Awesome destinations, great food, good times, and a big boat can break the bank if you don't do your research. Vacation like a superstar -- even on a budget.
Step 1: Decide on a port Find a port that is close so that you don't have to add in the cost of an airline ticket. Landlocked? Settle for a port that is close to an airport to avoid extra travel costs.
Step 2: Search deals online Check cruise and travel websites for package deals. You can also ask friends and family who are former cruisers if they have been offered special deals through mail or e-mail. They may be able to book a great package for you.
TIP: Many cruise lines run deals exclusively through their site. Check their websites and compare deals found at one-stop-shop travel sites.
Step 3: Choose off-season travel dates Choose travel dates during off-seasons and during the week for price cuts. By booking your tickets 6 months or more in advance, you can receive deeper discounts.
Step 4: Try last-minute deals Select last-minute deals if you have an open schedule or can take time off work at the last minute. If you don't have a particular date in mind, the flexibility to go any time will save you a bundle.
Step 5: Check with a travel agent Inquire about deals and cruise packages with a local travel agent.
TIP: If you are a member of USAA, AAA, or Sam's Club, look into using their travel booking services for deals and discounts on ticket purchases.
Step 6: Compare cruise lines Compare ship offerings, room availability, pricing options, and destinations. Some online searches offer a side-by-side comparison feature.
TIP: Remember that most cruise ship vacations include all of your meals. Don't spend extra on food on shore when you have already-paid meals waiting on board.
Step 7: Choose an interior cabin Book an interior cabin, one without windows, for a less expensive option.
Step 8: Make travel arrangements Make any necessary travel arrangements for airfare or car rental as package deals with your cruise to receive additional discounts. Once you've made your purchase, get those bags packed for a fun-filled trip at sea.
FACT: The World is a residential cruise ship that sails around the world all year long. Apartments on board sell for $2.8 million for a 1-bedroom to $18 million for a 4-bedroom penthouse.