Cruise holidays provide a relatively affordable way to travel around the world in consummate style. That being said, there’s every chance your last cruise was more expensive than it had to be. Here are six, clever cruise discounts (that actually work).

1. Book early as possible

If you’ve got your heart set on a specific destination or cabin, nine times out of 10 you’re going to get the best price by booking as early as possible. Cruisers who book in their holiday 18 to 24 months in advance stand the best chance of getting a decent price, as well as upgrades like on-board credit, cabin upgrades and beverage packages.

2. Book as late as possible

If all you want to do is go on a cruise and you don’t care where (or how), booking your trip as late as possible is a viable option. Some cruise fares drop to absurd last minute prices to fill unbooked cabins, and if you’ve got the means to get to the port on short notice (and don’t mind the limited selection) it can be a great deal.

3. Stick with the same line 

Cruise lines, like any other capitalistic enterprise, want repeat business. If you’ve created an account with the line when booking a cruise in the past, make sure you use it when booking a future cruise. You might just nab a discount.

4. Take advantage of group prices

This is something worth taking up with your travel agent. Even if you are cruising solo, you might be able to get booked into a larger group and take advantage of their lower fare, as well as onboard perks and additional discounts.

5. Book a repositioning cruise

A repositioning cruise is a one-way voyage from a ship (i.e. from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean) to prepare for the change of seasons. Because these trips generally spend a lot of time at sea you can score quite a decent price.

6. Do your research

In the end of the day you could take advantage of countless cruise ‘tricks’ but the only way you’re going to get the best price is to do your research. There is no shortage of cruise comparison websites around to help you get the best deal.

Have you been on a cruise? Let us know in the comments.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.