11 Ways To Get Lower Cruise Fares

In this video you’re going to learn how to
get the best price for your next cruise. I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers.
I’m going to share with you a series of tips on how you can get an amazing
price for your next cruise. Tip number one: there are two best times to book which are either very early or very late. So when cruise lines launch new itineraries and
announce itineraries for the coming years, they normally launch those with
deals and incentives. There might be upgrades, there might be a on-board
credit, they might include things like drinks packages or excursions. But they
will normally have various incentives and deals to get people to book early. So
when itineraries are launched that’s a great time to find a great cruise price.
After that, the next best time is after 90 days and the date of sailing.
Basically what happens with cruises is you have to pay your final balance
either 90 days or 60 days and sailing. So at that point the cruise line
knows how many cabins they’ve got left, and then they work to get
rid of all of those cabins. If there’s lots of capacity they will start to
slash prices to sell all those cabins, because they want to sail full. That’s
very important because they make a lot of money once you’re on board. So
very early when itineraries are launched there’ll be a window of time and then
after 90 to 60 days and the day of sailing is when you’re likely to
get the best cruise deals possible. The second key thing to getting a great
cruise deal is flexibility. The more flexible you are, the better the price
you’re going to pay. So if you know that there’s a specific itinerary on a
specific date on a specific ship in a specific cabin that is a chance that
you’re going to pay the highest amount for your fare – because you’re very very fixed.
However if you’re very flexible. If you’re very open, you’re going to find a
much better price. What do I mean by flexibility? Well first of all, choose a
broad region so that’s the Caribbean or it’s Mediterranean or
whether it’s Alaska, bearing a mind that most cruise lines in those regions will
have very similar itineraries. The second thing you need to look at is when you
want to go. So if you’ve got a broad period of time you want to go, so it’s
anytime in a particular month, then again you are likely to find great Cruise deals
because you’re going to be able to move around between ships and dates that have the best deals. The third thing is if you’re not fixed on an
particular cruise lines and you’re quite happy to go on any cruise line, or
perhaps a a small group of cruise lines. So if you like resort type cruises you
might want to have a little bundle between Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and perhaps some of the MSC ships, or perhaps you’re looking at a boutique ships. So you’re
looking more at your Seabourn, Silversea , Regent Seven Seas or Hapag-Lloyd. Also importantly is you’re flexible about the cabin. The cheapest cabin
that you’re going to find, whether you want to go for an inside cabin, ocean
view, a balcony cabin or even a suite, is instead of choosing a very specific
cabin you go for what’s known as a “guaranteed cabin”. So whatever level you
are, you don’t book a very specific cabin but book a guaranteed
cabin. The cruise line allocates the specific cabin. So flexibility is very
important. So if you know you want to go to Alaska for example
sometime in May or June, you don’t really mind which Cruise Line
and you’re really clear about I want an inside or a suite (but I don’t really
mind which cabin it is). If you have that degree of flexibility as you start
to look for prices and deals you have a huge and wide range of options and you’re
going to find the best price. Flexibility is the secret to
getting a great cruise deal. Now the third tip is about when you want to go.
If you want to cruise in the key school summer vacations or you want to
cruise at Christmas, you’re going to be paying the highest prices going because
there is huge demand. The secret is choose what’s known as the
shoulder season. That’s the beginning and end of a season. This is when prices
are going to be sharpest. So, for example, if you go into Alaska you want to go at
the very beginning of the season so you might want to go around May or August time. If you want to go to the Mediterranean or
Caribbean the secret is to go at the beginning and the end of the seasons.
So for example March /April time and September / October time and similarly for
the Caribbean because that’s when most of the ships will move between the
Caribbean and the Mediterranean as ships redeploy at the changeover of those two
seasons. You need to avoid peak times like the summer school holidays, Christmas and also the big holiday weekends like Easter and Thanksgiving.
