If you want to go on more cruises throughout the year or even go on a cruise every month, you’ll have to be wise with your cruise bucks.
If you’re like us here at Cruise Fever, you love to cruise. That’s probably why you’re even reading this.
So, how can you go on even more cruises?
This article will provide you with some helpful tips on how to save money, maximize your cruise budget, and ultimately increase the number of cruises you can take each year.
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Be willing to try different cruise lines
We all have our favorite cruise lines, but if you limit yourself to just one line you will miss out on some amazing deals. This doesn’t mean you have to sail on “discount” cruise lines all the time. Just be ready when another cruise line has a special sale that could last only one day. It could even be a cruise line that you don’t know much about or maybe you’ve even heard horrible things in reviews.
Remember, every cruise line has had a passenger that didn’t enjoy the experience. Take those reviews with a grain of salt, and try out a cruise ship with a line you’ve never tried before. This will allow you to go on many more cruises than you would be able to otherwise.
Embrace the darkness
Only in the literal sense, mind you. Book interior cabins on your cruises and you will save thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Balcony staterooms will often cost 50% – 150% more than inside staterooms. If you want to go on more cruises it means cutting down on some of the cost. You can still splurge on a balcony or suite now and then, but for the most part you will want to book the cheapest cabin possible so you can sail as much as possible.
An inside cabin isn’t so bad once you get used to it. A few things like sleeping in total darkness, having less movement on the ship because you’re more centered, and being forced to walk outside your stateroom to enjoy the view can be considered perks. Too positive? Ok, just focus on the fact that you’re saving money. That’s reason enough.
Just keep telling yourself that you still get to enjoy the same pool, dining room, and entertainment as everyone else on the ship.
Related: Benefits of an inside cabin on a cruise
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Book a guaranteed cabin
If you want to save money on your cruise, consider booking a guaranteed cabin. You’ll pay a lower price for a guaranteed category and fare, but you won’t know your exact cabin until closer to your trip. If the cruise line can’t give you the category you booked, you’ll be upgraded for free. If not, you’ll still have a cabin on the ship. So, booking a guaranteed cabin is a good way to save money without sacrificing your cabin category.
A guaranteed cabin is a smart choice for those who want to save some money without sacrificing their cabin category. So if you’re up for a little bit of mystery and a potentially sweet upgrade, a guaranteed cabin might just be the perfect choice for your next cruise.
Cruise during the off-season
This point will only help you save money during certain times of year of course, but cruising during the non-peak months is probably the best way to save the most money on a cruise.
In our article on the cheapest time of year to take a cruise we cover in detail the absolute best times sail. Besides going on a cruise in late January and early February some of the cheapest months are early May, September through October, and the first couple weeks of December.
Related: How much does a cruise cost? In this article we break down every part of a cruise that costs money and what can impact the total cost.
Book last minute
Something magical happens almost every time final payment is due for a cruise: the price drops. This happens when people decide they can’t go on the cruise and don’t want to lose their money. For most cruise lines you can cancel before final payment and not face a penalty.
When this happens cruise lines have a limited time to fill those cabins and if they can’t fill enough of them you will see the price go down. This presents an excellent time for you to grab a great deal.
Book far out in advance
This might sound contradictory to the last point, but it’s really not. You can either book last minute or way in advance — just not in between. By booking a cruise that doesn’t sail for another year or more you can lock in a price and pay attention for any price drops.
Cruise lines offer great deals when new itineraries are announced, but prices go up as ships fill up. Booking early gets you the best cabins and dining times, and you might also get perks like free airfare or onboard credit. You can hold your cabin with a small deposit and cancel if plans change, but be flexible because the cruise line can also change plans.
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Keep your eyes peeled for promos
If you really want to cruise more often you need to subscribe to every cruise line’s email list and watch for deals on a daily basis. Some of these specials will only last a day so you will want to stay on top of it.
Most major cruise lines will offer email newsletters for deal seekers and promotions to their subscribers. You might want a separate email account for this as your inbox can fill up pretty fast. It might feel like a part-time job on some days as you sort through everything, but you will score some great deals by doing this and save enough to take more cruises.
Get a travel agent to help find price drops
A price drop is when the cost of a cruise is lowered due to promotions or changes in demand. Cruise lines lower prices to attract more customers. And this is great news for you even if you already have that cruise booked.
A good travel agent will save you a ton of money just by checking on this one thing. Make sure your travel agent will actually check for price drops and automatically get you the lower price. You can do this yourself, but it’s much simpler just to have your travel agent do it for you.
Related: 5 reasons to use a travel agent to book your cruise
Do your own excursions
If you’re going on 6-12 cruises a year you will want to cut back on paying for excursions through the ship. But exploring a port on your own and doing your own excursions is a great way to get off the beaten path and see what a destination is all about. You can often find excursions for half the price you will find on the ship and with more selection as well.
This will take a little more preparation and research ahead of time, but as you cruise more often you will become more familiar with repeat ports. Soon you’ll be able to offer tours of those Caribbean islands yourself if really you wanted to.
Book your next cruise while still cruising
Booking a future cruise while still on a current cruise can save you money. This is because cruise lines often offer special promotions, discounts, and perks.
First, it often provides an incentive in the form of onboard credit. This credit can be used to pay for extras such as drinks, specialty dining, or shore excursions, essentially giving cruisers free money to spend on their next voyage.
This option also allows cruisers to take advantage of reduced deposits. This is a great way to secure a future cruise without having to make a significant upfront payment. On top of this, by booking onboard, you will often receive additional perks such as discounted rates, cabin upgrades, or complimentary specialty dining experiences.
But perhaps the most significant advantage of booking a future cruise onboard is flexibility. Rather than having to commit to a specific ship, itinerary, or sailing date, cruisers are given a time frame of up to 24 months to use their deposit towards their next cruise. This allows for plenty of time to plan, save, and choose the perfect cruise that fits their schedule and preferences.
As you can see, if you want to cruise more often it will also require making a few adjustments, and you may have to cut back on the types of cruises or staterooms you normally book. On the positive side, you will get to enjoy more days at sea.
How many cruises do you like to take a year? Got any helpful tips for how you like to save money and take more cruises than the average person? Feel free to let us know.