Finding Your Best Cruise Values It’s January and that means "wave season" is here, the time of year when a
great number of travelers book a cruise vacation. Between now and the end of
March, up to half of the year’s cruises will be booked, and for good reason.
Some of the very best pricing, bonus offers and special values are available
and cruise lines are hungry for our business. We just need to know where to
look, now and later.Lower Prices, Down The Line If you’ve already booked your cruise and a better promotion becomes
available, you should be able to get it if you booked the right fare code.
Booking an unrestricted fare code will allow you to do this. Often, ultra-low
pricing locks in a price that you may not be able to get out of without
cancelling. Tip: When buying ask: Are there any restrictions on
this fare code?Engage The Sales Good cruise
pricing comes from a variety of sources. For example, you may get an offer via
postal mail. Some cruise lines do that, but others do not. That does not mean
other cruise lines are not having a sale, just that they are not promoting it
through different channels. Not to worry, the Internet is here to help. Tip: "Like" just about every cruise line you might possibly want to
sail on Facebook. "Friends" of a cruise line on Facebook often get first
notice of limited-time sales and other information about the cruise line. Don’t Be A Stranger Speaking of the Internet,
cruise lines commonly send out a lot of information via email, so be sure not
to miss out. Tip: Go to cruise line websites and sign up for
their email newsletters. Check "yes" to allowing them to send "partner offers"
which may add value to your cruise booking. Bonus tip: Set up an
email address just for this so your regular email address does not get
overloaded with (comparatively) junk mail. Consider
Using A Pro While our click-to-buy world has us ordering
everything from airline tickets to bed linens online, a cruise is not always
the best idea for online buying. A short 3-day cruise getaway for two, bought
via the Internet on a ship you have sailed before or on a cruise line you are
familiar with is one thing. A 7-day Mediterranean sailing for four in two
staterooms with air, pre-cruise hotel and/or other elements is quite another.
For these more detailed itineraries, it is a good idea to consider consulting
an experienced travel agent. Tip: For short cruises of 4 days or
less, book online if you are comfortable doing so. For longer sailings,
involve a travel agent. Their services are free of charge, and they can help
you make the most of your vacation. A cruise is a great vacation
value compared to other options like a land vacation or all-inclusive resort.
By doing your research, putting some time into planning your trip and utilizing
the tips above, you can make sure that you are getting the most for your money,
no matter how you go about booking your next cruise. Chris Owen is a freelance travel writer living in Orlando, Florida
charged with sharing inside information about cruise vacations. Follow Chris
on his blog ChrisCruises.net or on twitter @OrlandoChris.