How to Save Money on a Cruise: 25 Terrific Tips

Disclaimer:  This page may contain affiliate links.  I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links (at no additional cost to you).

Planning to take a cruise vacation?  You’re probably wondering how to save money on a cruise booking.

You’ve come to the right place!

I’ve taken 18 cruises, from solo cruises to multigenerational cruises, across eight different cruise lines. 

And although there are differences from one cruise line to another, there are tricks to saving money on any cruise.

I’m here to share with you my top tips for getting the best deal on your cruise.  By making a few smart choices, you can save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on your cruise vacation — without sacrificing any fun!

Lace up your shoes and let’s go!

Snowman made of sand in the foreground of a sandy Caribbean beach with a cruise ship in the background.
Don’t mess the boat! You won’t want to miss out on any of these money saving cruise tips!

How to Save Money Booking a Cruise

1. Pick the Right Cruise Line

Which cruise line you choose to travel on is one of the biggest factors in the cost of your cruise, and it’s also likely to be one of the biggest factors in how much you enjoy your cruise.

For example, Carnival has cheap cruise fares, but they target a younger demographic more interested in partying.

Lines like Royal Caribbean have big ships with lots of bells and whistles (and rock walls and water slides), and all these amenities appeal to families.  But the bigger the ship, the more people are traveling with you and getting a table at the buffet can be a challenge.

Upscale lines like Oceania have more of a focus on cuisine and service, and their smaller ships mean you can access smaller ports.  As a mature traveler (who enjoys good food), these are my favorite.  But of course these higher standards come with a higher price tag as well.

You need to decide which amenities are the most important to you and narrow down your line selection from there. 

2. Sail on an Older Ship

Each cruise line has a wide variety of ships in their fleet, and there will be a significant price difference between those ships as well.

You may be enticed by all fancy amenities on the brand-new ships, but the per-night cruise cost on a new ship is going to be a lot higher than if you choose an older ship.

Older ships are generally smaller than the newer ships, so there will also be fewer passengers on board.  And smaller ships can access smaller ports, which can make for a more interesting itinerary.

Cruise lines generally give their older ships a refurbishment every few years.  Think of them as a ‘face lift’ for the ship to keep it fresh.  Plus, the crew is continually repainting and doing maintenance to keep everything ‘ship-shape’. 

So don’t miss out on the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars by choosing to cruise on an older ship!

3. Pick the Right Itinerary

Where do you want to travel?  This can have a big impact on cost as well.  Some destinations are more expensive than others.

This can be due to less cruise lines operating in that region (less competition to drive price competition).

And some destinations are more expensive in general – for example an average nightly cost for a Northern European cruise is always a lot higher than for a Mediterranean cruise.

Port fees vary from city to city, and cruise lines pass those costs on to you. 

(Always check how much the port fees add onto your cruise cost.  Some lines include that in their advertised pricing.  But others advertise the cruise-only cost and you don’t find out the fees until your booking is almost complete.)

4. Book a Repositioning Cruise

In terms of per-night cruise costs, repositioning cruises can be one of the best cruising values. 

A repositioning cruise is when the cruise line relocates their ship from one region to another.

The most common example of a repositioning cruise is a Transatlantic cruise.

You’ll see these in the spring (when lines move their ships from their winter Caribbean home to their summer Mediterranean home) and in fall (to return to the Caribbean).

Now each ship only has two of these itineraries a year, so there aren’t very many to choose from.  But you can get a great deal on these types of cruises, as not a lot of folks have the flexibility to take two weeks off to travel from Miami to Barcelona.

Cruise ship in a Caribbean harbor surrounded by sailboats.
Take a repositioning cruise — they are some of the cheapest cruises on a per-night basis!

We have our first TA cruise coming up in April. 

Since the costs are lower for these cruises, we chose to go with our favorite cruise line, the upscale Oceania Cruises.  This will be our fourth Oceania cruise, so we already know the high-quality cruise experience we’ll have (and the amazing food!).

Note:  If you get easily bored on a sea day, a repositioning cruise might not be for you!  You’ll have several consecutive sea days as you cross the ocean.

Other repositioning itineraries can include ships moving from Alaska down to the Mexican Riviera in the September timeframe.  I took one of these cruises a couple of years ago from Vancouver down to Los Angeles.

5. Don’t Travel During Peak Seasons

If you want to travel during the peak seasons, prices are going to be higher.  (Yep, the old rule of supply and demand.)

