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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

How to book a cruise trip on a budget

AFP   March 04, 2013
First Published: 11:51 IST(4/3/2013) | Last Updated: 12:01 IST(4/3/2013)

Norwegian Cruise Line has been named the best bang for your buck when it comes to traveling the high seas.



According to travel experts at discount travel site Hotwire.com, the international cruise liner continues to “step up its game” with value add-ons such as onboard credits and gratuities.

Flash sales are also frequent, says Hotwire, with promotional sales that will see sudden drops in pricing or tack-on freebies.

Currently, travelers who book between March 6 and 8, for instance, will receive an on-board credit of $200 to use on select 7-day Alaska cruises, while those booked on the 14-day journeys will receive $400. Credit can be used on retail purchases on-board, spa treatments, dining, a well as shore excursions.

Bargain hunters looking to book a cruise might also want to consider a transatlantic crossing, suggests Hotwire, given that many companies are currently looking to reposition their fleets to different ports this year. The result? Some crossings are going for as low as $37 a night.

Experts give fair warning, however, that these one-way crossings aren’t for novice cruisers as they may suffer from cabin fever from spending most of the time onboard a ship.

If you’re looking for a cruise with multiple ports of call, meanwhile, experts recommend taking a European cruise. With ships leaving ports with empty cabins due to a lackluster season, cruise lines are trying to attract consumers with low prices and added incentives such as up to $1,000 in air fare, points out Hotwire.

Meanwhile, earlier this week Cruise Critic, an offshoot of TripAdvisor, named the newest addition to Disney’s fleet of luxury liners Disney Fantasy the world’s best cruise ship based on the reviews submitted by readers in 2012.

The Disney Fantasy was voted Best Overall Ship, Best Cabins, Best Entertainment, Best Public Rooms and Best Service, while the Celebrity Eclipse was named Best Value for Money.


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