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How To Find A Good Cruise Deal


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Carena Tovar



Going on a cruise is an exciting and adventurous way to explore new destinations while enjoying luxurious accommodations and fantastic amenities on board. However, finding a good cruise deal can sometimes be a daunting task. With so many cruise lines, itineraries, and offers available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.


But fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the process of finding a good cruise deal, helping you save money without compromising on the quality of your experience. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned voyager, these tips and strategies will help you navigate the sea of options and snag the best deal for your dream cruise.


Before we begin, it’s important to note that the definition of a “good” cruise deal may vary from person to person. Some may prioritize low prices, while others may look for added value in the form of onboard credits, upgraded cabins, or included excursions. Keep in mind your preferences and budget as we explore the different ways to find the perfect cruise deal.


Research and Planning

One of the key factors in finding a good cruise deal is doing thorough research and planning. By taking the time to gather information and consider your options, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision and secure a great deal. Here are some steps to help you in your research and planning:

  1. Determine your budget: Before you begin your search, it’s important to establish a budget for your cruise. This will help you narrow down your options and focus on deals that fall within your price range.
  2. Decide on your destination: Do you dream of exploring the sunny beaches of the Caribbean, the breathtaking fjords of Norway, or the historic cities of the Mediterranean? Narrowing down your destination preferences will make it easier to find cruise deals tailored to your desired location.
  3. Consider the length of the cruise: How long do you want your cruise vacation to be? Shorter cruises, such as weekend getaways, are usually more affordable, while longer cruises may offer better value for your money.
  4. Choose your ideal travel dates: Flexibility with your travel dates can often lead to better deals. Consider traveling during off-peak seasons or shoulder seasons when cruise lines may offer discounts to fill up empty cabins.
  5. Identify must-have amenities: Make a list of the amenities and features that are important to you. Whether it’s fine dining, spa facilities, or onboard entertainment, knowing what you value most will help you narrow down your options.

By taking the time to research and plan, you’ll have a clear understanding of your preferences, constraints, and must-haves. This will enable you to narrow down your choices and focus on finding the best cruise deals that align with your needs and desires.


Consider Off-Peak Travel

If your travel schedule allows for flexibility, considering off-peak travel periods can be a great way to find good cruise deals. Off-peak seasons are typically characterized by lower demand, which can result in discounted prices and various incentives offered by cruise lines. Here are some reasons why you should consider off-peak travel:

  1. Lower fares: During off-peak seasons, cruise lines often lower their prices to attract more travelers. This can make it more affordable to book a cruise and enjoy the same amenities and experiences at a fraction of the cost compared to peak travel periods.
  2. Less crowded destinations: Traveling during off-peak seasons means you’ll encounter fewer crowds at popular ports of call. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience, with shorter queues and fewer people vying for the same attractions and activities.
  3. More availability: Booking a cruise during the off-peak season increases your chances of finding the cabin category and location of your preference. With lower demand, there are often more options available, giving you greater flexibility in selecting your accommodations.
  4. Favorable weather conditions: Depending on your destination, off-peak travel periods may still offer pleasant weather. For example, the Caribbean during its off-peak season can still provide warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, minus the crowds and higher prices.
  5. Opportunity for unique experiences: Traveling during the off-peak season may offer you the chance to experience destinations in a different light. You may have the opportunity to engage more closely with the local culture, savor authentic cuisine, and explore hidden gems that are not as crowded during peak times.

When considering off-peak travel, keep in mind that while prices may be lower, there may be some trade-offs. It’s essential to research the destination’s weather patterns, local holidays, and any potential limitations that may affect your overall cruise experience.


Incorporating off-peak travel into your cruise plans can help you save money and enjoy a more relaxed and authentic experience. Keep an eye out for discounted fares and promotions during the off-peak season to secure a fantastic cruise deal.


Look for Package Deals

When searching for a good cruise deal, it’s important to consider package deals offered by cruise lines and travel agencies. These packages often bundle various components of your trip, such as accommodations, meals, onboard activities, and sometimes even airfare or pre/post-cruise hotel stays. Here’s why you should explore package deals:

  1. Cost savings: Package deals can provide significant cost savings compared to booking each component of your trip separately. Cruise lines and travel agencies have the advantage of negotiating discounted rates with hotels, airlines, and other partners, allowing them to pass the savings on to you.
  2. Added perks and bonuses: Package deals may come with additional perks and bonuses. These can include onboard credits, free Wi-Fi, complimentary upgrades, or even included shore excursions. These extras can enhance your cruise experience without adding extra costs.
  3. Convenience and simplicity: By booking a package deal, you can streamline your travel planning process. Instead of coordinating multiple reservations, you’ll have a single point of contact for all the components of your trip, making it easier to manage and ensuring a smoother overall experience.
  4. Special promotions and discounts: Cruise lines often offer exclusive promotions and discounts for package deals. These can include limited-time offers, early booking discounts, or loyalty program benefits. By taking advantage of these promotions, you can secure a great deal and maximize the value of your cruise.
  5. Pre- and post-cruise extensions: Package deals sometimes include pre-cruise or post-cruise extensions to your trip. This allows you to explore the departure or arrival city, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and attractions, adding extra vacation experiences.

