Cruise Bargains: Are You Ready to Travel in Style?

bargain cruises 2018

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Warm-weather vacations can end up being some of the most expensive. To get the best weather you travel during the high season, but that means you’re paying excessively for flights and lodging. Plus, if you’re headed to somewhere like the Caribbean, wouldn’t you like to see more than one beach — but who can afford even more in travel costs?

The solution to this problem has been one of the most popular ways of traveling since its modern inception in the late 1960s: cruising. You only have to travel to your departure city, get on board, and you’re on your way for a weekend or a few weeks to destinations around the world.

But wait, you say – how will this save me money on my travel? When you learn how to find the cheapest cruises, you’ll save on the added airfare, lodging, and entertainment costs from a regular trip.

We’ve discovered the secret to finding the best cruise bargains – are you ready to learn how to travel the seas in style?

How To Get The Best Cruise Deals Sent To Your Inbox

You’re looking for a reasonable cruise deal, but let’s be serious, you don’t have time to comb through websites to figure out who is offering what. Instead, make it easy on yourself and get cruise bargains sent right to you. What can make this tactic so successful is that when a cruise line is scrambling to fill a ship, they’re going to focus on getting that info out to email subscribers – those who have already expressed interest in traveling the seas.

Cruise boat with lounge chairs on the rear deck.
Take in the sights with a side of relaxation when you find the best cruise deals 2019 offers.

Sign up for newsletters from the major cruise lines, including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity. Take it a step further and sign up for smaller lines, such as Princess and Holland America. Look for travel agencies that specialize in cruises, and start searching routes to see if there is a line that leaves from somewhere convenient for you.

How To Find Cruise Bargains On Social Media

When you’re searching for the best deals for cruises, you need to be on social media. Follow specific cruise lines like Royal Caribbean (@RoyalCaribbean) and Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) as they tweet and post photos of deals on upcoming voyages. It’s also a good idea to follow cruise-specific travel agencies like Cruise.com (@CruiseCom) and CruiseDeals.com (@CruiseDeals).

You’ll find offerings from these sources on pretty much all social platforms, but you might find it easiest to organize your search by focusing on Twitter. All of these above resources are regularly tweeting promotional offers, so monitoring them will help you find and compare the best available options.

Cruise ship docked.
Just one payment will take you to far-off lands when you cruise.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can set one up that is dedicated exclusively to finding the best cruise deals 2019 has to offer. If you do already have an account and you’re concerned about being able to see your cruise bargains within your existing Twitter feed, you can create a new list with all of your cruise resources that helps you see exactly what you want, right when you want it.

How To Find The Cheapest Cruises With Travel Bundles

Unless you live in driving proximity to a cruise port, you’ll need to fly to get to your departure destination. Many of the major cruise lines have package deals that include airfare and a hotel stay on the front or tail end in addition to the cost of the trip itself. You’ll typically get deeper discounts choosing these packages than you would if you purchased one part of your journey at a time.

How To Pick The Cheapest Time To Travel On A Cruise

As with any type of travel, if you want to go during the high season, you’ll want to be proactive with your planning. Last-minute deals are great for low-season times, when there’s a higher chance cruise lines will want to fill up their ships however they can, but they are rarer if you’re looking for peak season times. Typically, you can expect more families on board during the summer months and when schools are out on vacation, which means less availability for rooms with double occupancy and higher.

The same goes if you’re looking for a specific or limited cruise itinerary. You might not want to or be able to cruise to Alaska during certain times of the year, but if you’re set on that destination, you’ll be able to get the best deals with early-bird sales. For popular destinations and times, book earlier for the best bargains.

Close up of cruise ship balconies.
Where you sleep can end up saving you during your trip.

Of course, if you’re fully flexible with timing and just want to have a fun vacation away from home, you can wait until 90 days before the scheduled trip to book. Check out CruiseCritic’s Last Minute Deals for extra bargains on ships set to leave in the next few months. Keep in mind that most cruise ships require you to make your final payment by the 90-day point, so you’re unlikely to get any money back should you cancel.

How To Get Cheap Cabins On Board

You’re going to need somewhere to sleep on your trip, but you may not want to put all of your money towards your accommodations, especially on a ship with lots of public spaces, entertainment, and quiet areas. Instead, many major cruise lines will allow you to select a room type “guarantee” – which means you are getting at least the type of room you reserved, at a discount of up to $100 for each passenger. However, you won’t be able to select the exact placement on the ship. This won’t matter for most people, but if you are worried about being right underneath a loud bar or being too far down in the ship, you may want to reserve a specific room.

How To Find Special Rates For The Best Cruise Deals 2019

Row of people lounging on a cruise ship.
Put your feet up and relax knowing you’re traveling in style – without the extra cost.

If these discount opportunities aren’t enough, consider chopping more off of your anticipated vacation expenses by using an organizational discount. Military personnel, seniors, and even local residents often get further discounts on their cruise travel. Look through the organizations you are a member of to see if they have any special discounts with cruise lines and look through each lines’ partners page to see if there are others you’ve forgotten.

4 Easy Tips To Keep You Saving On Cruise Travel

You’ve figured out how to find the cheapest cruises, but did you know there are even more steps you can take to keep saving money?

1. Buy Used: Will you need a new iPad or tablet to keep you busy during your journey? Or perhaps you’re worried your phone camera just won’t make it through the trip. Get huge deals on gently-used electronics from Swappa, which will help you make sure you have everything you need for your trip, at a low, low price.

2. Use Gift Cards: Get crafty with additional travel costs like hotel stays and airfare by using gift cards. Collect these from friends and family as gifts throughout the year, or purchase cards at a hefty discount from Cardpool.

3. Only Drink Water: Gone are the days when soda was free onboard, so stick with water and other free options to avoid running up a bill on sugar. Plus, with long days in the sun ahead, your body will thank you.

4. Skip Fancy Restaurants: There are plenty of food choices provided onboard cruise ships, so don’t get tempted to spend more than you need to at a specialty restaurant. You’ll find the food to be about the same, and the bill to be significantly higher.

Taking a cruise can be one of the most luxurious ways to travel, but it doesn’t have to set you back financially. Stay smart with your year-round savings to help you make your vacation dreams turn into reality.

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