On average only 6 out of 10 American’s take a vacation every year and for some that might be because they don’t feel they can afford it. If you are wanting to plan a cruise but need to save money while doing it, then you are in luck. We have plenty of tips and ideas to help you do just that.
Keep reading to learn about how to save money on a cruise.
1. Time it Right
When it comes to planning a cruise timing is everything. If you book your trip early you can take advantage of early savings promotions and can also have your choice of cabins, dates and even dining times depending on which cruise line you choose to travel with. If you are planning on taking your vacation during the peak travel times then plan on booking your vacation at least four months before your sailing date.
Some cruise lines will have great offers at the beginning of the year, between January and March, to secure bookings for the rest of the year. This is known as the “wave season” and can mean deep discounts for travelers. If planned just right you can save up to 75 percent on rates, receive onboard credits or other promotions such as children sailing for free.
2. Know What is Included
Before you board your ship do your research and determine what features are included in your fare and what is not. Generally, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and higher-end restaurants are not included. Some people assume that everything is included and you don’t want to be caught off guard at the end of your trip when you have to reconcile your account.
Another thing to consider is the different cruise boat’s tipping policy. Some cruise lines include a per-day gratuity expectation while others expect a percentage at the end. This could affect your budget and when comparing one cruise to another might play a factor in your determination. Also, keep in mind that if the gratuity is added into your bill you are not expected to leave any additional tips.
3. Plan Your Own Shore Excursions
In order to stick to your budget and still get the most out of your onshore days, you can plan your own excursions without booking through the cruise line. Depending on the location you can get off the boat and spend some time wandering around the shops located near the port or hire a taxi to take you to some of the local hotspots.
If you prefer not striking out on your own you can also hire a private tour by booking through a local tour company or get assistance from a travel agent. To save time book your tour before your boat sets sail so that everything is in place and ready to go when you get there.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.