Tips for Finding the Best Cruise Deal

With plenty of cruise deals and packages around, taking a cruise is no longer a luxury exclusive to the rich and famous.   According to Cruise Market Watch, an estimated 19 million people took a cruise in 2011.

Before the days of the Internet, purchasing a cruise would mean going to your local booking agency and browsing through some brochures. Today, anyone with an Internet-connected computer and willingness to spend time and effort can do an in-depth travel research. There’s a wide array of itineraries, packages, prices, and payment options available. By learning how to navigate through all these information, you can take the vacation you’ve been dreaming of without having to break the bank. Here are some tips on how to find the best cruise deals.

Check Online Cruise Booking Agencies

Everyone seems to be selling cruises online nowadays. You’ll find hundreds of websites offering low fares, discounted fares, or last minute deals. Before grabbing any deal, you should check two things:

  • The legitimacy of the site. Look for seals of approval, such as by the Better Business Bureau or the American Society of Travel Agents.
  • The fine prints. The online travel industry is very competitive, so travel sites post attention-grabbing captions such as “Cruise Bargains!” or “Lowest Prices Ever!” Before grabbing any deal, reading the fine prints. Is the advertised price inclusive of other fees such as taxes and port charges, or are there additional fees?  What about their cancellation fees?

Narrow Down Your Search into Regions

Cruise to some places would be more expensive than others, and your choice would depend on your budget. A Caribbean cruise, for instance, may be more expensive than a European cruise. Create a wish list of the destinations you want to visit (3 -5 is good), and check available prices on those destinations.

Sign-up for Membership Programs          

Some online travel agencies like Vacations To Go offer free membership programs. They don’t advertise their deals on their website. Instead, they send the latest deals and discounts on cruises to members via email.

Just as when shopping for a pair of shoes or a new cellphone, always compare prices and deals of different travel sites before buying a cruise. With proper research and planning, you’ll find the best cruise deal that fits your budget and ideal location.

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