And why not? With modern ships, exceptional amenities, great food and exotic ports of call, today’s cruise ships are floating resorts, with something for everyone.
But do you know what’s even better than taking a cruise? It’s getting that cruise at a big discount – sometimes as large as 82%.
These kinds of discounts are readily available to knowledgeable travelers who know how to find them. In this article, we’ll give you the knowledge you need to do the same.
Why such a big discount?
The first (and key) thing to understand is this: The ship is going to sail, full or not.
The second thing is, to a cruise line, sailing with empty cabins is extremely unprofitable.
So at a certain point (usually within a few months of the departure date), the cruise line would much rather sell any empty cabins at a discount than have them remain empty (their attitude is “something is better than nothing”).
But, selling cabins at cheaper prices poses an issue for them – since passengers have already booked at full fare, the cruise line really doesn’t want to offer the remaining rooms at a cheaper price on their own website.
So these cruise lines work with third-party companies/websites that specialize in offering cruises at a discount. This way, the cruise line itself doesn’t seem like it’s selling the room at a discount, yet they can fill up the ship like they want to. Plus, the vacationer who sought out the bargain gets a cruise at a much lower rate – everybody wins.
What do you need to do?
There are a couple things you should be aware of in pursuing the best cruise prices:
- Be a little flexible on the departure date and itinerary. Cruising at any time offers terrific value, but there are benefits to being able to travel on fairly short notice or to shifting your departure date or itinerary to take advantage of a great offer.
- Register with a company that is authorized to offer deals on these unsold cabins (signing up is completely free of charge, by the way). Vacations To Go, the world’s largest seller of cruises (in business since 1984) is one of the more popular websites handling these kinds of bookings.
But that’s about it – if you are willing to spend a little time searching and are flexible on travel dates, you can get a terrific cruise for pennies on the dollar. Bon voyage!