If you have schedule flexibility, look to travel during off-peak months for popular cruise travel destinations

For example, I got a great deal on an Alaska cruise in late September.  The same cruise in July or August would have cost me quite a bit more due to the peak Alaska timings (and since more families can travel during the summer).

The downside is that the weather can be more unpredictable, and some of the cruise ports in Alaska start shutting down earlier than others.

You can also find some great deals on Caribbean cruises during ‘hurricane season’ (June-November). 

Of course, sailing during this timeframe does mean you have a little higher chance of having your cruise itinerary change on the fly, but (knock on wood) so far, we’ve gotten lucky. 

And we always get travel insurance.

6.  Book Early

In general, the cheapest list price you’ll find for a cruise is when they publish their new cruise season itineraries.

So if you already have a favorite cruise line, you’ll want to keep an eye out for when the new cruises go on sale.  (If you’re on their email list, you’ll certainly get notified.  And you may even get advance notice to be able to look and book before the general public.)

Cruise prices tend to go up over time.  If you check back on the exact same cruise and the exact same stateroom category a few months later, chances are that it will be more expensive.

You’ll also want to book early if you want a specific cabin category.  Cabins at the low end (inside) and the high end (suites) tend to sell out first, as there is less inventory of those stateroom types.

View from the veranda of a crruise ship.  My feet are propped up on the railing, and a catamaran is sailing by in the background.
If you are picky about which stateroom you want, book early to get the best deal since cruise prices tend to go up over time!

7. Look for Last-Minute Deals

If you have schedule flexibility and can take vacation at the drop of a hat, taking advantage of last-minute cruise deals can score you some rock-bottom prices.

I’m a major planner, so normally I schedule my vacations at least six months early, if not a year in advance.

But this year I took some extremely last-minute cruises.  One of them I booked on a Monday for a Saturday departure!

Subscribe to roundups like to be able to quickly review discount pricings for cruises.

However, if you need to fly to get to the cruise port, keep in mind that last-minute airfare can be ridiculously expensive.  So you’ll need to balance that cost with the discount on the cruise fare.

8.  Choose a Port You Can Drive To

Avoid those high airfare costs and drive to your embarkation port!

If you live near a cruise port, then you can save hundreds of dollars in airfare by driving to your port.

You’ll still have to pay for parking, but it’s typically a lot cheaper than airfare.

There are tons of Caribbean cruise options out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, so Florida residents have lots of cruise options!

I live in Phoenix, so I save a lot of money by cruising out of Los Angeles and San Diego.  Parking right at the port in Los Angeles costs $20 a day, so that’s only $140 for a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise. 

And in San Diego, we leveraged offsite airport parking for our Hawaii cruise.  It cost about $250 for 17 days, which was still cheaper than the cost of airfare to San Diego for the two of us.

Driving to the port also gives you a lot of flexibility with scheduling  — we don’t have to wait several hours to catch a flight!

Holland America Koningsdam docked in Hawaii, framed by palm trees.
Save money on airfare by driving to your embarkation port, like we did on our Holland America cruise to Hawaii!

9. Shop the Sales

Cruise lines almost always have some sale going on.

It’s a bit of a joke as they’ll have a countdown on their site warning ‘only 15 hours left for this sale!’ It’s a marketing tactic to leverage your fear of missing out, and there will probably be another sale kicking off shortly after the current one ends.

But — not all sales are created equal!

It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the deals, particularly around the holidays and during ‘Wave Season’.  (Wave Season is the big annual cruise sale season, typically in January through March.)

Offers vary across cruise lines.  You can get discount savings such as 75% off the second guest in a cabin, free included perks like drink packages and Wi-Fi, and extra onboard credit.

10. Stay in an Inside Cabin

The cheapest cabins on any ship are the inside cabins.

They’re typically the smallest cabins, and of course there is no natural light since you don’t have a porthole or a window.

If you’re like me and don’t do much other than sleep and shower in your stateroom, then it doesn’t really matter that the room is small.

We’ve sailed on inside cabins before, and it’s a great way to stretch your cruising dollar.  And you can get a great night’s sleep since the cabin is so dark!

I’ve talked to many people who will only book inside cabins.  They would rather spend their money on other amenities and experiences.  

But others can feel claustrophobic without being able to see the outside world.  My hubby Chris tends to get seasick, so he likes to be able to get fresh air on a balcony when he starts feeling queasy.

Not sure if an inside cabin is right for you?  Give one a try on a short cruise to find out (don’t commit yourself for a long cruise!)

