Tips to Choosing an Inexpensive Cruise

If you want to take a cruise - but don't really care about the when or where - there are many ways to get the most bang for the buck. It just takes some legwork.

Plan Ahead
Most cruises let you book a year or more in advance. When you get a "guaranteed" room, it means that you will get at least that level of room - but probably will get upgraded along the way. The further ahead you book your room, the more chances you have to bump up to a higher level.

Watch for Cheap Air Fare
If you aren't near a cruising port, then sign up for the many email alert newsletters that let you know when super-cheap airfare rates are available. When you hear of low airfare to a port area, check the cruise rates and find the cheapest combination possible beteen the two.

Get a Cruise Credit Card
There are credit cards out there that let you earn points towards a cruise by spending credit card money. Of course I don't recommend carrying a balance - the interest you pay could easily pay for the cruise! Instead, send your bills through the card to get the points, then pay it off monthly.

Watch for Last Minute Deals
When a cruise is about to sail and they have empty rooms, they often offer incredible discounts to get those rooms filled. Make sure your passport is always ready, and that you have a few spare vacation days saved up. Sometimes the spontaneous break is the most welcome of all!

Go for Off Season
As you might imagine, prices are highest in the middle of prime-time, and are far cheaper when the weather is iffy. Yes, you might encounter rain or cool winds. But if you save 50% to 75%, the fun of the cruise itself could be the attraction.

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