20 Winning Secrets To Finding The Best Cruise Deals
Forecast for 2010: Smooth Sailing
We predict 2010 is going to be an amazing year for travel. We're so excited about all we have planned, we can't wait to get going.
But, we're much more curious about how you are feeling about 2010? Do you agree that the economy is improving? Do you hope it will be a better year than 2009? Will you take that vacation you postponed last year?
Did you know that Approximately 85% of travel-related businesses reported a significant decline in visitors, passengers or income in 2009. Airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and others all were affected. However, while the media was reporting stories of doom, and gloom 15% of them reported an increase in business despite some having to lower prices to maintain occupancy levels and cash flow.
We are proud to say that we were one of those who ended the year on top. In fact, 2009 was our best year yet. We did more business with more people than ever before. And, we recorded more revenue per guest than ever before.
We decided early on, that we were not going to just sit on the sidelines and watch the downturn on the economy effect our business. We knew we had to do something to stem the tide. So we spent a lot of quality time with our guests, found out what it would take to get them to travel now, rather than postpone their vacation. Among other things, they told us they wanted more value for their money, but were not willing to cut corners on the quality or value of their vacation experience. If they were going to travel in this economy they wanted more than just a cheap vacation, they wanted a great vacation - cheap. So, on their behalf, we burned the midnight oil, researched and found some of the highest valued, best cruise deals around. Not for an ordinary 3 or 4 day cruise to the Bahamas, but some great deals full of enlightenment, enrichment and fun to Alaska, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, the Baltics and elsewhere.
Now, we're not bragging. We just want to tell you, that when you have a plan, you can find that great vacation to take your family on, despite what's going on in the economy.
To make it work, we employed a simple but effective formula we call the 20 Winning Secrets to Finding The Best Cruise Deals. If you took a resort-style vacation, sailed on a cruise, went on a safari, or just drove across America, you know 2009 was a great year for travel deals. But finding them did not come by accident, or by just shopping around on the Internet. They came about simply, because you started 2009 with a plan and followed it.
And we know that the travel deals for 2010 have to be better than good. So in addition to our all ready esablished offerings, we joined with the Travelocity Partner Network to bring our guests even better bargains, more selection and greater value. Cruise Direct Onlines' guests can now select from over 12,000 sailings for 2010-2011. Guests may choose from more than 80 ports of embarkation, including 24 close-to-home within driving distance of most residents of the US and Canada. Popular destinations include Alaska, Mexico, Europe, Bermuda, the Caribbean, The Far East, Africa, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Canada and South America.
By the way, there's nothing special about us - anybody can do it...it just takes the ability to understand the marketplace and then implement a plan that results in a great vacation value for you and a decent income for us.
If you decide to take a trip ( hopefully a cruise ), you will be contributing to our nation's speedy recovery and return to prosperity. For when you travel, jobs are created, income is derived and wealth is acquired.
All without government help or intervention.
All with great fun and fond memories.
So what are you waiting for...
To get started visit http://www.cruisedirectonline.com/
20 Winning Secrets To Finding The Best Cruise Deals
A bad economy makes for some very good deals: Super cruise deals, lowest prices in years. But don't book them directly with the cruise line. You can get "bonus" savings from many travel agents. Not only a better price, but some agents throw in shipboard credits, pre-paid gratuities and other incentives to get you to book. Shipboard credits, where available from the cruise line, are house credits that are placed on your stateroom's account for you to use during your cruise vacation. You can use the credit towards merchandise, lounges and in some, but not all cases, for Spa Treatments or Shore Excursions.
Contact your credit card company. They may offer additional savings, shipboard credits or frequent flyer miles when you pay for your cruise in full with that credit card.
Sign up for e-mail deal alerts that let you know where the great deals are. Some services will e-mail you when cruise fares drop for the cruise you want.
Tip: After you've booked your cruise keep checking the prices. If the price drop, contact your travel agent, changes are they can you can save you more money.
Cruise lines are offering deeper discounts earlier, with great deals rates for spring and some offer kids to sail for free.
You can find deals priced at less than $45 per person per day including all your meals and most activities -- but watch out.. you will pay an "up charge" for specialty restaurants, bar drinks, spa treatments and shore excursions.
Plan Ahead and Save Big. Get The Best Value for your Money.
Raye & Marty Trencher's Savvy Cruise Tips
1. Reserve Your Cruise Now
At least 3 - 6 months prior to sailing. You get the best choice of locations and stateroom availability and the sooner you book, the better the discount.
