Cruises are often seen as expensive and elaborate holidays that are only for the rich and famous. Many think it involves simply sailing around the Mediterranean drinking expensive cocktails and wearing only the most expensive suits, before stepping off and strolling into one of the exclusive bars or casinos on each island they visit.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions associated with cruises, however as there is something for literally everyone and they’re becoming more and more affordable. Sometimes it can be as simple as shopping around to find a bargain deal, but on other occasions, you might just get lucky with a special offer at the travel agents that offers you cheap cruises and lets you see parts of the world from a whole different perspective.
If a cruise is something that’s always interested you but you’ve never ‘got on board’ (excuse the pun), you might want to follow some of these tips to get the best deal and book your bargain cruise for 2013 or get in early for 2014.
- Book as early as possible
Booking in advance can save you substantial amounts of money in some cases. While booking a holiday for later this year or maybe even 2014 could leave you with a mixture of excitement that you’re going away, and depression that it’s not for such a long time, you can at least make some real savings on the amount you’re paying, enabling you to spend more while you’re on your break or put it towards a mini-break to tie you over.
A lot of travel agents will put special offers on for a limited period and many customers think ‘it’ll be back on a deal in a few weeks.’ Unfortunately, this doesn’t often happen and the trip of a lifetime could be gone and out of your price range, so don’t wait and see – if you can afford to, book today!
- Know your seasons
If you’re going on a cruise you want to see the various islands and sights along the way in all their glory. For this reason it’s essential that you do your research into what might be ‘peak summer’ in that country and find out when the rainy season might be so you don’t spend all of your time stuck in your cabin or in the various rooms on the cruise ship when you could be out on the deck soaking up the sun and seeing the world.
Some travel operators will offer discounted trips to the various island groups when it’s not peak season, which is great for the bank account, but not always great in terms of the overall experience, so do your research and decide how and when you want to see the area before you book.
- Count the costs
Just because the cruise itself is cheap doesn’t mean the places you’ll be going are as financially viable! Some countries and regions offer much better value than others, but you also need to consider the whole cost of the trip. Taking advantage of what is on offer on board the cruise ship can all add up so make sure that you bear this in mind before you finalise your budget or spend all day in the gift shops!