How To Find The Best Cruise Deals For Seniors In 2023

If you’re a senior citizen who has chosen to retire, you probably have a lot more free time on your hands that is well deserved. A cruise getaway is a splendid way to relax. However, if you’re on a fixed income, you might not be able to afford top dollar.

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If so, then no need to worry, for you’re in luck. With good timing, some flexibility, know-how and slick tricks of the trade, you can find great deals and ways to save money on your next cruise. Then, add on various senior discounts and benefits that you’re eligible for, such as Veterans discounts, AARP membership discounts and several others, and you’ll see the total price get bumped down even further. On each cruise liner’s website, you will easily find “senior” or “aged 55+” when you start the booking process. The total cost of the deals you’ll get will depend on the time of year, your age, the specific cruise liner you desire, and whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner, or with a small group.

So if you’ve been dreaming about a cruise ship vacation with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, you’ll be on that majestic cruise in no time if you play your cards right. Listed below are the top tips for finding the best cruise deals, including last – minute ones, that seniors can benefit from.


Tip #1: Timing Is Crucial

Ultimately, timing is everything when it comes to finding super attractive cruise deals. With flights and hotels, you can usually wait until practically the last minute, even 24 hours beforehand, to book a reservation or ticket if there’s anything available. However, it works differently with cruise deals. This is because cruise liners must give their total guest roster to the coast guard many weeks before a ship’s established departure date. Moreover, cruise prices don’t tend to fall very much right before a ship’s sailing.

Therefore, the very best time to look for a cruise deal, especially “last-minute” deals, is around two to three months before a ship is set to depart. In general, a cruise liner’s cancellation policy allows guests to cancel their trip without penalties from around 75 – 90 days before traveling. This means that if a number of travelers decide to cancel their trip within that time frame, the cruise liners will want to fill up those now open staterooms as quickly as possible, and will often offer a significantly reduced fare to fill them.

Tip #2: Be Flexible With Specific Departure Dates, Destinations And Stateroom Options

When it comes to those last-minute cruise deals for an upcoming vacation, another very important thing to remember is to be flexible. If you’re only interested or willing to travel to one destination during a limited timeframe, your chances of getting a stellar deal dwindle close to zero. However, if you feel comfortable and happy to travel to multiple destinations and have sufficiently flexible travel dates to choose from (remember to keep at least a two- to three-month window), then you’re much more likely to find great cruise ship deals.

Regarding stateroom options, you will need to keep an open mind regarding the kind of staterooms you’ll find available when booking a cruise for less, due to certain itineraries which have highly coveted staterooms that sell out months in advance. For instance, the veranda staterooms on Alaska cruises sell out fairly quickly, since everyone wants to see wildlife and glaciers from the warmth and comfort of their room during the voyage.

In short, the more you’re willing to compromise on staterooms, the better deal options you’ll find.

Tip #3: Consider Less Popular Itineraries And Avoid Air Travel To The Port

Another ultra effective and helpful way to find irresistible cruise deals is to choose to explore some less-visited itineraries instead of popular ones. This will greatly increase your odds of finding a well discounted cruise rate.

Also, if you’d like to boost the price reduction even more, avoid air travel if possible and get to the port of departure via bus or train instead. Alternatively, if you have the option to drive, try looking for a port within a reasonable driving distance from where you live, as this will save on cost even more. These are some examples: U.S. residents in the Pacific Northwest can look for a round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle, Washington. If you live in L.A. or San Diego, you can book a Pacific Coastal cruise or a Panama Canal cruise without worrying about airfare to the port. East Coast residents can find Caribbean cruises leaving from Cape Liberty, New Jersey in the north or last-minute cruises from Florida departing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa in the south.

Tip #4: Choose To Cruise During Shoulder Season

Cruises departing during prime travel times, such as Christmas, spring break, or the middle of summer, almost always sell out long before you even start searching for those last-minute cruise deals. Instead, look for cruises that sail during shoulder seasons (the time period just before or after peak travel seasons). Do this and you’re more likely to find a bargain.

For instance, if you’re after a superb Mediterranean cruise deal, look for dates during mid-September or early October. This is a low & slow time of year when schools are in full swing and most couples and families with kids are busy with work and homelife.

Final Thoughts

When you book a discount or last-minute deal, be advised that there may be international taxes, port fares, service and other fees that are not included in the ticket price, so you will need to factor that into your total possible expenditure as well.

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