Sunday, March 14, 2010

CRUISE LINES ANNOUNCE PRICE HIKES AND 2011 ITINERARIES

Upscale line Regent Seven Seas is the latest to announce upcoming rate hikes. After March 31, prices will increase on many of the line’s voyages, although the free air offer and free unlimited shore excursions offer may still be available. Azamara’s 2-for-1 savings and $500 onboard credit offer will also expire the end of this month.

 
RSSC’s announcement follows on the heels of similar notices from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Carnival. That should tell you that cruise bookings are going very well, thank you very much, and ships are beginning to fill. Get those vacations booked now!

 
We’re also seeing the first of 2011-12 itineraries opening up now. NCL, Princess, and Oceania just announced Europe itineraries. Capacity is expanding in that region, too. Royal Caribbean, Princess, and NCL will all send more ships to Europe in 2011, with more ports of all and overnight stays—music to many a traveler’s ears. Alaska isn’t gaining any more ships, however, so plan to book that Alaska cruise as early as possible. Fewer ships mean fewer berths—and prices increase as ships fill.

 
As a matter of fact, this is a great time in general to get your 2011 vacation on the books! Remember, unless you’re booking under Carnival’s Early Saver Fare with its nonrefundable deposit (but at a big savings), your cruise deposit will be fully refundable if your plans change. We can move you to a different date or cancel you completely.

 
Please don’t buy into the notion that you’ll get a better deal by waiting until the “last minute.” Does that work occasionally? Yes, if you live near the departure port, keep a flexible schedule, and aren’t picky about cabin choice or location.

 
The risks?
  • Cabin choices relegated to leftovers at the very front or back of the ship or near a noisy location
  • Dining choice relegated to late (after 8 pm), when you prefer to dine early (around 6)
  • Higher priced airfare to your embarkation port
  • Prices were actually much cheaper 9 months out!

Four weeks from today, Ben and I will be on our way to Portugal for our AMAWATERWAYS river cruise. Watch for live blogs coming your way!

 

 

 

1 comment:

rosamund said...

Increasing popularity of the cruise vacations leaded to the increase in the price and there are some destination which are not yet that much in demand that are left as it is.
europe cruises