When searching for package deals, be sure to compare prices and inclusions across different providers. Look for reputable cruise lines and travel agencies that have a track record of delivering quality experiences. Additionally, consider the flexibility of the package deal, as some may allow you to customize certain elements to suit your preferences.


By exploring package deals, you can potentially save money, take advantage of additional perks, and enjoy the convenience and simplicity of having your travel arrangements bundled together. Keep an eye out for these deals when searching for your next cruise adventure.


Check Different Cruise Lines

When searching for a good cruise deal, it’s important to check different cruise lines and their offerings. Each cruise line has its own unique features, itineraries, and pricing strategies. By exploring multiple cruise lines, you can find the one that best suits your preferences and budget. Here are some reasons to check different cruise lines:

  1. Variety of destinations: Each cruise line offers a different selection of destinations and itineraries. Some specialize in specific regions like the Caribbean or Alaska, while others may focus on exotic or off-the-beaten-path destinations. By examining different cruise lines, you can find the one that offers the itinerary that aligns with your travel goals.
  2. Range of ship sizes and styles: Cruise lines have ships of various sizes and styles, catering to different preferences. Some have large mega-ships with extensive onboard amenities, while others offer smaller, more intimate vessels. Depending on your preferences, you can choose a cruise line that matches the size and atmosphere you desire.
  3. Unique onboard experiences: Each cruise line has its own distinctive onboard experiences, ranging from world-class dining options and Broadway-style shows to thrilling water parks and immersive themed activities. Checking different cruise lines allows you to explore the onboard amenities and entertainment offerings to find the ones that align with your interests.
  4. Pricing and promotions: Different cruise lines may have varying pricing strategies and promotions. They offer competitive pricing and discounts based on factors such as travel dates, cabin category, and departure ports. By comparing prices and promotions across different cruise lines, you can find the best deal that suits your budget.
  5. Customer reviews and reputation: Researching customer reviews and the reputation of different cruise lines can give you insights into the quality of their services, onboard experience, and customer satisfaction. It’s important to consider the feedback and experiences of past cruisers when making your decision.

Remember to prioritize what is important to you, whether it’s the destination, onboard amenities, or the overall cruise experience. Take the time to research and compare different cruise lines to find the one that offers the best fit for your preferences and budget. Booking with a reputable and trusted cruise line can ensure a memorable and enjoyable cruise vacation.


Sign up for Cruise Newsletters

To stay updated on the latest cruise deals and promotions, it’s a great idea to sign up for cruise newsletters. Cruise lines and travel agencies often send out emails to their subscribers, notifying them of upcoming deals, discounts, and exclusive offers. Here are some reasons why you should consider signing up for cruise newsletters:

  1. Exclusive access to deals: Subscribing to cruise newsletters gives you exclusive access to deals and promotions that are not widely advertised. These deals may include discounted fares, onboard credits, cabin upgrades, or even special packages tailored to newsletter subscribers.
  2. Timely notifications: By receiving newsletters directly to your inbox, you’ll be among the first to know about limited-time offers and flash sales. This allows you to act quickly and secure a good cruise deal before it’s gone.
  3. Customized preferences: Many cruise newsletters allow you to select your preferences, such as preferred destinations, travel dates, and types of cruises. This ensures that you receive relevant information and deals that align with your interests and travel plans.
  4. Insider tips and advice: Newsletters often include valuable tips and advice for planning your cruise vacation. This can range from packing tips and shore excursion recommendations to information about onboard activities and dining options. By staying informed, you can make the most of your cruise experience.
  5. Early access to new itineraries: Cruise lines frequently introduce new itineraries and routes. Subscribing to newsletters allows you to be among the first to explore these new options, giving you a wider range of choices and opportunities to find a good deal.

When signing up for cruise newsletters, consider using a dedicated email address or creating a separate folder in your inbox. This way, you can keep all your cruise-related emails organized and easily accessible. Additionally, be selective and choose newsletters from reputable cruise lines and travel agencies to ensure you receive reliable and relevant information.