11. Choose a Non-Refundable Deposit

Some cruise lines give you the option of booking with a refundable deposit or a non-refundable deposit.

If you don’t need flexibility with your travel dates, you can save hundreds of dollars per person by choosing the non-refundable deposit option.

Note that some promotions come with non-refundable deposits automatically.  Always make sure you understand the fine print and what fees may apply if you do end up needing to change your cruise.

12. Book a Guaranty Stateroom

If you’re not picky about the location of your cabin, booking a guarantee cabin (or guaranty cabin) is one of the best ways to save money on a cruise.

As the name implies, you are ‘guaranteed’ to get a stateroom in that category, but you don’t get to pick which cabin you’ll stay in for your cruise.

You can save several hundred dollars on a given stateroom category by booking a guaranty.  You just have to be happy with any cabin in that class. 

For example, if you book a veranda (balcony) guarantee, you could be assigned the ‘least desirable’ balcony cabin, with obstructed views.  Meaning rather than looking out at the ocean, you’ve got a view of the lifeboats.

But, you can also get a free category upgrade when you book a guaranteed stateroom.

I was visited by the ‘upgrade fairy’ on my last Celebrity cruise.  I had booked an ocean view guaranty cabin.  And I was very fortunate to get a significant upgrade, to an Aqua Class balcony stateroom.

(Aqua Class is a special level on Celebrity Cruises with comes with other awesome perks like access to the thermal suite – which I love—and dining in the specialty restaurant, Blu.  We’ve booked Aqua Class before and loved the amenities, so it was awesome to get assigned an Aqua Class balcony from my ocean view guarantee booking!)

That cruise wasn’t fully booked, so that’s probably why I got lucky with my stateroom upgrade.  You certainly can’t count on getting a category upgrade, but it sure is nice when you do!

13. Book an All-Inclusive Package – or Don’t

When booking your cruise, be sure to check out all of the options and promotions.  As I mentioned earlier, there can be a lot of add-ons included with various cruise promotions.

Most cruise lines have an option to book a ‘cruise-only’ rate, or a more inclusive rate with lots of perks. 

The cost of the perks and promos varies widely.  Here is where you’ll want to do some homework and price out your options.

Often, the cost of the amenities package can be cheaper than buying the perks separately.  But — not always.  And the value of the package depends on which perks you’ll actually use.

For example, if you don’t drink much alcohol, then paying extra to have a package that includes drinks might not be cost effective for you. (Instead, look into non-alcoholic packages where you can enjoy sodas and mocktails.)

And sometimes you can buy the components cheaper after you book the cruise, rather than purchasing the cruise package from the start.  We actually had this happen on our most recent Holland America cruise.

When we booked the cruise, there was over $1000 per person difference between the cruise-only rate and the ‘have it all’ package rate (for our 16-day Hawaii).  So we booked the cruise-only rate.

Save money on a cruise booking by purchasing an all inclusive package.  Postcard shows the amenities of Holland America's Have It All package
You can save hundreds of dollars on a cruise by booking an all-jnclusive package. To get the best value, make sure they are perks you will use!

After booking, I kept checking the prices on the amenities.  I found that I could purchase the ‘Have It All’ package for $50 per person, per day. It included the drink package, Wi-Fi, $200 shore excursion credit, and dinner in two specialty restaurants. 

We don’t drink a lot, but with the other included amenities – which we would certainly use – buying the package was a good value.   And we managed to save several hundred dollars per person in buying the package *after* our cruise booking.

It doesn’t always work that way, so that’s why it’s important to check before you book.  A few minutes of homework can save you several hundred dollars.  That’s a pretty good return on investment!

14.  Book with a Travel Agent

Using a travel agent can be a controversial topic in the cruise community.

I’ve booked directly with the cruise lines, and I’ve booked with a travel agent.

Can you book a cruise on your own?  Certainly.

But booking with a travel agent has a couple of benefits. 

One is that if there are any difficulties along the way, you have someone who’s got your back. And one who’s familiar with cruising can help answer your questions about cruise lines and itineraries and help guide you.  This is especially helpful if you’re a newbie cruiser.

And the other is that you can save a little bit of money booking through a travel agent.

At the very least, you should get a little bit of onboard credit as a ‘thank you’ from your travel agent.

And sometimes you’ll get additional perks.  For my upcoming transatlantic cruise, the travel agency had booked a block of rooms.  And since I booked through them, I’ll be getting my tips included from the travel agency. 

Tips generally cost on the order of $15 per person, per day.  So on a 14-day cruise, booking through my travel agent saved me over $400 in tips, plus getting some OBC.

