Over the past 20 years I’ve had several opportunities to take advantage of cruises for under $500. I got to visit destinations I always wanted to see, but could not have otherwise afforded.
Before I became a Cruise Planners Franchisee, I relied on my travel agent to help find cruises for under $500. Today, as a cruise specialist, I assist my clients in finding these cruises.
Most cruises that are under $500 fall into a couple of categories that make them affordable for cruisers on a modest budget. These categories tend to include: Older ships, repositioning cruises, and seasonal discounts.
Older Ships offer Cruises for Under $500
Older ships are usually more budget-friendly because they don’t have all of what the newer, larger ships can offer, namely, more features and amenities. Also, these cruises are more often shorter in duration than cruises on the newer ships. There are overnight cruises, three and four night cruises, and seven-day cruises. While these ships may be older, they are refurbished regularly. Refurbished ships offer the same level of service, Broadway-quality entertainment, and a variety of excellent food venues found on the newer, larger ships. Cruisers, on these ships, also can enjoy pool, spa, gym, shopping, casino and many of the games and activities available on the newer ships for a much more affordable price.
Repositioning Ships offer Cruises for Under $500
Ships that are seasonally repositioned from one home port to another offer a wonderful opportunity for very low nightly per person rates. They give cruisers the opportunity to experience sea travel to interesting and exciting destinations on a high end cruise ship. Trips are usually about 10 days. Cruisers need to figure in the cost of an air flight home.
A few years ago I took a transatlantic cruise out of Tampa on the Norwegian Jade that was being repositioned to Europe. Our first destination was Key West, then on to San Juan. From there we headed across the Atlantic. Like many first time transatlantic cruisers, I was concerned about so many days at sea, without the break of getting off the ship for several hours. It turned out to be the most relaxing part of the journey. Each sea day offered a wide range of activity choices and entertainment. There were special interest lectures, pool parties, ship tours and social Meetups for adults. Youth programs began at 9 AM and ran until 10:30 PM.
The ship’s library and many lounge areas gave readers hours of uninterrupted time with a good book. The Internet Center, casino, spa, pool and gym were open from early morning to late in the evening. Evenings were spent in the theater enjoying Broadway quality shows or attending one of several music venues. Some nights, weather permitting, I watched newly released movies under the stars.
Time at sea went quickly, and we were soon in our first port of call in Portugal. From there it was on to Cork, Ireland and Falmouth, England. I disembarked in South Hampton, England where I spent a few days sightseeing in London before catching a flight home to NYC.
Seasonal Discounts for Cruises under $500
Seasonal discounts make cruising to destinations you always wanted to visit a possibility. You can book at the very beginning of a season or at almost the end of a season for Alaska and take advantage of reduced rates. You can do the same for the Mediterranean in winter, and the Caribbean in the autumn.
If you have questions or want to book a cruise, please call me. In the meantime, visit my post, Tips for First Time Cruisers and make your planning and packing easier!
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