How to Save Money on a Cruise -10 Best Tips

A cruise can be an unforgettable but costly experience unless you use the right tips. The right tips and information can turn your cruise into a much more affordable yet still awesome experience.

Use these 10 tips including:

Do The Proper Research and Be Flexible

Make Reservations During Wave Season

Shop at Discount Websites

Consider Using Travel Agent

Make Your Own Day Travel Plans While on Cruise

Take A Smaller Ship Cruise

Read the Fine Print about What is Included

Book Early or Last Minute

Take Cruise During Non Busy Time

Use Wi-Fi or Internet Very Sparingly

Using these tips will allow you to potentially save tons of money and still achieve an unforgettable trip.

Through this post I will show you helpful information and tips for how to save money on a cruise.

Big Cruise
Do the Proper Research and Be Flexible

Do the Proper Research and Be Flexible

I went on a cruise with my family that was planned for months in advance and it was amazing. It was into Southern Alaska for about 7 days and was something that the family talks about a lot.

The key to preparing for a trip is to do some consistent research into what the best deals are for your upcoming trip. Deals can be found in many resources but it can take some time to research around to determine where those deals are going to be.

Proper research likely will include Google searches, reading guide books, asking friends and family who have been on a cruise and using the right resources to get the consistently good deals. I always do a healthy amount of Google searching for whatever trip I am about to go on. This helps me start the research process.

From there I will read any books to get the best deals but also these books will help for finding the best comprehensive packages for how to get the most memorable experiences.

Being flexible about the details for your cruise is essential for cutting down on the expenses without cutting down on the quality of your cruise.

Big Wave
Make Reservations During Wave Season

Make Reservations During Wave Season

Making reservations during the wave season can land you spectacular deals. The wave season for cruises is from January 15th through March 15th and is the best time to make travel plans for your cruise because this is when huge deals are happening.

You can find over 50% off the packages for your cruise and get discounted prices for all the extra features involved. This wave season is when most of the cruise companies are trying to get their ships fully reserved.

If you are ready to make a reservation during this time, you will be able to save potentially huge amounts. During these wave deals you can score some free air travel deals, which could cut down on the expenses for your trip a lot.

Shop at Discount Websites

Shopping at discount websites can be a great way to get affordable deals.

Use any of the following websites:

All of these websites have tons of options for the most popular locations to cruise. I liked CruiseDirect the most out of these options because they seemed to get the best deals for me. CruiseDirect did seem to be great for getting extra amenities for your cruise without that big of an increase in price.

Expedia and Priceline are known as consistent discount websites. Checking out these sites is likely to help you find an affordable deal that is just what you want.

Being flexible about where you are going and when you are going is the best way to save a ton on the trip.

Consider Using Travel Agent

Consider using a travel agent because they work for a living connecting people with the best deals. They are experts at finding the best deals for your trip wherever you are traveling.

If you are traveling with a bigger group, then it could be extra beneficial to use a travel agent because they could save you more. I had a recent trip to Peru where I got connected with a travel agent and it completely made the trip way better.

He was able to find the best prices and clued us in on where we should visit. Most travel agents will be able to get the deals for you wherever you are traveling but you could also use a travel agent that specializes in cruises to get great prices.

There are usually travel agent offices in your area and they can be found if you do a quick Google search. Search and read the travel agent websites in order to get your questions answered.

Make Your Own Day Travel Plans While on Cruise

Making your own day travel plans while on a cruise can be a great way to cut down on the costs. By doing your own activities for some day you can also increase the fun experiences.

The cruises can have very detailed itineraries for your entire trip, day and night. I like to have more flexibility with my trips and need some free time to explore.

If you want comprehensive deals with planned out activities, then use the cruise packages. But make sure to do some key research into what is exactly being offered with your trip package.

If you are interested in reading more about saving money for your upcoming trip, read How to Save Money for Vacations.

Smaller Ship
Take A Smaller Cruise Ship

Take A Smaller Cruise Ship

A smaller cruise ship is generally a better experience and can still be affordable if you shop around. The larger cruise ships can be cheaper at first but if you do some key research, you can find the best price possibly on a smaller ship.

These smaller ships can allow you to be closer to shore and offer plenty of other benefits.

There could also be the possibility of going on a specific kind of cruise such as one that is focused on re positioning. A re positioning cruise is one where the ship is heading to a new location because it is in need.

