Friday, August 8, 2014

Tips for getting low fares or upgrades on cruises

I cruise a lot.  I cruised on my twentieth cruise this Spring. People always ask me how to get that amazing last deal! Here's what I say: 

1. You have to prepared to sail last minute. You have to see the fare, make the decision, and hope that airfare isn't outrageous. 
2. You may be thinking about this all wrong. 

My experience has been that I get the lowest fares when I book the earliest. Am I sure that I want to take that March 2016 cruise? No - but I know that's a great fare and I am willing to tie up a few hundred dollars for a couple years to maybe save that much by the time we sail. Most cruises offer refundable deposits so there's no risk of losing money. 

The other way to save money is to take advantage of promotions that come up after you book. One of the benefits I offer my clients is weekly monitoring. Every week I check all the promotions and prices for their cruise to make sure they are getting the best price or to identify if an upgrade is available. 

You could do this yourself. Just make a note of the cabin category you booked, the price per person you paid, and any additional perks you got when you booked - like an on board credit. Then just to the cruise line's website and check the price. If it's before final payment and the price is lower, you may be able to call and get your fare adjusted depending on what type of fare you originally booked. Be sure to pay very special attention to the terms of the fare you originally booked, the terms of the new fare, and if it has an  impact your refundable deposit. 

After your final payment, you can't lower your price. You can only upgrade or, under some fares, you can get an on-board credit if the price goes down. 

Have you already booked a cruise yourself but don't want the hassle of weekly monitoring and then sitting on hold to fix it? No worries. If you just booked it - you can contact me at to see if you can transfer the booking to me to get my free monitoring service. 

Bon Voyage! 

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