You all should know by now that as a low-key bougie cruiser, I’m always looking for a way to save. And as your friend, I would never leave you out on your own without giving you a heads up! So keep reading for the 6 ways you can save on your next cruise.
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When planning any vacation, we all want to find the very best value possible. This is no different when planning a cruise vacation. So finding – and getting – cruise discounts is not that difficult. Not all cruise discounts, however, will give you the best value.
What is important to you on a cruise is not necessarily important to me or anyone else. So the discount you get offered may be for a cruise, cruise line, or stateroom that doesn’t interest you. Sure, the price is right, but if you don’t get full enjoyment, where is the value? If you are flexible or simply want to get-away-from-it-all, then any discount will be good for you.
Here are six different ways that cruise discounts are offered. One is sure to be right for you.
Early Booking Discounts
This type of discount is available from most cruise lines and for most itineraries. If you book before a specific date, the cruise line offers a special discount price for your vacation. Now, these discounts may not be the ‘best prices’ you can get, but by booking early, you will most often get the cruise you want, on the cruise ship you desire, and the itinerary of interest, in the stateroom or suite of your choice. These items combined can make this type of vacation discount the very best value for your cruise. You may say that if you wait, with the cruise ships being so large these days, you can get exactly what you want. Be forewarned! Cruises do sell out.
Last Minute Discounts
This is by far the riskiest discount to plan on. If your preferred cruise sells out, you’re stuck without that cruise vacation. If you would prefer a balcony stateroom, all that may be available at the time could be inside rooms. However, having said all of that, these discounts can at times provide the very best pricing. So if you are flexible in the itinerary, cruise ship, vacation date, and stateroom preference, perhaps this is your best bet.
Group Booking Discounts
If you can generate some interest in your planned cruise vacation with others, you could qualify for a group rate. Not all cruise lines offer this – or any other – discount, but it is certainly worth pursuing. Again, the rates may not be as low as for a last-minute cruise discount, but you can get in early enough to ensure that you get the preferences listed above.
Low Season Discounts
If your vacation schedule falls into one of the cruising low seasons, you could be in luck. In the Caribbean, for example, hurricane season provides many great cruise rates for potential passengers. Now I know that the summer season is a better name for it from a marketing standpoint, but we may as well call it like it is. Keep in mind that on a cruise, should a major storm happen, cruise ships can divert to calmer waters. Today’s cruise ships can outrun storms as well. If you were at a resort on a land-based vacation, you would have no choice but to flee or take cover.
Value Added Cruise Pricing
This type of discount does not change the price of the cruise itself. It does, however, give guests specials additions and perks. One such added value could be stateroom upgrades – you pay for a particular category of stateroom, and the cruise line automatically bumps you up into the next category. Another common value-added feature is onboard credit. In this case, the cruise line adds a credit to your stateroom account that can be used while on your vacation. Other perks can include free logo-wear or a bottle of wine in your stateroom.
Past Guest Discounts
For first-time cruisers, this type of discount will be un-attainable. But when you book your next cruise on the same cruise line, you may be offered different specials that you may find attractive. These could include free upgrades and onboard credits, as detailed above.
Whether you take advantage of any of the above ways to save on your next cruise, one thing is for sure. A cruise aboard one of the magnificent cruise ships will be an experience to cherish!