How to Get the Best Cruise Deal
by Karolina Shenton, Marketing & Operations Manager, The Cruise Web.
Finding a great cruise is more of an art than a science that takes years of industry experience to master. With an overwhelming number of ships and the whole world to choose from, it could even confuse Magellan! However here are a few tips that will help you navigate to your dream vacation.
Catch the wave!
January through March is known as “wave season” within the cruise industry. During the first three months of the year, the cruise lines offer the hottest values and the widest selection of cruises. Because of the wide variety of ships and destinations available this time of year, this is the ideal time to book a cruise to an exotic destination with limited availability. Combined with today’s slower economy this translates into a fantastic opportunity for you to book your dream vacation with unparalleled value.
A Cruise Consultant is your secret weapon!
Professional cruise consultants do not work for the cruise lines, they work for you. They are your best source of objective advice, because the success of your vacation, on any cruise line, is their primary concern. Additionally, a professional cruise consultant has unique knowledge and access to special rate codes, promotional codes, and amenities that you won’t be able to locate on your own. Furthermore a cruise consultant will help you avoid the hidden fees charged by online booking sites. Your repeat business is the key to a professional cruise consultant’s success, so give them a chance to earn it.
Be like a palm tree – Be flexible!
The cruise industry is not unlike other industries in that it is driven by the forces of supply and demand. If you are able to be flexible and avoid cruising during holidays and other popular times, you will find great prices and selection. Additionally if you are able to be flexible on the type of accommodations you book, you will find fantastic values, because cruise lines discount certain types of cabins to fill their ships. Don’t assume that this means taking a lower category of cabin, because often times the best values are on luxury accommodations. When your cruise consultant suggests a variation on your original plan, listen to them. They know what they are talking about.
The early seagull gets the worm!
Cruise lines typically offer the best rates when a cruise first goes up for sale. Over time, as that cruise sells, the cruise lines raise the price. Only an early bird has access to the low introductory rates and a full selection of accommodations. Why wait in line with everyone else to find what’s left, when you can act early and get exactly what you want.
Beware of Murphy ’s Law!
All the planning in the world can’t always assure you that your vacation plans go off without a hitch. Travel insurance is the smartest thing a vacationer can invest in. A vacation is an investment in fun, and if you are going to spend you hard earned money, it pays to do what you can to protect your investment. An inexpensive travel insurance policy will assure that you are covered should something prevent you from going on your cruise. Additionally, it allows you to book your dream vacation without the uncertainty that often comes with such an investment.
You’ve earned your sea legs!
With this knowledge you are prepared to join the ranks of well-informed cruisers and start exploring the world. Cruising offers some of the very best values in travel, to those who know how to find them. So pull up the anchor and set sail on your dream vacation.