With decadent luxury as standard, cruise holidays can often seem like a sure-fire method of blowing a huge hole in the savings. Visiting some of the world’s most stunning destinations whilst being wined and dined by celebrity chefs isn’t par-for-the-course on a traditional holiday – so a cruise may seem like a dream trip which is destined to remain a dream.
However, a little savvy shopping can lead to great savings – ensuring a cruise holiday is within the grasp of the holiday budget.
Go Super All-Inclusive
Basic all-inclusive packages from cruise lines traditionally cover meals in the main dining room and sometimes a few additional eateries. However, they do not cover drinks packages and other extras. If you’re grouping on-board spending money within your overall budget, then it may be prudent to enquire about additional money-saving packages – especially if you are travelling with the kids and grandkids.
Additional drinks packages (including both soft drink packages and alcohol packages) could save you significant amounts of money – especially if you enjoy relaxing with a digestif or two in the evening.
Book Third-Party Excursions
One of the great joys of a cruise holiday is stretching your legs in new lands – making the most of the port visits. Whilst you may have the chance to wander around this new country without a guide – it may be difficult to find the places of interest without an experienced tour guide. The majority of ports around the world play host to an array of guides looking to help you explore their land. However, these can often be incredibly pricey and may be somewhat limited.
Pre-booking excursions through a third party operator could open up a huge array of new options and lead to great savings. ShoreTrips makes it easier for you to find excursions which are available during the port calls on your cruise itinerary.
Stay Abreast of the Latest Deals
Due to the time-sensitive nature of selling cabins aboard cruise trips – the major lines often fluctuate prices to increase interest and generate sales. This means that staying abreast of the latest deals could help you secure massive savings. Signing up to mailing lists and newsletters from cruise-specialist travel agents can give you access to exclusive deals and prices.
Many travel agents have partnerships with specific cruise lines – giving them access to lower rates and exclusive packages. For example: specialist agent, Cruise1st, was bought out by Royal Caribbean in 2008 – giving them access to exclusive deals aboard the line’s fleet.
Contact your Travel Agent
As mentioned above, there is often flexibility with the price of a cruise – so it is always advisable to contact your travel agent and try to barter the price down or increase the features of the package. A friendly phone-call could help you secure the best available price or help you score an upgraded cabin.
If the operator is able to do you a deal, they most likely will – improving their chance of securing a sale.
Visit the Bureau de Change Early
Exchanging travel funds is often one of the last jobs before departure, with a large majority of travellers opting to delay as long as possible. However, striking when the best exchange rate is available could lead to huge savings – helping the budget stretch further.
Always make sure you double-check the currency which is used aboard the ship – as they will often use the currency of the port at which they are registered. This can be confusing when a ship sailing out of the UK to mainland Europe primarily uses dollars.
Book on the Seas
If you have been completely bowled-over by the cruising experience and can’t wait to book another trip – booking whilst on-board can lead to great savings. All the major cruise lines have on-board travel shops which have access to exclusive deals and prices – a great way to invest the holiday spends in another well-deserved holiday.