Set sail for adventure and savings.
Ask any globe trotter where they go to find adventure and they’ll likely launch into a story about the time they navigated a gondola through the rivers of Venice or toured the San José rainforests from a 270-foot high zip line. But what even the most seasoned of travelers may not have explored yet is the opportunity to experience these types of adventures while on a cruise, for a fraction of the cost. The options for an affordable adventure are as vast as the ocean – and that’s exactly where you’ll find them – with our top 5 cruise travel tips.
1. Travel farther, pay less.
While this isn’t always the case, some of the greatest discounts can be found on cruises that require long flights first, such as Australia-New Zealand cruises, which allow you to explore Dunedin’s Edwardian castle and sample fine wines in Napier. Make sure to always compare the costs of booking a flight through a cruise line versus booking a flight from an airline before deciding which route to take.
2. Avoid “tourist traps.”
When deciding between two similar cruises, take a close look at each one’s itinerary. Does the cruise dock in heavily-trafficked shopping districts in Nassau or Cozumel, with well-known stores or restaurants that you’ve frequented? If so, you might find yourself participating in the same type of activities you could on any regular Saturday back at home, and paying twice as much to do so. Instead, cruise to see Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano on the European mainland, which blew in A.D. 79 and buried parts of the city of Pompeii.
3. Go off-season.
Not only is it less expensive to book cruises and flights to departure ports during off-season, but the destinations you’re traveling to are also likely to be less crowded. That means you can blend in with the locals rather than join the long train of people waiting hours to catch a glimpse of the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel.
4. Look for last-minute deals.
In addition to finding last-minute deals on cruise lines’ websites, you can also check out sites like Cruise Critic, Cruise Mates or Trip Advisor for cruise travel tips, special promotions or savings you may not have been aware of. The Cruise Critic also provides great insight in its reviews of cruise lines, cruise ports and specific excursions that can help you make the right decisions in planning your own trip.
5. Enjoy the view.
The best things in life really are free, after you pay for the cruise itself, of course. One of the best things about cruises is that they’re all-inclusive so, in many cases, once you pay for the cruise, you don’t have to worry about paying for meals or overnight accommodations. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy views you couldn’t from land, such as the mountainous walls of Southeast Alaska. While the view itself is “free,” keep in mind that your alcoholic beverages, excursions or tips for the staff aren’t, so set aside spending money to cover these additional expenses.
Through our cruise travel tips, you can cast a broad net to find an adventure that will suit your own interests and preferences. All aboard!
Do you have any cruise tips to share?