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How to See the World and Save Money on a Cruise

Can’t get the thought of Alaska cruise vacations out of your head? Keep dreaming about cruising the Caribbean, but feel like it’s out of reach for your budget? Think again.

While traveling solo can sometimes be a costly venture, doing so as a family or group can be rather affordable. Follow these tips and tricks below and you could find yourself — and your loved ones or friends — sail away on your next Instagram-worthy cruise faster than you might think.

Be Flexible
A flexible vacationer is a money-saving vacationer. If you can adjust your vacation dates to coincide with off-season travel, it could mean a big win for your wallet.

For example, September to the beginning of January are great times to snag a bargain price. However, make it a point to avoid the period from Thanksgiving to the end-of-year holiday season, when costs are typically at their highest. Instead, look into late summer and you might be surprised at the money you save.

Consider One-Way Cruising
Reposition cruises, or one-way cruises for the purpose of the ship changing port for a season, aren't offered every day or every month. While you'll stop at fewer ports of call on one-way cruises, they still include all the amenities and perks of a standard cruise and also tend to cost less.

Buy a Beverage Package
If your day starts with a soda or specialty coffee and ends with an adult drink, you need a beverage package. Purchasing drinks on board adds up fast. If you only want a glass or two of wine in your stateroom, and otherwise opt for water, you could skip the cost.

Reserve a Room with a View
The amount of entertainment at your disposal can feel endless — but that's not always a bad thing. Between the on-board activities, casino, dance classes, stand-up comedy shows, art galleries, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings, your family or group can be as active on a cruise vacation as you desire. Work it to your advantage.

However, if hanging out in your cabin isn’t on your vacation to-do list, skip the suite and go with a smaller room. You’ll find the same attention to detail and high standards as if you had gone with a larger space. But why spend more if you won’t be around to enjoy it? For larger cost savings, opt for an inside or an ocean view room over the pricier balcony.

Shorten Your Getaway
If a seven-day cruise is out of reach, opt for a shorter trip. Cruises lasting three to five days provide the same fun and relaxation as a typical seven-day cruise. You’ll still enjoy the entertainment and port calls, but your cost savings may make your cruise vacation dreams a faster reality.

Book Ahead
Book your cruise six months to a year out before your departure date to save on airline tickets. Prices rise and rooms sell out quickly as time goes by. Then again, booking in advance allows you to nab those coveted flash deals. So, double-check on costs between flying, driving or by bus or train and compare costs to see where you can save.

Cruising on a Budget
Regardless of whether you prefer to take an Alaskan cruise or head to a warmer port, if you stick with these tips, you’ll save money you can put toward your next big vacation. And, once on board, don’t forget to book your next cruise to enjoy a lower deposit.