Cruising Bargains: 4 Great Ways to Find Them

by Sebastian J. Zeller

When planning a family getaway or vacation, everyone wants to find the best deal available, and this is no less true when planning a cruise vacation. It’s really not hard to find cruise discounts. However, not all advertised cruise sales prices really offer the best deal for your money.

Some cruise lines might offer free cabin upgrades while others might be running a cash discount. What type of bargain or discount do you find most appealing? It is important to decide what you prefer before deciding upon a particular carrier or travel agent.

The heart of the matter is, it’s definitely worth it to put in some time and research pricing and other cruise specials. So to help you out in your bargain hunting, the following is a list of the four different types of specials offered by cruise lines.

Early Booking Discounts

This kind of price break is offered for most itineraries by most cruise lines. If you book before a certain date, the cruise line offers a special discount price for your vacation.

Sure, you can often find better deals at the last minute, particularly for Caribbean cruises, but if you book early, the price break is generally quite good, and you can frequently get the room you want. Later in the season or during last-minute specials, cabins and even whole ships can be sold out, severely limiting your choices.

Because of all these factors, the early booking discount can be one of the best ways to book your cruise. You can get the cabin or suite you want at a price that is reasonable.

Last Minute Bargain Pricing

This is by far the riskiest discount to plan on. If your preferred cruise sells out, youre stuck without that cruise vacation. If you would prefer a balcony stateroom, all that may be available at the time could be inside rooms.

However, having said all of that, these discounts can at times provide the very best pricing. So if you are flexible in itinerary, cruise ship, vacation date, and stateroom preference, perhaps this is your best bet.

Slow Season Bargains

If you can take off when you want, you can really save a lot of cash by booking your cruise in the off season for a given region. Each area has its own high and low seasons, so be sure and check around. you might well qualify for this type of discount somewhere in the world at any given time.

The summer is the high season in many regions of Earth, but in the Caribbean it is the hurricane season, and therefore cruise pricing is discounted there frequently during this time. On the up side, you might get a great fare. But on the down side, you might miss out on your vacation altogether if a hurricane hits.

Today’s cruise ships can out-run storms as well. If you were to be in a resort on a land-based vacation, you would have no choice but to flee or take cover.

Bargain Add-On Cruise Deals

This kind of deal doesn’t necessarily make the overall cost of your cruise cheaper. Instead it allows you to get more for your money, often a lot more. The most common value added deal is a cruise cabin upgrade, often from inside cabin to ocean view or balcony room.

In the alternative, another type of value added bargain is an on board credit, which is good as cash on the ship. It usually can be used to buy alcohol, souvenirs, or even shore excursions.