5 Ideas For Cheap Cruise Travel Deals

Everyone wants to travel the world, right? How does a luxury cruise sound? Warm beaches, exotic ports of call, fine dining, 5 star service, hammocks and fruity umbrella drinks. Who could resist?

Course there is one small issue – the outrageous prices that put the dream of a cruise vacation out of reach for 90% of people. But there is hope. I am here to help you find the absolute best cruise travel deals. Wholesale prices, incentive cruises, and even the occasional F.R.E.E voyage are in the bag of tricks. My goal is to show you how to plan, find, book, and enjoy the cruise vacation of a lifetime on a shoestring budget whether it is your first cruise or your tenth.

Be sure to check out this month’s top hints, insider secrets, and tricks the travel industry does not want you to know about how to get a fantastic cruise travel deal.

Here are 5 ideas to get you started on finding the cheapest cruise bargains:

1) Go Off-Season

Everyone and their brother is planning a cruise in the spring or early summer. Think spring break and that’s where you will find the crowds. The cruise industry is not going to offer any good cruise travel deals during their busy season because they simply don’t have to. Expect a 20-30% cheaper fare for off-season cruises.

BONUS: Airfares will also be cheaper during the less-traveled months saving you an additional chunk of money.

2) Consider Repositioning

These cruises are heavily discounted because the cruise line is simply moving the boat from one home port to another. They have to take that trip regardless of how many passengers sign up. You will get a few less ports – but if you are true cruise lover, the extra days at sea will be no great burden. You can expect to save 40-60% on a price per day basis over regular cruises.

3) Skip the Flight

Most cruises in the US originate from Florida and California, but did you know that dozens of other ports of embarkation (where you leave from) are available? Unexpected places like New Orleans, Houston, Seattle, New Jersey, and even Mobile, AL offer a few cruise itineraries a year. If you can hitch a ride from somewhere within easy driving distance, how much will you save? Anticipate travel to and from the embarkation port costs to drop easily $1000 for a family of 4.

BONUS: Also, you will not have to worry about hotel on either side of the cruise in this scenario.

4) Last Minute Savings

Often if your schedule is flexible, good cruise travel deals can be had in the last 2 months leading up to departure. Think about it – the boat is going, overhead is relatively fixed, so empty staterooms cost the cruise lines big bucks that can never be recovered. Sign up for email newsletters (cheapcruises.com, vacationstogo.com, and travelzoo.com are my favorites) so you will get priority notification of cruise travel deals.

5) Speak and Cruise

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know there is a an endless array of entertainment and educational opportunities on board. Everything from underwater basket weaving, to painting classes, to seminars on wine tasting. Did you know that each of those presenters AND their family get a complimentary cruise in exchange for a couple of 1 hour work sessions? Would you work for 2 hours to get a free cruise?

How To Compare and Evaluate Cruise Deals and Cruise Packages

When it comes to the fine art of evaluation, there is always the fear that a deal of some kind will be made hollow because of compromise. For those evaluating cruise deals and packages, the idea of having to compromise means one thing — you’re missing out on something. This could not be further from the truth. Being a smart consumer means looking at every aspect of a prospective product to be purchased. The same goes for cruises. You want to be sure to investigate all that goes into finding the right trip for you.

The question, though, becomes a matter of knowing how said evaluation will take place. Sure, there are cruise veterans that know the industry & its mannerisms fairly well, but there are many others who simply have little to no experience finding an ideal cruise package.

First, look at the prospective dates involved in the trip. The first step in finding the right trip for you involves finding dates that actually match your travel time. More often than not, you’re operating from a specific set of dates the denotes your “vacation” days. You may find a tremendous deal on a cruise, but if the dates don’t work with your days off, it’s not really a deal for you.

You next want to look for any packages that include bundle pricing. As is the case with things like cable and phone services, the more items/services you can bundle, the more money you can save in the long run. An example of a bundled cruise package could include the accommodations on the ship, your ticket, meals & drinks, and entertainment/excursions. Taken separately, these items would probably be still available, but you’d probably be paying a little more. Here’s where looking at the numbers pays.

Don’t necessarily be taken in by the new and shiny. There are a number of bigger and bolder ships offering a dizzying array of amenities for its guests, but you aren’t the only person checking things out. Rather than fight for a spot that may not actually be there, look at deals & packages on ships that aren’t as new. They still get stellar ratings, provide top-notch amenities and service to their guests, and operate under tremendous safety records.

Finally, the best thing you can do in evaluating various cruise packages and deals is know when to walk away. Evaluation, as noted earlier, is an art, one forged through experience and a willingness to cry, “Foul” when necessary. Pricing on cruises can fluctuate quite a bit. In fact, savvy cruise shoppers will tell you that pricing can change from one day to the next. It pays to know when something just doesn’t feel right. As you compare one deal to another but you aren’t satisfied with either, that would be a golden opportunity to wait for something better (and better-priced) to come along.

Cruise deals are not hard to find. With a bit of gumption and tenacity, you, too, can find & book the trip of a lifetime.

Cruise Deals Info: New to Cruising? Here Are Some Tips for Getting Started

There are so many cruise deals available that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – especially if you’ve never been on one before. You don’t have to feel daunted, however. It can actually be fun to search for cruise packages if you know what you’re doing.

One thing to consider is why exactly you want to go on a cruise. Do you simply want to see as much of the world as possible? Are you interested in wildlife and scenic views, or would you prefer seeing big cities? Would you rather spend most of the time out on the ocean, enjoying your time on a large ship, or visit a different port each day?

What about shore excursions? While staying on the ship is nice, most people want to at least get out and spend some time in the port cities. Some all-inclusive cruise deals include excursions in the price. However, it’s often easier to save money if you book your own excursions. There are a variety of things to do. In some cities, you might want to spend time at a bar or restaurant. In places like Cozumel, there are ancient Mayan ruins to explore. There is plenty of hiking, snorkeling, surfing, cycling, etc. in most port areas.

Another thing to consider is the number of days. A cruise can last anywhere from three nights to a month, depending on the itinerary and ship. 5-day and 7-day cruises are the most popular. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you might want to stick with a shorter, simpler itinerary. You don’t want to get onboard only to find out that you suffer from motion sickness and spend the next several days feeling miserable.

Where to Go With Cruise Deals?

As for itineraries, you need to decide which part of the world you want to explore. Caribbean cruises are very popular with North Americans. If you’re closer to the West Coast, an Alaskan or Hawaiian cruise might be ideal for you. If you can afford a European cruise, it’s definitely something you might want to consider. Go on a Mediterranean cruise and see the Greek Isles, Italy, Pompeii, and more.

Not all cruises have to be on the sea. There are plenty of fun river cruises to go on. Imagine sailing the Mississippi River in a steam boat. These tend to cost a bit more, but they are definitely worth it.

Once you have an idea of what you want, just compare a variety of cruise deals online. You can filter results based on departure cities, number of days, cruise line, and price.

Don’t miss the chance to get cruise discounts, cheap airfare, on-board credit, and other deals. With online promo codes, there are many ways to save. Look over today’s top cruise deals to find out what all is available.