Home TIPS Secrets To Booking Bargain Cruise Vacations
Secrets To Booking Bargain Cruise Vacations PDF Print E-mail

Natural instinct for the savvy seasoned sailor is to get the most luxurious and interesting sailing at the best possible price. It requires daily surfing of internet travel agency and cruise line websites. Along with some tricks:

Book very early or very late: There are two widely-separated time frames when the prices will be best. First, by booking a cruise several months in advance, you may get best choice of cabins.

Conversely, when you do last-minute booking, you could also get a lower price. Ships must sail on schedule whether totally full or not. Fearing empty cabins at sea on cruises, prices will dip, sometimes as low as 50% from original listing, in final three or four days before sailing. If you have a hometown travel agent who values you as a repeat customer, you may get a shot at those deals. Ask for upgrades: When booking with an online or hometown travel agency, select a cabin. Then ask if you can get a free upgrade to a larger cabin or more convenient deck location.

If this isn’t possible at time of booking, don’t give up. Once aboard your cruise, before going to your assigned cabin, ask for an upgrade at the check-in desk. Sometimes, if the ship isn’t fully booked, you can get a better cabin for a slight extra fee or free.

Travel with a gang: One secret way to book a great cruise is make it a group trip. Get all the info from a travel agency or cruise line and select an attractive schedule. Then, from your family, alumni, church or social club, recruit others to join you.

In addition to being with familiar companions throughout, you may be able to sail free. Many lines offer one free cruise with every four to eight paying passengers in a group booking.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.