An amazing and exotic cruise to the beautiful Bahamas, the Caribbean, the plush and exciting Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and more; the thought itself is sure to fill you up with yearning and desire. It becomes all the more exciting when you are able to bag a great deal on your cruise.
The cruise lines announce last minute cruise deals when the departure date of the ship comes closer. So, if you are a spontaneous traveler and do not need more than a month of advance notice to prepare, you can have a vacation of a lifetime without breaking your bank. Here are some tips to help you secure a great last minute cruise deal to your dream destination:
Places To Look
The cruise liners’ motto close to departure is that a reduced price cabin is better than an empty one. Most cruises have a last call 60 to 90 days before the actual travel when the existing travelers can cancel their booking without penalty. At this point, the cruise line gets an idea of the number of vacant cabins and announces deals to fill them up.
These deals are not advertised widely, though. The best place to look for them is the internet. There are many sites that do the homework for you and sniff-out the best bargains available out there. Check out the sites like travelocity.com, expedia.com, cruisedirect.com, cruise.com, onlinevacationcenter.com and lastminutecruises.com. Once you are through with your due diligence, check with your travel agent to see if he/she can offer you something comparable or better.
Consider Off Season Travel
Peak season sailings like that on Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or long weekends in summer might not be the time when deals are available. The pre-holiday segment (first two weeks of December) or post-holiday segment might be the best time to look for a price slash.
Check Out Repositioning Cruises
When the weather changes in spring and fall, cruise lines reposition their ships. In fall, the ships from Alaska are moved to warmer weathers of the Caribbean and then, back to Alaska in the late spring. Rather than sailing empty, the cruises look out for maximizing their profit by offering discount on these repositioning cruises. These cruises are longer in duration and the cruise lines recognize the extra ‘moolah’ that the passengers will be spending on-board in the casinos, bars and shops.
If your schedule and inclination permits a longer time (9-12 days) on the ship and you love port-intensive travel, repositioning cruise might be the thing for you. The only thing to watch out for is the air-fare, as the tour will embark and disembark at different locations thousands of miles apart.
Read The Fine Prints
Read the fine prints carefully before finalizing any offer. Check if the price is for single or double occupancy, inside cabin (with or without window) or outside cabin (with or without window), deluxe suit, etc. Also inquire for ‘buy-up’ offers where you can upgrade to a cabin of your choice with few extra bucks. Look out for the government taxes, service charges, port charges and any other hidden cost that might be sprung on you if you are caught unawares.