Budget Cruise

How to find your next Budget Cruise

Welcome to Budget Cruise

Aug-17-2009 By admin

A Budget Cruise is the ideal way to finally fulfil your dream of a cruise holiday without breaking the travel budget.

Finding a budget cruise is easier than you may think. Now there is a difference between cheap and budget. A cheap holiday is where your aim is to spend as little money as possible, whereas a budget holiday is a balance between the experience you are looking for and how your budget can best accommodate that experience.

There are so many options available for your cruise holiday that can give you the flexibility in how you package your holiday. It’s important to know what sort of cruise experience you would like so when you speak with your cruise agent they know what to include in the pricing.

Just as hotels have different standards of accommodation, so do cruise ships. Starting from your cheaper cruise lines to your more exclusive ships.

There are so many cruise ships out there all competing for business and the number continues to increase making cruising a growing sector in the travel market. Cruising is earning its reputation as becoming the best value for money holiday experience. Gone are the days where going on a cruise was only for the elite upper class. Now we can all experience the dream of a cruise vacation.

This current economy is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some incredible budget cruise deals. Why? Cruise lines need to fill their cabins. You do the math. Less people going on holiday, means more cabin availability. This is great for the budget cruise shopper. These cruise lines have to sail, so naturally they will want to provide the best deal to fill their cabins.

So how do they fill their cabins? Anyway they can really. Many cruise lines are offering free cabin upgrades, onboard cruise credit from $25 to $500 depending on the cabin and huge discounts of up to 40% for early bird bookings. Not to mention last minute cruise specials where you can save you up to 75%.

The cruise lines have made it really easy for us as consumers to find and plan a budget cruise. It’s just a matter of knowing what they are offering and the best time of year to travel. So as you go and research the best budget cruise for you we hope the information on this blog will help you with your dream cruise.

Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas

 

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Cruise Line Reviews will help you to make better decisions about which cruise ship will suit your budget and cruising experience. We take a more in depth look at facilities and onboard experiences to give you a better feel for what cruise to go on. Keep up to date of what’s happening out there in the cruise industry so you can make the most of new ships, new destinations and budget cruise offers.

Check out the links in cruise line reviews to some helpful websites which help you connect to others in the cruise community and hear first hand from new and seasoned cruisers about their experiences on different cruise lines. We review some popular sites which have helped many a cruiser make wise decisions about their next cruise.

To let’s sail away with our first in the cruise line reviews series – P&O Australia. Cruising is still emerging in the Australian travel market compared to the USA or Europe. As a result competition with other cruise lines is not as fierce so cruise fares are still on the upper end compared to overseas, however prices are coming down with other cruise lines entering the market. If you do your homework you can still get an incredible bargain and there are plenty of budget cruises to be found.

Over the last couple of years P&O have increased their number of ships giving Australian’s more variety when it comes to cruising. They currently have four ships in their fleet. Pacific Sun, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and the newest ship Pacific Pearl. The first ship we will review in this is the Pacific Sun departs from Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney, Newcastle and Fremantle. Main destinations include South Pacific with ports in Vanuatu, Fiji and some idyllic little islands in the South Pacific.

Pacific Sun at Wala Island Vanuatu

If you like the idea of relaxing on the beach and plenty of snorkelling, there are some great ports in the south pacific. You can immerse yourself in the island culture with plenty of cultural tours in the bigger ports or check out wares of the locals on the little islands. Isle of Pines is one of those breathtaking destinations. With incredible white beaches with beautiful Pine Trees which is how it got its name because of the prolific presence of Pine Trees instead of the traditional palm trees, although there are some of those around.

Isle of Pines

In addition to visiting Australian ports, Pacific Sun also cruises to Asia.

Typically attracts a younger crowd. If you like to party and dance till the early hours of the morning or participate in heaps of shipboard activities, Pacific Sun is great. Also very family friendly and great for children.

Watch out for our next post on cruise line reviews where we take a look at Pacific Dawn – the first in superliner cruising for P&O Australia.

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Yes believe it or not it is possible to get free cruises. It goes without saying that the best budget cruise is a free one.

Make a Group Booking. One of the simplest ways of getting free cruises is to make a group booking. Depending on the cruise line and agent you can get a free double cabin when you book a minimum of 8 double cabins. That’s only 16 people or 8 couples and you get to cruise for free. Ideal for organising reunions, special birthdays, anniversaries or social groups.

If you have a Facebook, My Space or Twitter account why not get a group of like minded people together. Use the power of social networking to get a group of cruisers together. Either start a roup or join an existing group.

