How to sail the high seas at a low price
Spring break is just around the corner... and then summer. Have you made your vacation plans yet? Consumer exert Amy Davis is sharing the secrets of sailing the high seas for a low price.
From Barcelona, Spain to Italy and Turkey, Mike Huereca is traveling the world one cruise at a time. With some 40 cruises under his belt, he knows all about cruising like a captain on a stow away's budget.
"I've learned a lot of things," Huereca told Davis. "I'm just simply sharing the secrets that I've learned."
His first stop to find a cruise every time is www.cruise.com. You can search for any cruise at any port and see all of the prices for each cabin on every ship.
"If you want to see what the cheapest cruise is out of Galveston, you're probably gonna find it's Royal Caribbean in November," Huereca said.
Just find the cruise you want and then book with the cruise line directly. Do it as early as possible to get the lowest price even if you're not sure you'll be able to go.
"There's no risk to this," Huereca explained. "You can get 100% refund on your deposit and everything."
Royal Caribbean offers a full refund up until 3 months before the date of departure. Norwegian Cruise Line's refund deadline is 4 months before the ship sets sail. After you book, set an alarm to remind yourself to check for price drops every day.
"Just simply call up the cruise line and say 'Hey, check that price for me, please?' 'Yes sir. And it's now dropped down $100.' 'Send me a new receipt.' That's how simple that is," said Huereca.
By doing that, Huereca shaved $3,000 off the price of a $12,000 43-day cruise he took in April. The strategy works on lower-priced cruises too.
When choosing a cabin, pick the one with the lowest price.
"I always buy an inside room," Huereca confessed. "And then I watch the balcony prices fall down after I've paid for it and eventually, it's gonna get down... maybe for $50 more or $100 more- I can move up to a balcony."
As a rule of thumb, he says you don't want to pay more than about $100 a day for your cruise. If you've got some time, you can pay much less for a one-way Transatlantic cruise.
"Simply because they got to get the ships from the Caribbean over to Europe for the summer season," Huereca said.
He paid $459 for a 14-day cruise from Tampa to Barcelona.
Be wary of those pricey excursions. Huereca says they are rarely a good deal. For $60 you can pay for a tour around Old San Juan on your cruise ship or you could do a little research, like Huereca.
"The City of San Juan provides a free shuttle to explore the City," he laughed. "It's free!"
Aside from hurricane seasons, January, February, March, November and mid-December are the cheapest months to cruise.
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