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Reader-submitted money-saving cruise tips

SmarterTravel

SmarterTravel.com cruisers are a knowledgeable bunch, as their [% 2504822 | | cruise quiz %] scores suggest. I asked them for their money-saving cruising tips, and I’m happy to share the best with all of you.

The first way to save money on a vacation at sea is on the cruise fare. Readers had plenty ideas of how to get a good deal. Steve B. goes the last-minute route. “To get good deals, I start calling the cruise lines 30 days before the sailing date. Sometimes I book a cruise 10 days before the ship sails.”

Joe C. takes the opposite approach and books his next cruise during his current one. “If you book a future cruise onboard [% 15420 | | Royal Caribbean %] and [% 14665 | | Celebrity %], you can gain a $200 onboard credit for your next cruise. It’s also good to stick with one cruise line if you are happy with them because they have loyalty programs that give you benefits after so many cruises.”

A regular smarter traveler, Joe has yet another tip. “I look for repositioning cruises for the best bargains. We have gone from Vancouver to Los Angeles via an Alaskan exposure at a great price with Royal Caribbean. We also went from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona at a super price on Celebrity.”

Some readers have favorite websites for finding the best deals. Irwin M.B. suggests, “Have travel agents bid for your business on Cruisecompete.com.” Griselda says, “I use Vacationstogo.com. I love their website where I can look at everything at once. I like to do my own research through the Internet and then phone my travel expert at VTG. They’re prompt, efficient, and knowledgeable. I can nearly always get an upgrade or a special offer on a suite, or something extra perhaps not available with one of our local agents.”

She also recommends cruisers “try to cruise in the spring or late fall when it’s cheaper.” Irwin M.B. again has an opinion. “I consider the first 2 weeks in December to be cheap weeks.”

The savings don’t have to end once you get onboard your cruise ship. Readers have several tips for onboard deals, too.

The sage Irwin suggests couples should order wine by the bottle rather than by the glass. “It is better to order wine by the bottle, drink half, cork the bottle, and tell the waiter to deliver it tomorrow for dinner.”

Terecia P. has a tip for travelers with laptops. “Save on internet time by prewriting the letters and saving them. When you log on attach the prewritten letters and send.”

Like these tips? Think you have a better one to share? Email me at cruise@smartertravel.com.

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