13 ways to save on a cruise

A cruise is an increasingly popular holiday choice with a record 1.73m Brits leaving port last year. The most popular winter destination is the Caribbean followed by the Canary Islands. A cruise will typically set you back £1,376 and Penny Guy from CruiseExperts shares her top tips on getting the best deal.

  1. Book early if you want to choose a specific cruise, itinerary and cabin. Booking early can also give you access to opportunities to save that may expire the closer you get to the sailing date.
  2. Booking late can mean there are attractive offers but you must be very flexible on when and where you travel, the type of accommodation available and the cruise line.
  3. Booking with a travel agent can often mean ‘added extras’ – such as free car-parking at the port and free transfers. A travel agent will also look at the wide range of cruise lines and itineraries available to best match what you're looking for.
  4. Inside cabins are the least expensive. It’s also worth considering a cabin with an ‘obstructed view’ which has a window but which is less expensive than other window cabins.
  5. For those travelling solo, cruise lines are adding single cabins to their ships – and some offer these at no supplement. But book early as these are often limited. Alternatively travel with a friend and share a cabin to reduce costs.
  6. If travelling as a bigger family, consider upgrading to a suite rather than more than one cabin. This increases the amount of private space you have, will bring you all closer together, and many cruise lines add facilities and services for guests in suites.
  7. Taking a cruise from one of the 22 UK departure ports can often prove cheaper than a fly cruise as there is no flight element to the ticket.
  8. To save money, why not try a shorter cruise – less expensive than a full, longer cruise but still gives you that break that you may need.
  9. Remember that because cruises are generally much more inclusive than hotel holidays taking a cruise will often save you money on your holiday anyway – think of all of those included meals, entertainment, daytime activities – and of course, as the ship travels from place to place you don’t have too!
  10. Many cruise lines and travel agents offer added-value offers in January and February – so worth confirming your summer holiday early in the year – it also gives you widest choice of sailings and ships.
  11. Many river cruises can sell out as they have far fewer rooms than ocean ships – so book these early.
  12. On many cruise ships you will get the chance to add drinks packages – these often offer exceptional value and are certainly worth investigating
  13. Pre-booking for your excursions will not just mean that you can plan your holiday, but will also mean that whilst on holiday you are less likely to have unexpected costs for travelling to places of interest.

Fancy a holiday? Check out our top tips to save on a winter break, why Tunisia is best-value for sun lovers and why Jersey's great for walking, shopping and eating!