Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Get the Best Cruise Vacation Deal

Make it happen

Have you always wanted to do something, but then never pursued it?  Maybe it stayed in your mind and eventually became a vanishing thought. 

I’m working on a postcard campaign (Yes. Snail mail.) for a big band riverboat cruise, on the Mississippi River.  I researched, received the information, and then it sat on my desk because I didn't know which way to go.  A couple of days later and a follow up call, I had a team together to execute the campaign. I could have designed the postcard myself and it would have been time consuming and costly.  In working with people who know what they are doing, I now have a top notch, cost-effective, professional piece!

Have you always wanted to take a cruise?  Here are some ways to get the best value to make it happen.

Should I wait to book my cruise?

Well that depends on you. Do you have the luxury of traveling at the last minute? If not, contact your local cruise agent and book well in advance. This will assure you the best cabin at the best rate available. That doesn’t mean the cruise rate won’t change (I've seen rates increase after bookings.), but if you are dealing with a good agent, they will guarantee to change your rate if the cruise line adjusts the prices prior to final payment.

When is the best time to travel?

If you are traveling to any exotic port, there are usually softer booking periods in which pricing can be hundreds of dollars lower. For example, if you are sailing to Alaska – book in May or September and your savings will be substantial. Caribbean is dirt cheap in the fall – it’s so inexpensive, it’s almost free. Well, maybe not, but it can be less than $100 dollars per day which is cheaper than staying home. Again, choose a reputable, knowledgeable agent who can guide you to these savings.

How do I find the best cruise deals?

Ask your travel agent if they send out weekly specials. Most competent agents send out a weekly e-mail promotion. This will give you a heads up when they have special cruise deals. In other words, agents regularly have access to cruise line promotions that include: shipboard credit, cabin category upgrades, reduced payment deposits, coupon booklets for onboard savings, and even free gratuities. But you will miss the deal, if you don’t know about it. 

Create memories and not regrets.

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