By signing up for cruise newsletters, you’ll have the inside track on the latest cruise deals, promotions, and valuable information. Keep an eye on your inbox for exciting offers that can help you find a great cruise deal and make your dream vacation a reality.


Utilize Online Travel Sites

When searching for a good cruise deal, online travel sites can be invaluable resources. These websites aggregate information from various cruise lines and travel agencies, allowing you to compare prices, itineraries, and available promotions. Here are some reasons why you should utilize online travel sites:

  1. Wide range of options: Online travel sites provide access to a wide range of cruise options from different cruise lines. You can easily compare prices, itineraries, ship amenities, and cabin categories, helping you find the best deal that suits your preferences and budget.
  2. Real-time availability: Travel sites often have real-time availability, allowing you to see current cabin availability and available promotions. This helps you secure up-to-date information and ensures that the deal you choose is still valid and accessible.
  3. Customer reviews and ratings: Online travel sites typically feature customer reviews and ratings for different cruise lines and specific ships. These reviews provide valuable insights into the overall cruise experience, service quality, onboard amenities, and more. Evaluating these reviews can help you make an informed decision and select a cruise that matches your expectations.
  4. Sorting and filtering options: Travel sites offer advanced sorting and filtering options, allowing you to refine your search based on specific criteria. You can filter by price range, departure date, cruise duration, ports of call, and more. This makes it easier to narrow down the options and focus on the deals that are most relevant to you.
  5. Package deals and discounts: Online travel sites often bundle cruises with flights, hotels, and other components, creating package deals that can save you money. They may also offer exclusive discounts and promotions not found elsewhere. Take advantage of these package deals and discounts to maximize your savings.

When using online travel sites, it’s important to compare prices across multiple platforms to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Be aware of any additional fees or hidden charges that may be associated with the booking, and read the terms and conditions carefully before making a reservation.


By utilizing online travel sites, you can access a vast selection of cruise options, compare prices and promotions, read customer reviews, and find the best deal that suits your preferences and budget. Take advantage of these resources to make your cruise planning process easier and more efficient.


Consult with Travel Agents

When searching for a good cruise deal, consulting with travel agents can provide valuable insights and assistance. Travel agents have in-depth knowledge of the cruise industry and can help you navigate the options, find the best deals, and offer personalized recommendations based on your preferences. Here are some reasons why you should consider consulting with travel agents:

  1. Industry expertise and knowledge: Travel agents specialize in the travel industry and have extensive knowledge of different cruise lines, ships, itineraries, and promotions. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their expertise, ensuring you find the best cruise deal that fits your preferences and requirements.
  2. Access to exclusive deals and promotions: Travel agents often have access to exclusive deals and promotions that may not be available to the general public. They have relationships with cruise lines and can leverage their connections to secure special offers and added benefits on your behalf.
  3. Customized recommendations: Travel agents take the time to understand your travel preferences, budget, and desired experiences. They can tailor their recommendations to match your specific needs, suggesting cruise options that align with your interests and ensuring you have a memorable and fulfilling vacation.
  4. Assistance with complex itineraries: If you’re planning a multi-destination or multi-leg cruise, travel agents can help you navigate complex itineraries. They can coordinate flights, transfers, pre- and post-cruise accommodations, and any additional travel arrangements, simplifying the planning process and ensuring a seamless experience.
  5. Personalized customer service: Travel agents provide personalized customer service, offering guidance and support throughout the booking process and beyond. They can answer your questions, address any concerns, and provide assistance should any issues or changes arise before, during, or after your cruise.

When choosing a travel agent, look for someone with experience in cruise travel and a track record of providing excellent customer service. Consider recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews to ensure you’re working with a reputable and reliable professional.


Consulting with travel agents can save you time and effort by utilizing their expertise and industry connections to find the best cruise deals. They can offer valuable insights, personalized recommendations, and exclusive promotions, enhancing your overall cruise booking experience.


Take Advantage of Last-Minute Deals

If you have a flexible schedule and can be spontaneous, taking advantage of last-minute cruise deals can be a fantastic way to save money. Cruise lines often offer discounted fares to fill up remaining cabins close to the departure date. Here are some reasons why you should consider last-minute deals:

