Future.Travel

10 Tips for getting the best value for your cruise dollar

  1. Repositioning cruises
    These may be the best value per kilometre for a cruise. Cruise ships set up port in one location, for example Hamburg, Germany. At the end of the sailing season for Hamburg they move the ship to a new port, for example Singapore. So the ship is to travel from Hamburg to Singapore, with multiple stops along the way. As passengers can not get on and off in the same port (e.g. Hamburg) it reduces the number passengers, so the ship reduces the price to fill the ship with passengers. Great Value. The downside is the ship sometimes uses these sailings for on board repairs so be ready for some noise and altered schedules. Live Entertainment tends to be at a lower standard as well in some cases.
     
  2. Share cabin with others - 4/5
    More people  in cabin makes for a less expensive trip. Some ships offer extra special or free rates for the 3rd, 4th, 5th passengers in a cabin.
     
  3. Upgrade cabin to upper deck deals
    Shop for the upgrade. Some cruise lines provide automatic upgrade sales (from Inside cabin to outside cabin, from balcony to suite) that give you a ‘better’ cabin offering for the same price. Even without a special offer the upgraded cabin category perks start kicking in if you spend a bit more, like: choosing your dinner sitting time, inclusive drinks, even dinner with the captain. For frequent cruisers it could mean double cruise points.
     
  4. Upgrade to a suite
    A suite comes with privileges… Special dining options, private cocktail receptions, more room in your suite, inclusive drinks, and priority boarding disembarkation to mention a few. With a well priced suite deal you save more than money as your holiday at sea becomes the best value, relaxing, high class vacation you’ve taken in while.
     
  5. Buy Drink Packages
    The ‘hack’ for cruising is good buying. Drink packages both for alcohol and non alcoholic drinks including sparkling water is a must for getting the best value from your cruise. If you enjoy more than a few away get an unlimited package that allows you enjoy a cold one anytime of day.
     
  6. Bulk buy internet - wifi hotspot your phones
    Ships today come with internet connectivity. They do charge for the service so buy the full package for the cruise. Have it registered to you smartphone that allows for having a hotspot. Enable the phone's hotspot and share your internet with your laptop or iPad.
     
  7. Book ahead by 12 months
    Cruises really are cheaper the earlier you buy them. Have a plan for your future travel and book your cruise for next year now. Many companies let you make a holding deposit and then pay the remainder later closer to the dates of travel. Best value for you!
     
  8. Arrive in port early and combine with other travel
    Cruises leave from a port. Extend your holiday and arrive a day or two early to do some exploring before you depart. It is a very relaxing way to slow down before you depart as you are already ‘in town’ so no need to do the airport-cruise terminal rush to meet your ships departure time. Doing Europe? Add a cruise before or after your land component… or sandwich a cruise to move you from point a to point b…. Like from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean or vice versa.
     
  9. Take the kids
    Some Cruise lines (like Costa Cruises) allow kids to cruise for free when accompanied by adults. This option is the ultimate value add for a cruise holiday as you get to share with the whole family.
     
  10. Pre-book tours at port stops
    The ship comes with onboard entertainment a great value included in the cost of a cruise. Port excursions are ‘extra’. Pre-booking an excursion will mean in many cases you have a port activity and that you don’t have to queue in line on board to get a place on a limited capacity shore activity. Have a shore friend? Book a special private tour for your port stop with you travel agent get the royal treatment with a custom itinerary.

Use an Agent like Future.Travel to manage the process of booking your cruise holiday to reap the best value on everything from connecting airfares (some cruises come with airfare rebates), upgraded cabins, group/agency specialty rates, and pre/post-cruise accomodation and tours.