Everyone is in search of a bargain. Whether it’s a sale on furniture or fruit, people love to make cut-price purchases. The same also applies when it comes to holidays. Keen travellers will regularly browse holiday package websites for last-minute deals.
When it comes to cruising, however, the worthwhile deals are far from frequent.
Yet that doesn’t mean you cannot bag a bargain cruise. Indeed, the option of rocking up at the dock, luggage in hand, and trying to negotiate your way onto the ship is no longer available. Instead, you can use the Internet to your advantage and snap up a low-cost cruising adventure.
To find the best cruise deals, take into account the following pointers:
Forget about peak travelling times
Understandably, cruise lines are highly unlikely to offer deals during peak travel times. They are peak for a reason. Cabins and suites are in high demand, and there won’t be any need to try and shift any bookings at a reduced rate.
So which dates should you wave goodbye to when searching for deals? The summer holidays, particularly August bank holiday, should be dismissed. Besides, the likes of Christmas, New Year, and Easter are typically no-go zones. However, never completely rule out these dates.
On the other hand, the low season – which is October through April – is prime time to search for deals. There will often be an abundance of offers available during this period.
When it comes to hunting out a bargain, you must maintain flexibility. Cruise deals don’t tend to pop up daily – as the previous section highlights. This means you cannot be fixed on a specific date before booking.
Never set your heart on specific cruise details. As you will be booking at a later date to snag a bargain, you will tend to be getting the leftovers. Other travellers will already have paid for the most in-demand cabin and suites, prime seating during dinner, and so on.
Read the fine print
While you might not be able to secure a specific cabin and other details you desire, you also shouldn’t simply settle for what’s available. For example, if you struggle with claustrophobia and only inside cabins are offered, skip on the deal. The same can be said if you want an outside cabin to enjoy the moving scenery, but all that’s available is a cabin with restricted views.
Additionally, check the fine print to ensure you are receiving a deal. The sale price might be attractive, but this could be pumped up with the likes of government taxes, port charges, and service fees if they’re not included.
Don’t let an offer pass you by
Cruise deals don’t tend to stick around for too long. If you see one that passes all of the tests, book it as soon as possible. The best time to search for a last-minute rate is when the cruise is 60-to-90 days away from departure. This is because cruise lines will know the exact number of cabins left – other travellers can no longer cancel reservations at this point – and will begin reducing fares to sell out.