Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it comes to cruise vacations. After all, who wants to pay $1000 if you can pay $500? There are often plenty of Caribbean cruise deals; everything from free child places to low cost upgrades to last minute bargains. But are vacation promotions everything they seem? Are there hidden costs? Can you really slash your vacation budget in half?
The answer is yes! That’s if you do it right, of course. Flexibility and an open mind can really pay off when it comes to booking your dream cruise vacation. Of all cruise travelers, over a third opt for a Caribbean cruise, so it’s only natural that these itineraries are some of the most costly. Indeed, a 10 night Caribbean cruise vacation could set you back well over $4000 per person.
However, book last minute, and that same Caribbean cruise could cost just a quarter of that, at just over $1000. There’s no catch, it’s just a simple case of cruise lines needing to fill rooms. Likewise, book way in advance, and there’s often similar savings to be had. Don’t be penalized for when you choose to book!
Keep an eye out for added extras, too. Many cruise companies offer limited time deals, such as free or subsidized car parking at the port, or complimentary onboard spending money.
Frugality doesn’t end there though. Indeed, the booking process is merely the start of getting a good vacation deal. This is where many travelers go wrong and end up paying way more than they budgeted for. Know what’s included in your deal, and what isn’t.
Using the same Caribbean cruise vacation example as above, do you know what room, or even what deck you’ll be assigned to? Some of the best deals include last minute cabin allocations, which could mean that instead of that balcony suite you’d had your heart set on, you’re left with an inside room below the nightclub.
And how about food, drink, entertainment? Typically, most meals on a Caribbean cruise vacation are included, but make sure you know the things you do need to pay for. Even though you’ve only paid $100 per night for accommodation, if you need to add all drinks, certain meals, or meals in a particular restaurant, and mandatory tips, that great bargain you got may not be looking so good. Don’t forget entertainment charges, official photograph costs and onshore excursion prices. It all adds up!
Additionally, if your cruise vacation involves a flight, is that flight included in the promotion price? With airline tax increasing all the time, flights aren’t cheap. Fail to notice that your flight isn’t included in the vacation deal and you could end up paying double, even triple what you originally budgeted!
So are vacation promotions really as good as they seem? Absolutely, providing you know exactly what you’re getting into. Be flexible, be open and, most importantly, read the small print!
Flickr photo by Stuck in Customs
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