Taking a trip on the great ocean in a huge ship remains a very popular way to vacation, and with good cause. When you light upon the cruise deals, it can make the trip even more fantastic. With more people turning to cruise ships, companies are offering more value packages and add-ons each day. The trick is just knowing not only where, but also when to look. Take a look at some of the following pro-tips to help you make the most of your next vacation:
Book During “Wave Season”
There is a specific time of the year where cruise lines offer lightening-hot cruise deals. From January to March, known as the off-season, you can find some real fantastic deals. This time period is well-known in travel circles as “wave season.” Companies really try to encourage travelers to book early, and, of course, book with their particular line. As a result, there tend to be some crazy deals available, including Buy One, Get One free options (also known as BOGO), and added value, like free dining, or automatic upgrades. The trick is to look around, and know which companies can offer big packages. Travel firms that specialize in cruising can really help in locating these special offers.
Look for a popular destination.
This may seem like counter-intuition, but booking a trip to a popular destination can actually save you money. With large cruise ships, the goal is to fill to capacity. And with popular destinations, there are many competing lines that leave daily, if not several times in one day. With so many ships, many companies offer great cruise deals to attract customers that will, hopefully, become repeat travelers. Alaska, the Caribbean and Cuba are all hot spots at the moment, and may offer the best deals.
Remain flexible about your dates.
Traveling last-minute, spontaneously or stand-by isn’t for everyone. It can be especially stressful for those who have pre-booked vacation days from work. But for those who can afford to be more flexible, it can really work to your advantage when it comes to the pocketbook. In order to sell last-minute cabins, many cruise ships offer heavily discounted rooms. They may also add-on some great values, like upgrades and free dining and show passes. If you know where to search, you can really score some great offers.
Or… book super early!
On the flip side, it can also be advantageous to book super early, like during wave season. Booking early can ensure that you find some good deals on ships that like to know ahead of time that they are completely full.
Add-ons are the greatest aspect to finding great cruise deals. Added value can include things like upgraded rooms, free dining, or certain passes. Don’t forget to search for free air flights or vehicle rentals to transport you to a port. Air credit is also another popular incentive for travelers. Many travel firms will know when and how to search for these added deals.