Taking a vacation aboard a cruise ship is getting more popular every day. Whether people have been on a cruise or not, most everyone is aware of the benefits. And almost everyone would really love to sail off into the sunset on board one of these ocean-going palaces.
Many times people put off taking a cruise because they think they're too expensive, but cruise deals actually are not that hard to find if you know where to look for them.
Why Rates Fluctuate
Finding the best cruise ship deals boils down to the old economic principle of supply and demand. If cruises are being gobbled up and bookings are flying out the door, travel deals can be hard to find and prices start to rise. On the other hand, if cruise lines have more vessels on the water then they can easily fill, you're going to start seeing discounts on cruises. Cheap cruise deals start showing up.
How To Get Hot Cruise Deals
When that happens, getting the best cruise deals boils down to a mixture of having a good game plan and being able to move quickly and book that hot deal when you find it.
- Keep your eyes open for new ships being launched, especially if it's a "megaliner." When this happens there's a sudden surge in passenger capacity and the supply spikes up. The cruise line usually offers special introductory specials to entice people to travel on the new ship and hopefully fill it up with happy passengers. In addition, the other companies will often stay competitive in their pricing and lower their rates.
- To get the best rates try to be as flexible as you can with the type of cabin you will book and the category of ship you will cruise on.
- Book your cruise at least three months ahead of the departure date. To save even more, book four to six months ahead, when the demand is still relatively low and the ship is far from being fully booked.
- On the other hand, if you can leave at a moment's notice, you can often find extra last minute cruise deals. Because the costs are reliably fixed, a cruise line will not want to sail with empty cabins. Even if they can offer passengers ultra-affordable prices it will fatten their bottom line.
When you're making your reservations, keep in mind that what you're paying usually includes all of your meals while you're on board, most of the on board activities (games and sports, gym usage, movies, shows, and dance classes), and on board entertainment.
- Keep in mind, whatever you pay, there are still some additional costs. You're expected to tip your cabin stewards and servers. The industry norm is about ten dollars per day for these gratuities.
- Also, beverages are never free. You will pay for soda, alcohol, wine, and bottled water.
- If you want to take a special class, enjoy spa services, or take any shore tours, you will pay for those too.