Savvy cruisers will know that incredible cruise deals are often just waiting to be snapped up – you just have to know where to look. As your cruise holiday spirit guides, we’ve got you covered with answers to all your cheap cruise holiday questions.

Are no-fly cruises really cheaper?

In addition to providing a less stressful departure, no-fly cruises tend to be cheaper than their counterparts on the other side of the world, simply because all you’ll have to do is drive up to the port and board your ship. There are plenty of departures from the UK all year round that venture to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and elsewhere around the United Kingdom, which will allow you to discover hidden treasures right on your doorstep for much less.

When’s the earliest I can book my cruise holiday?

Much earlier than you think – as in, before you even disembark from your current cruise. More often than not your cruise ship will feature a sales desk where you can book your next cruise and get a few extras thrown in. This can often amount to onboard credit, reduced deposits or overall discounts on the cruise price. What’s more is, if you change your mind, lines like Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line will even offer full refunds or give you a fixed number of years to book.

What is ‘wave season’?

Wave season is the cruise industry’s promotional period, which generally falls between January and March. It’s essentially the Black Friday of the cruising world, as it’s when you’ll see an onslaught of cruise holiday offers. Lines will often even add onto routine promotions so that already fantastic deals become even better. During this time in the booking season, you can expect anything and everything from free drinks packages to casino credit and upgrades.

When should I book my cruise?

The earlier, the better. This is due to a number of reasons, the first being that by booking early, you make sure you get the cruise and the accommodations that you want. Popular cruises will sell out quickly, especially if there’s a deal involved. That brings us to our second reason – the earlier you book, the more likely you are to score a bargain cruise holiday, as you’re more likely to be privvy to special deals. Booking early in the cruise world can mean anything from six months to two years in advance, so the sooner you nail down your cruising destination, the better your wallet will feel.

The earlier, the better. This is due to a number of reasons, the first being that by booking early, you make sure you get the cruise and the accommodations that you want. Popular cruises will sell out quickly, especially if there’s a deal involved. That brings us to our second reason – the earlier you book, the more likely you are to score a bargain cruise holiday, as you’re more likely to be privvy to special deals. Booking early in the cruise world can mean anything from six months to two years in advance, so the sooner you nail down your cruising destination, the better your wallet will feel.

How flexible should my cruise plans be?

Just as knowing what you want from your cruising holiday and booking far in advance will save you money, so too will going with the flow. Being flexible on your dates and cruise destinations will offer incredible deals, since your cruise agent can help guide you toward the best savings. A week-long cruise might not necessarily be cheaper than a longer one, and that coveted balcony cabin might come with added perks you didn’t originally think of. It’s all about being open to new possibilities.

Is a mini cruise cheaper?

Typically lasting around two to four days, a mini cruise can give you a taste of the cruising experience without breaking the bank as you’re on the ship for less time. You’ll still travel to world class destinations like France, Belgium and Germany, but often for a fraction of the price of a longer itinerary and with less holiday time spent. Just because the cruise sails for shorter periods of time doesn’t mean you have to skimp on luxury, either. P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean® set sail for mini cruises on liners fit for around 2,000 passengers, each with all the trimmings available.

Are last minute deals available in the cruise world?

While cruising might seem like a more committed holiday experience, last minute deals are very much available and recommended if you’ve got the flexibility. If you know where you want to cruise, it’s a good idea to figure out when that destination has its low season, as this time of year typically affords the best last minute cruise deals. ‘Repositioning’ cruises similarly offer good last minute deals, due to their awkward nature – they’re one way, and usually have more sea days than your average cruise, but if you’re able to go with the flow, these odd ducks will have your name on it.

What is ‘cabin guarantee’?

Choosing ‘cabin guarantee’ when booking your cruise holiday will ensure you’ve booked a cabin, but that you don’t get to choose which cabin you get. While this can mean you’re sometimes placed in a noisy or high-trafficked area that wasn’t initially selected by your fellow cruisers, it can also mean you’re given an upgrade. But what doesn’t change is that choosing cabin guarantee will, with lines like Carnival Cruise Lines and Seabourn, give you a discounted rate on your room.

Are there perks of booking in bulk?

Absolutely. It might seem counter-intuitive that booking more rooms means saving more money, but if you cruise as a group, booking in bulk will often mean saving money on individual cabins – or even getting a third or fourth passenger in each room free. Often, the smaller the cruise, the smaller the group needed to reach the group savings threshold. Sometimes certain cruise lines will even throw in group-friendly perks like onboard credit and discounts on shore excursions, too.

Any other tips?

We know this one might seem like a no-brainer, but it pays to have your eye on cruise prices. It’s one thing to take a ‘great deal’ at face value, but quite another to know that the price has dropped more than £200. It’s a good idea to research how much your cruise of choice typically costs so that you can monitor the price and see when costs have dipped. That way, you know just how much you’re saving or when prices have a chance of settling even lower.

Mix and match these cheap cruise-finding tips and you’ll have yourself one seriously affordable cruise holiday.

* Terms & Conditions apply

We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.