How to find cruise deals
Cruise deals are not hard to find, if you follow this how-to guide.The advice to comparison shop before buying holds true whether you want to know how to find cruise deals or any other product or service. The location of the "best deal" may change from day to day or even from hour to hour.
One day, the best deal might be at a cruise line because they're hosting a discounted cruise. Another day, the best cruise deal may be offered by a travel agency or Expedia.com. Additionally, there are a variety of personal preferences that factor into what you consider to be a good deal. Utilizing the following tips, along with a little research, you should be able to find the irresistible cruise deal you're looking for.
Consider Your Preferences
Choosing the destination is the first step to locating your cruise deals and specials. Choosing the time of year you plan to take this cruise is the second step, and the third step would be deciding which shore excursions, amenities and cabin types you would like. Do you prefer a themed cruise, a luxury cruise, spring break vacation, a family-oriented cruise or an adults-only cruise? With all these factors in mind, you can more easily narrow down your choices from the hundreds of possibilities.
How to Find Cruise Deals
With all your specific preferences in mind, it is time to start searching for cruise deals and specials. Get your pad and pencil handy (or open a word processing document) so you can record each of the offers to compare them later. Don't forget to write down the URL where you found the offer. Here are the best places to look along with a brief explanation of each:
- Dedicated cruise companies: Cruises are the main business of a cruise company. This is an excellent starting place for deal-hunting. Look into current offerings and search for specials that fit your criteria. These companies often collect the best deals from many different cruise lines and tour companies, and can save you lots of search time.
- Major cruise line websites: Cruise lines include Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Crystal Cruises and others. Individual cruise lines will only feature cruises on their own ships, so you will have to compare across all of the websites, which can be time-consuming and confusing. Check each official website under "specials" or a similar name. Sometimes the major cruise lines offer specials for a variety of reasons. It could be a themed cruise. They almost always offer a group discount. You never know what might be offered. Sign up for email alerts for cruise specials.
- Travel agencies: Check the travel agencies, both online and local, for cruise deals. You may find one that is offering a discounted cruise to your chosen destination.
- Online travel providers: Large online travel package providers, like Expedia and a host of others, are in business to locate travel deals and report them to you. Check to see what is currently offered on these sites. The options and pricing can change almost instantaneously on these sites, so what you have found an hour ago may no longer be available by the time your are ready to make reservations.
Types of Cruise Discounts
In addition to low fares, there are a variety of other discounts to look for and take advantage of. When you combine these discounts with low cruise fare, you achieve exponential savings. Extra discounts or reduced rates may be offered for:
- Military personnel
- Teachers or education personnel
- Citizens of a particular region
- Family vacation package
- Corporate incentives
- Members of certain societies, clubs, etc., such as AARP
- Senior citizens
Pre- and Post-Cruise Deals
Before your cruise departs, you need to reach the cruise port and you may need to stay overnight. You'll also need transportation home after the cruise is finished. Sometimes cruise lines, hotels and airlines offer special combination travel packages when you book them all at the same time. For example, you may get a discount for booking airline tickets and a hotel stay at the same time. You might even get free ground transportation or free passes to a spa.
Preferred Customer Discounts
If this is not your first cruise, you have probably already earned favor with a particular cruise line. Don't be shy about taking advantage of "points" or "miles" to get extra discounts. You may also combine these with preferred customer incentives offered by certain credit card companies.
When you combine all the discounts that are available from a variety of sources, you may find that the cruise of a lifetime is not so expensive after all. Hopefully, you'll soon be saying, "Bon Voyage!"
How to Find Cruise Deals
Where to Find the Best Cruise Deals