The cruise lines don’t offer you a cheaper rate or extra perks if you book directly, so why not use a travel agent and get some extra perks or OBC?

15. Book Through a Wholesaler

Have a Costco membership?  You’re used to saving money on your favorite snacks, household products, and more.

But did you know that you can save a lot of money booking your cruise with Costco Travel?

I haven’t used this service myself, but I’ve talked to people who bought a Costco membership just to get deals on cruise travel.

They partner with cruise lines ranging from Princess Cruise Lines to Disney to upscale cruise lines such as Azamara and luxury cruises on Regent Seven Seas cruises.

Plus you’ll receive a Costco digital shop card a couple weeks after you return from your vacation.    You can use it shopping in-store or online at Costco.

What a great benefit!

16. Keep Checking Prices

Some cruise lines offer best pricing deals and will lower the price of your cruise to match current sale prices.

So it’s definitely in your best interest to keep you eyes on the sales and check the pricing on cruises that you have booked.

Sometimes there are restrictions applied to this pricing guarantee.  For example, there still have to be staterooms in that category that are available to book.  If your cabin category is sold out, then you might not be able to take advantage of lower prices on offer.  (But it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.)

I’ve been able to get huge savings on two upcoming cruises by keeping an eye on the promotions.

On our upcoming Oceania cruise, I was able to get some great benefit adds when the cruise line changed their amenity offerings last year. 

Oceania gave already-booked passengers the option to stay with the current amenity package or move to the ‘Simply More’ package. 

Rear stack of the Oceania Riviera cruise ship, with the big O logo.  The decking is blue and lined with deck chairs.
Check your cruise prices — we scored some great upgrades when Oceania Cruises changed their amenities package!

I reached out to my travel agent to see which would be more beneficial.  This resulted in a lot more added value on our cruise.  That’s certainly worth a quick email!

We have a Caribbean cruise on Celebrity booked for next December.  I watch the sales and run test bookings on our cabin category. 

Twice these have shown a several-hundred-dollar savings vs our current booking, so I’ve reached out to our TA and she has gotten the price reduction for us.  So over the course of a couple of months, I’ve saved over $600 on the price of that cruise.

It’s important to know that when you reprice a cruise, you’ll most likely lose the amenities from your initial booking.  So, if you had added perks from your initial booking, you’ll lose those and get just the perks from the current offer. 

So be sure to factor that in if you’re determining if it’s worthwhile to reprice and rebook your cruise during a sale!

17. Buy Amenities in Advance

It’s almost always cheaper to buy amenities for your cruise before you board the ship.

You may get really lucky and find a special promo on-board, but onboard deals are pretty rare.

If you know you’re going to want a drink package, internet, specialty dining, or shore excursions, purchase it before your cruise.

All of these amenities are optional, and you can have a wonderful time on your cruise without spending money on these extras.  But if you know you’re going to want it, then buy it in advance.

This also applies to purchasing package upgrades – for example if your booking includes a classic drink package, but you want to upgrade to the premium drink package.  Grab your upgrade before the start of your cruise.

By booking in advance, you can also nab great savings on embarkation day discounts at specialty restaurants.  Not many people think about this, but it’s a great way to score a fabulous meal at a reduced rate.

Tip:  sometimes pre-cruise pricing is only valid up to about 3 days before your cruise, so don’t wait until the absolute last minute, or you’ll miss out!

18. Don’t Book Transportation Through the Cruise Line

Many cruise lines offer transportation from the cruise port to the airport.  I’ve found these prices to be really high. 

Most of the time it’s much cheaper to get an Uber to the airport.  You can probably find other passengers on the ship to share a ride with to reduce the costs.

Also, transfer times are limited so you may need to wait for an entire busload of fellow passengers to get on board.  If you’re on a tight schedule, you can usually get to and from the airport faster taking a taxi or an Uber.

Cruise lines also offer to arrange your airfare (for a cost).   When I’ve priced this out, I’ve always been able to find better prices on my own.  And more desirable flights!

I always recommend arriving in your embarkation port a day in advance (at least!).  You don’t want to be stressed out worrying about your flight being late an missing your cruise.

Cruise lines may charge you extra if you want to fly to the departure port a day early, so those extra fees can add up fast.

19. Leverage Your Loyalty Benefits

If you’re a repeat cruiser, don’t miss out on your perks and benefits!  These will of course vary a LOT based on the number of cruises you’ve taken with a given line.

