Cruise Discounts - Tips to Find a Value Priced Cruise
Value pricing and discount pricing can be two very different entities. When shopping for many items we look for the best ‘deal’ or discount. These offers may not, however, be the best value. Shopping for cruise discounts is no different.
Finding a ‘hot’ price for a cruise vacation with an itinerary that does not interest you is no bargain. Likewise, a great cruise discount on an older cruise ship is no deal if you are expecting one of the new floating resort-hotels (called cruise ships).
We have identified six different ways to find a value priced cruise vacation. One or more is sure to work for you.
This type of discount is available from most cruise lines and for most itineraries. If you book before a predetermined date, cruise lines offer a special discount price for your vacation. Now these discounts may not be the 'best prices' you can get but by booking early you will most often get the cruise you want, on the cruise ship you desire, the itinerary of interest, and in the stateroom or suite of your choice. All of these items combined can make this type of vacation discount the very best value for your cruise. You may think that if you wait, with the cruise ships being so large these days, you can get exactly what you want. Be forewarned! Cruises do sell out… even on the ‘Mega-ships’.
This is by far the riskiest discount to plan on – unless you have no specific parameters in mind for your vacation. If your preferred cruise sells out, you're stuck without that cruise vacation. If you would prefer a balcony stateroom, all that may be available at the time could be inside rooms. However, having said all of that, these discounts can at times provide some of the very best pricing. So if you are flexible in itinerary, cruise ship, vacation date, and stateroom preference, perhaps this is your best bet.
If you can generate some interest in your planned cruise vacation with others, you could qualify for a 'group rate'. Not all cruise lines would offer this - or any other – discount, but it is certainly worth pursuing. The rates again may not be as low as for a last minute cruise discount but you can get in early enough to ensure that you get your preferences listed above.
Should your vacation schedule fall into one of the 'low seasons' for cruise vacations, you would be in luck. In the Caribbean for example, the so-called 'Hurricane season' provides many great cruise rates for potential passengers. Now I know that 'summer season' is a better name for it from a marketing standpoint but we may as well call it like it is. Keep in mind that on a cruise, should a major storm happen, cruise ships can divert to calmer waters. Today's cruise ships can out-run storms if needed as well. If you were to be in a resort on a land-based vacation, you would have no choice but to flee the island or take cover.
Value Added Cruise
This type of 'discount' does not change the price of the cruise itself. It does however offer guests specials, additions and 'perks'. One such added value could be stateroom upgrades - you pay for a certain category of stateroom and the cruise line automatically bumps you up into the next category. Another common value-added feature is an on-board credit. In this case, the cruise line adds a credit to your stateroom account that can be used while on your vacation. Other perks can include free
logo-wear or a free bottle of wine in your stateroom etc.
For first-time cruisers, this type of discount will be un-attainable. But if you cruise again on the same cruise line, you may be offered specials that you may find attractive. These could include special rates, free upgrades and on-board credits as detailed above.
In some cases, you may be offered a couple of the savings, discounts, or upgrades listed above for a specific cruise. I never hurts to ask. The worst that can happen is that you are told that there are no perks or discounts available. The best that could happen is that you are offered a stateroom upgrade with and on-board credit and a complimentary bottle of wine in your stateroom for a discount price!
Whether you take advantage of any of the possible discounts available for cruise vacations, one thing is certain. A cruise aboard one of the magnificent cruise ships will be an experience to cherish!
Brian A Schmidt is author and web publisher of www.a1-discount-cruises.com your #1 source for cruise information and great discounts.
Contact Brian at email@example.com.