Those new to cruise vacations are often impressed by the extraordinary value they find on board any ship of any cruise line. That initial comparison to other modes of travel experienced in the past is easy to make. On land, they pay for transportation from place to place, accommodations at each destination as well as dining, entertainment and more.
Your Best Cruise Value
At sea or on a river, much of that is included and they like it. But it does not take long after that first cruise for the first-timer to become an armchair expert, charged with finding the best deal on the next cruise. In a way, it’s the down side of the intense experience a cruise vacation provides, and one that savvy cruise travelers move beyond in a hurry, focusing on the bigger picture.
When travelers buy into the experience being provided by the cruise line, from start to finish, they come back a bit different, changed, refreshed or any number of positive outcomes. As Princess Cruises puts it so aptly, they “come back new”. They like that feeling and want to do it again. They might be on a short, inexpensive weekend cruise, priced at just a few $hundred. They might be on a long, luxury sailing priced more than a new car. Regardless, they like it, want more and through the cruise experience have been enabled to think outside the box to feed their new addiction.
It’s Only Natural To Compare Prices
Naturally, they turn to price comparison, as though they were buying a flight from point A to point B. In the case of an airline ticket, if the flight takes us where we want to go, when we want to be there and at the right price, we’re done. Buying a cruise vacation is much more complicated, with a greater number of variables, all worthy of consideration. What’s more, our selection on any of these variables can have a huge impact on our experience.
Consider The Total Price And What Comes With It
This is so very simple that it is unbelievable how many otherwise savvy cruise travel buyers don’t get it. If the total price of a cruise is $500 per person, paying $550 per person is a better value if it comes with $100 onboard credit, money to spend on the ship that they would have spent anyway.
Travel agents know that most claims of a cruise for $199 do not represent the total price, are good on a select number of sailings and/or have sold out by the time we want to book them. Still, the attention-grabbing low price is indeed a good place to start, if for no other reason than to rule out cruise lines that exaggerate advertising claims.
Don’t Fall Asleep On The Job
Travelers who are truly effective at getting the very best value consider the initial booking just the start of the process, not the end. They continue to check pricing, watch for deals, discounts and promotions that will reduce the price OR increase the value. Celebrity Cruises 123Go promotion is an excellent example of this.
With the Celebrity Cruises 123Go promotion, buyers choose from a generous amount of onboard credit, prepaid gratuities or a beverage package, all choices that add real value. Anyone who has an existing booking on a similar cruise line, itinerary or time of the year as one offered by Celebrity should be comparing what they have to what Celebrity is offering.
Use A Travel Agent Who Is Responsive To You
If we are doing our homework and continuing to look for the best value, here is where having a good travel agent on our side pays off. They can make sense of complicated pricing, sort through the fine print and bring real value to the booking that we cannot get ourselves booking online or via the cruise line.
I guarantee you that no cruise line is going to call and tell you that a lower price or better value is available via a new promotion, offer or special pricing. It absolutely will not happen. The primary responsibility for insuring the best value rests with us, the traveler. Still, having a travel professional on our side, one who is responsive to our phone calls, emails or texts, is critical.