How to book a luxurious cruise for cheaper than staying at home!

Yes, you read that right. You can in fact spend less money on a three week cruise, than what it would cost you to live at home. That obviously depends on your cost of living and so on, but let’s not argue about a few dollars here. We’ll show you how to find cheap cruises on luxurious cruise liners within just a few minutes!

There is only one easy and simple way to do this. You have to go on a cruise that no one else wants to go on. Why people don’t wanna go on it? We have no idea! But read on:

Sometimes cruise ships have to be transferred from one place to another. A good example would be a transfer from Europe to America in September or October. The Mediterranean Sea with all its beautiful islands and landscapes is extremely popular for cruises during the summer months. However, the winter in Europe is not a popular time to travel around, and thus a cruise ship would be making a LOT more money going around the Caribbean instead of Italy, Greece, Spain and so on. So at some point after a gorgeous summer in Europe, the operator will transfer the cruise ship across the Atlantic.

You can probably imagine that a 5,000 mile journey without any paying customers would be a huge loss for the company, so they offer the one-way trip just like a regular cruise. That’s exactly where you have to jump on board!

We honestly wouldn’t think that these cruises are unpopular, but the prices tell a different story.

Typically on this route, the cruise liner will depart somewhere in Italy, Spain or France, then make a stop or two in Europe, a couple on the Canary Islands or the Azores, and then you’ll have a week at sea to explore and enjoy the cruise ship. On the other side of the Atlantic they usually throw in a few stops in several places throughout the Caribbean. The final destination might be some place like Miami or Nassau.

There are also a whole lot of other repositioning routes around the world. For example from America to Australia, Australia to Asia, Asia to the Middle East and so on. But between Europe and America you’ll find the most of these, usually around March / April eastbound, or September / October westbound. On this route, they also tend to be considerably cheaper than elsewhere in the world.

And the cruise liners are not even bad ones at all, it’s pretty much some of the most modern ones in the whole world, they just need to be transferred and you can get a hell of deal out of that. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? But it does get even better: Almost all of these so called repositioning cruises offer full board or even all inclusive! That means, you’ll be indulging in everything a cruise has to offer.
Another interesting thing: While cabins with a view or even a balcony are usually sold for a LOT more than inside cabins without a view, they’re often priced just a little bit over the basic version on repositioning cruises.

The craziest offer we’ve ever seen was:

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico to Rome, Italy
    • 14 days
    • 250 Euros a person in a balcony suite!!!
    • Full Board
    • via La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canary, Gibraltar, Alicante

And a few more examples of what we have come across so far:

  • Barcelona, Spain to Panama City, Panama
    • 17 days
    • 355 Euros a person
    • All Inclusive
    • via Canary Islands, St. Maarten, San Juan, Curacao and Aruba
  • Canary Islands, Spain to Colon, Panama
    • 14 days
    • 395 Euros a person
    • All Inclusive
    • via St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba
  • Havanna, Cuba to Genoa Italy
    • 19 days
    • 349 Euros a person
    • All Inclusive
    • via Montenegro Bay, Santo Domingo, St. Maarten, Tenerife, Cadiz, Barcelona
  • Tampa, Florida to Barcelona, Spain
    • 15 days
    • 499 Euros a person
    • Full Board
    • via Key West, St. Maarten, Malaga, Cartagena
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Venice, Italy
    • 23 days
    • 999 Euros a person
    • Full Board
    • via Nassau, Turks & Caicos, St. Maarten, Antigua, Tenerife, Malaga, Marseilles, Savona, Naples, Dubrovnik

So for around US$400 to 500 (or 300 to 400 British pounds), you’ll have either all inclusive, or three meals a day included. That makes about 50 meals over a period of 2.5 weeks. So even if you were literally just paying for your food, you’re spending less than US$10 for each buffet style meal. BUT you get accommodation with it AND this accommodation is not just anywhere, it’s on a modern luxurious ocean liner going to some of the coolest places in the world.

So how do you actually search for and find cheap cruises?

It’s pretty easy. There are tons of websites to compare cruises on. Check lots of them, and check back regularly. You’ll get the best deals usually within a month of departure, but just see what’s on offer. Prices change every other day.
On any of these cruise comparison websites, you should enter something like Transatlantic / Transpacific / Repositioning. You’ll find these options in the dropdown menu of the websites search engine. Cruise.com is one example:

A few other website examples would be Cruiseaway.com.au, Cruises.com or Cruiseweb.com one. Once the results are being displayed, sort them by price and there you go. You might not find one of the best offers straight away, but especially in spring or autumn season there should always be something for no more than US$500. Happy travels!

