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What to Ask Before Booking a Cruise
Before You Book
When you decide to go on a cruise, make sure you get the lowest rate possible when booking the cruise. Most cruise lines will allow you to get the lower rate after you have already booked your cruise, if the cruise line decides to have a sale. However, this is only good up til 60 days before you leave. If the prices drop within the 60 days, you're locked in on the price you already have. This is why it's so important to make sure you get the lowest price when booking.
Ask Questions During Booking
Don't expect the cruise line to offer you the best rate on their own. When you call to book your cruise, ask for a military discount, if you're entitled to it.
Inform them of the state you live in, because you might qualify for a resident discount.
Let them know if you're a past guest. Past guests sometimes get a discount, as well.
Ask if they have discounts if you use a certain credit card to book your cruise. Mastercard and Visa sometimes offer discounts. This will even work if you have a debit card with a Mastercard or Visa logo on it.
If you're at least 55 years old, tell the booking representative on the phone, because all cruise lines have discounts for senior citizens.
Ask about stateroom credits, and if there is any being offered. Also find out if they're offering free upgrades. Why settle for a room near the bow that's going to be a little more rough, when you could possibly get one in the center of the ship for the same price.
On Board Credits
Check around and see if other travel agencies offer OBCs (on board credits). This is money that is put into your onboard account for you to spend while you're onboard.
Make sure you check to see if they are refundable, because many nowadays are not. Some cruise lines offer $25.00 - $200.00 per cabin in OBCs, depending on which type of stateroom you book.
More Spending Money
You'll be surprised at the discounts that weren't advertised, that you could possibly qualify for.
Think of it this way. The more money you can save on the actual cruise, the more money you'll have to spend on the ship, gifts, or shore excursions.
Make a list of these things, and check them off as you ask the questions, during your booking.