Here are some of the tricks we learned to get the best cruise deals available.
- Book early: I’ve found that booking as soon as the itinerary comes out usually gets me both the best deals and best cabin choice. In fact once the cabin is secured, if the price goes down or some specials became available, your travel agent is able to call the cruise line and match the new offer.
- Perks: Be on the lookout for perks and make sure to consider their value! The mother of all perks, for example, is the free drinking package. These can be made available at various times of the year, based on cabin type, or even at the specific time of booking.
- Sign up for the cruise line mailing list: if there are specific cruise lines you like to travel with, sign up for their mailing list – and stay informed! This way you will be notified of new itineraries or sales.
- If you are on-board visit the future cruise consultant: cruise lines always offer some perks when you book your next cruise on board. If you are not sure on when of where you want to cruise, consider buying a “future cruise deposit” if offered. These are credits that stay on your account and can be used for a deposit on a cruise when you decide to book, they are fully refundable and have cruise perks attached (usually in forms of on board credits).
- Book a “to be assigned” cabin: if you are not too picky about your cabin location a “to be assigned” cabin is usually your best deal. Think of it like booking a hotel room. When you book a hotel, you don’t get to choose room 1124. This means that you will get at least the cabin type you booked (interior, balcony etc.), the cruise line will pick the cabin for you, based on availability, up to the day before your departure. Very often you will be able to get an upgrade if the cabin type you booked became sold out.
- If you are flexible check the last minute list: every cruise line has a last minute list either on line or sent out to travel agents. If you have the flexibility of departing with few days notice, you will be able to get great deals. This type of deals must be payed in full at the time of booking and are usually non refundable.
I hope these tips will help you get a great deal.