Guest blogger Stormy Lee has been a writer for more than 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics in her work, including education and finance.
Saving money on your next cruise is easier than you think. It may take a little bit of work, but with the money you save, you can buy souvenirs or go on the more expensive excursions.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Next Cruise. Everyone needs to take a vacation from time to time. Cruises are often a great deal because things like food, transportation to the destination and sleeping arrangements are all included in the price of the cruise. However, it is still possible to book a cruise and save money at the same time by following a few tips.
Make the Right Room Selection. The type of room you select will make a huge impact on how much your cruise will cost. An interior stateroom may cost hundreds of dollars less than a suite with a window or a balcony. Your best bet to save money is to stay in a room that is just large enough to accommodate your needs. Most of the time paying for a bigger room is a waste of money, because all you will be doing is sleeping in the room and will not need the extra space.
Take Advantage of Coupons, Discounts and Past Guest Incentives. You can save money on your next cruise by utilizing coupons, discounts or other incentives. Many times you can find online coupons or discounts just by doing a simple internet search. Also use cash back sites like Ebates and similar cash back sites. By signing up, and shopping through their travel merchants, they earn a commission. In turn they then take a portion of that commission and give it to you as "cash back". It's free, so there is no reason on to do it!
Book Way Ahead of Time. While you can find some excellent last minute cruising deals, you may not get the room or cruise you want. By booking your cruise far in advance and using a program like Carnivals early saver program, you know you will get the room you want, at the best price. If you are leery about booking your cruise well in advance because you are concerned that something might happen, and you won't be able to go on the cruise, consider getting travel insurance. If something happens and you can't go, you will be able to get most of your money back. While you can get some excellent last minute deals, you may not get the room, or cruise you want.
Cruise During Non-Peak Seasons. When determining when to go on your cruise, consider cruising during non-peak seasons. Just like Disney, during off season months cruise ships tend to not have as many guests, and the cruise ship company charges less for these cruises to try to book their empty rooms. Non-peak seasons will vary based on destination. For example, if you are planning to go to the Caribbean non-peak months are August, September and October. For Alaska non-peak months are May and September.
Book Online Instead of Using Travel Agents. If you book your cruise online instead of using a travel agent you can save money. Rarely, travel agents can find a better deal versus you booking online. However, the travel agent will charge you a fee for utilizing their services. Therefore the money you would save on the cruise would not be worth it. To find the best deal for cruises online compare different prices from several different sites before booking your cruise.
Avoid Booking Excursions on the Ship. Many times you can get the same excursions off ship, in your port of call. Not only are they the same destinations, they are much cheaper due to not having to pay the cruise line a fee. The only advantage to booking a excursion through the cruise line, is that they will hold the ship for you if you are group is late. So if you pay for a excursion off the ship, make sure you are back on time!
Readers, what are some things you have done to save money on a cruise?
Want to be a guest blogger for SmarterTravel? Send your story pitch and a little about yourself to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.