There are so many different avenues travelers can choose on their way to a great vacation. From the ski slopes to the road tripper to the European train, it can be a little stressful trying to decide which holiday you would enjoy most. For many, however, the cruise ship is the number one choice, and for good reason. With some really fantastic cruise deals available, it can also make for a very affordable way to spend your vacation. To make the most of your cruise vacation, keep the following suggestions in mind:
Booking early is the name of the game.
Cruise lines love to fill up a ship early. They offer big discounts to those travelers who can commit to a vacation months in advance. If you are in a position to schedule well before your trip, then you will want to shop around. If you are having trouble knowing where to look, or if you are unsure as to whether you have, in fact, scored a good deal, then you may want to consider utilizing a professional booking service, as they will be keyed into all the great discount sites.
Know when to look.
When searching for the best cruise deals, you must not neglect “wave season.” Generally, this refers to the beginning of the year, typically January through March, when cruise companies offer steep discounts for a brief period of time during the off-season for cruises. Not only will tickets be substantially cheaper, but these cruise companies will often throw in some great add-ons. Wave season generally does not bring the biggest discounts for actual tickets — although, there will be ticketed discounts — but it offers great quality value. For instance, there will be opportunities to upgrade rooms, chances for BOGO, or buy one get one free deals, and affordable spa trips and other amenities. The key is to look for the upgrades, and take advantage.
Upgrades figure into the value and can be better than discounted tickets.
Speaking of upgrades, add-ons are part of good cruise deals. People who cruise with any regularity often known how to grab the best add-on deals. These can include upgrades in cabin accommodations, good deals on all-inclusive choices and even day trip deals. Do not forget passes and plane fares and hotel stays to get to your destination. Wave season is a great time to look for upgrades and add-ons.
Keep in mind those great river cruises.
Many people often forget about river cruises, focusing solely on the big ocean-liners. River cruises, however, are gaining in popularity and can feature stunning scenery. Because river cruises are often neglected, some of the best cruise deals can be found through this medium. Check out specials online or with a travel agency. Often, agencies will know which river cruises are worth checking out and when the deals will be offered. Keep in mind the ports on the rivers. Port towns are generally rich in history as well as culture and make for excellent day trips from the cruise.