If you’ve long had a hankering for a cruise vacation but didn’t think you could afford it – think again.
Especially now with the travel industry struggling mightily to survive in the aftermath of Nine Eleven, bargains are out there. It just might take a little looking.
What you want to look for is a cruise travel package. Here is where the best bargains are found.
Once you know who’s going to be traveling with you, look for theme cruise packages. Some are designed for honeymooners, some for families, some for baby boomers, some for seniors, some for gay and lesbian cruisers.
Try for a port as close to your home as possible – or if not close, look for the least expensive to reach by plane, train or car. Book your cruise way ahead of time if you can. Many packages offer early bird discounts.
You can also try a last minute vacation package if you have that kind of flexibility and you just might find a great deal here. If cruise lines are getting ready to head out soon and they’re not full it’s costly to them. If someone cancels their trip they’re left with empty berths. They’ll gladly offer you a top-notch rate to fill the spot that was going empty – and unpaid – otherwise.
Find yourself a travel agent whose only job is to book cruises. This agent and this agency will know all there is to know about the best discounts available. Make sure you ask about fax discounts – the little known last minute offers that are faxed to travel agency offices by cruise lines on a regular basis. If you find yourself a really reputable travel agent she or he will let you book early and then should there be a last minute discount will allow you that fare and refund you the difference.
If you’re really an adventurous spirit and you don’t mind being a little unconventional you can actually book yourself aboard a freighter. China is one common freighter destination – and their freighters typically accept passengers. You’ll usually have about three weeks to three months of ocean travel on these boats at under $130 per day. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t find any scheduled activities on these. They don’t plan entertainment for their passengers – just berths and meals. It’s not the place for a family vacation if family means children.
There are several sites that can help with your search for a discounted cruise vacation. http://FreighterWorld.com, for example, is the home of the world’s largest travel agency for freighter travel, Freighter World Cruises Inc., of Pasadena CA. Their freighters travel the globe, offering a quiet, sun-laden vacation with outside cabins that are comfortably furnished. Most freighters also offer a nice lounge and library, and a pleasant deck and small pool. Via Freighter World Cruises you can visit the South Pacific or the Orient, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America and the Mediterranean.