How to save big on cruises!
By Tom Everett, Editor
One of the best vacations you can take at the moment is a sea cruise. Imagine a vacation where you check in only at the beginning and check out at the end of a cruise. It certainly takes away all the hassle of checking in and out of hotels, not to mention the dreaded airport security clearances you have to endure in a vacation by air! The fact that a cruise includes all meals and entertainment too makes a cruise vacation great value for money when you compare it with the hotel rentals and the cost of air tickets or car rentals to move from city to city that you have to incur in a fly-holiday!
A cruise is hard to beat as it is also incredibly relaxing without the stresses associated with air travel. You dress up for dinner which is usually like dining in a fine dining establishment in NYC, go for the Las Vegas styled entertainment before or after dinner and then adjourn to a casino, lounge bar, cinema or even library before retiring for the night. The mattresses and pillows are usually plush and comfy and you wake up refreshed in the morning usually in a new port of call!
Many have the assumption that a cruise will cost them more than they can afford, but there are some great tips that will help you get the cruise you need at a cost that fits your station in life.
1. Cruise ships hate empty cabins so cruise lines do everything in their power to ensure that their ships are at maximum capacity every time they leave the port. If you line up your cruise holiday for the off season you are able to save as much as half of the price during top season.
Keep a close watch on last minute specials as well. Many cruise lines will be offering lower costs to sell those remaining spots rather than setting sail with them unsold.
2. Take a little bit of time to look at everything a cruise package is offering you. Many of them are all inclusive meaning that everything on the ship is included in one cost. Yet there are numerous comforts that you will not be using. Thus you are throwing your cash away. Look for a cruise that only offers the things you’ll be certain to use. For instance, many 6 star cruise ships like Crystal, Seabourne, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas are now all inclusive offering liquor on the house. If you don’t drink, that’s quite a waste, in which case you’d be better off booking a cruise on the 5.5 star cruise lines like Oceania and Azamara which try to emulate the 6 star cruises in terms of food and service but charge for liquor.
3. When you book your cruise you’ll be offered many various options for your accommodations. The more room you’ve got and the pleasanter they are the more costly they’re going to be. Yet on a cruise most people only spend time in their room to sleep and shower. You are able to save a large amount of money going with more basic accommodations such as an inside cabin.
4. If you can get a huge set of people to order the same cruise, you’ll likely be in a position to save 15% or 20%. A group is typically considered fifteen to twenty people or more. The whole group will get the discount on the portion they’re responsible to pay. Ensure you figure out which cruise company can offer the hottest deal before you commit to one.
5. Always factor in incentives like on board credits, drink packages and shore excursion vouchers that cruise lines throw your way for they are sometimes worth quite a fair bit. You’d find them in Travelaureate’s cruise booking section in the booking box. On some 6 star ships, you can even cash in 50% of your on board credits (sometimes called on board spend) or use them to purchase valuable items such as watches or bling in their duty free shops on board, or use them for spa or shore excursions! THE END
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