The best way to ensure that your cruise vacation is as perfect as it possibly can be is to utilize every tip and trick you can to cruise for cheap. After all, you want to leave your troubles at the shore when you set sail. It doesn’t do you any good to be worried about how much you are spending when you should be kicking back and giving all your attention to fun in the sun. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve got a few of our best tips for how to cruise on a budget.
Cruise for Less During the Off Season
The cheapest time to go on a cruise is during the slow times, as less demand for tickets equates to lower prices for you. This means you can get better deals in the late summer and fall months, when people are less likely to take vacations. People tend to cruise less after holidays, like Valentines Day or Labor Day, and even less so between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you don’t have kids in school, you’ll cruise for less by planning around when schools are off. So think about taking a trip during early May after schools have come back from spring break.
Choose Your Cabin Wisely
We all want to wake up every morning with a gorgeous view of the sun rising over the endless ocean and basting us in the warmth of its heavenly rays. But the reality of staying on a cruise ship is that for the vast majority of the time you are in your room, you will be sleeping. If you are looking to cruise on a budget, your best option may be to book an inside cabin. All the activities available to you throughout the day and night will ensure that you will most likely still be getting some shut eye when the sun rises anyway! If you do want to spring for one of the fancier rooms, consider a guaranteed room. You won’t get to pick where your room is, but you will get it at a reduced rate.
Shop Cruises.com to Cruise on a Budget
The best way to get the most value when you want to cruise on a budget is to book with Cruises.com. With all the promotions and extra offers on the table, we give you even more than the cruise lines do! When you book with us, you get our exclusive bonus offer, plus any cruise line offers. Our exclusive promotion gives Cruises.com customers the choice of an exclusive perk including up to $1,500 in Onboard Spending, up to a $1,500 Visa® Prepaid Card or up to $2,000 in Cash Back. This bonus perk is combinable with any cruise line loyalty programs as well, so you can maximize your promotions to get the best deal possible.
Look for Destinations with Free Activities
While you will have plenty of free stuff to do while you are on the ship, nothing is guaranteed once you are at port. Naturally you’ll want to make the most of your chosen destination while also spending the least. Look for cruises that sail to cruise line private islands, as those will have free beaches, and sometimes drink packages will carry over at the island too. Some destinations, like Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, Grand Turk in Turks & Caicos and Costa Maya in Mexico, have free pools for you to enjoy while you are docked. Grand Turk also has a beautiful beach just steps from the cruise port where you can swim in the water right near your ship! You can also do some window shopping at destinations like Juneau in Alaska, which has shopping within walking distance of the port. If hiking is more your speed, Juneau also offers hiking trails close by to the cruise port. Most importantly, eating out while in town is one of the biggest ways to nickel and dime yourself to an empty wallet. Plan on eating on the ship to keep from having to pay for food and drink at full-service restaurants.
Pick a Port Close to Home
You’re already shelling out for the price of the cruise, you don’t want to add insult to injury by having to pay for a cross-country flight as well. Even if you have to pay for parking at a cruise terminal’s lot, it still may be cheaper than buying flights for everyone in your group. With cruise ports all over the country, there may be one closer to home than you think. Of course there are ports in California, but did you know cruises sail from Seattle as well? And on the East coast, there’s much more than just Florida. Sail into the gulf by taking a cruise from Galveston, or head across the Atlantic from ports in Boston and New York. Check out the full list of US ports to see which one is closest to you.
Plan Ahead to Pay Less Onboard
Some cruises won’t include drinks in the price of the ticket. If you are one to indulge and are looking to enjoy yourself, it may be worth your money to invest in a drink package so you don’t have to think about your budget with every drink you order. Limit the specialty dining as well, as the main dining rooms will have more than enough options to keep you full and fulfilled. Keep an eye on which activities are going to cost you, and how much it costs, as there are plenty of free activities to keep you busy. And if you’re looking way ahead to book your next cruise, you can usually get extra savings if you book while on board. Don’t worry though — once you are home you can still transfer your booking to Cruises.com to add on all of our additional perks!
Book Older Ships to Cruise for Cheap
Unsurprisingly, the newest ships will always cost a little bit more, as they are in the highest demand. If you are more concerned with the destination then with the ship itself, then that is no issue. But either way, every ship was the newest and best at one point, and they all have so much to experience that you won’t feel like you are missing out at all. As an added bonus, “lower demand” often translates to “less crowded,” which will give you more room to spread out at events and shorter waits at restaurants. See, there are some major advantages when you cruise for cheap!
Get the best prices with Cruises.com — we can help you book the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers and all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online for the largest selection for cruise line deals at Cruises.com or call 800-288-6006 today.