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11 Ways To Get Lower Cruise Fares

In this video you're going to learn how to get the best price for your next cruise.

I'm Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. I'm going to share with you a series of

tips on how you can get an amazing price for your next cruise. Tip number

one: there are two best times to book which are either very early or very late. So when

cruise lines launch new itineraries and announce itineraries for the coming

years, they normally launch those with deals and incentives. There might be

upgrades, there might be a on-board credit, they might include things like

drinks packages or excursions. But they will normally have various incentives

and deals to get people to book early. So when itineraries are launched that's a

great time to find a great cruise price. After that, the next best time is after

90 days and the date of sailing. Basically what happens with cruises is

you have to pay your final balance either 90 days or 60 days and

sailing. So at that point the cruise line knows how many cabins they've got left,

and then they work to get rid of all of those cabins. If there's

lots of capacity they will start to slash prices to sell all those cabins,

because they want to sail full. That's very important because they make a

lot of money once you're on board. So very early when itineraries are launched

there'll be a window of time and then after 90 to 60 days and the day of

sailing is when you're likely to get the best cruise deals possible. The

second key thing to getting a great cruise deal is flexibility. The more

flexible you are, the better the price you're going to pay. So if you know that

there's a specific itinerary on a specific date on a specific ship in a

specific cabin that is a chance that you're going to pay the highest amount for

your fare - because you're very very fixed. However if you're very flexible. If

you're very open, you're going to find a much better price. What do I mean by

flexibility? Well first of all, choose a broad region so that's the

Caribbean or it's Mediterranean or whether it's Alaska, bearing a mind that

most cruise lines in those regions will have very similar itineraries. The second

thing you need to look at is when you want to go. So if you've got a broad

period of time you want to go, so it's anytime in a particular month, then again

you are likely to find great Cruise deals because you're going to be able to move

around between ships and dates that have the best deals. The third

thing is if you're not fixed on an particular cruise lines and you're quite

happy to go on any cruise line, or perhaps a a small group of cruise lines.

So if you like resort type cruises you might want to have a little bundle

between Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and perhaps some of the MSC ships, or perhaps you're

looking at a boutique ships. So you're looking more at your Seabourn,

Silversea , Regent Seven Seas or Hapag-Lloyd. Also importantly is you're flexible

about the cabin. The cheapest cabin that you're going to find, whether you

want to go for an inside cabin, ocean view, a balcony cabin or even a suite, is

instead of choosing a very specific cabin you go for what's known as a

"guaranteed cabin". So whatever level you are, you don't book a very

specific cabin but book a guaranteed cabin. The cruise line allocates the

specific cabin. So flexibility is very important. So if you know you

want to go to Alaska for example sometime in May or June,

you don't really mind which Cruise Line and you're really clear about I want an

inside or a suite (but I don't really mind which cabin it is). If you have

that degree of flexibility as you start to look for prices and deals you have a

huge and wide range of options and you're going to find the best price.

Flexibility is the secret to getting a great cruise deal. Now the

third tip is about when you want to go. If you want to cruise in the key

school summer vacations or you want to cruise at Christmas, you're going to be

paying the highest prices going because there is huge demand. The

secret is choose what's known as the shoulder season. That's the beginning

and end of a season. This is when prices are going to be sharpest. So, for example,

if you go into Alaska you want to go at the very beginning of the season so you

might want to go around May or August time. If

you want to go to the Mediterranean or Caribbean the secret is to go at the

beginning and the end of the seasons. So for example March /April time and

September / October time and similarly for the Caribbean because that's when most

of the ships will move between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean as ships

redeploy at the changeover of those two seasons. You need to avoid peak times like

the summer school holidays, Christmas and also the big holiday

weekends like Easter and Thanksgiving. My next tip in terms of getting a

great cruise deal is get them sent to you. There's two things that I

really strongly recommend you do. The first is for any cruise line that

you're interested in is sign up for their email newsletter, and whenever there's a

deal or a promotion they send those out by email. Another thing I

strongly recommend you do is sign up for the newsletters from cruise aggregators.

