Cruise Lines generally finalize their ship itineraries from 12 to 18 months before sailing day and the earlier you book a better chance you have for the "early booking discounts".Another way to get a reasonable discount is a "last minute booking". The risk here is that your choices of itineraries will be limited as well as ship and cabin choices.Cruise lines often have a lot of cancellations just prior to the start of their penalty period. If significant enough, the cruise line will likely offer an unannounced fire sale for a day or two to try and fill the space.If you request a specific date, dont get upset when you hear the price. Check the price a week earlier or later and you may save several hundred dollars. Find a way to adjust your schedule.A good travel agent should be asking you for the necessary information to get the best deal from the cruise line. The lines are always running specials for particular groups and particular time frames. Discounts are often available for teachers, honeymooners, family reunions, seniors, frequent cruisers, groups and military personnel.Large discount agencies will often make a significant investment in booking Group Space on a particular cruise. This means they have a lower price locked in, while an individual booking may be higher by hundreds of dollars.You will Never Pay Brochure Price. Cruise lines all issue gorgeous, glossy brochures with "sample" pricing but consider those prices to be about as accurate as those per-day hotel rates posted on the back of your room's door.Cruise lines have adapted to Homeland (Homeport) Cruising from ports in cities all along the U.S. coastline. This includes itineraries that sail to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Mexican Riviera, Canada and New England, and Alaska. No need to tack on the cost of an airline ticket to more traditional send-off port cities, like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and San Juan, when you can take a train, a bus or your car.Surf the Web Before you Book to gather information or you can act as your own "travel agent" , from selecting a cabin to booking a cruise. The internet is a great place to shop around and gather tips.Use your Frequent Flyer Miles to pay for your airfare when traveling a great distance to the ship. It is risky but if you arrive a day early, you probably wont miss your ships sailing.There are Cruises available in all price ranges, from budget to luxury and all represent perhaps the best value for your vacation dollar.When traveling with a family, you might consider two regular cabins instead of a Suite for all family members.Last minute sailings are a thing of the past. Because of heightened security since Sept. 11, 2001, it is no longer possible to stand by on sailing day. Most lines now require at least 48 hours lead time for bookings, but these days, a week or two in advance of sailing is regarded as last-minute. Check the Web sites of cruise lines and cruise-line booking agencies, which often have space available for flexible travelers. The plus/minus: You may get a good price, but the most desirable cabins may be booked.Ask for a Category Guarantee booking. This means that you can purchase the specific cabin category on the ship but a stateroom will not be assigned immediately. You will find out the stateroom number at the pier or in advance. You will never receive a cabin in a category less than the category booked and there is a chance for an upgrade to a higher category which means a better cabin at no additional cost.At specific times during the year you will find great deals. The end of August through to Thanksgiving, when school is back in season will be less expensive. But it is also the time when there will be more children on board. The sailings just before Christmas, but not over the holidays and early January, right after the holidays are always a bargain.For Alaska, the early and late season months of May, early June, and September offers the biggest savings. If you travel during these book end periods it's often possible to pay half of what you'd pay for an equivalent cruise in July or August.All the "cruise lines" will be running EXTRA SPECIAL discounts during these periods.One-way REPOSITIONING CRUISES are excellent values, when ships move to new bases. These occur twice a year: In spring, ships relocate from Florida and the Caribbean to Europe and Alaska. In fall, they move in the reverse direction. Most voyages run 14 to 17 days. Keep in mind that there will be fewer ports of call and more sea days on repositioning cruises.Cruise agencies will often book blocks of cabins from the cruise lines called Group Bookings. An agent that has one of those blocks for your sailing date can give you a better rate than one that does not. This explains the public appearance of disparity in rates for the same cruise among Travel Agents. No matter how good of a price you have gotten on your cruise, ask to be put on the upgrade list. Give them a good reason, such as checking out the ship for a future family reunion.Cruise Auctions should be investigated. Do your homework. Of course eBay Cruise Auctions is the auction GIANT but you should consider skyauction.com also. Now that you know how to get the best price on your cruise, Set Sail!Copyright 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.
The arrival of a new year always inspires optimism and excitement. The struggles or concerns of the previous year can be washed away and hope can be renewed as the calendar turns and all dreams become possible once more. One reason New Year's Eve is such an endearing holiday is that there is a sense of fellowship and belief in the air, the idea that one journey is over and an exciting new one is set to begin.Don't leave such a crucial day of the year to chance: Spend your New Year's Eve on a beautiful, luxurious yacht, cruising around New York. Leave the music to the experts and get your groove on all night long. Arrange for the catering of sumptuous food and an open bar to keep the party going the right way and say goodbye to the previous year in impressive fashion. Stroll the outside decks under the stars while you check out the Big Apple landmarks that drift past. Cast your worries to the wind as you let fully licensed and accredited captains pilot the yacht with confidence and ease.Ring in the new year in a memorable, dramatic way. You'll have a host of great photo opportunities, all the amenities you could ever need, a group of wonderful friends, an inviting dance floor all you would want to ensure a successful party that you will never want to end.Marco Polo Cruises has been the premier yacht charter company throughout New York and New Jersey for 15 years. We work with your schedule, group size, preferences, tastes and budget to design a cruise that will match all your expectations. You can set your own cruise time without worrying about the weather; our enclosed boats protect against any type of inclement weather.Look around our site to familiarize yourself with our offerings. Contact Marco Polo Cruises at 1-212-691-6693 for further information.
