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5 secrets travel insiders know about finding great cruise deals

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Still taking a trip to the great ocean in a huge ship is a very popular way to spend a vacation, and with good reason. When cruise deals light up, they can make the trip even more awesome. As more and more people turn into cruise ships, companies offer more packages and additional value every day. The trick is knowing not only where, but also when to search. Check out some of the following professional tips to help you make the most of your next vacation:

Book during "Wave Season"

There is a set time of the year when cruise lines offer light cruise deals. From January to March, known as the off-season, you can find some real great deals. This period of time is well known in the travel circles as the "surf season". Companies really try to encourage travelers to book early, and of course book using their own line. As a result, there are some crazy deals available, including Buy One or Get One free options (also known as BOGO) and added value, like free food or automatic upgrades. The trick is to look around you and find out which companies can offer big packages. Sailing travel companies can really help locate these special offers.

Find a popular destination.

This may sound like counter-intuition, but booking a trip to a popular destination can save you money. With large cruise ships, the goal is to fill capacity. With popular destinations, there are many competing lines that depart daily, if not several times in a day. With so many ships, many companies offer great cruise deals to attract customers, in the hope that they will become frequent travelers. Alaska, the Caribbean and Cuba are all hot spots right now, and they're offering the best deals.

Maintain flexibility on your dates.

Last minute travel, automatically or backup not for everyone. It can be especially stressful for those who have pre-booked days off from work. But for those who can afford more flexibility, it can really work to your advantage when it comes to pocket pockets. In order to sell last minute cabins, many cruise ships offer rooms at very discounted rates. They may also add some great values, such as promotions, free food and offer tickets. If you know where to look, you can actually record some great offers.

Or … book too early!

On the other hand, it may also be beneficial to book very early, as during a wave season. Early bookings can ensure that some good deals are found on ships that want to know in advance that they are completely full.

Follow the plugins.

Additions are the biggest aspect of finding great cruise deals. Value added can include things like upgraded rooms, free dining, or some passes. Do not forget to search for free flights or rent vehicles to transport you to the port. Air credit is also another popular incentive for travelers. Many travel companies will know when and how to search for these added deals.

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