A great trip could be going on a re positioning cruise from Alaska to the Caribbean. This kind of cruise could be available if one season is ending and another is beginning, such as summer ending and winter starting.

Read the Fine Print about What is Included

Read the fine print about what is included because this will save you money. There is usually a long list of details for each cruise or trip package and it is essential to read all of this.

There can often be hidden expenses tucked away in this slightly long-winded document. I like to read it in detail before I make any purchasing decisions. Each cruise company is going to be a little different about what they offer and their fees.

Ask lots of questions too so that you reduce the chance of surprise expenses and fees occurring. Getting as much information as possible about your trip details is going to help you keep the price of your trip down.

Book Early or Last minute

Booking early can be a great and straight forward way to save loads of money. But it is crucial to time it just right and not buy way in advance. The best time to book for a cruise is 3 months in advance or at the last minute.

I like to book for cruises or trips 3 months in advance because then you can prepare for this trip in detail. But another way to go about planning a trip and saving money is by booking at the last minute.

If you are very flexible about many parts of your trip, then you could get connected to with a supreme deal. I have taken trips where I made reservations for them ten days before they started and received really great deals.

To get the consistent deals with great quality packages book 3 months in advance.

Take Cruise During Non Busy Time

Going on a cruise during the non busy time is an easy way to save tons. Doing this could involve going right before the busy, tourist season starts and could save you on more than just the cruise itself.

Traveling during the non busy time could lead to easier and more affordable flights, fewer crowds and more enjoyable experiences for your cruise. These slightly less crowded times can be truly excellent for increasing the experience of your trip. Do some research into the location that you are hoping to cruise to see when the slightly less busy time is going to be and if there is a chance that you can go on your cruise during that time.

Use Wi-Fi and Phone Very Sparingly

The Wi-Fi and phone rates tend to be very expensive and are not really worth using that much. The rates are usually per minute and can be quite expensive and are generally only worth it for very important messaging needs.

Using your phone during the on land times could rack up your expenses too, especially if you are getting charged international fees. Check with your phone provider to see what the options are going to be for making calls and using your phone in another country or on a cruise.

These international fees can be quite hefty, especially if you do any sending of images or watching any videos.

Be Super Flexible

Be as flexible as possible and this could greatly increase the chance of you having an awesome experience. If you go through the planning process and focus on being flexible about where you go and when you go, then you are likely to have an affordable and enjoyable trip.

Be patient, flexible, prepare a lot and you will set yourself up for an affordable and enjoyable experience.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and learned useful information and tips for how to save money on a cruise.

If you have any questions, please leave them below and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

6 Replies to “How to Save Money on a Cruise -10 Best Tips”

  1. Thank you for this article and all the great suggestions. I am an avid cruiser and learned quite a few things (like getting a travel agent or using a booking site). And a repositioning cruise? Never heard of it but it makes perfect sense. I’m going to look into it!

    I totally agree about not doing many ship planned day trips but to that I add a caveat: While it’s fine to bring your own snorkle gear and swim off the beach instead of paying for someone to take you (for example), one should always err on the safe side when booking tours or day trips off the boat. The ship company has a duty to know that the company they’re working with is reputable and safe (and probably has been working with them awhile) but a tourist has no way of knowing if that random guy on the docks offering fishing excursions has your best interests at heart .

    I totally agree on the phone thing too but habits die hard! If I’m taking my phone for pictures, I turn ON Airplane Mode and turn OFF WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular and Hotspot. That ways there no way I can “space it” and use data. These things can always be turned on in an instant in case there is a need for an emergency phone call.

    1. You are welcome!
      Being extra prepared for your own adventures is key when you are in an unfamiliar area.
      Turning ON Airplane mode is sure to keep you from using your phone as much and save you some money.
      I am happy that you liked this post!

  2. You are completely right.. I can not get over how cheap some of these are. Thank you so much for sharing. I think I might be booking a surprise little get-away for me and my man. Thank you.

  3. Wow, some of these are so cheap. I think I might just have to try this someday. never been on a cruise. What a great get-away. Thank you. Can I ask what is your favorite cruise line and why?

    1. My favorite cruise line is UnCruise Adventures. I went on a cruise for 7 days with them in Southern Alaska a few years back and it was incredible! It was significantly more expensive than other cruise lines but it was an unforgettable experience.
      You can get special deals if you book a cruise during the January 15th to March 15th WAVE window. This is the time of year when most cruise lines are giving away huge deals.

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