If you're trying to find cruise deals then the first and only place you should be looking is the internet.
If you visit high street travel agents then you can get excellent advice, see lots of pretty pictures and have a long conversation about what you want from your cruise. However, the one thing you will not get is the cheapest price.
Travel agents are often affiliated to a competent of cruise providers, meaning they can only offer you cruise deals from a select number of companies. They also take a fee themselves for arranging the deal meaning that the price of your cruise becomes inflated even further.
Taking matters into your own hands and shopping for a cruise yourself online is a great way to find a deal. However, there are some common pitfalls that come with using the internet to find cruise holidays.
First and foremost, do not visit the official websites of cruise providers. They charge the highest prices and prey on consumers who either want the piece of mind that comes with booking with the cruise company themselves, or those who are not internet savvy. If you're not comfortable booking with third parties then all means go directly through the cruise company. Unfortunately though, you will not find many good deals.
If you're unsure why online third parties offer the best cruise deals then this is why. Websites like Expedia and Last Minute buy up lots of places on cruises to sell themselves. Because they buy them in bulk, they get massive discounts meaning they can then sell them on for cheaper prices and still make a huge profit. To drive prices down further, these websites all have to compete against each other which means their prices have to be as low as anything else on the market. This is where you can nip in and get yourself an excellent deal.
There are many popular online holiday providers who will have cruise deals available daily. You can get late deals if you're ready to travel on short notice and these can offer the best discounts of all. This is because the cruise will go ahead whether they sell all the cabins or not, so cruise companies slash their prices dramatically in the days leading up to departure in order to fill them up.
Equally, if you're not bothered about where you go on your cruise then this provides the opportunity to find even more deals. A good tip is to look out for cruises where the ship is repositioning for the new season. When companies move their ships around to ensure they have enough cruises in the popular areas, you can sail with them while they're repositioning. These cruises are notoriously cheap and can offer some of the best adventures available in the open sea.
When you find a cruise deal you're thinking of investing in, make sure you have a look around to see if you can find the same deal for less somewhere else. Sometimes you can save yourself hundreds of pounds by just making that little bit more effort, which is certainly worth doing, particularly if you're on a budget.