When planning any vacation, we all want to find the very best value possible. This is no different when planning a cruise vacation. Finding – and getting – cruise discounts is not that difficult. Not all cruise discounts however will give you the best value.
What is important to you in a vacation cruise is not necessarily what is important to me or anyone else. So the discount you get offered may be for a cruise, cruise line, or stateroom that doesn’t interest you. Sure, the price is right but if you get full enjoyment, where is the value? If you are flexible or if you simply want to ‘get-away-from-it-all’ then any discount will be a good one for you.
We have identified six different ways that cruise discounts are offered. One is sure to be right for you.
<b>Early Booking Discounts</b>
This type of discount is available from most cruise lines and for most itineraries. If you book before a certain date, the cruise line offers a special discount price for your vacation. Now these discounts may not be the ‘best prices’ you can get but by booking early you will most often get the cruise you want, on the cruise ship you desire, and the itinerary of interest, in the stateroom or suite of your choice. All of these items combined can make this type of vacation discount the very best value for your cruise. You may say that if you wait, with the cruise ships being so large these days, you can get exactly what you want. Be forewarned! Cruises do sell out.
<b>Last Minute Discounts</b>
This is by far the riskiest discount to plan on. If your preferred cruise sells out, you’re stuck without that cruise vacation. If you would prefer a balcony stateroom, all that may be available at the time could be inside rooms. However, having said all of that, these discounts can at times provide the very best pricing. So if you are flexible in itinerary, cruise ship, vacation date, and stateroom preference, perhaps this is your best bet.
<b>Group Booking Discounts</b>
If you can generate some interest in your planned cruise vacation with others, you could qualify for a ‘group rate’. Not all cruise lines would offer this – or any other – discount but it is certainly worth pursuing. The rates again may not be as low as for a last minute cruise discount but you can get in early enough to ensure that you get the preferences listed above.
<b>Low Season Discounts</b>
Should your vacation schedule fall into one of the ‘low seasons’ for cruise vacations, you would be in luck. In the Caribbean for example, the so-called ‘Hurricane season’ provides many great cruise rates for potential passengers. Now I know that ‘summer season’ is a better name for it from a marketing standpoint but we may as well call it like it is. Keep in mind that on a cruise, should a major storm happen, cruise ships can divert to calmer waters. Today’s cruise ships can out-run storms as well. If you were to be in a resort on a land-based vacation, you would have no choice but to flee or take cover.
<b>Value Added Cruise Pricing</b>
This type of ‘discount’ does not change the price of the cruise itself. It does however give guests specials additions and ‘perks’. One such added value could be stateroom upgrades – you pay for a certain category of stateroom and the cruise line automatically bumps you up into the next category. Another common value-added feature is an on-board credit. In this case, the cruise line adds a credit to your stateroom account that can be used while on your vacation. Other perks can include free logo-wear or a bottle of wine in your stateroom.
<b>Previous Cruisers Discounts</b>
For first-time cruisers, this type of discount will be un-attainable. But next cruise on the same cruise line, you may be offered many different specials that you may find attractive. These could include free upgrades and on-board credits as detailed above.
Whether you take advantage of any of the possible discounts available for cruise vacations, one thing is certain. A cruise aboard one of the magnificent cruise ships will be an experience to cherish!