If you want to go on a cruise, you cannot simply show up at the dock on departure day and expect to arrive aboard. You must first search for cruise deals and make reservations. Although some of the last-minute deals are possible, you still need to make your reservation as soon as possible before the ship is scheduled.
There are many things to consider before deciding on a cruise: itinerary, fare, place of departure, port of call, excursions, number of nights, cruises, boat, etc.
Keep these factors in mind when looking for bids and comparing itineraries.
Here are some tips for bargain cruises:
• Do not spend twice as much on airline tickets. In most cases, cruising is much cheaper when the cities of departure and return are the same. This will save you on plane tickets and cruise on both. Or, if you are within a day's drive from the city of departure, it might be a lot cheaper to just drive to the port and pay for your vehicle parked or while cruising. Compare day parking costs with a plane ticket.
• If you are traveling with a family or group of friends, look for family or group discounts. There are numerous types of group discounts that cruises offer: wedding ceremonies, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, retirements and so on. Leading cruise lines also offer a discount for children. Some even offer a free ticket for children under a certain age.
• Keep in mind that cruise fares – just like airfare – often vary. In fact, they can change on a daily basis. Generally, the lowest fares are the earliest (eight months or more before departure) or the latest (within two months before departure). But if cruising is popular and cabins are selling out fast, you may not want to take the risk until the last minute. However, if you are not picky and do not have specific dates in mind, it might be helpful to wait and see what last minute deals will appear.
• Decide whether or not you just want the basic package. Do you need any of the "extras" such as dining and drinks packages, spa packages, picnics, concierge services, private balcony, etc.? Or would it be cheaper to just pay for some of them, since there is a need for them? Almost always considering that a cruise ship trip is NOT the cheapest and you will save by going through a third-party travel company or traveling alone.
These are just a few ideas to give you an idea of the types of discounts and cruise deals available.
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