Vacation planning usually begins with a budget in mind. There are so many places to go that you will want to ensure you get the “best bang for your buck”.
Cruising can have some budget friendly options. The budget conscious traveller can choose to go with the more budget friendly seasons to travel, the budget itineraries or a budget cruise line. By budgeting wisely you have an opportunity to take upscale cruises at a more budget friendly price.
Travelling in a budget friendly season
Just like everything else; in peak season you pay higher prices. For those able to adjust their schedule you can have the exact same cruise as others but by adjusting the time you travel can have significant cost savings. Generally the shoulder seasons (those at the beginning and end of the cruising season) tend to be the most budget friendly. A tradeoff may be the weather, (less than ideal at times) but the destinations are not usually as crowded and airfare can be significantly less as well. An example of this is to cruise Alaska in May or September, when weather is a bit cooler and fish, animals and flowers may not be as abundant. But for instance May is typically less rainy than summer and September offers a chance for the “northern lights” sightings. So if you research the area you will be able to find information such as typical temperature and then make a decision based on what you find the most appealing to you.
Autumn tends to be a bargain time in most regions with the lowest prices usually offered in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico. There tends to be less travel in general from Labour Day to Christmas but also this is the hurricane season in both the Pacific and Atlantic/Caribbean regions. So you need to do your research and decide if you want to travel to these areas at this time.
Another factor that affects the cost of cruising is if there is unrest in the area where you are sailing. Some of the Mediterranean cruises have been affected by the global state of affairs in the region.
Itineraries for the budget conscious
The cost friendly options seem to either have a greater number of days at sea or may be those of the shortest length, some are just overnight, or two day ones. These tend to have the lowest total per night costs. These can be to a number of different destinations; an example may be Vancouver to Seattle. This alternative might be a good way to add onto a trip….…if you were going to be there anyway this could be a pleasant add on.
Another option is the three and four night cruises like the ones offered to the Bahamas, some in Mexico or western Caribbean as well as some four and five night Canada sails. Note that the shorter cruises seem to attract a younger crowd so there may be a party atmosphere on board which can be a bonus for the right person.
One of the most often overlooked is the repositioning cruises. Usually at the end of seasons, such as spring or fall, ships reposition themselves to move a ship’s region….such as from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. This cruise will have limited stops and lots of sea days, allowing the opportunity to explore the ship and enjoy the cruise atmosphere. This can be a great opportunity to try out a more upscale line like Cunard for instance at a reasonable cost. They tend to be of ten days or longer so are popular with mature and retired people.
Also even more savings can occur if you are someone who is able to take advantage of the last minute deals for your trip.
Budget Cruise Lines
While the thought of cruising does not exactly bring to mind a budget vacation there are ways to enjoy the luxury of a cruise by following some simple tips. For instance you can go with the older vessels as opposed to the newer ones. But don’t think because it is older it is not as good, they are fine vessels that have a lot to offer. Fleets like Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean come to mind but there are others as well.
There are also some of the smaller lines that only have a few ships that sail in specific areas that sometimes offer some great deals as well. Bahamas Paradise Cruise line is one which seems to cater to first time cruisers wanting a cheap way to try out cruising with a two night cruise from Palm Beach, Florida to the Bahamas. Their ship Grand Celebration carries 1800 passengers and has 4 restaurants, eight bars and lounges, a casino, theatre, spa, gym, two pools, three hot tubs and a child program and waterslide. They offer inside, outside and suites so you get the full experience.
So there are a number of factors that can affect the pricing of your cruise and it is possible to shop for the best deals but do so after careful research and ensure you are fully aware of why a price may be lower. Hopefully this will help you to have a wonderful trip