Houston, Texas (NAPSI) - The nightmarish stranding of the Carnival Triumph may have deterred some potential cruisers, but so far the industry hasn’t seen enough dip in bookings to drop prices. However, savvy travelers who invest a little time and research can still save on their next cruise.
To help, here are some tips from the “Like A Local” travel series by Michelin and CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.
Look for Hidden Discounts
Several cruise lines have a “resident rate” for those who live in the same state as—or close to—a port city. For example, those living in states such asFloridaandGeorgiaoften qualify to save on cruises to theBahamas.
Curb Your Spending
Cruise lines make their money from onboard spending, not the price of a cabin. Limit alcohol intake, skip the casinos and factor in tipping to the cruise budget. Don’t wait until the last minute to book a shore excursion. Passengers can save a bundle by booking on their own or through a third party, instead of through the cruise line. Just remember that the cruise line then has no obligation to wait for any passengers who run late on an independently booked excursion.
The Best Time to Book
Travelers who are set on a certain itinerary or want to sail on a popular cruise should book six months to a year ahead. January through March is when many people make their travel plans for the year. It’s also when cruise lines offer incentives such as 2-for-1 fares, upgrades and shipboard credit on regular sailings and repositioning cruises. However, flexible travelers can get incredible deals by waiting until the last minute, usually four to six weeks before sailing.