Everyone likes cheap cruises, but how can you go about securing great cruise deals? With the enormous amount of information about cheap cruises available, it can be hard to discover the best deals for cruises, so we’ve compiled the following general advice for finding cruise discounts to help guide you. No matter what kind of cruise you are interested in taking, these deal-hunting tips should help you find a cheap cruise.
First, it should be noted that cruise lines like to have their ships booked in advance. This makes sense, as operating a voyage is an expensive undertaking. Just think of the huge crews, which are often comprised of more than a thousand people, that cruise companies have to pay for the entire duration of a cruise. Cruise lines want to make sure that their considerable investment in a voyage is recouped by paying passengers. Moreover, cruise lines want to make sure as soon as possible that their investment is worthwhile. To that end, cruise lines often offer deals for booking in advance. As long as you can afford to be locked into a specific cruise vacation, deals for booking in advance are a win-win for passengers and cruise lines alike: you get a cheap deal on your cruise, and the cruise line knows that they won’t be sailing an empty vessel.
A cruise line’s fear of not recouping the cost of a cruise, coupled with their general desire to make as much money as possible on any given voyage, also drives them to offer last-minute cruise deals. Last-minute cruise deals are designed to fill whatever space remains on a ship before it sets sail. The ship, with its vast army of employees, is going to sail anyway, and a given voyage’s basic operating budget will stay largely the same, so the cruise may as well be filled as close as possible to full capacity. How might a cruise line fill empty rooms at the last minute? By offering cheap cruises of course! Again, this is a win-win arrangement for cruise lines and passengers, provided passengers have the flexibility to jump on a cruise right at the last minute.
Yet another way to score a cheap cruise deal is to book your cruise for an off-season voyage. Every destination has its season, so when the demand to go to these places tapers off during certain parts of the year, cruise lines will offer discounts for cruises to these locations. For example, May and September are not popular months to cruise to Alaska, but if you want to sail to Alaska and it doesn’t matter what month you go, consider booking in May or September, as the prices will likely be lower than usual. Again, cruise lines want to fill their ships with paying customers, and if in order to do this, passengers have to be offered special deals, than so be it.
Finally, much like the other service industries, cruise lines offer discounts for seniors and groups/families. The extent of these discounts will depend on the cruise you are interested in taking, but most major cruise lines offer some type of deal to seniors and groups that are booking together.
Finding a cheap cruise takes research and diligence. All the major cruise line sites offer deals for cruises, and there are lots of other sites that exclusively list cruise deals offered by cruise lines. However, if you follow the advice above, which largely boils down to paying close attention to when you book your cruise, you should be able to find a good deal.