A guide to finding cruise deals

imageEven today, when travel is becoming increasingly affordable, cruises are still somewhat surrounded by an air of luxury and unattainability. Magazine pictures of the rich and/or famous lounging on the decks of cruise ships sailing through aquamarine water with a tropical sun shining down on them often seem out of the league of the regular traveler, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are not well-versed in deal finding, going on a cruise might seem a bit improbable to you, but luckily there are ways to get cruise tickets for cut-rate prices. Here is a short guide to finding cruise deals that are too irresistible to pass up.

The right timing

Although there are some cruise deals out there at all times, the respective cruises might not always fit your ideal cruise type. If you want to make sure that you find a cruise that suits you (tropical, Atlantic, river cruise etc), you need to time your search right and become an early bird. Some cruise lines start advertising their sailings more than a year before the actual starting date of the cruise, and if you are quick you can get tickets for 60% off their original price. If a year seems like too long, you can try your luck on the last minute deals, although in this case it’s not guaranteed that you will get the type of ticket you want, especially if you want to go for the less expensive cabins. Last minute specials are a great way to find dirt cheap tickets, because in those cases the cruise lines are eager to sell off their remaining tickets.

Travel Agents

Although some people are wary of using the services of travel agents because of the added costs, travel agents might have access to deals and perks that are not available to regular customers. A travel agent might arrange a better cabin, and get you freebies like onboard credit, tours, and all sorts of specials.
Book the next trip while you’re on a cruise

If you are already on a cruise, you might get a great deal on your next trip if you book your tickets from the same line while you are still on the cruise. Some cruise lines offer all sorts of advantages for returning clients, like lower prices or up to several hundred dollars of onboard credit.

Go on a repositioning cruise

Repositioning cruises happen each spring and autumn, when cruise lines move their ships to warmer waters, from Alaska to the Caribbean, or from Europe to across the Atlantic for example. And instead of sailing empty ships, cruise lines sell tickets on repositioning trips for incredible discount prices. The only downside is that you get to spend less time in ports, which might put off a lot of travelers.

Sail during shoulder season

Instead of going on a cruise in peak season, book a cruise trip in the off season. This means December-April in the Caribbean, September through May in Alaska, etc. The weather will be less warm, but with just an extra sweater, you will have a great cruise trip for a fraction of the original cost.

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