2. If You Can, Pay For It In Advance
Save as much as 15%. Some cruise lines give an extra discount if you pay in full at least six months in advance of your sailing date.
3. Reserve Your Cruise At The Last Minute
Depending upon when you want to go, last minute bookings can save you money! Especially if you are not particular about what cabin and where on the ship you are staying.
4. Cruise In The Off Season
Cruises are more expensive in high season, so if you can go some other time you will save even more. Alaska cruises are cheaper in May and September. Europe and Mediterranean cruises in September and October. Caribbean cruises in September, October and January.
5. Do A Transatlantic, Transpacific Or Repositioning Cruise
Want to sail from Europe or the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, or from Alaska to Hawaii, or Mexico? You will cruise for about half the cost of the same number of days of a single destination cruise. You'll get more lazy days at sea and fewer port stops.
6. Cruise On The Ship's Very First Journey
If you take an inaugural cruise on a new ship, you may save money, but don't expect everything to be ship shape.
7. Go With A Group
Groups that travel together save more. Go with or put together your own group from your church, club, work, school or plan a once in a lifetime a family reunion. And if you can get 15 or more people to go, you could go for free!
8. Don't Care About The View... Why Not An Inside Stateroom?
If you think of a stateroom as only a place for sleeping and dressing, and a view isn't necessary, you can save money with an inside stateroom.
9. If Four's Not A Crowd, Put The Family In One Stateroom
Third or fourth guests go at a substantial discount, and kids sometimes go free. If you take 4 adults, everyone shares in the savings. However, it can be very crowded. And just one bathroom!
10. Reserve Without A Stateroom Assignment
Even if the stateroom category that you want is sold out, you can reserve your place on the ship. The cruise line guarantees to provide you a stateroom in the category you want or one higher at the time they assign you a stateroom. However, you don't have a choice where it will be. You may save money and get a free upgrade if at the time they assign you a stateroom there are no more, in the category you reserved.
11. Join The Club
Cruise lines give a special discounts or free upgrades to past passengers. Carnival give you a break even you have sailed on Holland America, Windstar, Princess, Costa, or Cunard, as they own them all.
12. Ask And You Shall Receive
Keep a close eye on weekly newspaper ads and newsletters for promotional specials. You may qualify for a two-for-one offer, kids free, or 50 percent off promotion. And, if you already have put a deposit down or paid for your cruise, do hesitate to ask for the lower fare if it applies to the stateroom type and category you reserved.
13. On A Honeymoon? Or Celebrating A Special Occasion?
Celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or a family reunion on the cruise. On some ships you may qualify for an extra discount.
14. Look For Added Value
Some sailings offer free hotel nights before or after your cruise, sightseeing tours, or the cruise line will offer shipboard credits you can use in the shops.
15. Free Upgrades
Some lines offer an upgrade in cabin category if you are a repeat passenger, on a honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary, or your friends or family reserved more staterooms.
16. If You Like It So Much, Stay Onboard Another Week.
If you arrange to stay on the ship for a second cruise, you could sail the second week at a discounted rate.
17. Age Has It's Advantages
Over 55? Some cruise lines have discounts for you. And, if a senior is traveling with other people in the stateroom that are under 55, the discount may apply to both fares.
18. Airfare Prices Vary
Sometimes the airfare offered by the cruise line is cheaper; sometimes not. Plan as far ahead as possible to get the lowest priced airline tickets. Comparison shop the ship's offer and what the airlines are offering.
19. Consider A Pre Or Post Cruise Hotel Package
Hotel stays can be arranged at the same time you book your cruise. As with airfares, compare the ship's price with what the hotel would charge you direct.
20. Every Cruise Line And Cruise Ship Is Different
The most important thing you can do is research all the ships and cruises that go to your chosen destination. Compare itineraries, accommodations, shipboard activities, shore tours and fares. By comparing, you will find a cruise that offers what you want at a price that fits your budget.. Be sure when you compare fares that you know whether taxes and port charges are included or not.
More Things To Consider...
A. Become Cyber Savvy
Check online for the latest discounts and special offerings on ships and sailings. Visit the cruise line's own web sites and several travel agents online to get the best service and price. But remember, don't reserve a cruise just because of price.
B. Choose The Cruise That Best Fits Your Needs And Desires
So many people have bought the cheapest thing around, only to be disappointed once onboard. As you know by then it's too late to change your mind.