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Taking a cruise is a wonderful way to explore new areas and have a lot of fun on the open sea. Unfortunately, it can also be quite pricey if you’re not too careful with the cruise line you’re booking. There are a variety of ways for you to save money on the cruise you’re thinking of taking. By making use of these tips, you’ll find an amazing deal that will cause your vacation to go from being overpriced and expensive to one that’s affordable and reasonable.

Here are just a few tips to utilize when booking a cruise last minute:

Book at the Ideal Time

One of the best times to get a deal on a cruise line is anywhere from 60 to 90 days before departure. Considering the fact that most people book their cruises months or even years in advance, this 90-day time frame is still considered last minute to the majority of cruise ships booking travelers. Consider booking your cruise spot two months in advance to when it’s supposed to depart port, and you’ll find that you get a significant deal.

Peak Travel Typically Doesn’t Exist

Unlike other types of travel, cruise lines typically don’t have a peak season. If you’ll be going on a cruise in the summer, it will be just as pricey as a cruise that departs in the middle of the winter. Because of this, it’s not worth your time to wait for the right time to book a cruise. You’ll pay just as much no matter when the cruise ship takes off from port.

Think About Re-Positioning Cruises

Re-positioning cruises, or ones that change ports or extend their time, are much more affordable than a straight-forward cruise that goes from one port to another. This might mean that you’ll spend more time out on the sea with fewer stops to ports, but you’ll save a lot of money on your vacation. Plus, it’s a great excuse for having a longer vacation than if you had just gone on a regular ported cruise.

Compare Cruises

It is absolutely essential that you compare different cruises before doing any of your booking. There are a ton of cruise-specific travel sites that allow you to compare different ships, destinations and ports so that you can choose the one that’s perfect for you. Take your time comparing cruise ships, as this is one of the only ways to ensure that you’re getting a decent deal. Don’t be afraid of booking the cruise online, as you’ll find it’s easier to have access to promo codes and discounts.

Understand What You Want in a Vacation

All cruise ships and lines are different. Some are more geared for an older crowd, while others are specific to kids and offer a ton of kid-friendly activities. If you’ll be traveling on your own or with your spouse, you might want to look for a cruise that has a more adult vibe. If you have your whole family in tow, be sure to look for cruises that have lots of activities for your children. The reason you need to understand what you want and need in a vacation is because it helps everyone to have fun so that no one gets bored while out on sea.

Always Read the Fine Print

Every cruise line has its fine print that should be read carefully before you depart. For example, you might pay a sales tax and government fee because you’re going on open waters. Other cruise lines have open cabin bookings, which means you may not have a say in where you’ll be staying on the ship itself. When you read this fine print, it helps you to avoid a problematic vacation that is full of fees, charges and annoying cabin locations.

Try to Be Flexible

If you’ve never taken a cruise before, it’s important to note that flexibility is a key component to anyone vacationing using this method. If you aren’t flexible, you’re liable to either pay a much higher price to cruise or you’ll be disappointed in the fact that your vacation isn’t going as planned. One example of this would be a cruise line that offers special discounts to individuals who are willing to take less-than-desirable cabins or deal with different things on the ship that won’t be included in their booking price.

Update Your Passport

If you’ll be taking a cruise ship that is going into other country waters, you need to have your passport updated. In fact, you might even miss out on a reasonable deal online if you aren’t able to book right away because you need to update your passport. It can take several weeks for you to update and receive your new passport, so it’s crucial that you get this taken care of before you make any plans to book a cruise.

Understand That Not Every Cruise Line is the Same

Cruise lines are all different and offer a variety of different amenities and activities. Reading online reviews will give you some insight into what is available on each ship. For instance, you might notice that a lot of people complain about a lack of activities or bad food on one ship and rave about a cruise with another. Reviews are beneficial for those who haven’t taken a specific line before and want to know what it’s like.