Put on Your Year-in-Review Vacation Pants

Welcome to 2018!!! When reflecting on the past year I always like to think about the highlights of the year.  Our little family really had some amazing adventures this year.  I would love to share with you some things you must try.  I interviewed my family members this year (my husband Phil, my daughter Audrey (age 9), and Luke, my son (age 7).  I will of course give you my input as well.  Also, happy 2 year anniversary to the blog!!! We really enjoy sharing with you our expertise and hearing about your travel adventures as well. Here we go!

Continue reading

Put on your Cheap Cruise Deals Vacation Pants

On a 7 night/8 day Alaskan Cruise we booked through Vacations To Go for only $399 a person. -2009

I want to tell you about an amazing website we have used in the past to find fantastic cruise deals.  In fact, for every cruise I find, I start here to make sure they don’t have a cheaper deal.  The website is called vacationstogo.com, and it is fantastic!!!  Let me walk you through how to find the cheapest cruise deals to anywhere you want to go.

I have several websites I look at when I am booking my next vacation.  Google Flights (check out my recent post on that), Trip Advisor, and Travel Zoo to name a few, but if cruising to an exotic or magnificent destination is on your mind, then you need to check out  Vacations to Go!  They are able to offer great deals on cruises by buying in bulk and selling at a discount, or by booking last minute deals.  The website is pretty basic and has been around for awhile.  In fact, you can’t even book online, you have to call to book the cruises, which is old school, and I like to book old school every once in awhile.  The agents are so nice, and once you find one you like you can call their direct extension and book through them again. Follow my steps below to navigate your way through the website and cruise booking.

Step 1: Go to vacationstogo.com and sign up by giving your e-mail address.  Don’t worry.  They just send you a few e-mails every week advertising their weekly deals.  I actually enjoy getting them to see what deals I could possibly get.  Then click on the upper left hand corner button labeled 90 day ticker.  This will bring you to a list of last minute deals that are 90 days, or less, away.

Step 2:  Go ahead and scroll down the list and see if anything stands out to you.  They are divided by cruise regions.  The ports and destinations will vary.  Compare the two prices.  The first price listed is the brochure price, the 2nd price listed is the discounted rate offered on Vacations To Go.  The prices are per person, based on double occupancy, so sometimes if you have four people in a room, you can get it even cheaper per person.  Look below for some deals I found.  

Another cool feature of the site is that once you are on the page above you can sort the cruises listed by price, sailing date, number of nights, discounted amount, and more.  Just click on the headings at the top of the page. 

Here it is sorted by price.  $199 for a cruise through the Caribbean. Nice!

Here is the list sorted by number of nights.

Then there is the super duper advanced search.  This is how you find the cheapest cruise for the time of the year you want to go.  Go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the 90 day ticker.  There is a simple search if you want to look for cruises that aren’t confined to being only 90 days away, but I like the more advanced search.  Click on custom search.  

I usually put in a window of time that I can cruise and put in a price limit.  You can also put in regions and other specifications, but sometimes I just want to find the cheapest cruise for the time of year I can go.  

Here is the list that came up with my parameters.  I do love that there is $179 cruise leaving from the area I live.  Hmmmm, maybe I need to go on a little cruise.  

Step 3:  Once you find some interesting cruises click on the info link on the left-hand side of the page to get the itinerary and extra details.  Sometimes there are even some extra deals that were not listed on the first page.  Notice the red print on the cruise listed below.  
You can get a 7 night/8 day cruise through the Caribbean and South America for $350 a person.  $332 if you are a teacher.  They have a profile page that you can fill out, so you can get further discounts.  Notice you also get a free beverage package. What?!  That’s a fantastic deal.  Many cruise lines only include tea and water for free, so if you want sodas and other beverages, you  have to purchase a costly beverage package per person.  So, including the beverage package in the cruise purchase is a great deal!  Also, remember all your food, entertainment, and lodging is covered in the price of the cruise.  

Not sure about the cruise line?  Click on the name of the boat at the top of page (in blue). It gives you sorts of important information about the boat.  Check out the ship rating and see what kinds of facilities the boat has. 
See below.

Step 4:  So after you have found the cruise you want to go on, go ahead and call the phone number.  Give them the fast deal# listed at the top of the cruise itinerary.
Talk to a nice vacation planner about the cruise.  They will talk to you about the cruise, get your passenger information, and price the cruise with taxes and fees.  If you have more than two people there may even be a discount, because usually 3rd and 4th passengers are cheaper then the first two passengers (and sometimes even free!).  You can book right away with the vacation planner, or you can hold the cruise for a day to think about it. I usually will then contact the cruise line directly to see if they can offer a better deal.  Sometimes they do, in which case I’ll book with them directly.  But sometimes the Vacations to Go price is better, and I book through them. 

Well, that’s about it!  That’s all you need to do to book the cruise of a lifetime. So put on those cheap cruise deal vacation pants and set sail on your next adventure.  

Follow My Vacation Pants on Social Media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myvacationpants/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvacationpants/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/myvacationpants
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vecchio100/my-vacation-pants/