A cruise can be the vacation of a lifetime. Whether you’re on a quick three-day jaunt to the Bahamas or are planning a two-week trip through the Mediterranean, there will be plenty to see and do both on and off the ship. The experience might be a bit overwhelming for first-time cruisers. Vacationers often question what to pack or how to enjoy shore excursions. Here are 15 cruise trip secrets that will help you make the most of your vacation at sea.
1. Book at the last minute to save money
If your schedule is flexible, booking a cruise at the last minute can save you a lot of money. That’s assuming you can get to your port of embarkation without spending a bundle.
“The closer you get to the departure date, the lower the price becomes. … Cruise ships don’t want to depart with half-empty boats, so they drop prices steadily until that boat is leaving port, since for them empty cabins mean less money,” travel expert Nomadic Matt said.
Scour cruise-deal websites or sign up for a cruise line’s newsletter to find the best deals. Keep in mind that off-season and shoulder-season cruises are cheaper. Plus, smaller, older boats are usually more of a bargain because they don’t have as many flashy amenities as newer ships.