Booking a cruise can be an overwhelming process, especially when faced with the task of wading through all the expenses that are associated with holidays. Stick to your travel budget by reading on a few tricks of the trade to get a cruise steal that saves you a fair few dollars.

Guarantee cabins

A guarantee stateroom is a selection you can choose while boking your cruise to pay a lower rate for your cabin type (inside, outside etc). There is always a catch to reduced prices though and guaranteed cabins are not exempt. While cheaper, these staterooms are chosen by your cruise line and can either be a lucky match or the worst cabin in the category cabin you choose.

So, while you might end up with a higher-category cabin with breathtaking views that are on the more expensive decks, there is also a chance you could get stuck with a room in a noisy corner of the ship, a blocked view or one that is smaller than anticipated.

Letting a cruise line choose your cabin can be risky, so make sure you’ll be happy with whatever cabin is assigned to you.  

Beware of the upgrade

Look out for upgrade deals before you book your stateroom as cruise lines tend to offer promotions that can save you a good dollar or two. However, read the fine print carefully as you may be stuck with cabin decisions that are not what you are looking for.

Value adds

When booking your cruise cabin, take into considering the cost of the rest of your trip. If you also need to factor in prices for your airfare, pre-cruise hotels and activities onboard, you may not be able to afford the fancy cruise suite you’ve had your eye on.

Look for value-added perks on offer from cruise lines and travel agents. Complimentary onboard cash, prepaid tips and included airfare are all promotions that have been offered before and could be offered for your next cruise. These little deals and saving tricks are all ways to free up some money to pay for other holiday expenses.

Price drops

Cruise fares are much like airfares and change constantly. Typically you can find the lowest costs by booking your cruise earlier (eight months before sail date) or booking very late (two weeks before departure). Fares often drop just days after final payment for cabins are due which is around two months before sailing. 

Scoring a higher category cabin for a bargain price can be possible but it is risky for your travel budget as fairs will just go up if a cruise category is selling well.

What are some of your cruise price tips and tricks to keep an eye out for? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.