Going on a cruise can serve up one of the best vacations possible. You can visit countless destinations, and you don’t have to worry about your travel plans.
You are in the most comfort as you travel, and there are tons of things to do on a cruise in between ports.
However, they can be very expensive, so trying to find the best deal can appear to be hard work.
Here we look at what you need to no to get the best cruise deals and which cruise lines offer a vacation of a lifetime.
When you should not go on a cruise?
Many say you should never book a cruise for the following reasons:
- You get motion sickness
- You can’t handle too much sun
- If you like peace and quiet
However, this can be the same as most vacations and is nothing against any particular cruise line.
Yet, there are times you shouldn’t be looking at taking a cruise because they are hitting the peak seasons. As an example, ridership on cruise vessels around the Caribbean ought to be avoided during the summer, Christmas, and spring break.
What is the cheapest cruise line?
It can be hard to come up with the cheapest cruise ships because the cruises on offer differ, and along with this, so do the prices.
However, if you look at past costs for a cruise season to a specific area, you can get a rough idea. Here are the top 5 contenders for a seven-night cruise around the Caribbean in order of affordability.
- Princess Cruises
- Holland America Line
- Royal Caribbean International
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- MSC Cruises
Do Cruise Prices Go Down?
Knowing when prices drop for cruises can be the key to scoring a great price. Once you know the cruise hacks on how to find the best price, then you can save a considerable amount.
Although booking early has its advantages, so does leaving your booking until between 60 and 90 days before sailing.
Because of the demand, prices can drop to fill all the empty cabins, but just we wary, you may not get the best-located cabin.
Other times prices drop are in the late summer months and early fall because it is hurricane season.
Besides this, there are also sporadic patches of discounts, for times to cruise, during the first weeks of December and in the spring.
When purchasing during the week, you can also find certain days affect prices. Prices are seen to drop on Thursdays, while Wednesdays have the most significant price hikes. Besides, never book on a Sunday as this is the most expensive day.
It is worth noting, in Hurricane season, the chances of a cruise being affected are small, yet you could face some travel disruption depending on location.
How Do I Get the Best Deal on a Cruise?
Once you decide you want to go on a cruise, there is more than merely the best times to cruise. There are countless destinations, and this adds many variables that can change the times of the year, which is the best time to go to get the best offers.
However, you tend to find the summer months are full of families, whereas, if you want a wildlife expedition in Alaska, then the time of year can vary dramatically.
One of the key ways to get the best deal is to go on a cruise when others can’t. If you have the flexibility in your timing, then you can pick and choose what is best.
You will generally find that most of the cruise regions have periods of demand.
- Peak demand: High season when everyone is on vacation
- Moderate demand: Also known as shoulder season where demand is moderate
- Low demand: Usually the cheaper times for cruises
You will come to find that the best time to cruise may not be the cheapest. But, if you already know that weather conditions may not be the best, then you can find these times of just before holiday periods or the start of school can be more fitting.
Here are the best ways to save when booking your next cruise
Book Early: Early-bird rates are available between 6 to 12 months in advance, and can save around 25 to 50% compared to brochure prices.
If prices drop after booking, you can make use of a good travel agent who can alert you by sending a message to your email address. They can then help to obtain the lower rate.
Book Late: We already saw that booking late has its advantages and can save plenty. Don’t forget you may have a lack of choice for a cabin, and these low prices are often nonrefundable.
Ask for discounts: In many instances, asking for a discount can help shave off a few dollars. Most prices are for two sharing a cabin, so if it is a family affair, then there could be a hefty discount. Likewise, older people or servicemen should always pose the discount question.
Travel agents: Many travel agents have pre-allocated cabins; these can be offered at discount fares.
Travel in a group: If you book a large group, then you can save. However, this does mean you will need an early booking to have cabins en bloc.
Shoulder Season: These aren’t the cheapest times, so you won’t save a ton, yet you can grab a bargain. These do however come with varying times of the year:
- Bermuda: Sail in April and October for the cheapest times and best prices.
- Caribbean Islands: Sail in September & October. You can also find more affordable times in December outside the holiday weeks or in early January up to President’s Day.
- Alaska: Sail in May or September for an Alaska cruise. The Alaska cruise season is short, and June to August are the crowded times to cruise Alaska. Opt for ship sailings during the week.
- Europe: Sail from Mid-March and April. Then September to December around the Mediterranean before it gets too warm in the region.
- Mexico: You can cruise to Mexico year-round, from November to May as the best and cheapest time. Avoid February and March as the port are full of college-age visitors.
With all the above, you should be able to avoid all the popular cruise times, and hit the seas when you can get a cheap price without sacrificing on your trip of a lifetime.