Why go on a cruise?
How would you like your next holiday to be? Unique, multi-destination itinerary without the stress of figuring out connections, no running to catch flights, no hassles of checking in or out and packing and unpacking at each stop, no worries about entertainment options? There is a lot going for a cruise holiday, and the icing on the cake is that you can do as much or as little as you want. They can give you a great way to see the world while being pampered with luxury amenities and services at the same time.
With so many cruise lines taking to the seas, zeroing in on one may seem like a challenge. Let your preferences dictate your ultimate choice. Popular cruise liners, such as Star Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Costa Cruises offer a lot of quality and value for money. If you want the ultra-luxury option, take your pick from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Seabourne.
Most travellers think that cruises are a very expensive holidaying option. They actually promise the most value for your money, whether you pick a budget, value or luxury cruise. The savings on any cruise line are very evident if you take into consideration the complete costs you incur on a holiday. On a cruise, you do not pay separately for food, inter-city travel, taxis, local commute and entertainment.
Tips when booking a Cruise Holiday
Book at least 90-120 days ahead of the sailing date. Booking ahead lets you avail of early bird offers, and also gets you the choicest cabins; the cheapest , best-located and most luxurious cabins on any ship are the first to be snapped up.
Pay for only what you want
The all-inclusive cruises, which pack in everything from meals and alcohol to gratuities and sightseeing, may look great on paper, but are expensive. Currently, only select luxury liners offer this option and if you want high end, you can’t go wrong with this. Instead, a cruise line that allows you to pre- purchase beverage packages (soda and soft drinks) will be better suited and cheaper.
If you plan to spend your time exploring the entertainment options on board, there is no point in paying the premium for a balcony cabin. Lastly, newer ships are more expensive than the older ones.
Time your travel
Peak seasons command the highest fares, so before planning a cruise, figure out its shoulder season. Peak season is generally during the European summer, but also coincides with other school holidays like Christmas and half-term. For instance, the South East Asia cruises will be most expensive in the cooler months, while the Mediterranean cruises hike their rates during the July-August window. A seven-day Greek Isles cruise with Celebrity Cruises is cheaper in September than in July.
Go for do-it-yourself (DIY) shore excursions
If your ship offers free shore excursions, jump at the chance. However, booking these through the cruise liner is a costly mistake. The latter are typically 20-50 % more expensive than a DIY trip. Just walk down to the end of the pier, and hop on to a local bus or taxi. Alternatively, book a local travel operator in advance.
Top 3 reasons to consider a cruise holiday
• With scheduled stops in nearly all major port cities, a cruise is one of the best ways to see some of the most popular tourist hotspots across the globe.
• Cruises allow for a unique multi-destination vacation without the stress of packing-unpacking, checking in and out of hotels and running to catch flights/trains. It’s a relaxed, yet fun-filled, travel opportunity.
• Cruise holidays offer a truly affordable value proposition since they cover not only meals and accommodation, but transportation as well.