Become a speaker on a cruise ship. Many cruise ships have enrichment programs on board. If you have knowledge of one of the destination ports, why not offer your services to talk for free.
If you have an area of knowledge or expertise that you feel would be of interest to passengers you can run talks and workshops on board. Some examples included computer classes, art and crafts, health and fitness, dance lessons and much more.

                                                

If you think you have something to offer that would be of benefit to both the cruise ship and the passengers, it’s a great way to share what you know and get free cruises at the same time. In many situations your partner can cruise for free with you. Before you approach any of the cruise companies make sure you do your research. Check out this free mini-course that will help you avoid the most common mistakes of becoming an on-board speaker.

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If you are looking for a budget cruise you may want to consider a repositioning cruise. Also known as repo cruise in the cruise industry. Every year ships have to relocate or reposition at the end of peak seasons. This is usually during autumn and spring. For example when the European summer comes to an end these ships will travel to the Caribbean in preparation for their summer period. In spring they relocate back. Cruises have to relocate to where the peak season is or else they are just waiting around losing a heap of money.

A cruise ship is repositioned when it is moved to a new home port or when new ships are added to the fleet. Keep a watch out for these bargains. If you notice a cruise line adding a new ship to its fleet often an older one in the fleet is relocated as the newer ship takes over the itineraries. Sometimes they are moved just so people can experience different ships

When a cruise repositions it still has operating expenses. So it makes sense to fill their cabins up. As a result yon can get some great budget cruise deals and ridiculously cheap prices but make sure you book in early for them because they get snapped up pretty quickly. If you have ever wanted to cruise on a luxury cruise ship at budget prices then get on a repositioning cruise.

There are some things you need to consider when going on a repositioning cruise. There are more sea days and less ports as the ship relocates. Having said that, the ports these ships visit are often different to normal itineraries. So you can enjoy different ports which ships wouldn’t normally visit. If you enjoy relaxing and want to experience more of the ships faciltities and activities a repositioning cruise allows you to do that.

Watch your spending on board. Less port days means more opportunities to spend money on board the ship, which is what they are hoping for. So what could have started as a budget cruise could blow out very quickly. Have a spending budget and stick to it.

Repositioning cruises can be anywhere from 7 days to a month and are during off peak seasons. So you need the flexibility to be able to travel during these times.

Repositioning cruises start at one port and end at another. So while you may save money on your cruise, you will need to purchase additional airfares to and from your destination. Make sure you get a good flight deal. It helps if the either the departure or arrival port is your hometown. That way you only have to pay a one way flight.

So keep an eye out for repositioning cruises in autumn and spring and you’ll get an unbelievable budget cruise. Don’t forget to hunt around for some good airfare deals as well.

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There are so many cruise ships now that it can easily get overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best cruise ship for your needs and budget. Remember when planning your budget cruise you want value for money. A cheap cruise may cost you less but if it doesn’t give you the experience you are looking for, you may be better off paying that little bit extra for a more memorable cruise experience. Many cruise ships can be similar in pricing but very different onboard culture. Pick a cruise ship that matches your personality and holiday needs.

So how to you pick best cruise ship for your needs? Different cruise ships offer different experiences. If you are after a family holiday you definitely want a cruise ship that offers lot of activities for the kids. Cruise lines like Disney, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise lines are packed with activities to keep children entertained. Be on the lookout for cruise ships that offer “kids sail free” offers. If you want to save money ask your cruise consultant about family cruise specials.

                                    Diamond Princess

Do you prefer larger or smaller cruise ships? Some of the larger cruise ships offer more competitive prices especially if you choose off-peak or shoulder season to travel. They have to fill their cabins so you may just grab a bargain on some of the larger ships. They also have more facilities on board, if this is something you are more interested in. The larger ships have a resort like feel to them and include some amazing features like rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks and planetariums.

The smaller ships can be more intimate because there are less people. But smaller ships at full capacity could also appear more crowded. There are some smaller ships which also have a more luxurious boutique feel with more focus on service and all inclusive service. Some even include the cost of drinks in the fare price. Be prepared to pay more for this type of cruise. But if luxury and pampering is what you want then looking at some of the smaller boutique ships may be an option. There are also larger ships that offer this. Cunard is known for its traditional cruise experience with class differentiation in their cabin fares.

Do you want a party atmosphere? Generally the ships with the cheapest fares also attract a younger population. Cruise lines like Carnival and P&O Australia are renowned for their party atmosphere. Peak times and school holidays will also mean more of a party atmosphere if a ship is at full capacity.

When making decisions about the best cruise ship for you make sure you check out the ships facilities and itineraries. You can also have a look at our Cruise Line Reviews on this blog. Once you know what you want from your cruise it will make it a lot easier to choose a budget cruise that is also the best cruise ship for the experience you are looking for.

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