Getting the Best Cruise Fare: Don't Pay Brochure Rate
- The date of your cruise: Fares are seasonal, with the lowest from about the second week of September until the week before Thanksgiving and the highest in summer and during holiday periods.
- When you book: Early booking discounts are nearly always offered; last-minute discounts might be available.
- Popularity of the ship: Some ships are stars and fill quickly, while others are wallflowers and just don't book up as fast.
- Itinerary: Certain itineraries hold higher appeal, especially those considered unique or exotic.
- Age: Fare discounts may be available for senior citizens, and children sometimes sail free with their parents.
- Where you live: Regional discounts may be available, particularly if a cruise line is trying to introduce a ship into a port near where you live.
- Group pricing: Even if you're not a member of a group, travel agents may have access to lower group fares.
- Who is your travel agent: Top performing agencies can pass along lower fares to their clients.
- You're a repeat passenger: Discount and other goodies are often available to loyal passengers.
- The accommodations you choose: Advertisements for low fares inevitably include the word "from..." and the figure that follows is going to get you on board in the lowest category; if you want a better cabin, you'll pay more for the space and location you prefer.
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