  1. Significant cost savings: Last-minute deals can provide substantial savings compared to booking well in advance. Cruise lines are eager to fill empty cabins and are willing to offer discounted fares to attract potential passengers. By being flexible and open to last-minute travel plans, you can take advantage of these discounted rates and get a great deal.
  2. Upgrade opportunities: With last-minute deals, there’s a chance to receive cabin upgrades. As cruise lines try to fill their higher-tier cabins, they may offer upgrades to lower-tier cabins at no additional cost or for a minimal fee. This can allow you to enjoy a more luxurious experience without breaking the bank.
  3. Flexibility in choosing itineraries: Last-minute deals may not offer as many destination options as booking in advance, but you can still find a variety of exciting itineraries to choose from. Being open to different destinations or even repositioning cruises can lead to incredible adventures at a fraction of the cost.
  4. Spontaneity and excitement: Booking a last-minute cruise adds an element of excitement and spontaneity to your travel plans. It opens up the possibility of embarking on an unexpected journey and discovering new destinations and experiences.
  5. Additional perks and bonuses: In addition to discounted fares, last-minute deals may include extra perks and bonuses. These can range from onboard credits to complimentary specialty dining or beverage packages. Take advantage of these additional benefits to enhance your cruise experience.

When considering last-minute deals, keep in mind that availability is limited, and you may need to be flexible with your travel dates and cabin selection. It’s also important to be prepared to travel on short notice and have any necessary travel documents in order.


Make it a habit to check cruise line websites, travel agency platforms, and online travel sites regularly for last-minute deals. Signing up for alerts and newsletters can also keep you informed of any new discounts or promotions that may become available.


By being open to last-minute travel opportunities, you can secure incredible savings on your cruise vacation while enjoying the thrill of spontaneity. Keep an eye out for those last-minute deals and embark on an unforgettable adventure at an unbeatable price.


Read Reviews and Compare Prices

When searching for a good cruise deal, it’s essential to read reviews and compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Reviews provide insights into the experiences of past passengers, while price comparisons help you find the most affordable options. Here’s why you should read reviews and compare prices:

  1. First-hand experiences: Reviews from fellow cruisers offer valuable first-hand insights into the quality of service, onboard amenities, dining options, cleanliness, and overall cruise experience. Reading these reviews can help you gauge the level of customer satisfaction and make an informed decision.
  2. Unbiased opinions: Reviews are typically unbiased and provide honest feedback. They can shed light on any potential issues or areas for improvement that may not be mentioned in promotional materials. By considering a range of reviews, you can get a balanced perspective on the cruise line or ship you are interested in.
  3. Price comparisons: Comparing prices across different cruise lines and travel agencies is crucial to finding a good cruise deal. Prices can vary significantly, even for similar itineraries. By comparing prices, you can identify the most affordable options and potentially negotiate for better rates or added perks.
  4. Special promotions and discounts: Reviews may also mention any special promotions or discounts that were available to past passengers. Taking note of these promotions can help you keep an eye out for similar deals when planning your own cruise. It’s worth checking if the cruise line or travel agency is currently offering any exclusive promotions or discounts.
  5. Quality versus price consideration: Reading reviews and comparing prices allows you to weigh the quality of the cruise experience against the price you are willing to pay. Sometimes a slightly higher price may be worth it for better service, amenities, or a more enjoyable itinerary. Balancing your budget with your expectations is key.

When reading reviews, consider factors such as the credibility of the reviewer, the relevance of their comments to your own preferences, and the overall consensus among reviewers. Look for reviews from sources you trust, such as reputable travel websites or trusted travel bloggers.


When comparing prices, be sure to consider all the inclusions and extras. Some cruise lines may offer lower base fares but charge additional fees for onboard amenities or activities. Pay attention to what is included in the price to get an accurate comparison.


By reading reviews and comparing prices, you can make an informed decision when selecting a cruise that offers the best value for your money. This way, you can enjoy a memorable cruise experience while staying within your budget.



Finding a good cruise deal requires a combination of research, flexibility, and utilizing various resources. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can maximize your chances of securing an excellent cruise deal that fits your preferences and budget. Here’s a recap of the key points:


Start by conducting thorough research and planning. Determine your budget, select your desired destination, and consider factors such as the length of the cruise and must-have amenities. Take advantage of off-peak travel periods to find discounted fares and less crowded destinations.


Explore package deals offered by cruise lines and travel agencies, as they often include added value and cost savings. Sign up for cruise newsletters to receive exclusive access to deals and promotions. Utilize online travel sites to compare prices, read reviews, and access a wide range of options.


Don’t underestimate the assistance travel agents can provide. Their industry expertise, access to exclusive deals, and personalized recommendations can significantly enhance your cruise planning experience.


Be open to last-minute deals if you have flexibility in your travel plans. These deals can provide significant cost savings and the opportunity for cabin upgrades.


Lastly, read reviews and compare prices to ensure that you’re choosing a cruise that offers the best value for your money. Consider both the experiences of past passengers and the overall cost of the cruise when making your decision.


By applying these strategies and keeping an open mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding a good cruise deal that enables you to embark on an incredible journey while staying within your budget. Happy cruising!