Cruising on a Budget: A Comprehensive Guide to Affordable Cruise Vacation

Cruising is both an adventurous and memorable experience. It is often considered as a luxury vacation. A popular misconception about cruise passengers is that they are all old – mostly seniors and retirees. However, this is not true. 

The interest among younger generations — millennials and Gen X — to go on a cruise vacation is higher than ever, according to a survey by the Cruise Lines International Association, the industry’s trade association.

Hence, it is no surprise that experts have predicted that this year will be one of the busiest years ever in the cruise industry. One fun thing about cruising is that you can easily see multiple destinations in a single vacation.

According to a SteinLaw cruise ship lawyer, while cruising can be fun, it is vital to note that injury accidents can occur during the vacation. If you or your loved one is a victim of a cruise ship injury, you may be entitled to compensation as it is the responsibility of the cruise ship owners to ensure the safety of all passengers.

Aside from the possibility of injury on a cruise ship which is no different from any other means of transportation, cruise ships offer a variety of fun activities such as car racing, karaoke, ziplining, game shows, couples massage, and art hunt. 

Despite offering lots of adventurous and fun activities, there is more choice and competition in the cruise industry giving rise to competitive pricing. 

If you have been dreaming of going on a cruise vacation but are always discouraged because you imagine such a luxurious experience will be expensive, the good news, there are strategies to significantly reduce your budget without sacrificing any fun on the cruise ship.

Set a Budget

Cruise vacation is indeed expensive as there are varieties of options and luxurious experiences to choose from. The best way to reduce your costs is by first setting a budget.

Establish how much you are comfortable spending on the vacation so that you can plan your itinerary around it.

Most percentage of the budget will likely be used to pay for the cruise fare. Also, consider your mode of transportation to the cruise port. In addition, you might need to book a hotel pending the cruise departure.

Effective budgeting requires prioritization. You should only spend on things that are most important to you unless you have an unlimited budget. Setting a budget not only helps you to effectively plan the cruise vacation, but it can also direct your saving habits towards the lifetime adventure. 

Target Shoulder Seasons

The cruise industry operates like any other market that conforms to the law of demand and supply. The higher the demand, the higher the cruise fare. To get the best deals on cruise fares, target shoulder seasons – spring and fall – when most families are less likely to go on vacation. 

Fares during this season can be as affordable as half of what they are in the summer. Another benefit of traveling during off-peak seasons is that the ships and destinations are less likely to be crowded.

Research Different Cruise Lines

Once you have established your cruise budget and decide on the preferred season, research different cruise lines to select the one with the best deals.

Make a shortlist of cruise lines that offer packages within your budget then compare their service quality.  Some of the factors that influence cruise fare are the length of sailing and itinerary. Check for this to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.

Book in Advance

Cruise ship companies always strive to ensure the maximum number of passengers onboard before departure. Some offer early-bird discounts and options for the best cabins. 

To get an affordable deal, book early or 90 days before departure. However, it is also possible to get last-minute deals except that it is not guaranteed. You may also be unable to select your choice of cabin.

Choose Old or Small Ships

New ships offer the latest technology and up-to-date amenities, but they are generally expensive. To cruise on a budget, consider older or smaller ships.

They usually offer lower fares, although they might lack some of the latest amenities on the newly launched ships. However, you will still get a quality cruising experience.

Book an Inside Cabin

Most cruise ships offer a variety of cabin categories based on size, amenities, and locations. There are inside cabins, cabins with ocean views, balconies, and suites. The most affordable is usually the inside cabin. 

These staterooms are usually the smallest but come with plenty of storage and every other thing you need. It is comfortable enough to sleep, shower, and change which are the basic things you need a cabin for during your cruise. 

Take a Repositioning Cruise

A typical cruise is a two-way voyage whereby the ship sails to another part of the world and then returns passengers to the starting point.

Repositioning cruise on the other hand is a one-way voyage that involves the ship moving from one region to another in preparation for a seasonal change or due to logistical reasons.

Instead of moving empty, the cruise line creates a repositioning cruise for passengers to join at a discounted rate.

Also read: Nautical Journeys: Exploring The Advantages of Pre-Owned Yachts