If you're planning to take a cruise you want to make sure you get the best cruise deal bargain offered. And there are many ways to save a bunch of money on your next cruise if you know what to do. It isn't hard to learn the secrets travel agents know when you're looking for the best cruise deal. You can save as much as 65% scouting on your own or from 15-30% from the cruise line brokers and the cruise consolidators as they're called.
There are many sites that offer clearance specials and last minute cruise deals. Then there are the possibly cheaper but much riskier last minute cruise auctions and classifieds which I won't go into here. The last minute cruise deals are not hard to find because the cruise lines don't want to have any empty cabins when they leave port and they make every effort to fill them.
Note that the offers you find on the cruise line sites are NOT going to be as good as those you find elsewhere or from cruise line brokers or the consolidators. So make sure you go to the other sites. Of course you can compare the prices you find with the cruise line's site.
First of all to get the best cruise deal online you want to look for cruise sites that use the Revelex or OVS cruise reservation systems. This way you can easily compare prices on staterooms for many of the cruise ships at one time. Some of these sites have time limits on their offers so be ready but don't buy on impulse either. Last minute deals can save you a bundle.
Once you find what you think is a bargain or a good deal you can contact your local cruise travel agent and see if they can meet it or beat it. Some of the cruise lines forbid travel agents to discount their cruises but it doesn't mean the agents don't know about already-discounted cruises.
Once you've found some good travel websites, sign up for their email alerts so you'll get fast notice on last minute cruise deals, package deals or clearance cruise deals or any other special offers that might be floating around out there. Sign up at several sites because you want the ones that are going to email you soon and often with the alerts and some of them may be too slow.
You can ask for a discount even on the final price for any cruise. Ask if they have a senior discount, business discount, student discount, health professional discount or AARP discount or AAA for example. There are also resident discounts or special offers if you live in a particular state.
Make sure to visit several sites and compare, don't just settle on the first one No matter what low rate you find keep searching for a lower rate. The sites that compare several cruise lines at once will often bring up comparisons that make it easy for you to find the best rate.
You want to compare the cruise lines, cruise ships and the itineraries besides the price. You're looking for a bargain - the cheapest cruise rates. Make sure to read the fine print on any site so there are no surprises later. It's absolutely necessary.
Remember that some offers may be for the second-rate cabins. This means the cabins that are near noisy service doors or elevators or under the ballroom floor or near children's activity areas. You don't want to find out later that the reason your cabin was cheap was due to the location on the ship. Be aware that the last minute cruise deals or clearance cruise specials may be non-refundable. Read the contract closely.
It doesn't matter if you're looking for a Carnival cruise deal, Disney cruise deal. Royal Caribbean cruise deal, Crystal cruise deal or any other cruise line, or if you and a partner and/or your family plan to go to Mexico, the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii or the Bahamas or cruise with celebrities; if you spend a little extra time learning the ropes you'll not only save yourself a lot of money but you'll get the best cruise deal online.