Credit: Shutterstock

9 smart hacks for booking a cruise in 2022

Author: World of Cruising

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Booking a cruise? Get the top tips from the experts and don’t book your next cruising holiday until you’ve read our handy guide...

Booking a cruise? Already thinking about your next holiday? We don't blame you.

Whether you are new to cruise or a seasoned cruiser, pick up a new tip or two and grab the best deal.

1. Book ahead...

Timing is everything when it comes to cruising. If you book early (at least four months ahead of your sailing date) you’ll find that many lines and cruise agents are offering free cabin upgrades, drinks packages and even credit on board the ship.

Booking ahead will also ensure you get the best cabins.

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2. ...or leave it late

Booking a cruise at the last minute can also work in your favour, as the cruise lines offer generous discounts on unsold cabins just before departure.

If you can get away at short notice, and you’re not too bothered about the itinerary or the cabin you’re given, this could be a smart move, saving you hundreds of pounds.

- READ MORE: Why you should book cruises through a travel agent -

3. Ride the ‘Wave Season’

Traditionally, the bigger cruise lines run a ‘Wave Season’ between January and March, offering some very tempting offers and deals.

You still have plenty of opportunities to snap up great bargains now, and then, at the end of the year, once the dust has settled after Christmas, keep a close eye on magazines, papers, TV ads and online.

Book something at the beginning of the year that you can look forward to - treat yourself - 2023 year will be so grateful!

Book with a travel agent to ensure you get the best deal. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Make friends with a cruise agent

These days it’s not difficult to do your own booking online, but can you be sure you’re getting the best deal or even choosing the right ship?

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a newbie, go to a cruise travel agent and let their professional expertise secure you a great price.

And who knows, they may also be able to suggest perfect cruise options for your style and budget that you haven't even thought of - try something new!

- READ MORE: How to pick the best cruise ship cabin -

5. Book a maiden voyage

Cruise companies are always keen to fill every cabin on a new ship, so inaugural sailings can often be a great bargain.

And even better, new ships mean sparkling cabins, bars, entertainment spaces and restaurants too.

Take pleasure in the fact that you are one of the first to traverse and new ship and try out all the cool features.

Sign up to newsletters to get the best offers. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Sign up to newsletters

All the big cruise companies encourage customers to sign up for their newsletters.

It’s good for them but it’s also good for you because you’ll get news and deals ahead of everyone else and you could save plenty on your next cruise.

It is also a good opportunity to keep up to date with new itineraries and ports of call - the perfect idea to stay connected with cruise holidays.

- READ MORE: How to book a cruise for the first time -

7. Check the details.

Does the ‘all-inclusive’ package you’re being offered really mean that everything is paid for?

It might or it might not – deals vary – so failing to read the small print could cost you a nasty bill at the end (another reason for letting a professional make the booking for you).

Ensure that you check exactly what is included in your booking, and remember that included drinks could sometimes only refer to water and soft drinks. So if you are a keen drinker then ensure you have a suitable drinking package.

Opt for an inside cabin with Royal Caribbean and save money. Credit: Royal Caribbean

8. Less is more

Do you really need that spacious stateroom with a private balcony?

If you’ll only be using it to sleep in, take a look at the next cabin grade down – it could save you a packet or even help your budget stretch to a longer cruise.

- READ MORE: How to save money when booking a cruise holiday -

9. Subscribe to World of Cruising

As the UK’s leading cruise magazine, we bring you all the latest information on the wonderful world of cruising, with the best guidance on how to book.

Subscribe here and get the magazine delivered to your door.

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