A cruise can be the perfect way to get away from it all. It’s a hassle-free option that many travelers enjoy for the sun, sea and simplicity of it all. But cruises can be very expensive. So what if you’re a budget traveler? Is a cruise an option? Let’s find out!
While there aren’t any specific “budget” cruise liners, there are plenty of ways to save on costs if you desperately want to take to the waves. However, older vessels are often a little cheaper than the brand new liners. A quick online search will yield plenty of results for this, with many companies offering cruise deals for less than $100 per day. It may be that you end up on a ship without all the bells and whistles of other more expensive options, but all liners offer the usual on-board services, with plenty of stops for you to soak up some of the local atmosphere.
As with most things, it’s always best to book in advance, and cruising is no different. Think several months, if not a year in advance of your trip if you’re hoping to bag a bargain. Some companies offer a “low price guarantee” deal, wherein you’ll get money back should the cost of your cruise drop after you’ve booked. Keep an eye on this though as the onus is on you to tell your travel/booking agent if you think you’re entitled to a refund.
On the other hand, last-minute bookings can also end up being far cheaper if you can dare to wait. Cruise companied don’t like their ships to leave port with empty cabins, so chances are they’ll be selling off spaces on the cheap in the run up to the date of sailing.
Like all other vacations, there are on and off seasons for cruises. If you’re willing to take a trip off season, chances are you’ll find a much cheaper deal than you would during the peak season for your chosen destination. For example, Caribbean cruises are off season over September and October because this is classed as hurricane season. However, hurricane warnings come in days in advance and liners will alter their course if they feel it’s too dangerous to proceed.
Depending on your vacation plans, it can also be a good idea to travel in a group as certain travel agents offer group booking discounts. So talk to your friends, family or your co-workers and persuade them they could do with a cruise as well.