According to the groundhog, spring is quickly approaching, and if you’re like me, warmer weather inevitably gets you thinking about where you might want to plan your next sailing. Whether you’re on a tight budget or plan to book the most high-end luxury cabin, I’m willing to bet that getting a good deal would put a big smile on your face. So, it got me wondering how others go about scoring enviable cruise fares. Is it through a travel agent? Online? Booking during a certain window?
What we asked: How do you get the best cruise price?
What they said: Just 4 percent of more than 3,200 voters say they wait until the last minute to book. Another 6 percent say that haggling with a travel agent has worked for them. The majority, 55 percent, claim that scouring the Internet incessantly yields the best results, but the remaining 35 percent say they probably don’t, in fact, get the best deals.
What it all means: Cruise Critic is an online medium, so it makes sense that most voters would say the Internet is the way to go, but we’re shocked that so many — 35 percent — say they probably don’t get the greatest deals. We’re not sure if that’s because they don’t know where to look for bargains or because they love cruising so much they’ll do (or pay) just about anything to get onboard, but people did have something to say about it on our Facebook page.
“[I] usually book with cruise line months in advance,” says Norma Traylor Theriot. “Location is important to us. Do look to see if price drops and ask for adjustment.”
“My TA is the greatest,” says George Roberson. “I book early saver, she locks in a great fare, then we look for price drops.”
“I scour the web incessantly,” admits Jeffrey Clinard. “It takes some effort, but you can get some real bargains if you have some flexibility.”
Justin Marier, however, has experienced a less-traditional way of getting a discount: “I booked a Cruise on the Carnival Dream and it got canceled last minute, giving me 25% off our next booking….”
So, how do you bag bargains? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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