My next tip in terms of getting a great cruise deal is get them sent to
you. There’s two things that I really strongly recommend you do. The
first is for any cruise line that you’re interested in is sign up for their
email newsletter, and whenever there’s a deal or a promotion they send
those out by email. Another thing I strongly recommend you do is sign up for
the newsletters from cruise aggregators. These are sites which bring together
all the cruise deals that are going from all the different cruise lines all
around the world, and these are great because then in one email you will get
lots of suggestions for lots of different cruise lines. Sometimes they
have deals that you won’t get anywhere else because these are big sellers of
cruises and so they sometimes get special deals. Three of them that I find
really helpful are ROLCruise, they tend to be much more uk-based. there’s TravelZoo and another great one is CruiseDirect, and they claim that no one beats
their price. My next tip is once you’ve booked a cruise keep an eye out
for what that particular cruise is selling for. If you find that the price has
dropped the cruise line is not going to tell you. What you need to do is get hold
of the cruise line and point out that the price has shifted and you want
something. So for example you might ask for an upgrade or ask for the difference
in onboard credit. I’ve had some great experiences where I booked a
particular cruise and booked a particular cabin and when I’ve seen the prices come down I’ve got hold of the cruise line and I’ve got some fantastic
upgrades and onboard credit. My next tip is to focus on older ships. When
new ships come along, everybody wants to get on the new ship. So what normally
happens is the cruise lines start discounting or having lower fares for
some of their older ships. So you can get a great price by going on an older ship
with a particular cruise line. So what I like to do is whenever I know a cruise
line is launching a ship, I start looking at cruises on some of their older ships
because you’ll normally get fantastic prices on those older ships doing the
same itineraries. My next tip is also to focus on the large ports. There’s a huge
capacity setting out of ports like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Barcelona, Rome as big cruise ports around the world have lots and lots of cruise lines sailing
out of them. They have lots and lots of capacity and competition is much much higher. So also as you’re looking for great cruise deals ,take a look at the big ports.
If you can easily get to one of those ports, focus your search for great cruise
deals out of those ports. My next tip is if you actually want to find a great
deal, and this is a particularly when you look how much you spend per day, focus on longer cruises. Longer cruises tend to be much cheaper on a per day
basis and you might actually find that you can get many more days on a cruise
for the same price as a seven-day cruise at a peak time. Also repositioning cruises
are a great way of getting a phenomenal deal. Repositioning cruises are when
ships will change region, so for example if they’re sailing in the Caribbean as
that season comes to end most cruise lines will then reposition their ships into the Mediterranean, and you can really get amazing deals. The reason
for that is not everyone like that there will be a lot of days
at sea. There will normally be five or six days at sea, so normally have perhaps a
couple of ports in the Caribbean then five or six days at sea and a couple
of ports in the Mediterranean. But you do get great prices on them. The next
tip may be less practical, but it is a way of getting a great price in fact
possibly a free cruise! If you have a lot of friends, or perhaps you have some club
or Association that you run, if you organize a group cruise the cruise line
will normally throw in one or two free cabins. You only often need to get
together 16 to 20 people to actually do that. So it’s definitely a
way where you could get yourself potentially a free cruise. Another way
you can get a great cruise deal is by sailing on the same line. So I mentioned
earlier flexibility is important, jumping around between cruise lines you
generally going to find deals because you’re not tied to one Cruise
Line. But if there’s a cruise line that you really really like, building up
loyalty and working your way through their frequent sailing program is also
going to be a great way of getting a great cruise deal. Some cruise lines
will actually give you free cruises as you build up loyalty. Others will give you
various discounts, like upgrades or it might be extra on-board credit, internet
time and all those sort of savings on the other costs of cruising which are
not included in the fare. So that’s another thing to look at if you don’t
like that being flexible do go to the other extreme and actually be
incredibly loyal and that’s where you’ll normally get deals. One of the ways
of getting great cruise deals is still, despite all the things I’ve spoken about, is
working with a cruise expert agent. Now the reason for that is if you found a
great deal you can go to the agent and point out your found a great deal and
ask them can they better it. Often they can as that they will either have
different deals, special pricing and they have a lot of flexibility in
terms of price or other things that they can throw in. So what I like to do is
once I find a great deal that I really like, I ask my cruise agent to either
match or beat that deal and normally they can. They can also keep monitoring
prices and can also deal with the cruise line if price has gone down to
try and negotiate extra benefits like onboard credit or upgrades. They are likely to know the great deals that are going around. Of
course by following these various tips you can be constantly and constantly
looking to find a great cruise deal. My advice I would have is, once
you’ve found a cruise that you like and a price that you think is reasonable
book it! Don’t just keep looking and looking and looking because it’s like an
eternal Holy Grail you’ll probably never find the perfect price. The critical
thing to remember is the more fixed you are the harder it’s going to be to find
a great price. So if you know I want to go on this very specific itinerary on
this very specific date on this with this very specific Cruise Line in this
very specific cabin that is going to most likely give you the worst price. The
more flexible you are, the more fluid you are, the best price you’re going to get. I
hope you found that helpful and it will help you find a phenomenal cruise price.
If you’ve got any other experiences I’d love to hear about them, but very
importantly I really love it if you gave the video a like a thumbs up but
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