The Travel Factory Blog
Plan A Cruise Month
The month of October has typically been designated by the Cruise Lines International Association as “Plan A Cruise Month”. My opinion is that anytime is a good time to plan a cruise, but I can certainly understand why October is such a good time to start those plans.
The cruise lines begin their next year promotions this month, and there are some good ones out there. They entice you with reduced deposits and on-board-credit. Some deposits we have made this month are only $50 a person. One cruise line this month is offering to cover your gratuities for the week which amount to around $105 a person. One of the more popular amenities that they offer is the all-inclusive beverage package, and on some lines that might amount to way over $200 a person.
One cruise line currently has a list of four amenities and the guest can choose two of them: the all-inclusive beverage package, dining at 3 specialty dining rooms, 250 minutes of WiFi, or $50 credit per cabin for shore excursions at each port. One of the things that is not mentioned, or is in small print, is that if you choose the beverage package, you still have to pay the gratuity cost of $138.60 each. Another hiccup is if you choose the specialty dining option, then you would have to pay the $18.80 per person gratuity. So you could say “it's sorta free”!!
Another consideration is that they reduce the base rate during this month, sometimes as much as $200-$300, so it is a good time to be making those cruise vacation decisions.
It is a good time too to consider cruising the Caribbean. The hurricane damage to some of the islands has been quickly repaired and most of the islands that the cruise lines visit are open for business and begging for those island shoppers to show up again.
In planning for a time to go cruising, one needs to take into consideration when to go. Some with families want to go during holiday time or Spring Break. The cruise lines know that those specific dates are going to be very busy anyway, so they don't have to reduce the base rate on any of those weeks. In fact, every year, cruising during Christmas and New Year are considered the most expensive times of the year.
It's been our experience that the fall of the year is going to be the least expensive time, and the primary reason is because that is the hurricane season. It is a hassle if you've chosen to go then and a hurricane appears, but I've always had the notion that the captain and his staff does not like to cruise into a hurricane any more than you do, so they take an alternate route. Or as has happened over the years, if that hurricane is threatening the port from which you are departing and returning, the cruise line's main concern is the safety of their passengers, so they will cancel the trip and give you a refund. It is disappointing, but it's better than taking a chance against one of those killer storms.
Viking Ocean Cruises also has a neat incentive this month. If you book an ocean cruise with them for next year, traditionally you had to pay in full even up to a year in advance. This months incentive is that once deposited, you don't have to pay until 6 months before departure. Heck of a promotional incentive for them!!!
Let me encourage you to allow the experienced travel counselors at The Travel Factory help you navigate the very best option for you and your family, so call us at 698-1421 or come by for that important visit at 4150 Southwest Drive. In my opinion, cruising is the best vacation you can take!!!