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Suggestions for Saving on a Cruise

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 you think of a cruise, what do you picture? Expansive, white sandy beaches bordering the clear, blue waters of the Caribbean? The beautiful, ancient ruins of Europe? Visiting many exotic destinations to explore culture and history? No matter how you picture it, the scenario is enhanced with a good deal or two.
On the other hand, shopping around for cruises is a confusing experience. Prices regularly fluctuate, practically changing daily. Discounts, as well, abound, but do you know what to look for? If not, consider these pointers for savings:

Like other industries, cruising has its ups and downs throughout the year. Fall and spring are considered weaker times, and prices, as a result, are some of the lowest around. But, depending upon the trip, keep in mind that weather during these months is more volatile; a storm on a Caribbean vacation, for instance, is more likely to result.
On the flip side of this, holidays and summer are the highest trafficked times of the year for cruises. If you're seeking savings on your next trip, steer clear of scheduling at these times.

Book Early or Late
Cruise prices change with time, but all have one pattern: the earlier you schedule, the better the price is, unless you decide to take advantage of last minute deals. Although this last minute deals, available less than two months in advance, may lower the price, scheduling six to nine months before is often a more solid strategy for finding a discount.

Other Factors
Smaller factors can lower the price of a cruise. Aside from scheduling and time of year, age - either for seniors or children - has a possibility to yield discounts. Similarly, if a ship is new to a port, if you live close to a port, or if you're a regular passenger has potential to lower a price.

How You Plan a Trip
Not all cruise accommodations are identical, and how you plan your trip further influences the price. Consider the cabin - a luxury stateroom or a smaller one without an ocean view - particularly, as well as activities. In some cases, if you're taking a cruise to see destinations, as opposed to simply enjoying the ride, opting for an economical option yields more money for exploring each port, be it for shopping, dining, or touring.

Pre- and Post-Cruise Traveling
A significant aspect of planning a cruise is getting to and from the port. In many cases, taking a plane to the nearest airport is part of the trip. As this can be a considerable expense, find a cruise that leaves from the closest port or terminal - one is that is ideally within driving or public transit distance. Nevertheless, if you drive, budget the amount for parking into your total trip expenses.