Everyone has a dream cruise destination, but sadly, not everyone has the power to turn their fantasies into a reality. You’re probably on the same boat (pun intended) thinking of how to save for that cruise when paying for your regular monthly bills is already hard enough. Life would certainly be more satisfying with a money-tree, but since that is a farfetched idea, learning a few money-saving tricks is the best life plan ever. Here are 5 hacks that many cruise aficionados rely on to book that dream cruise without breaking the bank:
Time Your Cruise Booking to Bag a Deal
Early booking discounts and bonus privileges abound if you make an advanced booking. Promotions are at its peak during what is called the Wave Season. This is the time when company cruise schedules are first announced. Grabbing these awesome package rates mean you beat a throng of people in getting the best cabin locations, dinner arrangements, and special production schedules.
In contrast, if you live near a port or you have a flexible schedule, then you are at an advantage for snagging those last minute bargains. Sometimes, you have to keep on shopping around different online sites or travel agents to find that best itinerary and schedule that suits your budget.
Use your Points to Pay for a Cruise
Some credit cards actually allow you to use your points to pay for your cruise. That’s practically getting a dream vacation for free. Fret not if your credit card points aren’t enough because you can use a portion of the points and pay a deeply-discounted cruise rate. It is best to check which cruise company your credit card has a tie-up with.
Look for Credit Card or Bank Tie-Up Promos
Some credit cards and banks offer travel reward promos or deal packages. They tie-up with a cruise company and offer deeply discounted rates. These cheaper rates are only applicable to those who use their specific cards as a form of payment for the cruise. These tie-ups between cruise ships and credit card companies are great offers allowing you to take that dream vacation without forking over too much money.
Consider an Interior State Room
An interior state room without a view is significantly cheaper than a suite with a balcony or a room with a porthole that offers majestic ocean scenery. If your budget is tight, do not discount an inner state room without windows because you will still get to enjoy the same cruise amenities and the same quality service from the staff. Think about it—you’re only going to be in your room for the time that you will be sleeping and showering.
A significant portion of your time will be spent exploring the ship and enjoying what it has to offer from the delicious restaurants, pools, Jacuzzis, shows, shops, games, clubs, and more. On top of that, you can get out in the ship’s ports of call once it docks. Exploring these various locations will be an interesting adventure. You certainly won’t be spending much time in your room, so take the deep discount of a windowless cabin.
Check-out a Shoulder-Season Type of Cruise
Consider going during the shoulder season. This is the small time frame between the overcrowded high season and the dreaded low season when ships move on to sail away to warmer regions. You can actually save a ton of money and get away from a large crowd if you are agreeable enough to settle for not-so-great weather and limited activities in the ports.
Repositioning cruises are one of the cheapest cruises available, at almost half-off. These repo-cruises usually happen during this shoulder-season. Ships transfer to a different port, and instead of sailing empty, they offset the expense by opening their doors at a cheaper fare to clients.
As you can see, your dream cruise vacation does not have to remain in your head. You can actually board a cruise if you save enough money and look for amazing deals. Be patient and do your research; and soon, you will be on your way to sail the world’s high seas in style.