Whether you’re a first-timer or a cruise fanatic, there are always ways you can cut back costs. And let’s face it, the more money you save when booking your holiday, the more you can do when it comes to activities onboard. So to make your holiday that little bit sweeter, Travel at 60 team leader Kellie Banditt has shared her top five tips for saving money on your next cruise.
Most cruise lines offer you great perks for booking your next cruise while onboard your current one. This could mean anything from reduced deposits to onboard credits or drink packages. Plus, of course, it means you’ll stand a much better chance of nabbing your preferred cabin.
“It’s a great way to get the best deal, but you need to be prepared that you have to pay the deposit [upfront],” Banditt explains.
Have you considered travelling with a group of friends or extended family? It’s a great way to reap special benefits, such as cheap deals, extra onboard credit and complimentary drink packages — however these will vary by cruise line, group size and itinerary. For example, on Norwegian Cruise Line, for every 10 passengers and five cabins, one cruises free.
“The more people you get to go, the more benefits you may be entitled to,” Banditt says.
Some cruises look like the most amazing deal until you factor in the extra costs. In many instances it’s actually more cost-effective to take the option that looks like it’s more expensive, but will actually save you money in the long run. Things like gratuities and drinks can add a huge bill to your holiday, so if at all possible go for cruises that have all of these included — or at least do the maths to work out the best option.
Getting on the email lists for cruise lines and travel agencies can mean you spot the best offers straight away. Just sit back and wait for weekly, daily, last-minute and past-passenger deals to land in your inbox. They’ll have a short booking window, but great savings are possible if you’re willing and able to take off on short notice.
It pays to be loyal — cruise companies will reward long-term customers, Banditt explains. The more frequently you travel with the cruise line, the more benefits you get, such as discounts, additional onboard credit, free laundry or free tea and snacks in your room. Most operators have customer loyalty programs, so be sure to sign up with every cruise line you travel with.