The listed price of this cruise? You could go to Southeast Asia for a month on that kind of money. It just takes a bit of skill, a lot of discipline, and a bit of sneakiness.
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Booking a cheap cruise is actually quite easy and requires only one thing: flexibility. See, cruise pricing is similar to tour pricing. The closer you get to the departure date, the cheaper the cruise becomes. Cruises make the majority of their money from what people purchase on board, so they want bodies on those ships. You can also book early, but I find last-minute bookings to be the best. And since you are booking close to departure, you need to be flexible with where you are willing to go or OK with not booking the actual cruise even if you booked your flights.
If you do that or travel during the shoulder season, you can find the best rates. Doug advises that you start with a travel agent, as they have relationships with the cruise companies and can often get better rates and last-minute deals. And my experience has me agreeing. These websites do a detailed job of scouring the web for cheap cruise deals. Cruise Sheet is simply a website aggregator that crawls the web and then displays cheap last-minute fares. This is my favorite cruise site, as it seems to find all the deals and makes finding a cheap cruise easy. Cruise Deals also has a weekly deals newsletter worth subscribing to.
Otherwise, wait until the last minute.
Finally, if you book a cruise and the price drops, contact the cruise or your travel agent. They will often give you the difference as an onboard credit. Smaller is cheaper — Smaller boats tend to be less expensive since they offer fewer amenities and attractions. Cruise in the off season — Traveling off season Caribbean during the hurricane season, Alaska in September will get you markedly cheaper fares.
What about your flight? Check out this guide to finding a cheap flight to lower that cost. Tip 1: Cruises are not often all-inclusive and become increasingly less so each year. Instead, stick to the free water, iced teas, and juices on the ship.
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Your wallet and insulin levels will thank you. Get them done back home for less or take a digital camera and have someone take them for you on the ship. Tip 4: Avoid the restaurants — On most cruise ships these days, there are specialty restaurants that you can book for an added cost. Avoid these specialty restaurants. Doug also suggests looking for dining packages, as they work out cheaper, too. Enjoy fun in the sun while sober and skip spending a ridiculous amount of money on booze.
Instead, do some research online and plan your own activities with local operators who will get to keep all the money. Tip Just remember that the boat will leave without you, so give yourself enough time to get back. Instead of sending a bag of clothes off to be cleaned, you pay per article like in really nice hotels. Instead, buy some Woolite and clean your own clothes in the bathtub or sink.
The spa, the shopping, the Internet, the cell phone access, etc. They all cost money. Save the money for something cheaper back on dry land.
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And remember if you do spend money on a cruise, by using the booking tips from the previous section, you should be able to get a free onboard credit that will cover some of your costs! I like cruises. I think a cruise is a great vacation because it is a chance to get away from everything and have a place where you can just relax. Sitting on a boat by the pool, drink in hand, without a care in the world.
I eat well all-day salad buffet , sleep well, head to the gym, and relax. You can easily enjoy an entire cruise without spending a penny! Follow the tips above, get a cheap cruise, and enjoy a relaxing vacation without breaking the bank. Stop paying full price! Download our free guide to travel hacking and learn:. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld.
If you want to stay elsewhere, use Booking. I use them all the time. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:. Looking for the best companies to save money with? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think will help you too! Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Visit the community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet people, and share your tips!
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Yep, can be a challenge to stick to a budget on these floating hotels. Love this! This article helped a lot! Hmm, not sure about all those saving money tips Matt! You may as well go to Thailand for a month and sit in the sun there like you suggested! If you really want to drink alcohol look at the drink packages. They now offer beer and alcohol in drink packages. But these can be more expensive than your actual ticket.
Some of us people do have fun just sitting in the sun, eating, reading, doing yoga and using the free amenities offered on a ship. To each their own. A sneaky trick to get more booze on board. You are allowed a case of water. Carefully break up the case and pull out the interior bottles. Pour out the water and fill with colorless booze vodka? Put the pack back together. No one checks the bottles to see if they are sealed and even if they do, they will only look at the exterior ones. I think you gotta be an alcoholic to use this trick though…..
Not always Smaller is cheaper what you have to look its not the actual size is the type or class or whatever the company name the different kind of ships. Some great tips Matt. I have been thinking of a Caribbean cruise for a while now on the recommendation of a friend.
Trip Log Day 1: 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral – Port Canaveral
I will definitely be keeping your tips in mind when it comes time to book. We love cruises too, Matt! Then a friend convinced me to just try it….. We have employed most of the tips you have listed, especially pre-cruise research for port trips. But I do agree with one comentor about enjoying the experience. We will wait for fall to book a return cruise very exciting!! Travelzoo is another site to find cheap cruises and Vacations To Go was our go-to site for our previous cruises. Three days of basically transporting yourself on a floating spa. And cheaper than any flight.
I found it on VacationsToGo — great site! Great Article! I read somewhere that cruise companies basically break even when they have an almost full boat, so they really make all of their money off of excursions, drinks and all the non-free add-ons. We took a cruise several years ago and spent almost nothing on board, went on two excursions, and honestly came out really happy with the cruising experience.
We did plan one day where we found a taxi driver to take us to a beach and we called him to pick us up a few hours later. Nice post Matt. I totally agree that cruises are relaxing and not really traveling. However, you made me rethink cruises as a way to actually just RELAX and not worry about what mountain to climb, what crazy beach I need to go to, and how to get to the next city. Like what you see? With your support, we can create more exciting content and share with everyone! Become an Insider. Royal Caribbean Blog.
Next up is a photo of Navigator of the Seas in Curacao by Heidi.
Here is an artsy shot from Majesty of the Seas. Other Posts You May Enjoy:. Friday Photos - April 5, Friday Photos. Search form Search. How would you like us to contact you? If not, just leave blank. Which ship?