The cruise industry is a competitive field, and companies attract customers with a variety of sales and promotional strategies. If you are a discerning customer you are bound to search for the best value fare for your money. Regardless of the type of cruise you are looking for, all travel agents and cruise lines offer perks and special fares to persuade you. How to get discounts on a cruise? Here are some pointers that may attract you onboard.
Although this won’t necessarily make your booking any cheaper in the long run, it can assist cash-strapped budgeters in committing to a cruise. Reduced deposits are especially useful for group bookings where potential party members are not all on the same financial page.
This is a popular marketing strategy which is not unique to cruising. As a potential customer, the first step is to compare the regular single passenger fare to determine exactly how valuable the offer actually is.
Free Kids Fare
These are a genuine but usually very fast moving promotion centred around school holiday seasons, when cruise ships hope to fill their cabin space for travel to family friendly destinations. An added bonus is that such itineraries also include plenty of supervised onboard activities for kids, meaning you can still enjoy time out with your partner while the kids are having fun.
This is a common promotion that offers you credit that can be redeemed for a variety of uses, such as restaurant upgrades, casino games, shore excursions and more. These credits usually can’t be cashed out at the end of the voyage, so are considered “use or lose” options.
This is another type of deal where a little number crunching is well advised. Take the cruise company offer for complimentary airfare, and compare it against making your own flight travel plans. There can be savings, especially as cruise companies and travel agents work closely with airlines.
Onboard tipping amounts to approximately $15 per person per day. Some travel agents will offer to cover estimated gratuities within the price as part of the cruise booking incentive.
Some advertised fares include a guaranteed cabin upgrade. If the price is right and you are keen to experience the superior room, it can be an added touch of pampering for you and your loved ones.
Cruise lines sell all-inclusive beverage packages. Try your luck with your agent by asking them to throw in the beverage package to seal the deal. This can save you a lot of money as onboard drinks can be quite expensive. You might as well ask about free speciality restaurant reservations while you are on the subject. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Complimentary Excursions and Spa Treatments
Although not often available, these perks are still offered from time to time. Ship cruises are all about supply and demand, and travel agents are willing to negotiate in order to fill cabins.
Loyalty to a brand is gaining universal recognition as a sign of a quality business. Return cruisers should expect a range of discounts and perks as reward for ongoing custom. Research cruise line loyalty programs and determine which company is worth investing your money in.
Cruise discounts are part and parcel of the cruise industry. Shop around and compare notes with travel agents to see who is willing to offer you the best value for your money.
Do you know a better way to get discounts on a cruise? Let me know in the comments!
*featured image by Kabacchi.