There's something special about floating on a cruise ship during holiday seasons. Especially as more people take a non-traditional approach to the holidays, finding a great deal for a cruise can be the difference between a relaxing and exciting holiday trip and one that is just as humdrum as all the others.
But cruises can be pretty expensive if you just book them without doing any research. These tips will help you find the best holiday deals for an exciting holiday cruise. Check social media
Social media has become one of the most powerful platforms that companies have for advertising
, and cruise companies and travel agents are no exception. By creating lists of professionals who regularly Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook about their best deals and options can help you find just the right deal, whether you're traveling alone, with family, or with friends. Make it a bundle
This is true for more than just cruises; in many cases, you can get a better deal if you book your hotel, car rental, and flight all in one. Add in your cruise trip, and your deal can get even better. Make sure to check all the different deal sites, and not all of them will offer the same discounts. Get email offers
Every company out there wants to send its cruise holiday deals and offers
to your inbox, and while getting tons of emails can be frustrating, every so often you do find a company who will offer you great emails with high quality savings. Some even offer you an extra coupon when you sign up for their newsletter in the first place. You can also sign up for a newsletter while you're searching for your deal and unsubscribe when you've booked your tickets. Just make sure the email isn't going to your spam box. Plan ahead
If you're going to be traveling at a time that's high volume – major holidays, school vacations, and so forth – it pays to book ahead. A company may raise its prices for high volume times as they get closer. Put a price watch on the date and make sure you're ready to book your tickets when you see a price you like. This is even more true for the most upscale line; the prices can go up by thousands per couple if you wait until just a month or two before the cruise. Book at the last minute
If you're able to be flexible, last-minute deals can offer you incredible savings on the cruise itself – but be careful. It may be possible to get on the boat at a low, low price, but if you spend all the difference in getting last-minute airfare
, you may not really be getting much of a deal.
Cabin choice and seating may be limited, since the cruise is just trying to fill seats at the last minute. But if you're close enough to drive to your destination, can find cheap airfare, or are lucky enough to be able to make it work, last minute booking can save you plenty on your cruise price. Consider 'cabin guarantee'
Many times, when you book your cruise you'll choose your cabin
. But some cruise lines will offer you a discount if you choose "cabin guarantee." This is a service where the line guarantees you that you'll get a cabin in the class you've chosen, but you don't pick your exact stateroom.
If you're concerned about noise or you tend to get seasick, this is probably not a good option for you, but if you're not worried about things like that, this is another great way to eke out some savings. Leave it to the pros
If this all sounds like way too much work for you, consider working with a reputable travel agent to get your dream vacation in place. Travel agents often have access to better deals than the general public since they're buying tickets and other things in bulk. Top agencies often get free on ship dollars for their clients to spend, or other perks. Ask around for what special deals might be available for your desired trip.
If relaxing aboard a cruise ship sounds like a great way to spend your next vacation, either on your own or with friends and family, don't give up with sticker shock. Look around for deals to make the entire experience more comfortable, fun, and relaxing for your whole group, and to keep some extra dollars in your pocket. You'll need them while you're on the ship, sightseeing, or just enjoying the trip down and back.