In the past, taking cruises was reserved for the rich and privileged. However, nowdays, prices of cruises have dropped substantially and there are many great cruise deals to be had. While you can simply head to your local travel agency, browse some pamphlets, and book a cruise, your best bet is to search for bargains online to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most value for your money when booking a cruise.
- January through March is the busiest booking period in the cruise industry. This is also the time when most of the best deals come out. Deals may even come with incentives such as free cell phones to entice you to book. This three month period is typically the best time to keep an eye out for such special offers.
- Read the Sunday papers from large metropolitan areas near cruise embarkation cities and have a look at their travel sections. Big cruise bargains are often published in newspapers. You can have a look at them in your local library or purchase short-term subscriptions. So, if you're looking to book a cruise that embarks from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, check the newspapers in those cities. If you want to take a cruise that embarks from Galveston, Texas, check the online travel ads of the Houston Chronicle or the Dallas Morning News.
- Call the cruise line directly to speak with a customer service representative. You can use the quote that the cruise gives you as the starting point for planning your vacation. Make sure to mention your age, state of residence, whether you are traveling with a group, and if you have been on the cruise line before because you may qualify for certain discounts.
- Use a travel agent. Travel agents, whether online or offline, can often provide you with better prices because they can give extra discounts that the cruise lines can not. Furthermore, a travel agent can help you get the most value for your money by helping you choose a cruise that is most suitable for your needs.
- Booking early, around four to six months in advance, will help you get the best cruise deals . Cruise lines tend to emphasize early booking and are moving away from last minute deals because cruises fill up faster nowdays. Many cruise lines offer discounts for customers who book early so make sure to check with your travel agent to learn about such discounts because they are often not published on cruise line websites. Another benefit of booking early is that you are more likely to get the stateroom or suite of your choice.