When can you get a cheap cruise? Where do you find cheap, cheap cruises? Why do cruise lines offer low cost cruises? Get the answer to these questions and more.
The following crucial information is divided into four sections. The four sections taken together will provide you with the what, when, where, and why of cheap cruises.
Keep in mind that you want to look at the general principals of what is presented, and not any specific information. The specifics are always subject to change, but if you understand the general principals then you are always in position to find great prices.
The What of cheap cruises:
What is a cruise cabin as it relates to sales?
It is inventory; and, the supply and demand for that inventory will vary from sail date to sail date.
As the supply of cabins exceeds the number of people who are looking to book travel the cruise line offer those extra cabins at a discount.
The When of cheap cruises:
When do cruise lines discount their cabins (inventory)?
Generally, excess supply (inventory) is not discounted until the sail date gets closer. Also, based on historical patterns of slow sales a cruise line could offer steep discounts as indication to spur sales.
In addition, you may find some great bargains if you do not mind the cruise line routing your ship to alternate destinations to avoid bad weather.
There are many scenarios used by the cruise lines that could provide great prices for you. Identifying only one such scenario (among the many cruise lines) could save you a lot of money.
Besides the bad weather scenario, the scenarios most easily identifiable to get cheap cruises are based on:
1) booking your cruise very, very early, or
2) booking your cruise very close to the sail date.
The Where of cheap cruises:
Where are you likely to find cheap, cheap cruises?
In addition to those mentioned above, other possibilities are:
- travel agents and cruise agents
- cruise brokers
- group cruises, especially where organizers look at possible scenarios, such as those mentioned above
- on very long cruises, 90-day and 100-day sailings, where inside cabins (considered inferior) are extremely cheap. Outside cabins on the same cruise sell for $ 700 to $ 1000 per person per day.
However, a quick calculation shows you the problem with these types of cheap cruises. Even though the typical cost is between $ 60,000 and $ 100,000 per person, these cheap, cheap cruises still cost around $ 15,000 per person (a problem for the majority of cruisers).
The Why of cheap cruises:
Why offer cruise cabins at steep discounts?
Cruise cabins are offered at a discount when the supply of cabins exceeds the number of people wanting to pay for them. The greater the excess of inventory, the steeper the discount offered.
Empty cabins on a ship that has sailed are considered none re-occurring inventory. In other words, once that cruise ship leave port any possible income that could have come from that cabin, on that sailing, is lost forever. YES, sometimes income is made on the next sailing, but the opportunity to earn income on that sailing is gone forever.
In conclusion: among the dozens of cruise lines and the many dozen of cruise ships, cheap cruises are there to find. With patience, forethought, and a willingness to ask questions you can find your share.