I thought this might help some out there and maybe I can get more ideas too. Right now I get the price down by doing the following:
Credit card points toward cruises.
Cruise in off times of year (not when kids are out of school)
Watch specials on net for ships I want to sail, some deals come & go in a weeks time
Past passenger upgrades and coupons
Entertainment book coupons
Book at least a year out. I also have a travel agent friend that will book us with other groups, and sometimes the AARP discount works wonders. She emails me all the specials or faxes them to me. I also get discounts through my Agent at Home magazine.
Hello Happy Camper,
Looks to me like you're already figured out all the best ways. It depends on what you're after, which works the best. ie; who has specials on what, when, etc. Also, I have used "Cruise Compete" right here on the CruiseMates site, and have saved a bunch already!! It sure works for me!!!!!
See you aboard,
You have some great advice. The only other thing I can add is if you can be VERY flexible and live near a port city, such as Miami, there are actually some real last minute (30 days or less) deals. You have to pay attention and know what is a deal and what isn't. You may have been able to purchase the cabin a year ago for the same price. You are also purchasing "distressed inventory" so you won't get the pick of the litter in terms of a cabin but hey, you're on the ship.
The last minute deals usually don't work too well for those of us that live in flyover land. The airfare usually negates any savings on the cruise.
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I just found one of the internet sites has "Last Minute Deals" page that is better than trying to search though. Thank you all for the extra ideas. I so want to cruise again and don't want to wait till I have enough points on my credit card! But it is only $1500 more I need to spend to get the points before I book..... HUMMMMM What can I buy for $1500???? Debbie