Whilst you’re on board

  • Bring your own drinks. On some cruise ships, you are able to bring your own drinks if it isn’t an all-inclusive cruise. But do e-mail or look online at the companies website to check it is allowed, as on some you cannot bring any drinks onboard. We’ve heard many great reviews about this product on Amazon.
  • Look for drink specials. Many cruises off drink specials like happy hour or buy one get one free.
  • Watch the extra costs. There are tons of ways to spend extra money when cruising. However, there are probably already plenty of things to enjoy on your cruise ship that don’t cost a thing. You won’t realise until the end of the cruise how much extra add-ons will cost (that’s how they make their money on cheap cruises!)
  • Don’t forget to read your daily cruising guide. In each one, they list the happy hours, free events and more.
  • If you are going to shop, wait until you are nearing the end of your cruise. Towards the end, things start getting cheaper and cheaper. If you want to shop, try waiting until the last day.
  • Find a cheap rental if you plan on staying somewhere before or after your cruise vacation. We have a £30 (¢48) Airbnb coupon code that you can find right here. If you would rather stay in a hotel, Hotels.com is a cheap hotel website as well.
  • If you need a taxi, look into Uber. Uber is a great car service, and if our click on my link then you will get your first taxi ride for FREE!

Flights to or from your port of destination

Do remember, cruises are only one way, therefore you will have to purchase a one-way flight to or from wherever your cruise departs/arrives from. Remember, booking your cruise early is not always a good thing, as last minute deals on cruises are usually when you’ll find those jaw-dropping deals. Don’t book your flight with the cruise, as that is 99% of the time a rip off, and you’ll save a tonne of money booking it separately. Here are some simple tips on how to always find cheap flights:

  • Be flexible with your travel dates and times
  • Fly budget carriers
  • Don’t always fly direct
  • All search engines aren’t equal
  • Sign-up for a frequent flyer program like Etihad, LATAM, American Airlines etc..
  • Join mailing lists for sites likes Holiday Pirates, Airfarewatchdog
  • Look for tickets in other currencies

Start searching for deals today!
We usually use either Momondo or Skyscanner because they search all major AND budget airlines, non-English websites, English websites, and everything in between.

READ NEXT: THE ADVANTAGES OF USING AIRBNB + A COUPON CODE FOR YOUR NEXY STAY!


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By | 2017-03-20T19:07:17+00:00 March 20th, 2017|Luxury on a backpackers budget|9 Comments

About the Author:

Hey! We're Emma and Yannick! A travel blogging couple who met in Thailand in 2014, and since then we have visited over 20+ countries with no plans to stop! We travel the world in luxury, without paying the price for it, through travel hacking and insider knowledge. Through this, we love to help and teach others to travel well for less, just like we do!

9 Comments

  1. Samantha Sparrow March 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    You can “spend less money on a three week cruise, than what it would cost you to live at home”. That’s crazy amazing! I have never considered a cruise but many of my friends have been and really enjoyed them so I’ve been totally curious to try. You’ve provided some great tips around how to keep it cost effective, especially on drinks so thanks for that.

    • Emma Lomas March 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Samantha!

      Thanks, and you’re most welcome I hope you do try a cruise as they’re great fun and value!

      Happy Travels!
      Yannick

  2. Erica Coffman March 25, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

    This is so awesome! How in the world did you figure this out? This is such a great travel hack, especially for people who love cruising.

  3. Melbtravel March 25, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

    I have never been on a cruise but I have always wanted to. I never thought that you could do one less that living in your own house, that is crazy. I definitely want to look more into this especially now. The Canary Islands, Spain to Colon, Panama sounds ideal for me. You have some great tips too, I am definitely going to pin for future reference

  4. Clare March 25, 2017 at 2:00 am - Reply

    I have never thought of doing a cruise this way. Its such a great idea and maybe I will give it a try. I have always been afraid of trying as I get so seasick but I think its worth having a go especially at those prices and maybe then I get a cheap way of getting back to Latin America and home 🙂

  5. Jen March 25, 2017 at 3:29 am - Reply

    These are great tips! My husband and I have been wanting to experience a cruise but we can’t find a good deal. I’ll look into the sites you’ve mentioned. Hopefully, we can finally go on a cruise! 🙂 Thank you for these helpful tips!

  6. Torgeir Lindland March 25, 2017 at 3:30 am - Reply

    That is a pretty smart way of getting a cheap cruise actually. Thank you for sharing. I guess you just have to be careful what you spend on the cruise, as you say. With enough add-ons the trip won’t be that cheap after all!

  7. Kristine March 25, 2017 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Wait what?! It’s always been my biggest dream to go on a cruise, but I never went because it’s so expensive. I’m gonna check out those websites to compare prices and book a cruise! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ha Truong March 25, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I love cruise trip 🙂 I’ve done one from Stockholm to Tallinn! Love all the tips that you share about “Whilst you’re on board”

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