How to Book yourself that dream cruise

Cruises are quite the way to travel the world in comfort and style. In this article we show you how to book the best possible cruise, cheaply and how to decipher those brochures.

Cruising on the cheap

Cruising on the cheap

These days, nobody should pay full price for a cruise. Almost every travel agent can get you a discount off the rack rate (the price in the brochure). But if you want a real bargain, you have to know where to look. Duke Butler of Spur-of-the-Moment Cruises, Inc. offers these suggestions for getting up to 80 percent off the rack rate:

  • Book through a cruise consolidator or make sure your travel agent uses one. Consolidators buy reservations in bulk and consistently offer a wide variety of cruises at low prices.
  • If you need to plan ahead, make your reservations as early as possible. Many ships begin raising their room rates as the departure date approaches, dropping them again only at the last minute.
  • If you can leave on a moment’s notice, ask your travel agent about last-minute vacancies. Ships frequently offer fabulous prices on last-minute bookings to fill their empty cabins.
  • Be flexible. If you are willing to cruise on any of a variety of ships and are open to different departure dates and destinations, your travel agent will have a much better chance of finding you a great deal.
  • Know what a good deal is. About 70 to 80 percent off the rack rate is probably the best deal you will find. A two-for-one offer is also a good deal, part­icularly if it includes round-trip airfare. And remember, once you are on the cruise, nobody knows how much you paid to be there.