Cheap Cruises: Best discounts

Special offers, promotions and sales can sometimes be great cruise values. They happen at different times of the year, usually to promote some special event like the launch of a new ship, new itineraries or opening sailings in the future for booking. Another way to save on cruise vacations is with discounts that are readily available most of the time. Let’s take a look at some common ones that are normally available year-round.

Past-Guest Discounts are available after one sailing on a number of lines. Carnival Cruise Lines often offers past guests special pricing and a complementary in-category upgrade. This discount is commonly offered far in advance to encourage guests to sail again and again on the same line.

Senior Discounts are available on some lines for guests 55 or older. To qualify, at least one guest in the cabin must be 55 or older, not all. A common trick to make that work for grandma, grandpa and the kids/grand kids is to split up the seniors for booking purposes. They don’t do bed checks on the ships so switching back once on board is usually easy to do.

Military Discounts are available on many sailings. Spearheaded by Carnival Cruise Lines, other lines offer them as well. Like a Senior discount, one guest in the cabin that is active or retired military is all that is needed to get the discounted fare. The cruise line will require proof in the form of a military ID provided within a couple days of booking.

Resident Discounts are sometimes offered for certain states but not others. Florida resident discounts are common on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, not so much on other lines although Princess has regional rates you may qualify for. This is why your travel expert wants to know what airport you might be flying out of.

Interline rates
are also available sometimes from cruise lines for employees of other carriers like airlines and can often be applied to more than one cabin. The cruise line will require proof of employment to get the rates which are usually some of the lowest.

Many of the best discounts that lead to cheap cruises come closer to sailing too. It is not uncommon for Royal Caribbean or Celebrity to offer no discounts at all far from sailing, adding them on closer to sailing to help fill up the ship. Check with your personal travel expert for all the latest information as it may apply to you.