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Cruise deals - Explore the Sevens Seas with HolidayPirates

Are you thinking about a cruise holiday but don’t know when or how to find a good deal? With so many things to choose from -- cruise lines, ports, itineraries, board basis, cabins, upgrades, etc -- it can be confusing to know where to start.

Well, being pirates ourselves, we love nothing more than sailing the Seven Seas so let us share some of our knowledge with you! Below are some popular topics that we’ve answered to make your life a little easier! Or let us inspire you by browsing our range of some of our best hand-picked deals.

Where & how can I find cheap cruise holidays?

One of the best places to find cheap cruises is of course right here on our website! Our crack team of pirates work night and day - well, mainly in the day as we drink rum at night - finding deals.

A great place to start is on our cruise finder which has loads of options to choose from:

  1. Mediterranean cruises

  2. Caribbean cruises

  3. River cruises

  4. Cruises from the UK

  5. Last minute cruises

  6. All inclusive cruises

When is the cheapest time to go on a cruise?

The price of a cruise depends on a lot of factors:

  1. Time of year

  2. Destination

  3. Cruise line

  4. Cruise ship

  5. Popularity of the cruise

For example, during the summer, Mediterranean cruises are super expensive as generally the weather is great and kids are off school, which in turn drives up demand. If you're dead set on an affordable cruise to the Med, try and aim for non-peak travel periods (September-March).

However, if the Caribbean tickles your fancy, December to April is the most popular period due to the dry and hot weather (and cold weather in Europe). So try and aim for late summer and early autumn if you want the best deals -- but be warned, this is Hurricane season and so the weather may be unpredictable.

How can I get the cheapest cruise deals?

It’s important to remember that for a cruise line, no matter what, their ships have to sail. It’s extremely expensive for a cruise line to alter anything as itineraries and ports are booked up many years in advance! Therefore, the worst thing for them is an empty ship -- if a cruise isn’t selling well, they will always discount it to fill it and try and get back some of their money!

So be smart and keep an eye out for any last minute cruise deals as often you can get yourself a real bargain, whether that’s a lower price, better cabin or a free drinks upgrade.

Where do cruises leave from in the UK?

There are quite a few departure options in the UK. Southampton is the largest port in the UK and most Transatlantic crossings start from there.

We've listed the main ports below:

  • Southampton

  • Dover

  • London Tilbury

  • Liverpool

  • Hull

  • Newcastle

  • Bristol

  • Rosyth, Scotland

  • Greenock

When is the best time to take a cruise?

Enjoy the open sea lounging on the deck and by the pool on a summer trip, escape the cold British winters by exploring the Mediterranean, or soak up the last warm days of the year with a holiday in the autumn. If you choose the right destinations, a cruise is a worthy endeavour any time of the year.

That being said, you can save a few quid by booking in the off season, depending on where you want to go, and particularly if you find an early bird deal. For example, cruise providers are less likely to plan trips to the Caribbean and Southeast Asia during the British summer months, as it coincides with the start of the hurricane or rainy season in those areas. That means that November through March are the best months to get your fix of sun.

Is there a high and low season for cruises?

The high and low season depends on your destination. The high season for Mediterranean cruises is summertime, but many travellers prefer the milder temperatures of spring and fall. Asia is popular in winter, but can get too hot and humid in summer.

Cruises over the Baltic Sea are most beautiful in summer, when the sun never sets in many Nordic countries and you can experience the "white nights" in St. Petersburg—the downside, however, is that prices are highest at this time of year. If you don't mind missing the midnight sun and can handle the breezy weather, you'll find better deals booking a Baltic Sea cruise in spring or autumn.

Top cruise destinations 2024

Cruises in the Caribbean:

A classic cruise destination for any year. Cruise through the countless islands and countries with each cruise offering a unique experience. One thing they have in common is crystal clear water, plenty of sun and beautiful beaches and experiences for stops on the shore.

Cruises in Spain:

A classic cruise destination, Spain has plenty to offer, from the Balearic and Canary islands to Catalonia. Barcelona is one of the world’s busiest ports so why not hop off and explore the city as part of your trip.

Cruises in Portugal:

Lisbon is a classic destination and remains popular, but many operators are offering more cruises stopping in Porto and the nearby Douro river. Porto itself is beautiful and offers excellent wine and food, while the Northern coast of Portugal is stunning.

Cruises in Italy:

A picture perfect European cruise can be found almost anywhere on the Italian coast. The Amalfi coast is one popular option, while many itineraries will take in other Mediterranean stops such as Greece.

Which cruise lines are all inclusive?

This is a tricky question to answer as all inclusive can mean different things on different cruises! By default, all cruises are full board -- this means all of your meals onboard, breakfast, lunch and dinner, are included so you won’t be stranded in the middle of the ocean with a rumbling tummy if you run out of money on your trip.

In the cruising world, all inclusive tends to mean alcoholic drinks and tips/gratuities are included. If you want an all inclusive cruise, keep an eye out for deals that say ‘with drinks and tips’, ‘drinks inclusive’ or ‘premium drinks included’. And while a cruise can be all inclusive, this doesn’t mean any flights or transfers will be included so check what you are actually getting for your money before you book. It’s also important to remember that although a cruise may include three main meals per day, most ships have premium restaurants onboard which charge a supplement and these probably won’t be included unless specified.

Always check the terms and conditions of what is and isn’t included as this can vary quite a lot between different cruise lines. So, to answer the question, all cruise lines can be all inclusive - if you pay for it!