Bargain Cruises Where to Look

The travel industry has had a few setbacks in recent years, particularly since September 2001 (although the effect on travel is of course just a footnote to the tragic events of that month). Despite the fluctuations, however, the general trend for modern holiday making is more, further and cheaper. A budget trip to Europe or America used to mean backpacks and youth hostels. Today, you can even take bargain cruises. Cruising was traditionally to the pinnacle of high class holidaying grand touring for the cream of society. Nowadays they're letting in all sorts of riff raff, including you and me. You can still blow a huge amount of money on a cruise, but there are also a selection of bargain cruises out there varying from trips designed to be cheap and cheerful to discounted luxury holidays.

Indeed, it's possible to find massive discounts if you are willing to book 90 or more days in advance. The major cruise lines sometimes offer much as 75% off for early booking have a look on their websites or on those of the many online cruise specialists. You sign up with them for free and type in where, when and how you want to travel. They will then scour a database of cruise lines and destinations for you, emailing you when something turns up. Bear in mind, though, that regular cruise agents can also find discounts for you and it can be very useful to have someone to talk to directly if any problems arise with your booking.

The larger a cruise company, the easier it is for it to offer discounts. Carnival Cruise Lines is the world's biggest, and because of its sheer size it can slash up to 85% off the cost of some of its cruises. There are half price specials for 6 month advance bookings on other lines, such as PO, Ocean Village, Princess Cruises and Cunard. On Holland America certain cabin bookings can get you an upgrade or £200 shipboard credit. All these companies are in fact part of the Carnival Corporation. Norwegian Cruise Line, another big player, runs early bird packages on some of its trips, such as the Norwegian Sun Freestyle Thanksgiving Cruise and the Caribbean Western cruise you have to book about 4 months in advance.

As we said above, the earlier you book, the bigger the bargain you are likely to find. Sometimes it also works in reverse late bookings on well worn routes can also offer bargains. But whatever you choose it's very important to remember the universal law: if something can go wrong, it think carefully about buying cancellation insurance.