Tuesday Travel Tip…

Fab Reader Debi S asked this question:

What do you know about inexpensive cruises. I would love to go to the Caribbean & my kids would love to sail on the Disney Cruise Line, I know there must be some good deals out there, but I’m not sure how to find them.

Debi… Yikes!  I’ve never been on a cruise… so I asked around for you instead… and here’s what I came up with…

Everyone I talked to said they had done a bit of research before they went ahead and booked their vacation. Here are the books that come up in conversation.

PassPorter Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call

The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises, A cruise lover’s guide to selecting the right trip, with all the best ports of call (Fodor’s Gold Guides)

Now that you have your reading material…  my next suggestion would be to start with a site like Travelocity...    The great thing about Travelocity is you have access to many different options …  You can click through their site and type in different dates and trip scenarios until you find the one that looks good to you. Of the 3 people I talked to that had recently taken a cruise,  two of them  booked their Caribbean cruise through Costco Travel.  The third person booked directly through the Disney Cruise line.

Basically,  if you want to save bookoo bucks on a cruise you’ll need to book your trip as far in advance as possible.  However… if your a risk taker (like me)  and are up for a last minute trip… I highly recommend Travelocity because of all the last minute deals they offer.  These types of deals are bargains  for a reason… the cruise ship companies are trying to fill vacant cabins before the ship sails…which could translate to some serious savings if you’re a spontaneous person.

Another one of my favorite travel tools is Tripadvisor.com. Not only can you read other travelers reviews… but there are a ton of photos taken by travelers as well.  And be sure and check out their reviews of the Disney Cruise and any other ship you’re interested in as well… not only will you get to read their personal comments… but more often than not you’ll find a secret deal or hidden money saver within in the comment section as well… If you have young children… I think a Disney Cruise is the way to go 🙂

So to recap…  Read a few books on the subject, browse the travel websites to find the sailing you want, and find out what other travelers had to say about their cruise ship experience and how they saved money on their trip.

Oh and don’t forget to watch a few episodes of  The Love Boat on dvd.  🙂 This way you’ll know what to wear if you get invited to sit at the Captains table for dinner 🙂


How about YOU Fab readers?  Have you been on a Caribbean or Disney Cruise recently?  Do you have any great tips for Debi?  If so … please leave a comment below and let’s see if we can help her reach her goal of sailing off into the sunset at a Fabuless price 🙂

Comments

  • Tammy Hossfeld

    We just booked a Disney Cruise and I highly recommend booking through Costco Travel. Apparently Disney Cruise LIne doesn’t allow vendors to discount their cruises, so there aren’t really deals to be had for their line. However, Costco takes the amount that they earn back from Disney as a “commission” and they turn around and issue that amount back to you in the form of a Costco cash card. The cash card does not come until you have completed your travel, but we will be receiving a $230 Costco cash card upon the return from our cruise.

  • Dorothy

    I have a coworker who books early through a travel agency and then watches for specials on the cruise they already booked. They can often cancel and rebook at the lower price for what they already had reserved. That way they can also make payments if they need to.

  • Brenda

    Normally I would agree with booking vacations as far in advance as possible. However, I have been on several cruises and the absolute best deals I have received were last minute bookings. Basically, if you wait until 7 days or less most will drop their prices by at least half. It can be nerve racking to kind of plan a vacation but wait to reserve your spots, but after paying $230 per person for a 7 day cruise, we think it’s worth the risk! I don’t have any experience with DIsney Cruises and usually use Travelocity or Orbitz to book. I haven’t booked through a travel agent before, but, after Dorothy’s comment I think I’ll look into it!
    One other thing to keep in mind is Cruises are all inclusive, meaning your ticket pays for food, lodging, and plenty of entertainment choices (on-shore activities, alcoholic drinks, tips, and some fancier options for food and entertainment have additional costs). This makes it so easy to stick to your vacation budget!

  • Afton

    We love to cruise! We have been on three cruises (none on Disney) and each time we have booked about 4-8 weeks ahead of time. You can get some awesome deals! The site we go to that has a last minute ticker is http://www.vacationstogo.com. We want to do a Disney Cruise with our kids next time. (they are always the most expensive though, so we might have to check out Costco travel)
    PS Carnival had a really good kids program, waterslide etc.

  • Jenessa

    I have been on cruises and I did it both ways, last minute and in advance. I used a travel agent once and the second time I did it on my own. It really isn’t too hard to do, but a travel agent will usually have some tips to shave off a little cost. Another website for travel that I like to use is kayak.com. It gives you options from several travel sites and will tell you which is the best place to book it from.

    I have always found that if you can be a little flexible with dates you can save a lot. Best of luck and have a GREAT time. I wish it were me!

  • Helen in Meridian

    I have been on 2 cruises. The first was on the Pacific Princess, the actual Love Boat they did some of their filming on board. Mom, Sis Mennen and I took lots of fancy clothes to wear in case we ate each meal with the captain. No backpack packing that trip. We were suckers to buy almost each picture they took of us; and my we did look fine. The other guests at our table were seasoned travelers and wore the same long gown each night. It was when the Worlds Fair was in Vancouver BC and then we went on up inland Alaska from there. I was the token $100 person in the bunk above. Mom and Sis were around $1,000 back in those days. My other cruise was 3 years ago on the Reagent’s Paul Gauguin to Tahiti, Bora Bora and the society islands. A very small classy boat with 350 guests and 225 people waiting on us.

  • Debi S

    This was great information on cruises. There were lots of great reads and information. Now for the next question. We are headed to Disney World in 2 1/2 weeks & I would like the inside scoop if anyone can help. Are there any inexpensive ways to do the food? We did get a Disney VISA so our entrance into the park was free, we have an Alaska Airlines VISA so our airfare was free, and we were able to get a minimal cost time share. From Mavis’s previous info on rental cars we got a great price and now comes the pricy eating dilemma. We are packing snacks & have a small kitchen in our room, but what about while at the different Disney parks?

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