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If this is your first cruise, finding the best deal and booking your cruise can leave you feeling pretty overwhelmed or clueless to how it all works.
First of all, if you’re not comfortable or ‘fluent’ with the internet contact your local travel agent and see what offers they can provide for you.
The internet is a great place to go if you’re looking for a deal on a cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line deal exclusively with bookings taken online, and other cruise lines are starting to follow in suit. If you have no idea where to start, go straight to Google or the cruise lines websites to see what cruises best suit you, your travelling companions and your joint interests.
Word-of-mouth ensures you’re getting good value for money, so if you’ve got any friends who have been on a cruise ask them about their experience – Which line did they travel with? Where did they visit? How was the service?
Another option is to use a third-party discount cruise website. You can check out the reputation of the cruise company, see reviews, compare the prices and as long as you read the small print, you should be fine.
The most important thing is to make sure your cruise suits you. Make sure you’re likely to use the amenities on-board, as some ships can sail for up to 5 days without stopping, and you could get bored of the books and music you bought along for that very reason. Ships tailor for every individual taste, from Asian fusion cooking, history and art lectures, to zip-wiring across the ship or using the on-board cinema.
The next thing to check is itineraries and where your ship is going. Choose an itinerary that interests you, and preferably somewhere you haven’t explored before. Ships sail in thirteen cruising regions; Baltic, Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic, Antarctic, Caribbean, Australian, Worldwide, Middle East, Far East, Panama, European and Mediterranean. For those who are interested in exotic sunbathing opportunities, the Caribbean is likely to be suited to you instead of a historical cruise where you can explore the ancient culture and civilizations of bygone eras.
Once you’ve picked out which cruise you want to go on, it’s important to book as soon as possible as cabins, excursions and free upgrades go fast, plus in booking early, you have more time to make the rest of the payments for your cruise holiday. However if you’re willing to take the risk, last minute booking are great for people who can be flexible and chase a good deal.
Cruise lines offer discounted cruises around hurricane season in order to fill their cabins with people willing to take the risk of a changed itinerary or delayed, cancelled or altered cruise.
Similarly, if it’s getting too close to the cruise’s departure date and the ship still doesn’t have booked maximum occupancy, it’ll drop its prices in order to get as many people on-board as possible.