Before you pay full price for your next cruise, there are a variety of discounts offered by cruise lines on cruises that many cruisers are not aware of.
Cruise lines put an end to discounting a few years ago so rates for a specific cruise should be just about the same everywhere you look. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate discounts that you can qualify for. Here are a few cruise discounts offered by cruise lines that you should know about before you book your next cruise.
Over 55: If you are 55 or older, you can qualify for the 55+ discount that most cruise lines offer.
Veterans: Cruise lines give discounts for active/retired members of the U.S. and Canadian military. To all those who have or are currently serving, thank you for your service.
State Residents: Several cruise lines will give you a discount just for living in a certain state, especially Florida. Even if you don’t live anywhere near a cruise port, it is worth checking out. I received a nice surprise on my last Royal Caribbean cruise when they gave me a $30 per person discount because I was a resident of Ohio. I almost didn’t even bother checking because I thought there was no way that there would be an Ohio discount, but there was.
Interline Rates: If you work for a domestic or international commercial airline, FEDEX, UPS, or Astar Air Cargo (DHL), you can often get killer rates on not only cruise fares, but also on your pre/post cruise hotel stays.
Group Discounts: This is where booking through a travel agent who works for a large agency can save you money. Even if you are just booking one cabin, a travel agent can many times book you into another group they have on the same sailing getting you not only a lower cruise fare, but many times onboard credit and other perks as well.
Repeat Cruisers: When checking for rates on a cruise line’s website, always make sure you are logged into your account if you have cruised with that cruise line before. When checking for rates on a recent Norwegian Cruise Line cruise, the price was $20 per person lower after I logged into my account.
FAMS: Also known as familiarization trips, travel agents can many times receive “FAM Rates” that are much lower than the best cruise rates offered online. Since cruise lines want travel agents to know all about their product so they can properly sell it, they will periodically offer these.
Other cruise discounts worth mentioning: Having a Costco or AAA membership.
The above discounts will vary by cruise line, but each one that you match up with is worth checking out so you don’t overpay on your next cruise.