So, you want to take a cruise this year, but you just don’t want to pay full price. No problem! You can find cheap cruises for 2011. All you have to do is be a little flexible and search for discount cruises in the right places. In order to find cheap cruise this year, there are several things to keep in mind. You can do any of the following to save money:
- Book in advance
- Book last minute
- Book off-season
- Book with a group
- Take advantage of a package deal
- Book online
- Book through a popular cruise line
- Whip out that AARP card
Ok, let’s start with advanced booking and last minute booking. Cruise lines offer incentives and discounts for booking in advance. They would rather sell out way in advance than face the next scenario. If the cruise line doesn’t sell out, guess what? The cruise line will do anything to fill those last few rooms–even offer discounts of up to 75%. If you wait until a few months – or even a few weeks before the cruise to book, you could end up living in the lap of luxury onboard for a few bucks.
Booking off-season. The best off-season discounts are offered in year around destinations. For example, slow or shoulder seasons for say Alaska, may differ from the Mexican Riviera. The following is a list of destinations and their slow seasons: Alaska, May and September; Bermuda, April-May and September-October; Canada/New England, July-August; the Caribbean, late April-May, September-early January; Hawaii, late August, late November, and February; Mexican Riviera, early January and May, October-November; Eastern and Western Mediterranean, March-April and September-November. Expect plenty of perks during these times as well.
Group booking, online booking, and package deals. If you book with a group (family, group of friends, organization, etc.), the cruise line may offer a discounted rate beginning with the third person or so. Once the discount has been calculated, your group can split the costs evenly. When it comes to package deals, the rate is always lower for air and cruise combos. You can save up to 20% or more by opting for a package deal.
Online booking has numerous advantages. Cruise lines always offer the best deals and specials online, and discount booking search engines can offer even lower prices. Check the cruise line website first to see what kinds of deals they offer then compare them to the rates you find through any of the following booking search engines:
Booking with popular cruise lines. The most popular cruise lines have thousands of customers and frequent sailings, so they are more willing to offer a deal than say a small specialty cruise line that offers several sailings per year. Some of the world’s most popular cruise lines include: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Yachts of Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.
Special rates for seniors. All cruise lines features special rates for seniors. To lock in special senior rates you have to speak with a cruise travel specialist for booking or book directly with the cruise line. A senior is a person who is 55 or older and proof of age is required.