How to book a low cost cruise?

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Many families, young and old, love cruises: among most recognized benefits there are opportunities to enjoy the open sea, to carry out guided tours in different countries every day, to eat buffet lunch and dinner and to enjoy interesting shows and non-stop entertainment.

However, we must be careful about some aspects: for example, sometimes the "all inclusive" offer excludes drinks, whose cost at the end of the holiday can amount to tens of euros each, or the various taxes are not included in the estimate.
Even with the "last minute" some teams are more expensive than others: it is good to have some tips to know what to choose, saving money and still enjoying an excellent service.


  1. Royal Caribbean, Costa and MSC: which are the cheapest companies?
  2. Online or agency booking?
  3. When to book: one year in advance or last minute?
  4. 5 Tips for a low cost cruise
  5. User questions and comments

Royal Caribbean, Costa and MSC: which are the cheapest companies?

Between Royal Caribbean, Costa and MSC, Costa remains one of the cheapest along with MSC: 8 days in the Mediterranean in a month like November cost around € 450 per person, while with Royal Caribbean you spend a little more, around € 550.
Obviously a lot depends on the routes and guided tours that you intend to do: however there are no abysmal price differences between these companies, even if € 100 can make the difference.

Among cheaper routes we mention the Western Mediterranean (Italy, France, Spain) and the Greek islands.
Finally, we conclude by saying that on Costa and MSC there will be purely Italian tourism, while on the US Royal Caribbean there is much more chance of meeting tourists from all over the planet.

Online or agency booking?

If you are already an expert on cruises, with online booking you can save something, avoiding agency costs. In this case, we suggest you stay away from foreign sites of dubious professionalism and refer to the official websites of the companies or Italian portals, after having carefully read the reviews and the conditions of use: even if you are an expert, it is better be sure what your trip includes.

If, on the other hand, you have no experience and do not know all the possible voices and variants, an agency is a good point of reference: we recommend get quotes that include port taxes, government taxes and fuel fluctuations.

When to book: one year in advance or last minute?

If so you are demanding in terms of cabin and travel, better book well in advance, even a year before departure: many companies offer special discounts and additional benefits to those who book their cruise in advance.
Other things: pay attention to penalties in case of cancellation of the trip and check if i deposits are refundable.
If, on the other hand, you do not have particular needs regarding the location and type of trip and route, and above all you are unable to plan your holidays so far in advance, you can easily go back to last minute offers: in this case it is necessary to take into account that often you will have to content with the last remaining places, with accommodation in internal and distant cabins.

5 Tips for a low cost cruise

And here are 5 practical tips for those who decide to book a low cost cruise:

  1. Travel insurance: do not take out travel insurance directly with the company, but do so with private insurance. We advise you to get on board with insurance because otherwise, in case of need, you may have to pay several euros for a medical consultation;
  2. Family offer: many companies offer packages for families. Not all are attractive, but there is something good: for example, evaluating the trip at a reduced price for children under a certain age or a discount if there are at least 4 people can have a positive impact on the budget;
  3. Choose a low season period: in months like November or March, cruises cost very little, and with € 1.000 you can be able to travel in 4 people;
  4. Call the company: if you do not find an offer deemed good on the website, it is advisable to call the company's customer service directly, because often for competitive reasons it is not recommended for them to publish prices that are too low, while releasing these offers by telephone;
  5. Read the travel conditions thoroughly: we would like to underline the importance of this aspect to avoid unpleasant surprises. Rather, take some time to print and read the swag that you will have to sign: you will be so sure that at the end of the cruise you will not find yourself having to shell out exorbitant prices that you had not foreseen.

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