Article found in: Misc
Created on January 26, 2012
With the recent Costa Concordia cruise disaster dominating the news, now may seem like a very strange time to think about booking a cruise.
Following the old, tried-and-true stock market wisdom of “buy low and sell high,” now really is the best time ever to find cruise deals. Even if you don’t have a vacation planned soon, credit can be purchased while some pretty decent specials are still running.
Cruise companies are not even making an effort to downplay their marketing efforts to overcome the recent disaster; between a struggling economy and the media now scrutinizing cruise safety, I’ve been seeing some amazing cruise specials for Alaska, the Caribbean, and even Antarctica!
Statistically, taking a cruise is still even safer than flying and much safer than driving to your next vacation spot. So, why not?
Tips to Save Money When Booking Your Next Cruise
Choose the Correct Cabin: With sometimes 20 categories of cabins — or “staterooms” — to choose from on a single ship, choosing the right place to lay your head can make the difference in an enjoyable cruise or a seasick affair. You will pay more for amenities such as your own balcony or sea view. Make your mind up from the beginning: Are you looking for a peaceful escape while aboard, or do you want to socialize and party? Spend the extra if you prefer privacy, quiet, or plan to spend much time reading in your cabin. Otherwise, save the difference and simply use your cabin as a place to lay your aching head after the top-deck party!
Use a Travel Agent or Pay Close Attention: Many cruise lines are making bookings impossible through agents now. The reason is simple; many tack on extra fees and hidden costs such as gratuity, fuel charges, etc. A good travel agent can help you to not only choose the cruise that fits your vacation goals the most, but also to navigate the purchasing process and fine print.
Book During Low Season: You’ll find the best cruise deals around three weeks after New Year’s Eve, between college Spring Break and summer vacation, and from September to the end of November.
Travel on Short Notice: If you are flexible enough to travel on short notice, you can sign up for emails on all the major cruiseline websites. They will actually email you with incredible deals for spots on cruises that aren’t filled up yet 2 – 3 weeks prior to the departure date. Even these discounted prices can often be negotiated further, as the ship is losing money if it sails with empty cabins.
Get Your Own Travel Insurance: Unless the offer of travel insurance for your cruise is extremely cheap, adding it to the bill is rarely worth the expense. Cruises are typically short enough that you won’t get hurt bad enough to need immediate evacuation – the main safeguard of travel insurance. Check with your health insurance company, you may be covered for cruises depending on the destination. If you are worried about insuring your belongings, do so for cheap through a third-party budget travel insurance company.
So with excellent cruise deals floating around out there, whether you have been on a cruise before or not, the industry is down and now is a great time to take advantage before prices slingshot back the other way to compensate.