In order to sail as cheaply as possible there are several factors at play. The ticket price is only a part of the overall cost of cruising and other factors need to be taken into consideration, such as limiting onboard spending and getting as many perks as possible. Read our tips to learn how to save money on cruises.
The brochure price
Every cruise line and travel agent can supply you with a glossy brochure replete with beautiful photos and breathtaking destinations. The first step is to realise that an expensive brochure doesn’t need to translate into an expensive cruise. The brochure price is the maximum charge you can pay, but it makes better budgeting sense to aim for a much lower rate. Negotiate with your travel agent just as a professional plays poker. Reveal your expectations without showing effusive emotion. Remember, an expert salesperson understands psychology and body language, and can capitalise on your weakness. If your travel agent is inflexible, find another one and compare notes until you get what you want.
Search for sales
The cruise industry is perpetually presenting new sales to enamour potential customers. Some lines offer short term promos that only last a day or two. You can search online or accept direct cruise sales mail-outs into your inbox. Many cruise websites display weekly best bargains. Investing time in educating yourself regarding cruise sales strategies will help you understand just how much you should be paying. Comparing fares from different companies has never been easier. Simply select possible dates and itinerary on a suitable price comparison website and you will have a ballpark figure to work with. When the right cruise drops to a suitable price, you will be ready to snag it.
Extend your trip
Cruising is great fun and a wonderful adventure, but exploring the exotic destinations can be your ultimate cruising goal. Consider booking a cruise that begins or ends in a destination you would like to explore and stay an extra day or two. After all, you are already there and the added expense is minimal compared to visiting again another time. Check out independent operators for pre/post cruise local tours, and make your money stretch even further.
You may be tempted to book on a budget cruise line and pay for add-ons and upgrades as you go, but the overall cost can quickly skyrocket. Take a look at luxury cruising all-inclusive options and you may find that you could sail on a superior ship and enjoy premium facilities for a similar price to your upgraded budget option. Luxury lines often include everything, including shore excursions, pre-cruise hotel stays, beverages, internet access and high-end service. It could be time to give yourself that special luxury treatment.
A sensible cruise budget will include an extra 50% above the ticket price to cover any additional activities, gratuities and services. Cruising remains an unbelievably cheap holiday option, and with a little planning you will have plenty of cash left over to enjoy the journey to your fullest extent.