Work with a professional travel advisor. With a wide array of cruise lines, ships, itineraries, seasons, discounts and promotions, it can be quite difficult to find the best cruise deals. A travel advisor is your best guide to a great deal; for example, they know when sailing a week earlier or choosing an older ship can make a difference. They also have access to discounts not available to the public.
Drive to and from your departure port. Driving instead of flying can save money. But, make sure the cost of round-trip airfare is not exceeded by what you would spend on gas and parking, plus the wear and tear on your vehicle.
Enjoy a shorter cruise. If you’re not comfortable with the cost of a seven-day or longer cruise, look for four- or five-day sailings. You still have a variety of destinations to choose from, including New England, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Mayan Riviera, and the West Coasts of the U.S. and Mexico.
Book an inside cabin. It’s nice to have a window, but most inside cabins are cleverly designed, with good lighting and comfortable furnishings; you really may not miss having a porthole or window. Some cruise lines have even created “virtual” windows linked to outside cameras that show the continually changing seascape.
Don’t dine in venues that have cover fees. Patronize the venues included in your fare – you’ll enjoy the food and your budget will, too. Also, fill up on free beverages (usually tap water, plain coffee and tea, and some fruit juices). To indulge in cocktails economically, ask your server about the day’s specials.
Sail with friends. Most cruise lines offer significant discounts for the third and/or fourth person in a cabin, and you can share the savings. If you’re part of a group that reserves 15 or more cabins, most cruise lines will provide one for free; again, a savings you can share.
With the savings from these suggestions, you should be able to purchase some shore excursions, which are a great way to enjoy your destination. For more ideas, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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