Even if you’ve only sailed once, chances are you’re eligible for some perks.  During your sailing, you may get a free scoop of gelato, free drink tickets, or a free bag of laundry during your cruise.

Many cruisers may not know that their loyalty benefits can also include discounts or upgrades when booking a cruise.

Keep an eye on the emails from the cruise lines for discount rates on select cruises. 

Every week I get an email about special pricing on “Celebrity Select” sailings, and Oceania offers discount pricing on select sailings as well for repeat guests.

Celebrity also offers a free one-category upgrade for Captain’s Club members.

By leveraging this benefit, I get a premium veranda stateroom for the cost of a veranda stateroom.  This saves me about $100 per person on a week-long sailing.

The best loyalty program benefit that I’ve seen is on Oceania Cruises. Every time you get to 20 cruise credits, you get a free cruise!  (Too bad I’m only on my 4th sailing!)

Be sure to check out the program benefits for all your cruise lines!

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas in front of the iconic Cabo San Lucas rock formations on a bright sunny day.
Staying loyal to one cruise line can reap you incredible savings on your cruise booking!

20. Purchase Amenities on Sale

Some cruise lines have lots of sales through the year on amenities.

Once you’re booked, keep an eye on promotional emails from your cruise line and you can get some deep discounts on perks to make your cruise more enjoyable.

I’ve saved lots of money buying wi-fi and drinks packages on sale.   Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer nice discounts on amenities during their sales.  I’ve gotten up to 35-40% off of internet packages and drinks packages by monitoring the sales – particularly around the holidays.

And the nice thing is that you can always buy the add-on and then cancel and repurchase it during a sale, so there’s no worry about losing money purchasing a package early.

If you have OBC (onboard credit) from the cruise line, you can even use your OBC to pre-purchase amenities.   

Note that OBC from your TA is not typically available to you until you board the ship.

21. Take Advantage of Upgrade Offers

Want a nicer cabin without having to pay full price?  Keep your eyes open for upgrade offers.  And if you have a TA, let them know that you’d be interested.

While you might get lucky and get a free upgrade from the upgrade fairy, those are rare and unpredictable. 

But there are lots of opportunities to get a nicer category of stateroom without paying the full list price (if the sailing isn’t full, that is).

Every cruise line has a different program for this, but they all want to make as much money as they can with each sailing.

Some lines have a ‘move up’ program where you can bid on an upgrade to a higher category cabin.  I’ve gotten these offers from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises. 

For example, if you’ve booked an Ocean View stateroom, you could bid on a Veranda cabin, or on a suite.  You can put in multiple bids with as much as you’d be willing to pay for the upgrade. (You’ll only be charged on your winning bid, not on each one.)

Note they do have minimum bids, so you can’t just bid $1 and expect to get upgraded to a suite (that would be nice!).  And bids are per person, based on double occupancy, so whatever you bid is doubled for the upgrade cost (even if you’re traveling solo).

Close up of the Celebrity Reflection cruise ship with puffy clouds in the sky.
Want a better cabin, but don’t want to pay full price? Try your luck with the “Move Up” bidding process on Celebrity Crruises

If your bid gets accepted, your credit card will be charged and you’ll be assigned a cabin in the new category.

Norwegian’s upgrade process seems to be a bit more straightforward.  I booked a solo studio cabin and I’ve gotten upgrade offers.  I think it was $75pp for an ocean view upgrade and $100pp for a veranda. 

With Norwegian, if you agree to the upgrade then you’re in – there isn’t any mystery ‘will they, won’t they’ like you have with the bidding upgrade process on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

On our first Oceania cruise, we were offered a paid upgrade from inside cabin to a balcony for $1000.  We passed on that, and a few days later, we got a second offer for $700.  That was still too rich for our blood, but we did snap it up when we got a third offer for $400.

You can’t count on getting upgrade offers though.  On subsequent sailings the ship was full and no upgrade offers came our way.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed for our upcoming Transatlantic sailing, though!

22. Take Advantage of Casino Offers

If you like to gamble, and test your luck in the ship casino, you may be fortunate enough to get a casino offer.

Now, I’m not a big gambler, but I do play the slots a bit on each cruise.

I’ve gotten casino offers for $50 or $100 off my next cruise.  Not enough of an incentive to make me book a cruise.

But lots of people get fabulous casino promo offers, where they essentially get a free cruise.  They just have to pay the port fees and taxes, which are usually less than $200 for a 1-week cruise (depending on your destination).

