Cruise vacations skyrocketed in popularity a few years ago, mainly due to the fact that the price of cruise cabins had plummeted alongside the failing economy. While it may seem like prices are back on the rise again, there are still plenty of bargains available if you look in the right places. Here are some important details to keep in mind before starting your search for the perfect cruise package!
When To Look For Bargains
The closer the ship is to setting sail, the better the prices are likely to be. According to Cruise Critic, one could spend up to 80% less on a cabin if they book in the days leading up to the ship’s departure date. Plenty of appealing prices on food and beverage packages can also be found to accompany the price of the cabin.
Why are there cabins available at such a low price? They can’t rely on last-minute guests to rent the rooms halfway through the week; once the ship sets off from the port, vacant cabins remain empty for the entire journey. From a cruise line’s perspective, any money is better than no money, which is why they extend bargain prices if necessary.
So, if the holiday dates are flexible and can afford to wait until the last minute to book the cruise, one will surely be able to find the bargain prices. A good timeline is to book about one to two weeks before the cruise is scheduled to leave port.
How to Find Astounding Bargains
One of the most irritating discoveries that someone can have on a cruise ship is finding out guests in neighboring cabins paid hundreds less for the exact same accommodation. Believe it or not, it happens all the time. It takes a skilled bargain hunter to track down a great cruise package.
While it is very possible to snag a brag-worthy vacation package, it can be hard to know exactly where to look. Most cruise lines won’t advertise their low-priced cabins on their website, for example. One will have to go ahead and do some proper digging in order to find a price that suits them and their budget.
What are the chances that someone will be able to get a good price? Here are some tips to follow to increase the likelihood of finding an awesome package.
- Hop online. One can check how many empty cruise cabins a ship has up until 72 hours before the cruise departs. If someone wants to figure out a ballpark figure for what they’ll probably pay for a cabin, go through the booking process to see the total – just don’t enter the payment info unless they’re completely sure they want to get on that ship!
- If someone really wants to compare prices, consult a travel agent. They’ll have all the up-to-date information on the latest and greatest cruise prices so that one can rest easy knowing that they’re informed on all the amazing cruise packages on the market.
- Get on cruise prices email lists. There are certain email lists that will notify based on which locations the expressed interest in sailing from. So, if someone is able to pick up and leave on short notice, getting added to email lists for cruise packages could be a great way to discover the next last-minute trip.
- Don’t rule out luxury cruises. Sure, it sounds illogical but luxury cruise lines commonly lower the price of their cabins last minute to compete with more affordable competitors. If someone is interested in sailing in style, then this is definitely an option to consider.
Cruise Staterooms Don’t Always Sell
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, over 25.8 million people were expected to sail on a cruise ship last year, making cruise vacations one of the most popular getaways for Americans. This soar in popularity convinced cruise companies to invest over $6.8 billion in new ships just this year. Since there are so many more ships in the cruise industry’s fleet, travel agents are left with the responsibility of filling up the ships more than ever before.
The last thing cruise lines are looking for is to set sail with empty cruise ship cabins. Vacant cabins only mean less money for the cruise lines. Today’s cruise lines aim to achieve 107% occupancy for every cruise that sets sail (two people per every cabin), which means that cruise lines expect to make a considerable profit in terms of money spent onboard.
A cruise does not want to leave port with too many unoccupied cabins, so one will often be able to snag a cabin at a high bargain if they can afford to book a vacation last-minute. It’s common to find cruise packages up to 50% off, since cruise lines would rather take half what the cabin’s worth than to let it sit there empty, not making money.
The optimum time to look for cruise bargains is during the off-season when prices are already much lower. No matter where in the world someone ais, off-season typically runs from late fall to early spring, allowing them an amazing opportunity to hop onboard a tropical cruise during those cold winter months.