The overriding idea that most people have of cruises it that they are expensive – often prohibitively so. But while that may be the case for some cruises, there are just as many (and probably more, in fact) where the price is not as high as you think, especially if you put the following tips for booking a cheap cruise into practice. Follow our guide and you may well find yourself all at sea (in the best possible way!) sooner than you think.
When asking when is the ideal time to book your cruise, in order to get the best possible price, the last call is always a good option. The last call is your final chance to book before the cruise line has to send the details of those who will be boarding to the relevant authorities. After this point it is no longer possible to book, so don’t leave it too late.
The time of the last cruise will vary between cruise companies so you will have to do some research to determine where you want to go and who you want to sail with. Some cruise lines have their last call as close as 30 days before sailing, while for others it is up to 120 days.
At last call, the cruise line will know how many cabins still need to be filled and if there are plenty, the prices can drop dramatically to get more people onboard.
Just as important as knowing when to book for the lowest cost cruise is knowing when to travel. At peak times, such as Christmas and New Year, there will be far fewer spare cabins and prices may not drop that much, if at all. For the best deals, try cruising during the off-peak season instead. For the Mediterranean, that’s between October and April (excluding Christmas and New Year).
Define What You Want, Then Compromise
What is it that you really want from a cruise? Where do you most want to see? Narrowing these things down to must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves will help hone your choices, so be prepared to compromise. There will be things that you can’t do without, such as accessibility considerations or places that you just have to see, so use these as your starting points.
Some cruises might start a fair distance from your home so you may wish to book flights to get you there quicker. This can really add to the overall cost of your holiday, so if you don’t have to fly, drive instead. It will be much cheaper, even if it will take a little longer. If you can incorporate the drive into your holiday and see some sights along the way, it will make it much more fun. It’s all about weighing up time versus cost – which is more important to you?
There are numerous ways to keep the costs down when planning a cruise holiday. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save, so do a little homework before you go and you could end up spending a lot less than you originally planned.
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