Finding the best cruise deals of 2017 / 2018 can be frustrating. Watching prices rise in the offseason and watching competitor cruise lines offer deals after you have already purchased. Cruises can cost as little as $200 and up to $5,000 and beyond, so here are a few ways to save money for cruising:
- Hire A Travel Agent
- Agents have options to lower cost by purchasing multiple rooms with a cruise group offer. They just combine your vacation package along with others who purchase from them to together save a few bucks. It’s worth it. Ask for group pricing if you are traveling with a larger group than 8
- Some agents have deals that include airlines and luggage fees waived.
- They have access to cabin upgrades for the same price you are paying through the direct website.
- Plan To Buy Your Trip 6-9 Months Out
- The great thing about cruises is that you have the option to put down a down payment and make payments towards your vacation. How awesome is that?! When we cruised we deposited $250 and gradually made payments for our drink packages, excursions, and sailing adventures like massage and restaurants.
- Also when purchasing early you have the early bird specials, these may range from free onboard credits to free dining in a restaurant that is not included. Look for cruise deals in the ports of Galveston and Florida.
- Larger Ships
Strange but true, the larger ships tend to be cheaper because they can offer lower rates if the ship is full of people. Check out Carnival Cruise deals here and Royal Caribbean
Cruise deals here.
- Last Minute Buys
If you are lucky enough to live near a port or within driving distance, purchasing a cruise last minute is a great offer. The cruise ship is going with or without the room filled, so cruise lines offer the remainder rooms at a lower cost to have a full capacity ship. Take advantage of it!
- Independent Excursions & Drink Packages
- You can always save money in these two areas, so watch for deals and connect with veteran cruisers on Cruise Critic. Sometimes you can find a group that is going snorkeling for half the price and it was already put together by the veteran cruisers.
- Drink packages are pricey on some cruise lines so do your homework, you can usually find somewhere on Pinterest a picture of what the average drink cost is going for on that cruise line. If you are a light drinker, I recommend buying as you go, if you are the party hard type then get that package. Don’t be afraid to not purchase the package prior, you can always purchase it on the cruise along with excursions.
- Seasonal & Holidays
- Going on vacation in winter is normal for cruisers because the weather is nicer in Bahamas, Mexico, and other locations. Going in December still allows you to wear a bikini at some of those locations. Yes, usually everyone wants to cruise in the summer, but watch the cost fluctuate. Another reason why cruising in winter is better is fewer hurricanes!
- Cruising Deals for holidays are always out there, so maybe this year for Christmas you and granny can hit up the casino on the Princess cruises together while you have the entire ship to yourself. We have cruised around Christmas and the only thing I can say is, if you are the type of person who likes Christmas music, decorations, eggnog, and happy people, well then book a trip around the holidays.