Cruises to Bahamas: Finding Cheap Options
First, know that you're at an advantage when it comes to finding a cheap Bahamas cruise. Why? Significant competition exists in the market for Bahamas cruises due to the wide variety of starting ports of call in Florida and along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. The Bahamas are practically next door neighbors to Florida, making it easy for cruise operators to go there. All of that competition means significant savings for travelers. Yet wading through the numerous available options can be daunting at times, making it tempting to go the cheapest route possible. However, it's easy to forget that getting the cheapest cruise doesn't guarantee getting the best cruise.
Because of the competition, reading online reviews of cruises to the Bahamas is vital. One place to start reading about the experiences of those who cruise the Bahamas is CruiseCritic.com. Many people take their cruises seriously, and those people often go to Cruise Critic to relate their positive and negative experiences with cruise operators. In a sea of options, sometimes word of mouth is the best way to sort out the bad options from the good.
However, one must first find cheap cruises to the Bahamas before determining if they're worth the time and money. Of course, reading travel sites like AOL Travel and Gadling may yield good tips. In fact, Chris Owen over at Gadling reported earlier this week that Celebrity Cruises slashed January rates on their Bahamas cruises. Aside from travel sites, you have a plethora of options for finding cheap cruises to the Bahamas. Turning to a cruise agency like CruisesOnly.com may yield excellent results for the frugal traveler. As of this writing, they were showing a highly-rated three-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's "Monarch of the Seas" at $199 per person for an ocean view room, with extra bonuses on shore excursions.
Orbitz.com is showing that same cruise for $10 less and with a special Orbitz-only promotion on a free shore excursion. I point this out because it's a great example of how even travel aggregators like Orbitz often offer their own special deals on a cruise for choosing to book through them. You can potentially find additional savings on cheap Bahamas cruises by simply investigating the promotions that other travel aggregators are offering. In other words, do due diligence with your online searches.
To that end, a site like BookingBuddy.com can make sorting through the aggregators even easier. ("An aggregator for aggregators?" you ponder. Hey, I don't make this stuff up.) Booking Buddy takes seven aggregators and puts them all in one place, allowing you to compare heaps of options. One of the better travel aggregators included is Avoya Travel, which makes it easy to sort by price, ship rating, discount, nights on the ship, and day of departure. Using this tool I found that cheap Bahamas cruises are to be found aplenty in January and October of 2011. That leads me to my final point: if you want to find cheap cruises to the Bahamas, you can do it by booking in advance as well as at the last minute. There's plenty of evidence to show that both methods of booking can net you serious savings. Yes, it's true that last-minute travel requires a more flexible schedule. But for some, that's part of the thrill of travel: discovering yourself - completely unplanned - on a cruise to the Bahamas.
Photo by cherrylet from Flickr