These are sites which bring together all the cruise deals that are going from

all the different cruise lines all around the world, and these are great

because then in one email you will get lots of suggestions for lots of

different cruise lines. Sometimes they have deals that you won't get anywhere

else because these are big sellers of cruises and so they sometimes get

special deals. Three of them that I find really helpful are ROLCruise, they tend

to be much more uk-based. there's TravelZoo and another great one is CruiseDirect,

and they claim that no one beats their price. My next tip is once

you've booked a cruise keep an eye out for what that particular cruise is

selling for. If you find that the price has dropped the cruise line is not going to

tell you. What you need to do is get hold of the cruise line and point out that

the price has shifted and you want something. So for example you might ask

for an upgrade or ask for the difference in onboard credit. I've had some

great experiences where I booked a particular cruise and booked a

particular cabin and when I've seen the prices come down I've got hold of the cruise

line and I've got some fantastic upgrades and onboard credit. My next

tip is to focus on older ships. When new ships come along, everybody wants to

get on the new ship. So what normally happens is the cruise lines start

discounting or having lower fares for some of their older ships. So you can get

a great price by going on an older ship with a particular cruise line. So what I

like to do is whenever I know a cruise line is launching a ship, I start looking

at cruises on some of their older ships because you'll normally get fantastic

prices on those older ships doing the same itineraries. My next tip is also to

focus on the large ports. There's a huge capacity setting out of ports like Miami,

Fort Lauderdale, Barcelona, Rome as big cruise ports around the world have

lots and lots of cruise lines sailing out of them. They have lots and lots of

capacity and competition is much much higher. So also as you're looking for great

cruise deals ,take a look at the big ports. If you can easily get to one of those

ports, focus your search for great cruise deals out of those ports. My next tip

is if you actually want to find a great deal, and this is a particularly

when you look how much you spend per day, focus on longer cruises. Longer cruises

tend to be much cheaper on a per day basis and you might actually find that

you can get many more days on a cruise for the same price as a seven-day cruise

at a peak time. Also repositioning cruises are a great way of getting a phenomenal

deal. Repositioning cruises are when ships will change region, so for example

if they're sailing in the Caribbean as that season comes to end most cruise

lines will then reposition their ships into the Mediterranean, and you can

really get amazing deals. The reason for that is not everyone like that

there will be a lot of days at sea. There will normally be five or six

days at sea, so normally have perhaps a couple of ports in the Caribbean then

five or six days at sea and a couple of ports in the Mediterranean. But you do

get great prices on them. The next tip may be less practical, but it is a

way of getting a great price in fact possibly a free cruise! If you have a lot

of friends, or perhaps you have some club or Association that you run, if you

organize a group cruise the cruise line will normally throw in one or two free

cabins. You only often need to get together 16 to 20 people to

actually do that. So it's definitely a way where you could get yourself

potentially a free cruise. Another way you can get a great cruise deal is by

sailing on the same line. So I mentioned earlier flexibility is important, jumping

around between cruise lines you generally going to find deals because

you're not tied to one Cruise Line. But if there's a cruise line that

you really really like, building up loyalty and working your way through

their frequent sailing program is also going to be a great way of getting a

great cruise deal. Some cruise lines will actually give you free cruises as

you build up loyalty. Others will give you various discounts, like upgrades or

it might be extra on-board credit, internet time and all those sort of savings on

the other costs of cruising which are not included in the fare. So that's

another thing to look at if you don't like that being flexible do go to

the other extreme and actually be incredibly loyal and that's where you'll

normally get deals. One of the ways of getting great cruise deals is still,

despite all the things I've spoken about, is working with a cruise expert agent. Now

the reason for that is if you found a great deal you can go to the agent and

point out your found a great deal and ask them can they better it. Often

they can as that they will either have different deals, special pricing

and they have a lot of flexibility in terms of price or other things that they

can throw in. So what I like to do is once I find a great deal that I really

like, I ask my cruise agent to either match or beat that deal and normally

they can. They can also keep monitoring prices and can also deal with the

cruise line if price has gone down to try and negotiate extra benefits like

onboard credit or upgrades. They are likely to know the

great deals that are going around. Of course by following these various tips

you can be constantly and constantly looking to find a great cruise deal. My

advice I would have is, once you've found a cruise that you like and

a price that you think is reasonable book it! Don't just keep looking and

looking and looking because it's like an eternal Holy Grail you'll probably never

find the perfect price. The critical thing to remember is the more fixed you

are the harder it's going to be to find a great price. So if you know I want to

go on this very specific itinerary on this very specific date on this with

this very specific Cruise Line in this very specific cabin that is going to

most likely give you the worst price. The more flexible you are, the more fluid you

are, the best price you're going to get. I hope you found that helpful and it will

help you find a phenomenal cruise price. If you've got any other experiences I'd

love to hear about them, but very importantly I really love it if you gave

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