If you pay attention to departure dates, you can land some excellent cruise ship deals that will float your boat. There isn’t a cruise ship line in the world that was to consistently travel with empty cabins. They want every cabin filled in order to make a profit on individual cruises.
If you are a savvy sailor you will be able to find some excellent deals if you are flexible on your traveling dates.
LAST MINUTE CRUISE DEALS
Because cruise ship lines really don’t like sailing with empty cabins, many of the best deals can be had if you are able to book a cruise on short notice.
It would be a good idea to join an online cruise company like Last Minute Travel. They will post excellent prices on last minute cruises of all kinds to many different destinations. (see banner below). Members get excellent last minute prices on cruises and hotels.
Cruise ship lines are more than willing to sell you a cabin at reduced prices for several reasons.
Passengers help pay the wages of the staff through gratuities. If the staff member assigned to a block of cabins has several empty cabins in his area, he will be receiving far less in gratuities. Say for example the average gratuity rate is $2.50 USD per night on seven-day cruises. That’s a $17.50 shortfall on his income for the week. That’s a big amount of money to them.
Normally, gratuities are pooled among the staff, but empty cabins still mean there is less money in the gratuity pool.
Even if they sell you a cabin at a reduced rate, cruise ship lines realize that you will most likely pay for drinks, specialty dining, spa treatments, photographs, excursions, and shop at the Galleria shops. There is also a very good chance you will leave some money in the casino as well. Paying for your cabin is just part of the cost of going on cruises.
The deals are certainly out there to be had. I landed one cruise years ago for a $1200 total price. It was for 10 days and we stopped at eight islands in the Southern Caribbean. It also included my return flight from Canada to Miami.
It was an amazing itinerary that included St. Thomas, St. Barts, St Martin, Curacao, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Cartagena, and Aruba. I have cruised a total of 13 times on four different cruise ship lines and that was the best itinerary I ever had.
I also had my own cabin with no double occupancy cost. It was on the Carnival Jubilee which has long since been retired from service.
Sometimes a cruise ship will do Alaska run in the Spring and Summer and then head down to the Caribbean for the Fall and Winter months. At some point, they will have to be repositioned to a new port. Say for example a cruise ship did the Seattle to Alaska run and in the Fall repositioned for a Caribbean run.
What you want to do is get a spot on the repositioning cruise that will start in Seattle and perhaps end in Miami. So you will fly to Seattle to catch your ship and fly home from the new port, wherever it happens to be. They will most likely only reposition twice a year, so they are very sought after cruises for several reasons.
It may be a ten-day cruise instead of the standard seven-day cruises. If it’s going down the west coast, you will most likely get to see the Panama Canal. The itinerary will be unique as opposed to doing the same itinerary week in and week out.
There are many repositioning cruises that will take you from Europe to the USA. One I am looking at right now on Vacations to go that leaves from Barcelona Spain on November 22, 2019, and sails to Miami. It’s a 14-day cruise for $1074 CDN funds.
On April 18, 2020, the Norwegian Epic makes the same trip in the other direction. You would embark in Miami and disembark in Barcelona. It’s a 15-day cruise for $1,074 CDN funds.
PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP LINES LANDMARK SALE
Princess has cruise itineraries all over the world. Choose between Alaska, Hawaii, Asia, Caribbean, Canada and New England, Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti, and many other destinations.
Best of all, Princess is featuring a Landmark Sale that includes as much as a $1000 onboard credit depending on the cruise and choice of cabin.
Often you can get excellent deals on Transatlantic cruises. They are bargain prices for the most part because the flight arrangements are more expensive.
Most people don’t choose these cruises for that very reason.
But what if you were planning a holiday in Europe anyway? It would be an ideal opportunity to combine a cruise with a land holiday. Say, for example, you lived in Miami and opted for the repositioning cruise to Barcelona? You are only paying for a one-way flight from Barcelona to Miami instead of a return flight.
This is what many people who live in San Juan, Miami, New Orleans, Manhattan, Fort Lauderdale, or any other departure port do. If they happen to live in a cruise port city, they can just wait for last-minute cruise deals to pretty much anywhere and save a lot of money on flights.
It’s great because even if they just plan on a 7-day Caribbean cruise, there are no flights at all to worry about booking as they just end up back in their home city at the end of the cruises.
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