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Cruise ‘Wave Season’ runs from January to March and is often seen as the best time to book cruises to get a deal. Yasmin Pekel, owner of Blue Cruise, shared her top tips with Express.co.uk.
Yasmin said: “With the cost of living hitting everyone’s wallets, wave season is set to involve a lot of individuals seeking the most affordable holidays possible in 2023.
“However, if you want to get ahead of the game, those who book earliest reap the best benefits.
“Depending on your party size, dietary requirements and much more, there can be a lot to consider and plan for.
“As a result, we always recommend putting together a list of essentials to ask your booking agent before you confirm any trip – this will help to ensure your trip is a magical time!”
Avoid brochure rates
Yasmin said: “The rates online and in magazines are usually for those unwilling to put in some homework.
“Unless a cruise is special, sold out, or demand exceeds supply, the brochure rate is rarely paid.
“This is proven by many lines offering ‘X percent off brochure rate’ deals to attract buyers, but these are often still inflated.”
Cruise passengers can do a little homework to find out if they can get a deal that’s a better price than the brochure rate.
Book ASAP – but be flexible
“Similarly to booking any holiday, cruise prices fluctuate,” advised Yasmin. She added: “If you keep your schedule flexible, many last-minute deals tend to be cheaper than the average fare.
“Going in the off season (months like April, September and January) will ensure a quieter and often cheaper cruise as there is less demand.”
Peak season months such as July and August will usually be the most expensive times to travel.
Brits could pick up a deal by travelling to the Mediterranean in spring and autumn when the weather is likely to still be pleasant.
Choose an older, smaller ship
Yasmin said: “If you want a lower price, choosing an older, smaller ship is always your best bet.
“New ships have many flashy amenities and services available onboard, but the older ships provide fantastic value and will still allow you to soak up the sun and visit ports.
“Doing so can save you between 30 to 40 percent off your booking!”
Although the new ships might look appealing, older ships still have many of the same amenities and will usually be a better price.
If guests are more interested in spending time in port than on the ship, a smaller ship is definitely a better option.
Yasmin added: “Subscribing to regular email updates will allow you to discover the very best price drops or deals.
“Similarly, once you’ve embarked, the very same newsletters often offer daily drink specials, happy hour deals and other onboard bargains, helping you to save some cash.”
Email newsletters could contain exclusive deals for loyal customers or last minute bargains for the trip.
Onboard, travellers could access drinks deals or exclusive competitions by checking email newsletters or the cruise line app.
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