Casino offers are typically for an inside cabin, but you can choose to upgrade to a higher level cabin and pay the difference.

That’s still *quite* the bargain on a cruise.  I’d certainly jump at the chance to take a (mostly) free cruise!

There really isn’t any rhyme or reason around who gets the offers, as I’ve heard non-gamblers say that they got a casino offer for a free cruise.

Maybe this will be my year!  And may the odds be ever in your favor (although that’s generally not the case on a cruise ship casino, ha ha..)

23. Buy AARP Cruise Gift Cards

AARP offers cruise gift cards for lines such as Princess, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean.

These gift cards are available for purchase at a 10% discount of face value.  For example, you can buy a $100 gift card for $90 or a $500 gift card for $450.

These digital gift cards are offered through the AARP Rewards program.  They’re a great way to save money on your cruise!

You don’t even have to be an AARP member to get these discounts!  The AARP rewards program is open to everyone.  However, members may have access to additional offers than non-members.

Be sure to read the fine print for your cruise line to know if there are any restrictions on how many gift cards can be applied to a given booking.

24. Be a Stockholder

When I talk with fellow cruisers, I’m always surprised how many experienced cruisers have never heard of the stockholder benefit.

Each program is a little different regarding their benefits, but the nutshell version is that you can get free OBC (onboard credit) if you are a shareholder.

We have stock in each of the major cruise companies.  Many cruise lines are part of one larger cruise company, so owning stock in RCCL, NCL, and CCL covers the bulk of mainstream cruise lines.

Currently, each program requires you to own a minimum of 100 shares of the stock to qualify for the benefit.

You’ll have to provide proof of stock ownership.  We use our last statement – be sure to black out your account number!

A few weeks before your cruise, follow the cruise line’s policy and send them the required information, and then – ta da! – you’ll get onboard credit to spend on your cruise.

Small stuffed sloth in the foreground, looking at the Akaki Falls waterfall in Hilo Hawaii.
Save money on shore excursions and other cruise amenities with stockholder onboard credit! It’s like free money!

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has the most efficient program.  They have a web site where you enter your name, sailing info, and upload your document. 

Other programs are a little more basic.  To get our OBC on our current Holland America cruise (part of the Carnival group), we had the choice of email, snail mail, or fax (who has access to a fax machine anymore?).   

Longer cruises will earn you more OBC than shorter cruises.  In general, for a short cruise (up to 6 days) you get $50 OBC, $100 for a 7-14 day cruise, and $250 if your cruise is longer than 14 days.

If you’re a frequent cruiser and can fit 100 shares of stock in your portfolio, this is a great perk.  I’ve gotten more value from the OBC than from the stock price.

25. Book Your Next Cruise Onboard

Every cruise line has a future cruise consultant who will be more than happy to help you to book your next cruise while you’re onboard.

Booking onboard can be a great way to save money on a cruise.  Some lines offer best price guarantees for onboard bookings.

You’ll always get some extra perks for booking onboard, such as extra OBC for your new cruise and/or OBC to spend on your current cruise.

Some lines allow you to get one ‘free change’ if you want to book onboard but aren’t 100% sure what sailing you want.  That way you can still get the onboard booking benefits and can select your perfect itinerary after you get home and have time to do more research.

And if you have a travel agent, no problem.  You can get the benefits from the cruise line for booking onboard, and then transfer the booking to your TA and get additional benefits from them! 

(Note there is a time limit on transferring a cruise to your TA, so don’t forget about it.)

Final Thoughts..

Whew!  There are a lot of ways to get a great deal and save big money on your next cruise. 

There is so much to love about a cruise travel vacation, but no-one wants to spend more than they have to.

Whether you’re booking your first cruise or your fortieth, I hope you’ve learned some new money saving tips to help you stretch your vacation dollar!

Happy traveling!

Do you love cruising? Me too! Here are some other cruise posts you might like:

Pin this for later! You won’t want to miss out on all these top money-saving cruise tips!

A cruise ship framed by palm trees on a bright sunny day.

Lisa Garrett

Lisa Garrett is the founder of Waves and Cobblestones. She has taken 18 cruises ranging from a multi-generational Caribbean cruise to solo Alaska cruises to fabulous Mediterranean cruises.

She lived in Ireland for 4 months and has taken over a half-dozen multi-city vacations in Europe (primarily relying on train and public transit). Lisa helps people plan amazing vacations to Europe and popular cruise destinations.

Learn more about Lisa!

Me, traveling in Venice by gondola

Like it? Share it!