1. FALL AND EARLY JANUARY ARE THE CHEAPEST TIMES TO CRUISE
September to mid-December and the first two weeks of January are generally the least expensive, says Paul Motter, editor of CruiseMates.com and a former cruise ship staff member. Last-minute deals pop up throughout the year, but cruise pricing is a lot like airline and hotel pricing-it's based on demand, so if you see a bargain, grab it. And don't forget to check out cruises from smaller local ports like Baltimore and Seattle, as they can be less expensive to get to than, say, Miami. Photo by Corbis.
2. USE A TRAVEL AGENT
Travel agents book about 80% of cruises; the cruise lines pay their commission. They can get you perks like free transfers from the airport, says Motter. Also, ask your travel agent for a lower-deck room. These are less pricey (and more stable in case of rough seas).
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3. PACK LIGHTLY
Ship quarters can be tight,Read More »from Now's the Cheapest Time to Cruise, and Other Money-Saving Cruising Tips