Saturday, March 15, 2014

Traveling on a budget

Michael and I cruise 2-4 months every year.....In my mind, making memories is far more important, than accumulating "stuff".....Besides you can't take it with you!  Note to kids....

We're taking 2 of our granddaughters on a cruise for less than most people pay for 1
cruise alone!
They live in Alaska, and will be flying back to Florida, with their father, next month
A cruise in the Caribbean will be a welcome diversion from the cold Alaskan winter.

We chose the
Liberty of The Seas for the children's adventures,
Like the Wave rider

                                                            And the ice skating rink

Lets break down how you pick a cruise.....
There are usually 3 very important categories


We chose Itinerary first. We live in Florida, and we only wanted to be gone for 4 or 5 days
so the Caribbean fit the bill.

We picked the ship next, we prefer to stay close to Tampa ports, but we wanted a ship that would be large and give the girls an opportunity for lots of adventures. Bingo! Royal Caribbean is the only way to go!

Who wouldn't love the grand Promenade?

The fun restaurants

and Kid friendly fun!

Money....a big consideration for everyone! I checked out the Royal Caribbean website and filled in the appropriate boxes and found a Great deal.

                       Where would you like to go?

When can you cruise?



Exclusive Savings [?]

About your trip

Any Departure Port
Any Number of Nights
Any Price


                                                              My choices were,
                                                          Date...We needed April
                                                          Length of cruise 4-7 days

I selected 3 or 4 cruises to look at. 

Price, I always check to see if they have a senior rate, Military rate, and a discount for Floridians
We fit the bill for all three discounts and believe me, It has saved us tens of thousands of dollars over the years!

This cruise had a discounted price due to low sales and also a senior rate. Woo-hoo! 
I then looked for ways of adding on-board credit. Checked my usual travel sites for special offers. Special offers can include paying your tips, on-board credit, specialty meals, airfare, or spa treatments. I was able to wangle $50 on board credit by booking with Crucon
On this 5 day cruise I was able to save 30% by just doing the research myself and not using a travel agent.

A few other tips 
 1.If you are new to cruising, Pick one line and stick with it until you will reach a loyalty status that gives youthe perks you want.

  2. CHECK PRICES EVERY DAY!  Your cruise line will most likely drop the price periodically, and if         you call the line or your agent, you will be able to get the lower price. We once booked a 43 day cruise, the initial price was over 11k for 2. We ended up paying less than 6k for two, by just taking advantage of monitoring price drops!
3. sign up for emails from cruise lines, and online cruise agencies. They offer fabulous bargains, with many perks!
Cruise lines I use

Royal Caribbean...they have the most amazing ships in the world!
Celebrity...beautiful classy ships that offer elegance and beautiful public lounges
Princess...We started using princess because the itinerary's were awesome.
princess gives up to $250 per person for veterans!

Agencies we have used  wonderful deals and great on board credit
Vacations to go offers a program for reduced prices ( 90 day ticker)
Online Vacation Center offers complete packages for a reasonable price
Always check the cruise line websites for deals.

It always pays off, when you pay attention to the details.....
Happy Cruising!