A cruise might seem like a once in a lifetime extravagance. Some people think they couldn’t dream of affording because of the huge costs. But are cruises only reserved for a select few that can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a vacation? Not if you know how to search online.
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know it’s a really special experience.
It’s hard to explain to people who have never gone. It’s sort of like being in a brand new city, but it’s moving, and you’re in the fresh salty air and sunshine all day. Not to mention you get to visit some exotic places that you’ve only read about or seen on TV.
A cruise can offer so much excitement but might seem like a once in a lifetime extravagance. Some people see cruises as something that they couldn’t dream of affording because of the huge costs.
But are cruises really only reserved for a select few that can throw down hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a vacation? The short answer: No
In the past, the cost of the cruise was the most important factor in determining if you could attend. Recently cruise experts let us in on a little secret.
You see, cruise liners have a very strict budget and the cost of running a large ship is very expensive - as you can imagine. Cruise liners actually don’t start making real money until they are close to 100% filled up, ideally being over 100% capacity (which just means they want more than one person in each room). Having unsold cabins can be a big problem for them.
Think about it. If you’re the booking manager for a cruise and your ship isn’t at capacity yet, wouldn’t it make you nervous?
As the sailing date approaches, a ship will begin to slash its prices - even up to 50% off - in order to meet their occupancy requirements. That means you can take advantage of their needs and use them to book an extremely affordable vacation. You may think that they can’t possibly make money with that type of discount, but here’s something you also might not know.
Cruise liners are masters at upselling once you are on board. Things like alcohol, casinos, alternate restaurants, gifts, and excursions all cost extra money. It is here that they can make up for the discounts they gave you to book your room. But the good news for you is that if you’re not going to spend too much money on the extra things once you’re on the ship, you’ve still saved a bunch of money by taking advantage of the great cruise discounts created from having unsold cabins.
Another reason that they want to be fully booked goes beyond money. A cruise liner knows that you are more willing to return or speak highly of the experience to a colleague if you feel like you got the full “cruise experience”. If you have ever been on a cruise that was only half full, you know what we mean. The experience just isn't the same as when the ship is fully booked. When the rooms are filled with people, the ship comes alive and it truly feels like a floating city.
You may not have ever thought of this, but by purchasing a cruise ticket, you’re actually supporting local businesses - let us explain.
When the cruise liners stop at each port, the local economies benefit from the new tourists exploring their town and culture. The tourism industry is a major part of these small local economies and by bringing more people to their sandy shores, they are able to support local residents and businesses. As the time gets closer to departure date, you can see how profit, experience, and supporting local economies would incentivize the ships to offer their rooms at a discount.
This is where you come in.
Once the ships feel the pressure to fill up their rooms, they will begin to slice prices to entice you to come aboard. But these deals don’t last long and knowing about the right discounts at the right time is critical.
So how do you keep yourself in “the know”?
Here are a few ways:
Here’s one downside to getting such a great deal on your next vacation, though.
Because of the unknown nature of which ships will be vacant vs booked solid, to take advantage of these deals, you will often need to keep your schedule flexible. That can be tough to do with a family or group of friends as sometimes the best deals come out just a few days before the ship leaves.
It also might be more cost effective to go at a time when you’re least expecting it. Although most people think of going on a Caribbean cruise in the middle of summer, the Bahamas are still very much enjoying the warm 80*F weather in the middle of January.
There’s nothing quite like a cruise experience. If you’re considering going, there’s never been a better time now that you know how to take advantage of massive discounts.
Join the 20 million people cruising each year, just do it while saving your hard earned cash. With some flexibility in your schedule and a little work up front, you could be on your way to enjoying the cool salty breeze and lots of sunshine - at a fraction of what others are paying.
Just remember that once the cruise feels they will meet their required passenger count, the discounts from unsold cabins will quickly evaporate.
Find yourself a great deal by searching online and set sail towards great memories.