Who doesn’t want to save as much money as possible on their upcoming vacation? Problem is, when it comes to taking a cruise, you're probably not saving all that you can. Here are several reasons why you likely paid too much for your last cruise.

You Aren’t Flexible With Your Dates

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One of the best ways to save on your cruise fare is to be flexible with your intended vacation dates. If you are set on taking that Mediterranean cruise in June or July, you will find that many of the fares are significantly higher and the ports are more crowded. This is because these are the same months that Europeans take their holidays. Instead, opt to travel in May, August or September, and you can potentially save a bundle and skip many of the large crowds.

You Don't Take Advantage of Discounts for Kids

We aren’t telling you not to bring your kids on your cruise, but make sure you aren’t paying the full adult rate for them. Do some research when you’re planning. You’ll find some cruise lines try to charge full price for kids, while others welcome them for free, or at a deeply-discounted rate.

For example, MSC Cruises allows kids who are 17 and under to sail for free on select itineraries. Other itineraries allow children 11 and under to sail for free, while children 12 to 17 will receive a deeply discounted rate. Royal Caribbean also launched a kids sail free promotion for 2019 cruises, which allow kids 12 and under to cruise for free.

You Don’t Pre-Book Excursions

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Unless you’re on a cruise that includes excursions at each port, you’ll find that your cruise suddenly becomes significantly more expensive when you factor in your tours and shore activities. If you wait until you’re on the ship to book your tours through the cruise line, you’re paying too much. Read reviews about each cruise port and learn more about the private companies that regularly work with cruise passengers. Many of these offer a guarantee to get you back to the ship on time, and they often tend to be smaller groups and more exciting tours.

You Don’t Bring Necessities

Purchasing items on the ship can add up quickly. Many cruise lines are becoming more lenient with what you are allowed to bring with you during embarkation. With some lines, you may be able to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. This is a great way to save money versus paying inflated rates during your cruise. Be sure to pack all medications, sunscreen, batteriesand whatever else you might need so you don’t have to pay the high prices in the sundries shop.

You Aren’t Loyal to One Cruise Line

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It’s understandable that you might want to cruise with a few different lines. However, if cruising is your preferred mode of travel, you need to decide on a specific line and start reaping the benefits of loyalty. Apart from special past-guest fares, repeat cruisers are usually entitled to a number of loyalty perks that can start as soon as your second cruise. Amenities and perks vary by individual cruise lines, but you can receive anything from a bottle of Champagne to cabin class upgrades.

You Don’t Shop Around for Travel Insurance

If you’re considering travel insurance for your upcoming cruise, compare pricing and benefits from different companies rather than going with the policy your cruise line suggests. There are plenty of travel insurance companies out there, and some offer better benefits than others. Be sure to read each policy’s cancellation terms prior to purchasing. You’ll end up being out of pocket for the insurance and the cruise if you choose a policy that is highly-restrictive and you need to cancel.