Tips for getting the best deal on cruise vacations

By Lee Boughan

Should I wait to book my cruise?

No, the best time to book a cruise is the moment you consider going. Booking early guarantees you’ll get the cabin type and location on the ship you want. If you have the luxury of traveling last minute, let your Travel Advisor know – they’ll keep you in the loop whenever last-minute travel deals come up, but these are become more rare as the economy is strengthening.

When should I travel if I want to get the best deal?

Traveling during the off-peak or shoulder seasons – right before and right after peak season – is best. For example, Alaska is most popular in the summer, so cruises in May or September might have the best deals. Peak travel times are often when kids are not in school, like summer, winter holidays and spring break, so look for deals at times when class is in session. Not sure when the best time to visit a destination is? Every destination is different so ask your Travel Advisor!

How do I find the best cruise deals?

Contact your Travel Advisor for the best specials and promotions currently available. Also, be sure to sign up for your Travel Advisor’s newsletter so that you can learn immediately about new deals.

How do I choose a Travel Advisor?

First, look for an advisor that has experience with the type of cruise you are looking for.  Next, be sure the travel advisor has access to a program that monitors cruise fares, that way, if the price of your cruise goes down your rate can often be adjusted. This way, you’ll be sure to get the best rate no matter when you book.

Look for a Travel Advisor with access to exclusive offers including discounts and add-ons that will make your vacation extra special. These can include:

  • Shipboard credit
  • Cabin category upgrades
  • Reduced payment deposits
  • Free gratuities
  • Beverage packages
  • Shore excursions
  • Free or reduced airfare
  • Spa credits

Lee Boughan is a Travel Advisor with Cruise Planners of Apopka.  She can be reached at 407-814-8283.


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