Everyone wants to travel the world, right? What does a luxury cruise sound like? Warm beaches, exotic ports of call, fine dining, 5-star service, hammocks and fruity umbrellas. Who could resist?
Of course there is one small problem – the outrageous prices that put the dream of a cruise vacation out of reach for 90% of people. But there is hope. I am here to help you find the absolute best cruise travel deals. Wholesale prices, incentive cruises and even FREE occasional trips are in the midst of tricks. My goal is to show you how to plan, find, book and enjoy a life cruise vacation on a tight budget, whether it's your first or tenth.
Be sure to check out this month's top tips, secrets and tricks that the travel industry doesn't want you to know about getting a fantastic cruise travel offer.
Here are 5 ideas to get you started on finding the cheapest cruise bargains:
1) Low Season
Everyone and their brother are planning a cruise in the spring or early summer. Think of spring break and this is where you'll find the crowds. The cruise industry doesn't offer good cruise travel deals during the busy season because they just don't have to. Expect a 20-30% cheaper fare for off-season cruises.
BONUS: Air fares will also be cheaper during the less traveled months, saving you an additional amount of money.
2) Consider repositioning
These cruises are very discounted because the cruise line is simply moving the boat from one port to another. They need to make the trip, regardless of how many passengers sign up. You'll have fewer ports – but if you're a true cruise lover, extra days at sea won't be a heavy burden. You can save 40 to 60% on the price per day on regular cruises.
3) Avoid the flight
Most US cruises come from Florida and California, but did you know that dozens of other shipping ports (from where you leave) are available? Unexpected places like New Orleans, Houston, Seattle, New Jersey and even Mobile, AL offer some cruising itineraries a year. If you can take a ride from somewhere within a short drive, how much will you save? Anticipate round trips to the shipping port and easily reduce $ 1000 for a family of 4
BONUS: Also, you don't have to worry about hotels on both sides of the cruise in this scenario.
4) Last Minute Savings
Generally, if your schedule is flexible, good cruise travel deals can be made within the last 2 months prior to departure. Think about it: the boat is going, the overhead is relatively fixed; therefore, empty cabins cost cruise lines a lot of money that can never be recovered. Sign up for email newsletters (cheapcruises.com, vacationstogo.com and travelzoo.com are my favorites) to receive priority notification of cruise travel offers.
5) Talk and Cruise
If you've been on a cruise, you know that there are plenty of onboard entertainment and education opportunities. Everything from underwater basket weaving, painting classes and wine tasting seminars. Did you know that each of these presenters and their family receives a complimentary cruise in exchange for two 1-hour work sessions? Do you work for 2 hours to get a free cruise?