A question was posed to me over the weekend about financing a cruise through the cruise line or travel agency. My first question is Why? With the economy that we are in, I think financing something (other then a need) is ridiculous. I always try to pay with cash when possible. To answer his question, yes, you can finance a cruise, many of them have options so I went on to tell him of an option that surprisingly he had no clue about, layaway.
Both the cruise line and travel agents offer layaway travel programs. The concept is fairly simple, in fact exactly like if you were going to Target, Kmart, or Sears. The idea is to plan your cruise enough in advance so it is not a strain on your wallet when you actually sail. I used to like to plan about six months out, this way I had four months to pay it off, which should be plenty, even if your pay 100 bucks a month.
This is how I do it:
– Plan my date
– Pick my cruise
– Put down a deposit (starts at 100 dollars pp)
– Pay within 61 days (generally) of sailing
With a layaway program, you do not have to worry about putting all the money up front and not being able to sail because you do not have the cash. A recommendation that I find very helpful is to go ahead and prepay the gratuities along with your excursions too. The more you pay ahead of time, the less out of pocket you have to pay. Remember that travel agents are sometimes a lot more beneficial then booking directly through the cruise line.