can be relaxing on the deck of a beautiful cruise ship sailing into the horizon. There are ways to save money on holiday cruise if you know when and where to look.
Fall is a great time of year for a cruise because many families have just finished their summer vacations and school is back in session. Therefore, cruise lines are competing for the remaining customers that are interested in a fall cruise. Check the individual cruise line websites for deals and discounts as well as checking with several travel agents (they may have packages they need to dump while they still can before they expire). Make sure you check under the “Deals” section of the cruise line website. It is also a good idea to visit TripAdvisor.com to read reviews of the various cruise lines before you book your trip.
If you can travel at the last minute, then you probably will save the most money. Cruise lines will slash prices for last minute purchases on unreserved cabins or even offer upgrades to better cabins for the same price. Check travel websites such as CruiseCritic.com, Travelocity.com or Expedia.com for last minute travel deals.
The bigger the crowd the more fun you will have and the more money you will save. Traveling in groups will often net you a discount when everyone books together. Talk to your friends and family about spending a holiday on a cruise ship as a new family tradition. Make sure to check with several cruise lines to find the one that provides you with the best rates and do not forget to ask about perks for traveling with a large group.
While on the cruise ship, remember that every time you go to the bar for a drink you will be charged. Stay with the free drinks such as tea, coffee, milk or juice instead to save money. If you must have your soda, ask for special refillable mugs that you can purchase and use during the entire trip. While on board, also limit your internet use to save money. Most ships have internet connections; however, the cost is high. You are on vacation so leave the world behind.
Compare the cost of booking your own air and transfer arrangements verses what is offered by the cruise ship. Booking your own arrangements often saves you money. Furthermore, check into booking your own excursions rather than those that are offered by the cruise line because you can often find less expensive excursions that are just as enjoyable. Be careful booking your own excursions and use caution – – if you are traveling somewhere that may be dangerous stick with the cruise line excursions even if you must pay the higher price.
Do not let the salesperson booking your cruise talk you into a more expensive luxury cabin. Consider the amount of time you will actually spend in your cabin in relation to the added charge for an upgrade. You can save that money or you can use it for other activities while on your holiday cruise. Either way, it is better spent than on a cabin that is a little bigger for you to sleep in at night.
One last tip for saving money on a holiday cruise – – educate yourself about off seasons for all destinations. Cruise ships sale to more destinations than just the Caribbean. Schedule appointments with several travel agents, ask about the peak and off-peak seasons for various locations and make notes. Then sit down and begin to search the cruise line websites for the best deals on holiday cruises to destinations that are in their off-peak season.