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How to Cruise When You’re Totally Broke

How to Cruise When You’re Totally Broke how to hunt for deals.
If the best cruise deals were easy to find, everyone would snatch them up. Dedicate a little extra time and effort to sign up for e-newsletters and search for cruises where you’d least expect them, such as wholesale clubs like Costco or online marketplaces like Groupon and Living Social.

Sail close to home.
Cheap cruises prevail in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexican Riviera, accessible from U.S. homeports. Domestic flights are cheaper than international ones, and you can save even more money if you live within driving distance to a homeport and can skip the flight altogether.

Look at budget-friendly cruise lines.
Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are the most popular mainstream cruise lines for a reason. They offer the widest variety of affordable cruise options and dominate the Caribbean and Bahamas. Another line to keep an eye on is MSC Cruises.

Go during peak hurricane season.
No, we’re not crazy. Peak hurricane season, which runs from mid-August to late October, is one of the cheapest times of the year to cruise the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexican Riviera — especially September.

Book an inside cabin.
Inside cabins are ideal for cruisers on a tight budget. They’re the lowest and most affordable category you can book, simply because they lack a view and come with bare-bones features.

Eat only in free dining venues.
Most cruise ships feature a main dining room (sometimes multiple dining rooms), buffet and a few casual eateries — all in which you can eat for free. Main dining rooms are a universal favorite for dinner, thanks to their rotating menus and myriad options, which typically include designated vegetarian dishes.