- Posted August 7, 2013 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips
DON'T OVERLOOK CRUISES WHEN LOOKING TO SAVE MONEY ON VACATIONS
It is possible, if you do your homework, to enjoy a cruise and not bust your bank balance. I have gone on several cruises with my son and I always use the rule of thumb regarding cruise affordability: anything less than $100/ per day for a cruise price is a step in the right direction.
Even better: look for repositioning cruises. Generally, at the beginning and end of the cruise seasons, the ships need to change itineraries. Many times the ships will offer special rates for these turn-arounds. For instance, several years ago, my son & I got a fabulous deal on a Celebrity Cruise 11-day trip from Ensenada, Mexico all the way up the Inner Passage of Alaska and returning from Seattle. The price was $990 each and that was well below the $100/ per day formula I normally use to look for cruise bargains. Because this was a re-positioning run, it had to begin the trip in a foreign port, stop in one U.S. City (San Francisco) and reverse that on the way back. Celebrity stopped in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and finished in Seattle where we flew home from.
I felt we more than got out money's worth with all the traveling and sightseeing we did on this 11-day trip. The food was fantastic and the service topnotch. I have also done a West Coast repositioning tour on Holland America that sailed from San Diego and up to Vancouver and back, with stops Catalina Island. That one also fell well below by cut-off price of $100/per day. I think I remember paying $299 for the four day trip a few years back.
Now that I have some money, I am trying to decide between the Panama Canal and New England Fall. I am sure if I search thoroughly, I can find some seasonal repositioning cruises in my price range.
I am one of those who take cruises for the ease of traveling around and the absolutely wonderful dining options. I do not care about gambling or attending fancy dinners with the captain. I eat like crazy and work out twice a day in the gym. I use the sauna and the swimming pool and spend most nights in my cabin--sleeping. My son ends up in the video game room or hanging with friends he meets on board.
It is very easily to dismiss a cruise as something for seniors and retirees. That might have been true in the past, but now there is a cruise for every age group and interest.. Disney does some great kiddie cruises and Carnival really is the fun ship.
It would be a shame for someone to overlook a cruise vacation because of misconceptions about price or affordability. With a little homework and sleuthing, it is entirely possible to score a tremendous deal on a vacation that you will never forget. Cruising done smartly makes good dollars and sense.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure: 100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips|