What if we told you that you could snag a great deal on a luxury cruise? Seem too good to be true? Well, with a little effort you could be sailing aboard one of the most coveted ships at sea, enjoying bespoke adventures and first-class accommodations. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s no secret that cruise line’s work to operate at over 100 percent occupancy. Operating below capacity translates into great deals. ad.
Do a Mock Booking
First, have a specific cruise line and destination in mind. Then, try a mock booking within one or two months of that sailing date. This will help determine how many cabins are left for the desired cruise and category, and the chances of getting a discount.
Know Your Cruise Fares
It’s important to know the standard price for the cruise and category you desire. This makes it easy to recognize a good opportunity when it arises.
Typically, cruise lines will not begin discounting cabins until it’s necessary and final payment is collected for confirmed passengers on that sailing. This means you need to be ready to cruise within 90 days or less. But for those with flexibility, it also leads to great deals on amazing destinations.
Sail During Shoulder Season & Off Months
The best time to sail is during the cruise’s shoulder or low seasons. Try sailing before or after peak seasons, major holidays or summer vacations. For example, if you wish to sail the Caribbean book in October; for Alaska book an April or May cruise; for Europe try April or October and for the Mediterranean, October is usually a slow month. In addition to greater savings, sailing during offseason translates to fewer crowds and more individualized attention. Another popular time to book is during “wave season,” January through March when travel is slow. Cruise lines not only offer enticing discounts but also incentives such as beverage packages, added excursions and even airfare bundles.
Check with Travel Agents
To move many cabins at once, cruise lines may release unsold rooms to large travel agencies specializing in luxury cruises. Check around the internet and big box stores such as Costco.
Subscribe to Cruise Newsletters & Twitter
Email subscribers often are the first to know about any last-minute savings. But for those with social media skills, tweeting and following specific cruise lines and travel agents means you’re the first to know about promotions. Tweet for yourself to create your own deal aggregator.
If you’ve already booked a cruise, there is still a chance to save money on unsold cruises. Cruise lines typically offer upgrades to booked passengers before releasing these rooms to the public. For example, if you have an ocean view room booked, you may be offered a balcony for a small up charge. If you have a balcony, a suite upgrade may be a possibility. Finally, if you are a part of a loyalty program with a cruise line, many time invitation only bidding for upgrades are sent via email.
With flexible and some leg work, it’s a possibility to snag a luxury cruise at a great price. Everyone loves a deal, and we hope this will inspire you to take a dream vacation that you can feel good about!