Much like shopping around for well-priced flights, picking an affordable cruise is an art. It requires proper technique to pull off successfully. Luckily, however, it’s a skill that can be easily learned. But you should note that picking an affordable cruise requires more than just going to a cruise website and just sorting by price. Although that will help you find the cheapest options, you still need to consider your travel style, your goals, and what kind of cruise experience you really want. Someone who is great at finding affordable cruises will also be great at finding the right affordable cruise.
But how do you do that, exactly? Well, it starts with understanding your options. The cruise world is large and varied, and each type of cruise is priced differently. River cruises are generally a bit more costly than ocean cruises, and cruise lines focused on luxury will be more expensive than those more focused on family fun. In general, the biggest companies like Royal Caribbean and Carnival will have the most affordable cruises on the market, but they aren’t for everyone. Before picking out your perfect affordable cruise, do some soul searching and decide what type of cruise you want. Sure, you can save money by booking with Royal Caribbean, but will the crowds be worth the price? That’s a question only you can answer.
The second thing to consider when picking an affordable cruise is how much time you will be spending on the ship versus at the destination. The most economical options will always be short cruises that only last two days or so. That means that you will inevitably be spending a good portion of your trip on a ship deck rather than on a beach. For some travelers, this is fine! Sitting on the ship is relaxing, and you can still enjoy some fun in the sun. For others, though, a cheap 3-day cruise isn’t worth the money compared to a 5-day cruise that might cost $100 more.
Finally, you should think about the prices that aren’t reflected in the initial booking cost. Sure, one cruise may be cheaper than the other at first glance, but does the more affordable option include food, drinks, and shore excursions? Do you plan on paying for those? If so, you may be able to save money by booking with a more inclusive cruise line that costs a bit more when booking.
Picking an affordable cruise isn’t as simple as just booking the itinerary with the lowest price. There are other factors to consider. Still, with so many great and affordable options, you should be able to find a fit for you without too much effort.