By Patrick Chong
Luxury cruises can be made affordable with a few clever tricks. Be sure to include cruise travel insurance to help contain the expense.
Historically, the idea of going on a cruise used to be reserved for the extremely wealthy and maybe-famous type of travellers. However, more and more bargain-holiday shoppers have become wise to the ways of travel companies and cruise operators. The most strategic planners are taking advantage of early-bird specials, last minute deals, or opting for ‘repositioning’ voyages to make their dream cruise holiday a reality.
By remaining flexible and open to the idea of an adventure, travellers – armed with cruise travel insurance – are saving a bundle while sailing on the high seas.
Top Money-Saving Tips
According to inside experts from top travel companies such as Travelzoo and Cruisecritic.co.uk, there are a few tried and tested techniques for playing the game to your greatest advantage when booking a cruise holiday. Prices for cruises fluctuate greatly throughout their booking season, and the first tip is all about timing.
It can be financially advantageous to book your cruise as far as two years in advance of the ship’s departure date. Early bird specials offer holidaymakers huge savings and incentives at the very beginning of the booking schedule. On- board perks can include cabin up-grades, beverage packages or even ship credits.
If you have the stomach for taking this type of gamble, last minute deals can end up being a steal. Up to 12 weeks before a ship’s departure, cruise operators are typically scrambling to fill empty cabins. Complete flexibility is required for this option as you have to take what is available in regards to cabin location, cruise destination or preferred ship.
Know the Business
The business of cruise lines can be a fairly complicated strategic matter. Ships of this size are tricky to relocate quickly and so companies try to capitalise on this logistic necessity. ‘Repositioning cruises’ are when companies ‘reposition’ their ships from one part of the world to another in preparation for the change in seasons; these cruises can be offered at a huge discount.
There are pros and cons to these kinds of holidays and consequently cruise travel insurance is even more important in this instance. A repositioning cruise generally spends a much longer time at sea, makes fewer port calls, risks boring itineraries, and the chances of inclement weather are much greater. Therefore, if you opt for this type of cruise be sure to select a ship with excellent facilities to keep you entertained while on board.
Obviously, most seasoned travellers these days know of the advantages in travelling during ‘off-season’ times of year. For example, those with flexible schedules can find excellent deals for winter itineraries to the Mediterranean. Travelling right before or after the peak holidays (Christmas, summer, and Easter, for example) can offer savings as these times are known as ‘shoulder seasons’.
Other money-saving techniques can include opting for one of the cabins in a less popular location. If an obstructed view from your cabin window does not bother you it may prove to be a very savvy way of being frugal.
Shopping around is also imperative when seeking out a bargain cruise. Compare prices on everything, including cruise travel insuranceFree Web Content, all-inclusive packages and even cruises that do and do not include the price of airfare. A cruise is meant to be a dream holiday of a lifetime. Doing the maximum amount of research prior to booking will certainly pay off in the end.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family, annual and cruise travel insurance. If you’re heading off on a cruise to any destination worldwide, InsureMore has the best policies to suit. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.