Tips for Bagging a Cruise Holiday Bargain

by - 12:46:00 AM

Cruise Ships Visit Port of San Diego (October 2012)

Cruise holidays aren't just for the rich elite anymore, and prices for sailing the seas can actually be very reasonable, especially when compared to the soaring costs of flights and hotels. The trick is to understand how the cruise industry works, and to use this to your advantage to get some great bargains. There are lots of little tips you can use to bring down the price of your holiday, and here’s a few of the best:

Travel Off Peak

Travelling outside of the school holidays is an excellent way to lower the cost of your cruise holiday, and this is especially true if you’re planning on sailing on a child-focused cruise line, such as the Disney Cruise Line, or are looking to travel to family-friendly destinations such as
Florida. Unfortunately, travelling off peak may not be a viable option for young families, but for couples and retirees, this is a superb little trick.

Before booking a cruise, take into account the UK school holidays, as well as the school holidays in your country of embarkation if you are not cruising from a British port. This includes Easter,
public and bank holidays, half terms, and the summer months of July and August. There’s an added bonus to travelling during term time too: the port attractions and cities are likely to be much quieter.

Book Early, Or Leave It Late

There are some excellent cruise deals to be had for early birds who book their cruise months or even years in advance, and for those who leave their bookings until the last minute. After all, no cruise line wants to sail with empty cabins, it’s simply not in their best financial interests. Last minute fares tend to be the lowest, with costs under £50 per night in some cases, but keep in mind that cabin choice and dining times may be limited.

In terms of booking in advance, major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean release the main portion of their
cruise deals to the public approximately one year in advance, with transatlantic, exotic, and round-the-world sailings often available two years in advance. Early booking discounts can be quite significant, so it’s well worth planning out your future holidays if you want the best possible deal.

Don’t Be Picky

Cruise lines like P&O offer special fares that are discounted from the original price, but limit the amount of control a passenger has over their booking. This means that by paying less, you can’t choose your cabin type, or cabin location, and you may not be assigned specific accommodation until the time of embarkation. If you’re not fussy, then this can be a great way to save money.

If you've got your heart set on a balcony cabin close to the dining room, this isn't the right booking method for you as you could be disappointed, but if you really don’t mind having an inside cabin below the nightclub, then be sure to take advantage of these offers. Of course, it could even be beneficial, giving you a luxury room you would otherwise not be able to afford. Cabin allocation really depends upon which rooms haven’t been booked, so it’s definitely a gamble, but one that could pay off.

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