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Top Tips for Booking a Cruise and Maximising Your Budget

Updated: Jan 12


Embarking on a cruise is a thrilling adventure, promising the allure of exotic destinations, luxurious amenities, and the soothing rhythm of the open sea. The cruise industry is worth $19 billion (£15 million), according to Statista, with more than 1.7 million people in the UK getting on board in 2022.

Embarking on a cruise is a thrilling adventure, promising the allure of exotic destinations, luxurious amenities, and the soothing rhythm of the open sea. The cruise industry is worth $19 billion (£15 million), according to Statista, with more than 1.7 million people in the UK getting on board in 2022. Covid stopped so many people from travelling and forced us to stay home, and we soon realised how lucky we had been in the past to be able to head off around the world to see amazing things and experience different cultures, and it was all very depressing!


Post Covid, more Brits than ever are throwing caution to the wind and splashing out on holidays and leisure activities, to make up for lost time, and the opportunity to sail the seven seas in pursuit of an adventure sounds very exciting!


While the experience is undoubtedly enticing, the costs associated with cruising can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are savvy ways to navigate the seas of cruise bookings and save money without compromising on the quality of your journey.

Flexible Booking Dates for Optimal Pricing

Timing is everything when it comes to booking a cruise. Prices can vary significantly depending on the season, and strategic planning can result in substantial savings. One of the most effective ways to secure a budget-friendly cruise is by being flexible with your travel dates. For instance, booking during the off-peak season, often referred to as the "shoulder season," can lead to substantial savings. Not all cruise providers sail out of season, but Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Viking Ocean are among those that do.  With that in mind, consider scheduling your cruise during the months when demand is lower, as those cruise lines are more likely to offer discounted fares during these periods.


t’s hugely important to research your provider and ensure you’re getting the right value for your money. Everyone who books a cruise is likely to have a different budget, and something you may feel is money-saving could turn out to be completely the wrong cruise for you.


Research Your Provider

It’s hugely important to research your provider and ensure you’re getting the right value for your money. Everyone who books a cruise is likely to have a different budget, and something you may feel is money-saving could turn out to be completely the wrong cruise for you. For instance, Royal Caribbean is described as the ‘leader’ in a movement that keeps the base price low but then has many extra costs, similar to a budget airline. That means extras, such as WiFi, use of the gym and pool, and even entertainment, can be charged on top, and that may well see prices mounting up significantly.

Keep an Eye on The Deals

Many providers have special deals available, and whilst some common money-saving advice includes not booking directly with the cruise provider, it can be a source of a budget-busting offer. That even applies to the top-end cruises, such as those provided by Explora Journeys. Their luxury cruises offer sumptuous restaurants, shopping experiences, and spacious cabins, but a visit to their website reveals some keen savings, such as a 5% early booking offer and the Total Luxury Offer, which delivers up to 40% savings. Additionally, keep an eye out for last-minute deals. Cruise lines often discount unsold cabins closer to the departure date to fill empty spaces. While this requires a degree of spontaneity, it can result in significant savings for those who can be flexible with their plans.


Choosing the right cabin is not only about comfort but also about maximising your budget. While the allure of a luxurious suite is undeniable, opting for an inside or ocean-view cabin can significantly reduce your overall costs without sacrificing the overall experience.

Strategic Cabin Selection for Value and Comfort

Choosing the right cabin is not only about comfort but also about maximising your budget. While the allure of a luxurious suite is undeniable, opting for an inside or ocean-view cabin can significantly reduce your overall costs without sacrificing the overall experience. Inside cabins, located in the interior of the ship without windows, are typically the most economical option. While they may lack natural light, travellers who prioritise exploring the destinations and onboard amenities over scenic views can make substantial savings. For example, a family of four looking to cruise through the Alaskan fjords might find that booking two ocean-view cabins instead of two balcony cabins allows them to allocate their budget more efficiently, ensuring they can indulge in shore excursions or onboard activities without overspending.

Conclusion

Whatever your destination, whenever you want to go, the cost of a cruise can be affected by following some of the steps above. A cruise certainly can’t be described as a budget holiday, but they are a fantastic way to experience the world and entirely possible to enjoy on a budget.



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