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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Screaming Deals? No Such Thing As a Cheap Cruise!

Screaming Deals?  No Such Thing As a Cheap Cruise!

"They don't want a cheap cruise vacation. They want a Great Cruise Vacation-cheap."

Screaming deals and low advertised prices make cruising very attractive today. 
But do you get what you really want?  

There really is no such thing as a cheap cruise. Even $399 7-day Mexico cruises add up when you factor in taxes, airfare and transfers, cancellation protection, and onboard expenses. For two people, even this bargain basement interior stateroom vacation will add up to about $2,000 to $2,500. Nobody spends that kind of money impulsively any more. When you see this picture and take your eyes off of the distracting lead price, you then can plan a cruise based a more realistic budget.

The fact is very few guests actually want to cruise in an interior stateroom. Let's say someone is considering a $499 Caribbean cruise. Their total vacation cost for two people will be about $2,500 if they are flying from the Northeast or Midwest. For just $400 more, they can have a Balcony stateroom (Real world example! Just check most cruise lines weekly cruise deal rates for fall.) This is an incredible value and a chance to make a difference in the overall satisfaction of your cruise.

Maybe you are considering a low-cost cruise line for a 7-day vacation. Add it all up and see the difference a premium cruise line makes for just a couple hundred dollars more. Larger staterooms, more personalized service, shorter lines, better food and entertainment. Airfare, taxes, and cancellation protection will not be much different between cruise lines. The cruise price differences are not often very much compared to the total vacation cost.

Sometimes, it is extremely important to do the "apples-to-apples" comparison to get your best "value". Let's say you are considering an Alaska Cruise Tour. Chances are this will be a very important experience for you. Truly a " once-in-a lifetime experience". Now, with lead price tours, airfares, verandah staterooms, and cancellation protection, the total vacation cost easily tops $5,000 for two. And this is the cheap tour! Are you looking to take a slower paced trip where you have more opportunities to see the scenery and wildlife? Are you getting the full tour at Denali National Park? Would you be more comfortable with a tour director ( escorted type tours )? Do you want to see even more wilderness parks? You can probably have this all, for about $600 more for two. Compared to $5,000, this is an extremely reasonable way to ensure you will return with lots of smile and memories knowing you experienced just what you were looking for, rather then settled for less.

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