Get the best deal for a cruise vacation
Are the high cruise prices giving you second thoughts about going on a cruise? Understandably, you may be factoring in paying for children and other expenses on a cruise, which can be scary. There are several ways to find the best deal for your cruise vacation, so let me ease your worries a little by providing you with some ways to save! I’ve complied a list of ways that can help you find the best deals which will make your vacation more affordable.
Book with a travel agency
Cruise agencies have first dibs on cabin availability. In most cases, cruise companies gives them the best prices. Their prices includes both port fees and taxes when giving their customers cruise quotes. Also, they usually get cruise pricing 2-3 months before the main cruise company sites releases them. This gives you more time to save up for a cruise. Another great thing about going through an agency is you can be placed on a payment plan if you choose to, which makes it more affordable. Usually, payment plans have 3 scheduled due dates which consist of a first deposit, second deposit, and final payment. The first deposits can be as low as $25 per person in order for them to place a hold on a cabin, and that will be due 30 day from the time you book it. Second deposits are usually 4 months after your first payment, anywhere between $225 – $250 per person. The last payment will be the balance amount which will be due 3 months before the sail date. The further out you book, the more time you will have to pay it off. Keep in mind that you can make payments at anytime during this payment period. I know people who paid their first deposit and made small payments every 2 weeks afterwards leading up the the second deposit.
Lets do some math, if you planning on going on a cruise with someone, and lets say that your going to be paying for both you and the other person, and the cruise is $900 per person ($1,800 total). Your cruise is in a year and 2 months, which means you will have 14 months to pay it off. Based on the second deposit amount being $250 per person, that means you will have to pay $500 4 months after your first deposit. Ok, so you paid your $50 deposit immediately after your reservation. If you make a payment to your travel agency of $62.50 every 2 weeks leading up to the second deposit, you would have already paid off your second deposit in the 4 month span! Your balance is now at $1,250 total. You now have 7 months to pay off this balance, so if you continue your bi-weekly schedule payments, your will be looking at a $89.29 minimum payment every 2 weeks leading up to the due date for the final payment. Keep in mind, this equation is based on the MINIMUM amount you need to pay bi-weekly for your cruise. If your payments are more, your cruise will be paid off earlier. Now if you’re only paying for yourself, well…you only need to pay half of the payments. As you can see, this looks more affordable than paying the large lump sum upfront.
Another benefit of using travel agencies is pricing competition. If somehow you find a better price elsewhere, you can show that price to your travel agent. In some cases, they can either match that price, or find you a better deal.
Sail during low demand season
Low demand season usual occurs during hurricane season. During this period, you will find some great deals. Some of them can save you up to 40%. I will be discussing this in a later blog.
Join a cruise mailing list
Joining a mailing list is the best way to receive exclusive coupons on cruises.
Book a last minute cruise
Sometimes, there are cruises that are not sold out. As the date draws nearer to the sailing date, cruise companies will slash their prices up to 50%! These deals are probably the most popular ones you’ll find. Keep in mind, majority of the unsold cabin are non-preferred cabins (interior cabins, and cabins located at the back of the boat near the engine), so you really can’t afford to be picky at this point. If you plan on booking a last minute cruise, you should start searching for these deals 3 weeks before the cruise or less. The closer to the sailing date you book, the more money you may save.
Hopefully, this article helps you with your cruise planing. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.