Going on a cruise is a dream vacation for many. It can be one of your best holidays ever. Just the idea of being on a cruise is romantic and filled with fun and adventure. From the Caribbean or the Bahamas to Alaska, there are exotic islands and natural wonders to discover on a cruise. It promises to be a unique vacation with lots of surprises.
On the practical side, cruises are very appealing because it’s an all-inclusive deal. The great value that travelers get from cruise packages is hard to beat. It also requires much less planning. Unlike land-based travel, there are no more hotel or restaurant reservations to make or confirm. Cruise packages include accommodation, meals, activities and entertainment. All that’s left for you to do after booking your cruise is to get on board and relax.
For the simple reason that a cruise ship is a hotel, restaurant and entertainment complex, taking a cruise vacation is very convenient. A cruise itinerary includes several different locations that you can visit without the stress of transportation. Families with kids or big groups will appreciate not having to worry about shuffling from one city to another or checking in or out of hotels. During the ride in between locations, there are plenty to do on board to keep the fun going for everyone including shows, theater performances, dancing, classes and even sports activities.
Today, cruises are not just for the privileged. With some help and advance planning, you can enjoy an affordable cruise vacation. Instead of booking with a cruise line directly, you can save money by using a travel agent which can give you information about different cruise packages. Choose a travel agent that is experienced, certified and trained in cruises. Booking a group cruise with your agent for 4 or more would give you additional savings since they are able to negotiate the lowest possible rates for groups.
You can also save money when you book in advance. Making arrangements as early as three months to a year before your planned trip allows you to take advantage of early booking discounts as well as better availability of deals. Another opportunity to save on a cruise trip is to go on a repositioning cruise, which is basically a one-way cruise operated by cruise ships whenever they have to relocate from one region to another primarily because of seasonal changes. While you have to book a return airline ticket when you take a repositioning cruise, the cruise itself offers significant savings.
As with other travel bookings, you can get the best value during the off season. The lowest-priced cruises are traditionally available during the first week of December and January, early May and before or after summer breaks. When planning a cruise, do keep these tips in mind. They should give you a good starting point to book a cruise that’s right for your budget and needs.
Maggie Hoyt is a travel writer who shares her vast knowledge of world travel and cruise culture not only on travel blogs, but on personal financial sites, click here for an example, and lifestyle blogs.