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True or #$%&

The truth about getting the best cruise deals.

If you are searching for cruises you will find a lot of theories and ideas on how to get the best price.  We are are here to cut through the #$%& and tell you which ones work and which ones just make good headlines.

Just find the cheapest cruise and book it, all cruise lines are all the same.  

#$%&!  Please don’t do this.  No cruise is a good deal if it isn’t the right cruise for you. A great deal on a cruise that has tons of kids when you wanted a break from kids, isn’t a good deal. A deal on a cruise that is mainly seniors probably isn’t so great if you are a young person looking to party with other young people. The point is, it’s not a good deal if you aren’t going to enjoy the cruise. First and most important tip… find the cruises that you will enjoy and then find the best deals from those.  

Be Flexible on Dates.

Truth!  Different times of the year can have drastically different prices. If you can book when kids are in school or during the shoulder seasons, you will get a better deal. In January and February, most people are just starting to think about where they want to go that year so you can find some great deals.   

Book Last Minute.

Exaggerated Truth  We hear this quite a bit and will tell you the truth. It all depends. If they have a lot of cabins a month before the cruise sails, they may offer some better prices but you sacrifice cabin choices for the great price. You also risk that the cruise will sail out and you can’t get the cruise you wanted.  And don’t forget, unless you live near the port you will be flying out of, saving a bunch on a last minute cruise will be more than sucked up by the increase in airfare to get there.

Book is as far out as possible.

#$%& There are a ton of advantages to booking the cruise a year or more out; best choice of cabins, longer time to pay it off, chance to get better prices on flights, better group pricing if you can get a whole group to go, but you won’t get a better price just for booking it early. With that said, see the last tip on this list on ensuring you always get the best price.  

You will get a better price going to one site over another.

Sometimes True  Cruise lines work very well with agents and will never under price an agency, including the online agencies so you won’t ever get a better price going directly with the cruise line. The cruise lines also don’t allow agencies to offer their own discounts that would cut into their profit giving them an edge over other agencies. With that said, you may see slightly different prices between sites because one will have a group you can book into when another doesn’t or that agency has a promotion with the cruise line to give you extra perks.  Sometimes, although frowned on by the cruise lines, you may also see incentives such as gift cards being given out.  More often than not though, the big difference in prices that you see on the sites is what they are showing you. One may be showing you the full price including taxes, port fees, gratuities where another is showing the price before all of those. When comparing prices, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The same cabin category, same dates, same ship, and all taxes and fees.  

You will pay more by using a travel agent or cruise specialist?

#$%&!!!  You will never pay more just for using a travel agent.  The cruise line pays agents out of their profit, it’s not added on to the cost.  Yes, we are biassed and always get our clients the best deals for the cruise they want, but in all transparency, there are agents that charge a fee for their services, but that is typically on land based travel that is much more involved and time consuming. LoveDee’s never charges a service fee for cruises. See our comparison of booking agent vs. direct.  

Book the Cheapest Cabin, you won’t be in your cabin much anyway.

#$%&!!!  This is the biggest crock of #$%& we hear. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you get the cheapest room, I can guarantee you won’t be in it much but if you have a nice cabin, you will enjoy the being able to have some quiet time, meet with friends in your cabin or enjoy the sites from your balcony. The exception to this rule tends to be if you are traveling alone. In those cases, you probably aren’t spending a lot of time in the cabin and at least in my case, those studio cabins were perfect.  

Free perks make it worth it.

Depends  If you would buy the packages anyway, then including them in the cruise can save a lot. We would buy them all so they are a great deal for us.  But… free perks like drink packages or free wifi aren’t a good deal if you wouldn’t buy them anyway. If you aren’t going to drink that much or like disconnecting or don’t care if you have the specialty dinners, then those “free” perks don’t mean much. Ask for the no perks option and get the better price.  Even if they don’t advertise it, check with your travel agent, they can probably get it for you.  

I can save more if I can get more people to go.

Truth  Some cruise lines offer better rates for groups or offer additional perks. If you think you can get a few more people go with you, talk to a group cruise specialist and see what your options are. It can’t hurt to ask.

I should wait for better cruise line deals.

#$%&  Here is the truth on all of those cruise line deals.  30% off, 60% off the second guest, (those are the same), 5 free perks, All In and so many more. The truth is, they rarely change. They may change the wording, but the net savings are the same. Black Friday, Wave Season, and all of the other “special” times for deals are rarely anything you can’t get at a different time. They just change the promotion name.  

If I book it now, I can get the better price if it goes down later.

Truth  As long as you are within the cancelation period, (typically more than 4 months out from the cruise), in most cases you can get the better price if it goes down. The problem is, you have to monitor the price just about every day because if it does go down, it probably isn’t for long.  Not to toot our own horn, but our system automatically checks every cruise, every night, and if the price drops, we do the work and get you the price reduction or other benefits for you. 

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