How to get cruise discounts 2 - Best Seasons & Routes

By: Nick Moseley

Getting cruise discounts can be a tricky business but there are some factors that can be used to stack the cards in your favour – If you know about them and how to use them. Read on!

***Cabins***

On short season or limited availability cruises e.g., Alaska or Norwegian fjords, for example, balcony cabins on newer ships sell a lot faster than the lesser cabins on older cruise ships.

Though such premium cabins are more expensive, the demand is still high enough (and the supply small enough) that they sell with no problem. So if you want premium cabins on a specific cruise I advise you to get in as early as possible – At least 6 months but a year is better.

***Routes***

Again some more popular than others and sell out faster. E.g., Vancouver to Anchorage is the most popular for Alaska cruises with several lines offering on shore excursions too. These sell fast so if your route is like this book at least 6 months in advance.

Round Trip cruises that leave and rtuen to the same port often have more spaces closer to departure date.

So if you don't mind going round trip add them as an option to check out.

Bahamas/Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises are slightly different in that there are so many lines going so often you have much more choice. But big choice = a lot of information and chances to find a great deal so again, planning is essential.

***Late or early season?***

Booking off peak will give you more choices though unless you're lucky you'll still have to pay more for an ocean view cabin.

***Avoid Peak times***

Holidays, not surprisingly, sell out first. Spring Break week in the US, the Xmas-New Year week and July and August are the busiest times. Even with all the options places like the Caribbean attract such high demand that you'll need to book 9-12 months in advance to get a good cabin on a popular cruise. Not so hot for cruise deal hunters.

***Avoid High season***

The late winter/early spring months, Feb-April (in the Northern Hemisphere) book up next. Many people living in cold winter zones are looking for relief from the cold. Even though they won't leave for months, the act of booking seems to provide some relief from the winter doldrums.

***Best Cruise Discounts time***

Bargains are best September-early December and you could find good cabins available as short as 60 days before departure. The weather can still be nice though if you're going to the Caribbean take account of the possibility of hurricanes and be prepared to be flexible.

***Use PC Power***

There are a ton of factors to weigh up. I advise using a spreadsheet to order your wishlist and checklist of things you consdeur essential as well as "nice to have" arrayed against your budget. This helps you stay focused and avoid information overload.

***To start with go online***

See what's about, make a shortlistBusiness Management Articles, and put it all into a spreadsheet. Then start asking for quotes. Cruise lines want you! They want to make you happy so that you come back again and bring your friends! So if they have good cruise discounts on offer they WILL tell you!

Bon voyage :-)

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