Today I am going to reveal to you the highly guarded secrets of how to get the best price for your cruise
My first tip shows you how to identify the best cruise deal. First off, make sure the prices you are comparing are like for like. Remember an age old trick still used by many cruise agencies is to advertise their cheapest price possible, but be careful. You need to make sure that the price you are quoted includes compulsory Government fees and Port charges and any mandatory gratuities. Some agencies also advertise as standard practice the quad share price, which isn’t ideal if only two of you are travelling. Check also that the price quoted is in Australian dollars and that the cruise can still be booked at the price advertised.
My Second tip will give you the knowledge so you know when to book your cruise to get you your perfect cabin. The best prices are usually released early, so get in quick! As the sail date approaches, prices usually rise.Cruise lines release their best deals early which typically include early-booking bonuses such as free on board credit, free pre or post accommodation and in some cases even free flights. If you need to cruise during specific dates, require a specific cabin or require a balcony, quad or interconnecting cabin, you will need to book at least 6-9 months in advance to ensure cabin availability. Family suites and interconnecting cabins in particular are quickly snapped up.New ships, will always sell well -- even if prices are higher than normal.
My Third tip bit I am going to tell you is how far in advance you should book your cruise. In Australia, the cruise lines release all their specials at the beginning of the year. January and February are therefore known within the industry as “Wave Season”. To ensure availability and choice, book six to 12 months in advance. The ideal time o book a river cruise is 12-15 months in advance, or as soon as rates are released to take advantage of early-bird promotions and pricing. Wave season for River Cruising is February / March and September / October.
I am sure you would like to know what cruise destinations offer the best deals. Right now due to the economic climate in Europe, Western and Eastern Mediterranean cruises are showing amazing value. Best deals are out from late March through to April and again from mid-September to November. Be warned though, these low prices will not last for ever.You may probably have noticed that more and more cruise lines are offering itineraries from Australia. This has led to very competitive pricing, so take advantage of it whilst you can!For Alaska May and September offer great value and for the Caribbean September through to February are the bargain months, barring of course the holidays.The months offering the best value for River Cruising is usually March, April and November through to December but be mindful of the weather during these times.
Often there arevalue adds that are added to the standard cruise such as free upgrades, onboard credits. Make sure you ask your Cruise Consultant if any are available for your chosen cruise. If you have cruised before, make sure you also ask about past passenger discounts.
My 6th tip is how to make last minute cruising work for you. Last minute cruises are typically catagorised as any date beyond a cruise's final payment deadline, which can be between 60 to 90 days before departure. This is because people often put down a deposit to hold their cabin then cancel before the final payment is due.If you can be flexible on your sailing dates and choice of cruise line you can cruise at rock bottom prices. However, you need to be prepared to travel at the drop of a hat.Another consideration is that you will need to pay for your cruise in full when you book.Be aware that there is often a reason why these cThere's a reason -- beyond the fact that kids are still in school -- that these cruises are a better value. Weather can be a factor, causing ship officers to cancel shore excursions or bypass ports.
My final tip is not to get too caught up with getting the cheapest price possible. Make sure the cruise agency that slashed their last minute price didn’t also slash their level of service! When choosing an agency the knowledge and experience of the consultant to correctly process your booking really is worth its weight in gold. Check out the cruise agencies reputation. Their website is an obvious starting point.
Thank you for joining me today. If you would like any further information, I’d love to hear from you.
Getting the best price for your cruise secrets revealed
Travel Agent Secrets RevealedGetting the Best Price for your Cruise –
Tip 1: Learn how to identify the best cruisedealWhencomparingpricesmakesureyouarecomparinglike-for-like.Followthebelowsimplechecklist; Does the price quoted include compulsory Government fees & Port Charges? Are On board Gratuities included? Is the price advertised quad share or twin share (4 v 2 people sharing acabin)? Is the price quoted in Australian dollars? Is the price displayed current & still available for booking?
Tip 2: Know when to book to get your perfect cabinGetthecabinyouwantatthebestpricebyfollowingthesesimplerules• Book early – In general the best prices are released early. As the sail dategets closer, prices are likely to rise.• Grasp the Value-Adds – Cruise lines release their best deals early whichtypically include early-booking bonuses such as free on board credit, free preor post accommodation and in some cases even free flights.• Availability – If you need to cruise during specific dates, require a specificcabin or require a balcony, quad or interconnecting cabin, you will need tobook at least 6-9 months in advance to ensure cabin availability.
Tip 3: Know how far in advance youshouldbookWhendothecruiselinesreleasetheirdeals-followingthesesimplerules• Prime Time– Wave season for Ocean cruising is January – February. Takeadvantage of the cruise lines sales for great deals. To ensure availability andchoice, book six to 12 months in advance.• River Cruises- The ideal time is 12-15 months in advance, or as soon asrates are released to take advantage of early-bird promotions and pricing.Wave season for River Cruising is February / March and September / October.
Tip 4: Where in the World are the best Cruise deals?Readbelowtofindthebestdealstoworldcruisedestinations• Europe – Best deals are out from late March through to April and again from mid-September to November. Europe is currently priced very low, particularly theWestern and Eastern Mediterranean. Prices are expected to rise next year as theEuropean Economic climate improves.• Australia / New Zealand / South Pacific – Prices are very competitive at themoment due to the increased number of ships in our waters. Prices will rise towardsthe end of the year, so book as soon as possible for local cruising.• Alaska -soft periods include May and September (Jun-Aug – Peak).• Caribbean - standard bargain times include the Northern Hemisphere Autumnmonths (unpredictable weather), non-holiday portions of November andDecember, and January and February (barring holiday weekends). Last-minutedeals are also prevalent at these times.• River Cruises – Low season, which offers the best value is usually March, April andNovember through to December.
Tip 5: Work the DiscountsAskaboutvalueadds• Value Adds – In addition to looking for discounts off fares, learn to take advantageof value adds such as free upgrades, on board credits etc. Some cruise lines offeradditional add-ons such as free drinks packages or discounted packages.• Discounts – If you are a senior or a member of a past passenger club ask aboutspecific discounts. Past Passenger Cruise clubs offers some great discounts forreturning passengers.
Tip 6: Make Last Minute Cruising work for youFindouthowtogetthebestdealoncruisingbyfollowingthesesimplerules• Be Flexible– By being flexible with your choice of dates, cruise line and/orcabin category, you can take advantage of the best last minute cruise fares (orPack N’Go fares as they are often referred to in Australia).• Be Prepared – The best value departures could be within the week, so makesure you have a valid passport and be ready to pack your bags and go!• Be Cash Ready – Cruise lines will require payment in full for last minutedepartures. Make sure you have your total payment ready to lock in the bestdeal.
Tip 7: Price isn’t everythingDon’tgetcaughtinthepricetrap• Service –Realize there is more to your cruise experience than just theabsolute cheapest price. Make sure the cruise agency that slashedtheir last minute price didn’t also slash their level of service! Whenchoosing an agency the knowledge and experience of the consultant tocorrectly process your booking is worth its weight in gold.• Reputation– There are many cruise agencies on the web. Check outwho you are dealing with. Are they a reputable company? Have theygot industry recognition?• Don’t get caught out– Make sure you check out the deals advertisedcarefully. Is the cabin at the advertising price available, or is it simply ahook to get you to call in. In Australia, it is a legal requirement to displaythe full price (fully inclusive of pre-paid gratuities, port charges andgovernment taxes.
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