First off, most cruises are considered all inclusive to a point. When you book a cruise, your cabin, food, and non alcoholic drinks are included in the price. You will have to pay if you want alcoholic drinks and you will have to pay if you want to do excursions on the days you are in port. It should be noted that most cruise lines will allow you to take on one bottle of wine and you do not have to buy the excursions through the ship's company. To make things a bit cheaper you can pay for your excursions through outside companies before even boarding the ship.
So what are some tips to find the best all inclusive cheap cruise for yourself?
Decided where it is you would like to visit, and for how long. Most cruise lines offer 3 to 14 day cruises to several places in the world. If you really want to keep the price low, I suggest finding the closest port to where you live and see what cruises depart from there. It will cut the cost of the airfare and maybe even eliminate airfare if you live close enough to drive.
Go to sites like CruiseCritic. This site is hands down one of my favorite sites. At this site you will find loads of information about every cruise line and every cruise destination. You will find reviews by professional travel writers and reviews by people who have taken a certain cruise. So, when you figure out where it is you would like to go, log on to this site to read the reviews of the cruises that go to the destinations you are interested in. I think the personal reviews by people who have actually taken the cruise are the best.
There is also a great forum here that you can sign on to and find some good information about what to expect when on a cruise. There are sections dedicated to each cruise line, destinations, and information on passports just to name a few. You can also find help on what sites offer the best prices for cruises. In the forums people rate different travel agencies, including online sites and brick and mortar stores too.
When looking for a good price for an all inclusive cheap cruise, try CruiseCompete. At this site, you select the cruise you are interested in then have several travel agencies compete to get you the best price. I have used this site before and think it's one of the best sites out there to get the cheapest deal.
Do not rule out going to sites like Travelocity, Expedia, and VacationsToGo. I know in the above tip I stated that CruiseCompete is a one of the best sites I know of, however, sometimes, the discount travel sites will beat the travel agents. At least if you go to the big discount sites you will see what to expect when dealing with a travel agent.
Once you have booked your cruise, go to that cruise lines web site and find out what the shore excursions will be for each port. If something looks good to you, then search for the tour operators in that city and see if they offer something similar. Nine times out of ten if you do it this way, you will find the excursion to be cheaper. Now do check the tour operators credentials to make sure they are on the up and up. You can also go back to CruiseCritic and go to the forums. A lot of people there will post what tour operators the used on their shore excursions and if the recommend them or not.
Get your passport information squared away as soon as you decided that this is the vacation you want to go on. It take a while to get the paperwork, and you don't want to be forced to pay the extra money to expedite it because you were too lazy to get it done in time. Also if you have children going along, make sure you have their birth certificates in order.