If you want to cruise cheap just wait, until the last minute, that is. A last minute cruise is one of the cheapest cruises available, and believe it or not, you will still get the ultimate cruise experience – just at a much lower price.
Most people believe that booking last minute is the kiss of death when it comes to savings, but the opposite is actually true. Sure, cruise lines prefer advance booking, in fact, cruise lines will do just about anything to fill up their cabins way in advance. Cruise lines will offer special discounts, special incentives, cash back, and credits for advance booking. But guess what? They are just as passionate, if not more, about filling up those last few cabins. They simply do not like empty rooms, period. Several weeks or so before the departure date, the cruise line will take inventory. If there are empty rooms, prices are instantly slashed. So, if you book last minute, you may enjoy savings up to 75% off the regular price. Pretty amazing huh?
A last minute cruise may offer the absolute best savings available, but there are other ways to enjoy cheap cruises as well. These include: booking off-season, taking advantage of package deals, booking online, and booking with popular cruise lines. Some of the world’s most popular cruise lines include: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, SilverSea Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.
If you want to book off-season, you will find the most low cost cruises in year round destinations. For example, slow or “shoulder” seasons for say Alaska, may differ from the Mexican Riviera. Here 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.
If you are a senior, cruise lines have some excellent discounted rates for you. A senior is typically defined as a person who is 55 or older. Simply call a cruise travel specialist or book directly with the cruise line to enjoy low cost cruises for seniors. Keep in mind that proof of age is required.
For more last minute cruise deals, visit any of the following popular discount booking search engines’ websites to check out the lowest prices on cruises, to shop and compare, and you can even book your cruise right online.
Interested in hearing about what your fellow cruisers think about a particular cruise line, cruise ship or cruise? Check out the top cruise review websites listed below for reviews from real cruisers with real experiences to talk about. Some of the sites may also include reviews by professional writers.
Some of the top sites for cruise ship ratings and reviews are: Cruisecritic.com, Cruisereviewsonline.com, Cruisereport.com, Cruisedirectonline.com, and Cruisemates.com.
Cruisecritic.com offers more than just reviews, this site has several search functions to help you find everything from bargains and discounts to theme cruises, and exotic itineraries. The site also includes features, news, planning tools, and a variety of cruise message boards where fellow cruisers can exchange stories and information.
Cruisemates.com offers short reviews and ratings. The two types of ratings include: star ratings and value ratings. Star ratings are based on one question — “how good is this ship?” One star is the worst, five stars is the best. Cruisemates.com takes everything from age and accommodations to food, service, and entertainment into account when rating the worlds cruise ships. Value ratings or “thumbs up” ratings are all about the “Bang for your Buck.” Five thumbs up means the ship is an excellent value while one thumb up means you won’t find much of anything that resembles a value here.
Reviews, ratings, rankings, and popularity contests — at Cruisereviewsonline.com find out which cruise ships are at the top and which ones are not. Get other information on cruise lines, as well as information, ratings and rankings on embarkation ports, and ports-of-call.
Cruisereport.com offers the lowdown on cruise lines from A to Z. Unbiased reviews, cruise searches, quotes, and feature articles are just a few of the sites extras. You can also search for “the perfect cruise,” and browse through news pieces about cruising. After checking out their ratings and reviews, you can also search for discounts and deals. With more than 50,000 visitors per month, Cruisereport.com has information on roughly 8,500 current sailings.
Cruisedirectonline.com relies on reader surveys to help keep reviews & ratings in check. In addition to cruise ship reviews and ratings, visitors to the site will find top ten and top thirty lists, as well as feature articles about the best of the best in the world of cruises. The site has other information about discounts, as well as information on roughly 12,000 sailings. Cruise Direct Online has been featured in Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine, and on MSNBC, CNBC, MSN Money, and more.