The Perfect Cruise Vacation – How to Spend Less For the Very Best

Who ya gonna call? –

Where do you buy your cruise tickets to get the best price? Should you buy from a traditional travel agent, an online mega-seller or direct from the cruise line? Surprisingly, book a cruise when it comes to the base fare, it doesn’t make much difference. Price variation is more contingent on qualifying for a particular type of discount; promotional, seasonal, past passenger, military or last minute booking- than on where you buy your ticket. The real variables between booking channels are in the level of service provided during the process and perks offered. So read on to learn how to max the experience while making sure you are getting the best value.

When trying to determine actual price from the advertised price, cruise fares can be almost as maddening as airline pricing. Advertised cruise prices are often misleading and unnecessarily vague. Published prices are always per person based on double occupancy. Additional people occupying the same cabin pay less…usually a lot less. Port taxes and other fees are considerable and are the same for everybody, regardless of category and whether they are the first or fifth person in the cabin. The add-on fees and taxes when combined with the base fare have been known to add 20% to 50% to the total per person, especially on shorter, already deeply discounted cruises. Always remember to ask about price inclusive of all fees and taxes- or note the fine print if you are reading a brochure. Some cruise lines include the added fees in their advertised prices, most do not. Always ask.

How to qualify for discounts –

The most common discounts are seasonal, last minute, military, geographical, past passenger, senior citizen, positioning itineraries, promotional and distressed categories.

Seasonal – Caribbean cruises are typically discounted in the fall. Alaska cruises will be cheaper at the beginning and end of the season (May, September and October). Ditto for European and Mediterranean cruises – avoid the peak months of July and August and you’ll probably snag a good deal.

Last Minute – Waiting to book can also lead to a great bargain, especially if you are prepared to depart on short notice, having no strong preferences on which ship or itinerary.

Military – Tell the agent that you won the Medal of Honor fighting alongside Sgt York at the Battle of Verdun and you might get an extra 5% to 10% off.

Geographical – Sometimes small discounts will be available because of where you live – say in Paris, Texas instead of Paris, Tennessee. (Don’t ask why – it is something known only to cruise line executives.)

Past Passenger – lines will frequently offer discounts and/or perks to loyal customers -depending on the number of previous cruises with that particular cruise line.

Senior Citizen – If you are over age 55, ask if an age related discount is available.

Promotional – These kind of discounts can rear their pretty little heads for any number of reasons – again, some only known by cruise lines executives.

Positioning Cruises – These are necessary but less popular itineraries needed to get the ship from one seasonal station to another – say, For more info plese visit here:- cruises booking
cruise book
Hot Tubs
book a cruise from Miami to Seattle for the Alaska season. These itineraries are available mostly in the spring and fall and almost always offer deep discounts. But be forewarned – these positioning cruises involve long days at sea and fewer ports. This is especially true of trans-Atlantic positioning cruises.

Category Sale – Another frequent price promotion – a ship may be over-sold in one category and grossly under-sold in another; resulting in deep discounts on the latter.

How to get the most perks –

Many times it is as simple as asking! If you are working with a travel agent, have the TA quiz the cruise line reservations department about any and all available promotions and perks on the sailing(s) that interest you. A good, experienced agent will have a long laundry list of possible perks for which you might be qualified. Or, if booking direct with the cruise line, use what you have learned here about booking direct- but you will need to play the role of Grand Perk Inquisitor yourself.



Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *