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7 Ways to Book the Cheapest Cruise Vacation

annapeel profile picture
September 03, 2016 · 2.6k Views

ways to book the cheapest cruise vacation

Looking for a vacation that lets you explore the world without having to pack and unpack multiple times? Do you want to visit more remote areas during the day while indulging in big-city style nightlife in the evening? If you can answer yes to any of the aforementioned questions, you may want to consider booking a cruise. Contrary to popular belief, a cruise is oftentimes more affordable option for vacations, especially when you consider food, entertainment, and kids activities are all included in the package. That said, there are many more ways you can cut costs and save money while planning your cruise vacation. Read on for smart tips to help you do just that.

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  1. Look to book tickets for a cruise closer to the departure date.
    Cruise lines tend to drop prices on cruises as they get closer to the cruise departure. Keep that in mind the next time you're browsing Expedia or another travel site shopping for cruise deals. A few important things to remember when you're searching for a cruise close to the departure date: you may have as little as two weeks to prepare for some of the trips and you may end up with a smaller stateroom in an undesirable location. Decide what you're willing to do without and how much you're willing to spend beforehand to ensure you get a good deal.
  2. Opt to cruise closer to home.
    If you already live near a major cruise port in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Boston, or New York, you may be able to save extra money by skipping hotel and airfare. You'll save more money for things that matter like excursions or souvenirs.
  3. Schedule your cruise during winter.
    Don't let the winter doldrums put a damper on your spirit, this is the best season to book a cruise. The “wave” season is when many cruise lines cut prices on cruises to showcase their best deals of the year. You'll find many great deals on cruise throughout the year, so there is no need to drop all plans for a last minute cruise if you don't feel like it.
  4. Avoid the extras.
    Oftentimes, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a vacation and overlook the extras that add up during the trip. To save money, dine exclusively in the dining room and skip the alternative dining options which aren't included in the package. Unplug from the internet and savor your experience. Not only will you have more time to relax, but you'll also save money you'd otherwise spend accessing the internet aboard. Bring your own camera and avoid spending money on professional photos which usually look cheesy.
  5. Skip cruise excursions and activities.
    It's tempting to purchase excursion activities on your cruise, but you may end up paying more than you bargained for. You can explore islands and other exotic locales for less: all you need is a sense of adventure and a travel guide. If you want, spend a little time (and money) exploring local markets and cafes. If you opt for this route, you should plan your adventures with enough time to spare to get back to the port.
  6. Don't spend a lot at the casino.
    Many cruise ships have a casino or two for those who want to try their hand a luck. Although there is nothing wrong with spending a little money at the poker table or slot machine, you may want to limit your time spent at the casinos. Try to carry a predetermined amount of cash for the casino club, that way you'll be less tempted to blow all your cash for one or two games.
  7. Bring your own wine.
    Your cruise will offer plenty of opportunities to drink beer, wine, and cocktails, but you can expect to pay a small premium for those drinks. Most cruises will allow you to bring at least two bottles of wine on the ship, so you should take advantage of that. Since cruises generally charge a cork fee for drinks brought from outside the cruise, you may want to keep the drinks inside your stateroom.


For many people, a cruise is one of the more affordable vacation options available. Since almost everything is included in the package, you won't need to keep tabs on your credit card throughout the trip. That said, there are many ways you can save even more during your trip.


annapeel profile picture
Anna Peel is a freelance writer from Savannah, Georgia. She's written for many websites including CheapToday, ValueWalk, and Peku Publications. When she isn't writing, she is shopping for the best deals online and at bricks-and-mortar stores.

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