Taking a vacation on a cruise ship is a wonderful way to relax, disconnect, recharge, and only have to pull out your wallet one time. In fact, a cruise is a great excuse to tell everyone that you won’t have cell phone reception and can’t be bothered. After some vacations, you might need some downtime to recover before returning to your routine, but a cruise ship is different. On a typical 7 day Caribbean cruise there will be 3 port days and 4 cruising days. This gives you 3 port days to experience different excursions; perhaps swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, visiting local marketplaces, or even Mayan temples. My wife and I prefer to rent a jeep or golf cart and visit the spots or activities we find on tripadvisor at our leisure. The cruise also gives a traveler 4 days to relax and play aboard the ship with lots of delicious food to eat and activities throughout the day. Some may think that cruises are just big parties or ‘booze cruises’ and you can do this if you prefer, but most cruisers want more out of their vacations. A cruise can be whatever you make it, the ships have plenty of entertainment options on board to choose from: Pools, Game rooms, bars, live Vegas style shows, family shows, comedians, magic acts, piano bar, and of course Casinos. If this sounds like a great trip to you, below are some options to make it a little more affordable. After a decade of cruising these are the best tips I have, feel free to reach out to me if you have any good tips not mentioned here:
- Join the Cruise ship rewards club – We usually cruise Carnival and they have a VIFP rewards club with lots of perks: Free bottled water, laundry service, priority check-in and check-out, collectible pins, specialty bonus foods, Carnival logo gift each sailing, cabin upgrades, specialty dining, and many other options.
- Book early – Cruise ships can fill up fast and booking early lets you pick adjoining rooms if you have kids, or to be close or far away from the action. Prices tend to be lower before the ship fills up. You can also get guaranteed price protection on early booking deals where carnival lowers the price if it drops before your cruise. I recommend the ship mate app that will watch the price for you and email if it drops.
- Vacationstogo has a 90 day cruise ticker showing last minute cruise deals for ships with open spots. If you are flexible and can book that late, you can find some real bargains on this website.
- Re-positioning cruises – This is when my wife and I have seen the best prices in cruising. A re-positioning cruise happens when a ship has a different starting port than ending port; usually when a ship is changing routes for a different season. This can also happen occasionally when ships are moved to service other parts of the world. My wife and I recently saw a 28 day cruise from Long Beach, CA to Singapore with stops in the Hawaiian Islands, Vietnam, and Guam. The entire trip was only around $650 per person! This is a great option for retirees that have lots of time and can meander through the world at their convenience.
- Supply and Demand – Cruising out of locations that have other cruise ports close by tends to give you the best pricing. For example, Miami has cruise ports nearby in Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral (Orlando), and Jacksonville FL and many others relatively close by, so the prices here tend to be much better than Los Angeles, that really only has only one other port in San Diego to compete with.
- Senior deals – Carnival has a cruise deals for seniors page that has better pricing for 55 and older travelers.
- Family vacations- As I tell my family, I would rather spend time together making memories than leave a large amount of money after I die. Memories can never be spent or taken away. No-one ever regrets making time and memories for the ones they love. Why put it off any longer?
If you have any questions about anything in this article, feel free to reach out to me, one of my favorite things to do is to talk about cruises. Or if you would like to take your family on an unforgettable trip, reach out to me and I may be able to help you access your equity with a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage line of credit (LOC) leaves the money you qualify for accessible for whenever you need it. The money left in the LOC receives compound growth, which is around 5.5% annually right now. To find out what a reverse mortgage can do for you or your loved one contact Robert Snow Krepps NMLS # 255191 today at (877) 567–7476 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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