Luxury cruises are growing in popularity, with many operators responding to the demands by unveiling a range of brand-new world-class ships. With all the added opulence, however, comes a price. Some new ships can cost customers between £ 100 a night and £ 8,000 a night, depending on the type of experience they want to have. With the industry booming and more options available than ever before, how can customers looking for the best experience do it without spending thousands?
Whether you’re heading out on a week-long ocean vacation or embarking on an adventurous global adventure, there are plenty of options available to cruise enthusiasts.
However, each trip has its own price, and some are higher than others.
Many cruises offer options that allow travelers to tailor their trip to their specific needs, from all-inclusive packages to dining, spa and entertainment supplements.
An industry expert spoke to Express.co.uk to tell us how travelers can save their money while still getting the ultimate experience.
The president and CEO of independent cruise specialist SuperCruises, Alexander Panagopulos, said it was important for cruise passengers to do their “homework” before booking.
He said: “A cruise can be very expensive when you book the wrong cruise, not doing your homework, demanding your preferences and budget, or booking through a third party who tends to oversell.”
The type of cruise a customer chooses ultimately plays the biggest role in the cost of the trip.
The more upscale a cruise, the more expensive it will naturally be.
While suites are an obvious additional cost, some cruisers can be caught off guard by opting for a room with a window facing the “inside” cabins.
The time of year you book will also be a key player.
Many cruise lines offer departure dates that span the entire calendar, with winter options becoming increasingly popular for those looking to sail in the sun.
Additionally, remote and in-demand destinations may also see a price increase.
Not only will passengers looking for high-demand routes feel the brunt of the additional costs, but they should also be mindful of the port of departure as additional transportation may be required.
“Cruise itineraries vary widely in terms of price, depending on region and season, however competition keeps up the offers and as a result the cruiser can travel further at unbelievable prices,” says Alexander.
“Of course, world cruises are expensive, but nothing compares to traveling the world by any other means of transport, in luxurious surroundings, without hassle. In general, a cruise vacation is great value for money, as long as the customer has done their homework and purchased the cruise that meets all of their needs.
However, Panagopulos explains that customers may end up paying more even after booking their trip.
“Shore excursions, drinks, spas and specialty restaurants tend to be the places where cruisers will easily part with their hard-earned cash,” he said.
It was recently revealed that drinks are one of the main factors in overspending at sea.
Simon Hoe, Global Marketing Manager at Cruise1st, explained that there is a drink that some lines grab passengers with.
“Most lines also offer a drink of the day, which is more expensive due to the souvenir glass it is served in,” he told Express.co.uk.
“Just ask for it to be served in a regular glass, and you’ll save a little.” It always helps to educate yourself, so don’t feel like you’re ahead of some of your requests.
Alexander echoed this idea, saying, “Make sure you get the best value proposition. A cheap cruise fare may not be the best value in the end, so research is essential, ”he says.
“If you enjoy an extra cocktail or two, it’s worth booking a drink package or making sure it’s included in your cruise fare. Buying extras on board tends to be more expensive than buying them before you go.
Some cruise lines allow you to bring your own alcohol on board, however, it is essential that you read the fine print of your supplier’s policy before traveling.
Some lines, such as Royal Caribbean, do not allow passengers to take alcohol on board and may confiscate anything found.
According to Royal Caribbean: “Alcoholic beverages seized on the day of embarkation will not be returned. “
If food and drink are an essential part of relaxing your vacation, the best thing to do is consider the upfront all-inclusive fee, which will reduce the risk of unforeseen costs.
Alexander adds, “The best way to make sure you don’t overspend is to book an all-inclusive cruise vacation.
“If, however, you don’t want to feel restricted and want to do your own thing, how and when you want, you can book extras like shore excursions, drink packages and other extras before you go.
“Either way, your budget will be roughly reduced to a T before you set sail.”
Along with these practical tips, SuperCruises also frequently offers unique offers to customers who book through them.
Currently they are offering £ 100 cash back to customers who spend £ 1000 or more with the site.
However, cruise passengers should grab this offer while they can, as they will only have until October 31 to secure their extra pocket money.
With 15,000 other cruise itineraries around the world, in 30 regions and in 1,000 ports, globetrotters will have the entire world at their fingertips.
The online provider also includes all up-to-date offers from major cruise operators.