After the recession, vacation cruise travel made a comeback with Americans.
There were 16.3 million passengers (69 percent from North America) traveling on cruise ships in 2011,
compared to 14.8 million passengers in 2010, according to 2012 figures from Cruise Lines International Association.
For those travelers that love the warmer weather, the opportunity for cruise travel to exotic islands beckons.
Stepping aboard a Caribbean cruise might be the perfect fall getaway for you, with luxe accommodations, amazing sightseeing, social gatherings amid tropical climates. Before booking your trip, read on for five quick tips to help you find great deals on a Caribbean cruise vacation.
Pick The Right Cruise Line
There are numerous companies that offer Caribbean cruises during the fall months, like Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise lines for families, Carnival and many cruise lines in between. Each of these companies offer affordable deals on cruises to cold-climate Americans.
Know the total cost of the cruise, and all that the costs covers, suggests USA Today. Ask if amenities or on-board activities are extra. Look for vacation cruise packages that appeal to your interests, lifestyles and activities. For instance, A young couple might want to choose another cruise line that isn’t entirely family-focused.
Book Your Cruise Early
Once you’ve made your choice, book your trip sooner rather than later, as the cruise cost will likely rise as it gets nearer to the destination date. Booking ahead of time can potentially save hundreds of dollars on your fall getaway to the Caribbean regardless of the cruise line.
While you are booking your cruise trip, consider investing in insurance coverage
through sites like TravelGuard.com cruise insurance for your vacation. For those on specific dates with connecting flights to the port, having travel insurance can provide peace of mind for any cruise trip-related problems (seasickness, anyone?) that might arise.
Save $$$ with a Group
Many cruise lines offer family and group discounts for cruises, so if you can persuade friends, family members and others to join you in booking, you’ll be able to save money overall on total cruise travel costs. The people you include in your travel package do not even have to be close family. In fact, you don’t even have to spend time with them while you are on the trip. All that matters is that you are bringing more travelers with you, which cruise lines naturally like to reward with discounted prices.
Hope for Last Minute Travelers
If you’re not one of those organized travelers that books voyages months in advance to get the best deal, you still may be able to find discounts for last-minute travel. Many cruise lines run their vessels on what they call “repositioning” cruises, in order to transfer a ship from a departure port to an arrival port. Through these instances, discounted deals are available for those spontaneous travelers that are willing to hop aboard for the journey. This is a great opportunity to get an even better deal.
Hold Out For The Best Deals
Contrary to our first tip above, sometimes it makes sense to hold back on booking.
For example, October 17th-23rd is National
Cruise Vacation Week. If you can hold off booking your trip until then, many cruise lines and travel agents offer the best deals during this week for symbolic reasons.