When you are considering going on your first cruise, the research and booking process can seem a little alien. You may be a whizz at finding fantastic online deals on package holidays, but cruises are a little more complex. From cabin selections to what’s included in the price, you will soon realise that as an inexperienced cruiser, the cost can mount.
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and produced this handy guide to saving money on your first cruise.
If your work schedule and lifestyle will allow, booking last-minute could mean huge savings – like these Norwegian deals from Bolsover Cruise Club. Typically, booking 3 to 6 weeks before the cruise date provides the biggest reductions, but this will likely mean a compromise when it comes to the size and location of your cabin.
This may seem like a very strange point to make, given that we’ve just told you to book at the last possible moment. However, if you book very, very early, you may be in for a treat. Travel operators are keen to secure early passengers, so booking up to 2 years in advance could mean generous rewards, such as cabin upgrades or free flights.
Save money on flying to the departure port by sailing from your home country. For those living in the UK, you could consider a cruise around the British Isles and explore opposite ends of the country, from Loch Ness to Guernsey. This way you can experience all the luxury of a cruise, but at a reduced rate.
Little known fact: you can cruise for free if you bring people with you. Whether you travel with a group of friends or extended family, if you can organise a group of at least 16, many cruise lines will cover the cost of your voyage. Of course, this option does mean a lot of planning and coordinating calendars, but it’s worth it for a free trip.
Out of Season
If you are happy to travel outside of the peak summer months, then you will find that most cruises are offered at a reduced rate. The best deals tend to be in the winter months, although it’s best to consider the climate before booking – remember to pack a winter-ready case. It all depends what you want from your cruise.
Booking your first cruise can seem daunting and if you flick through brochures, you may find extortionate prices. Instead, use these tips and save money on your first cruise.