5 tips for finding the cheapest deals on cruises

The definition of “the best” is quite subjective when it comes to cruise deals. For some, it simply means getting the ticket at a lower-than-usual price, while others may define the best deal as getting a free cabin upgrade to a higher deck. Whatever it may be, getting a great cruise deal requires a lot of planning and a little bit of luck. Here are a few important tips that can help you grab great cruise deals without burning a hole in your pocket:

Book several months in advance

Cruise lines always open their bookings several months in advance, and booking over 6 months before sailing can help you save big bucks. Many cruise lines today offer low price guarantees, which means if the fares drop after you’ve made the booking, you can either get a refund or a cabin upgrade. That being said, ensure that you monitor the price every week if you’ve booked months in advance. If there is a price drop, contact your travel agent and ask them to get you a refund or cabin upgrade.

Or book a few weeks or days in advance

No need to worry if you haven’t been able to book months in advance. You must know that cruises lose a huge sum if they sail with empty cabins. So, you can book a few weeks or days before departure to get the cruise at a low price. This is also a great alternative to flying since last-minute airfares are outrageously expensive. But this is where your little bit of luck comes into play, as a cruise might not always have empty cabins so close to their departure date.

Sail with a large group

Cruising with your whole family, friends, or even your coworkers is a brilliant way of saving a huge amount of money. Generally, the higher the number of passengers, the more money you’ll save. Cruises tend to offer amazing discounts if you book at least 5-6 cabins together, but if you’re sailing alone, ask a travel agent if they can make your bookings with a large group. This is profitable for you as well as the other group.

Check the package closely

If you’re planning a vacation that includes flight tickets, drink packages, shore excursions, specialty dining, spa treatment, and more, you can ask the cruise line for a bundled package. This will help you save a substantial amount. Check the package carefully, and do the math to confirm whether the package is profitable. Also, only consider this option if you’re planning to do other activities while cruising, else you’ll only end up paying for unused benefits.

Cruise when it’s cheapest

See if you can plan your cruise trip in fall—September and October—and late winter—January and February. You can get the cheapest cruise deals in these months since most parents are working, kids are busy with school, and there are hardly any holidays. For example, you can get a Caribbean cruise at an affordable price in the fall months when the hurricanes affect sailing. At the same time, the fall foliage is flourishing, which means Canada and New England cruises have the highest rates. So, the trick is to sail to a particular destination during the offseason.

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