Everyone who wants to take a cruise is looking for the best deal possible before they book, and that’s as it should be. When it comes to trips like these, the prices of the exact same cabin can be wildly different from one source to another, and knowing who to trust is difficult. We’ll continue to update this site with the best cruise deals we can find, but for now here are our tips and general advice on how to find the best deal possible.
Compare multiple travel sites
This should be pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that prices can be quite different from one site to another for the exact same thing. There can be a very high markup in this game, but there doesn’t have to be. It’s wise to check at least one or two of the discount sites like Priceline or Hotwire first off just to see what the base prices are for the cruise that appeals to you most. You should also check one of the aggregator sites like Kayak before you get too far along in the process. Kayak and SideStep both scan the internet themselves for the best prices they can find, and then they send you to the best site to make the purchase. Unfortunately, as good of a job as they do, they occasionally don’t have access to some of the best deals, which is why it’s important to check multiple sites.
The major travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity often will offer the same cruise for a bit more money than the others, but other times they’ll have a special deal with the cruise line and they’ll offer the best price of all. Just spending a few extra minutes checking a few sites can save you hundreds of dollars so it’s definitely worth it.
Sign up for cruise company e-mails
The major cruise lines all love to send out emails to their past customers and other interested parties, and usually these emails contain their normal prices, but occasionally they will announce a new special deal in the emails only, so they can be worthwhile if you are already shopping for a cruise yourself.
Consider shoulder season or repositioning cruises
If you are new to the cruise game you might not be aware that these ships always sail their routes through particular seasons, and the scheduled cruises at the beginning and end of those seasons tend to be less expensive because demand is a bit lower and the weather can be less dependable. For example, Alaska cruises are most popular from June through August, but they also go in May and September, and choosing a cruise in this shoulder season can get you’re a better deal.
The ships that cruise around Mexico in the winter might also cruise to Alaska in summer, and the companies usually book passengers for these in-between voyages. These can be some of the best deals at sea, so search around for repositioning cruises to find these bargains.