Paying full fare for cruises is almost a thing of the past. The availability of discount cruises has increased considerably especially during the past two years and it’s almost impossible now not to grab a vacation on the high seas for a bargain basement price.
For example, 7 day cruises to the Caribbean for less than $700 are not uncommon or a five day cruise to the East Caribbean for less than $400 are more and more readily accessible.
But you need to pick the right times of the year to grab these bargain cruises and if you’re willing to avoid the peak periods then you can enjoy a luxury holiday which won’t damage your hip pocket.
How Early Should You Book A Cruise
There was a time when booking early was the norm however, this is no longer the case. When a cruise line released tickets for a cruise several years ago they were usually snapped up quickly.
In recent years, with more ships being built the competition for the vacationer’s dollar has also increased and the savvy cruise bargain hunter will now wait before buying a discount cruise.
Discount cruises usually come about because there are empty cabins left prior to departure. It’s uneconomical for a cruise line to sail without filling most of it’s cabins so they offer the remaining staterooms at discounted prices.
While they are happy to sell these remaining cabins at discounted prices they know they can recoup this during the cruise itself through the other services they offer on board.
Where To Find Discount Cruises
Your travel agent is still your best ally despite the emergence of travel sites online. If you specify you’re interested in traveling at a certain time of the year then your travel agent can keep you informed of what’s available and alert you to bargain prices.
Cruise lines allow unsold cabins to be booked at a fraction of their total price, which means you get to go on discount cruises, though more often than not, they do not advertise such bargains on the television or in the print media, mainly to protect the interests of their travel agents as well as their full-fare business.
It is up to the traveler to check with some accredited cruise agents to ascertain whether a discount cruise is available or not. Only a well-known cruise agent will have an exhaustive list of discount cruises so you can pick up a bargain deal on a reputable cruise liner.
It should also be ascertained that these bargain cruises do not compromise on quality and that the packages provide great service in spite of the discount price tag.
Cruise agents are sure to have discount cruises available on some well-known cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, Costa, and Disney.
The trick is to avoid paying extra when buying direct from the cruise lines themselves, because cruise agents, who deal in bulk sales of cabins, will be able to provide bargain cruises at the best prices.