The world of cruising changes all the time, as cruise lines work hard to accommodate passengers’ changing tastes and offer new experiences. As a result, some widely held beliefs about cruising become outdated and inaccurate.
One example is the belief that cruising is too expensive. In the early days of leisure cruising it was something only the wealthy could afford, but today it’s easy to find a cruise to fit just about any vacation budget. And, the fare includes much more than your stateroom – food, entertainment, top-notch service, use of the ship’s amenities and more. In sort, cruising is a terrific vacation value.
Still, cruising isn’t free, unless you’re lucky enough to receive a cruise as a gift! Here are some tips for keeping it affordable:
Select a cruise that fits your budget. The basic fare for a cruise depends on several factors, including the style and amenities of the ship, the point of embarkation, and where and how far the ship will sail.
For example, you can take a three-day cruise to the Bahamas; a four- to seven-day cruise of either the eastern or western portion of the Caribbean; or a cruise of 14 days or more that will take you all around the Caribbean. You can cruise on a ship that provides all of the basic comforts, or spend more on a luxury experience. It’s all up to you – and your budget.
Book early. Early booking is key to securing a good price. Cruise fares tend to be lowest well in advance of the sailing date; to rise as the ship begins to fill; and then to drop again closer to the sailing date (but you may not have much choice of staterooms).
Manage your expenses on board. Cruise fares include a lot, but not everything. Gratuities for the crew are usually separate, and you should include that in your budget. Other things that are enjoyable, but optional – shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and casino games – are often not included in the fare. Be sure you know what’s included in your fare and what else you want to budget for.
For help finding a cruise that fits your interests and your budget, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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