Taking a luxury cruise vacation throughout Europe offers a unique travel experience that will not be forgotten soon. In fact, you are likely to be drawn to embarking on even more cruises aboard the luxury liners that glide effortlessly across the high seas.Cruising above the surface of the ocean waters aboard a luxury ship enhances the value of your vacation by offering you amenities that are not usually found with other vacationing options. Doesnt the chance to see brilliantly-colored sunrises and sunsets without the usual blockage of city skylines sound appealing? How about the opportunity to truly relax, as you listen to the comforting sounds of the rolling ocean waters?A cruise offers you this and so much more for your vacationing experience. Sailing the seas aboard a luxury liner is a no-hassle way for travelers to see the different ports of the world. Let the Captain and crew worry about navigating to different areas of interest while you spend your valuable time exploring the different cultures found at each new port along the way.Luxury cruises provide a wide-range of services that appeal to the variety of tastes and interests among its passengers. Everything from taking it easy poolside, experiencing the exhilaration of sighting a pod of whales, taking advantage of all of the onboard entertainment and activities available, delighting the palette with delicious, fine cuisines, to exploring interesting and spectacular destinations.European cruising vacations are appealing to a vast number of people because of the many interesting destinations available for exploration by travelers. There are a number of different "luxury cruise" liners, with itineraries to meet the specific needs and interests of vacationers. The internet provides a wealth of information about the different cruise lines, destinations, and package deals can even be found to help make planning your European cruise vacation easy and most affordable.
Why Take a Cruise Vacation? Well, with all the cruise lines available, all the cruise destinations, and the range of prices, there exists a cruise to please even the most jaded traveler.If you think about it, it's an extremely cost-effective and time-efficient way to take a holiday. Consider all the time you'd spend driving yourself to several different destinations, packing and unpacking at each hotel, and searching for restaurants and other services. On a cruise you dont drive anywhere for seven, ten, fourteen days or even even more. Even if you were on a bus tour with no driving yourself, you haul your luggage or at least one package and unpack it at every new stop. On a cruise, you check your luggage when you check in and it magically appears in your cabin, stateroom, or even suite. You're at home for the duration of the cruise. And the food! Every ship has several restuarants staffed by world-class chefs, and the cost of the food is included as part of the cruise. At each port, guided tours are available so you won't miss any local attractions. Supervised activities such as snorkeling are available to keep the children occupied. And at the end of your holidy staff will pick up your luggage and place it on shore at the intended pick-up point. Taking a cruise vacation frees you from so many of the hassles of traveling, and leaves you with more time to relax and enjoy your destination.Celebrity Cruise Lines offer some of the best deals in the business. Conde Nast Traveler consistently rates Celebrity Cruises as one of the world's best cruise lines. Services include informative lectures about your location, upscale boutiques, and Las Vegas style entertainment created for Celebrity by Cirque du Soleil. Try your luck in the Casino or collect fine art during an onboad auction. The nightlife spectacular at The Bar At The Edge of the Earth.There's a whole world of pampering waiting for you at the world-famous Aqua-Spa by Elemis. Try a deluxe manicure, a luxurious facial or a relaxing massage. There is even acupuncture by a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese medicine as well. You'll feel renewed and invigorated.Children feel right at home on a Celebrity Cruise. The Celebrity X-Club Youth Program has age-specific activities and entertainment for every child. Science and nature exploration, talent shows, treasure hunts, children's dinner parties, slumber parties and more are all arranged by professional staff. Special areas of the ship are set aside for children only, such as the Shipmates Fun Factory, teen center and pools. When the ship is docked, adults have the option of going on tours by themselves while the children are supervised onboard. What could be more enjoyable or safer?Age or disability are no impediment to cruising. Ships are designed for mobility-impaired passengers, and staff is always ready to assist. Celebrity accommodates those who need dialysis or oxygen, and other medical services can be arranged if requested beforehand. Emergency care is always available on board, saving you the trouble of finding a doctor who speaks your language in a foreign country.Dinner is a vital event in itself on a cruise ship, a tradition dating back to the late 1800s when cruises were for royalty and the wealthy who expected elegant formal dinners. Again, in todays lifestyle the elegant dinner is optional, and for those who like to dine casually, food is available around the clock . However, for those who like a ritzy event where they can show off their best attire and jewelry, there are optional formal dinners where ladies wear long formal gowns or evening dresses and gentlemen have on tuxedos.Did I forget to mention the cruise destination itself? Celebrity Cruises dock at a different port of call every day or two, depending upon distances and sailing time between points of interest. You can stay aboard the ship all day or disembark. You are free to explore every destination on your itinerary as long as you return to the ship before departure time.For a small additional fee, Celebrity offers adventures geared toward the unique features of each destination. As an example, Caribbean cruises offer snorkeling, diving or beach excursions while Alaskan cruises offer helicopter tours or sea kayak trips. For the less adventuresome, commonly there are bus tours or even supervised shopping excursions in the local port. Every single thing, including meals, is prearranged. All you have to do is find the correct line onshore and an experienced guide handles the rest of your tour.
If you are cruising for the first time congratulations! You are in for a unique, worthwhile experience. As a newbie, though, you probably have questions about some of the dos and donts of traveling aboard a cruise ship. Luckily, there are many die-hard cruisers who are happy to share some tips to make your first time more rewarding. Before You Leave Home: Have a friend or neighbour take in your mail daily. Accumulating mail is a big sign to thieves and other troublemakers that no one is home. You could also have your mail held at the post office until you return. Set your lights on timers so that it appears someone is home to deter troublemakers. Tell your neighborhood community patrol to make a few extra passes by your home while you are away. Preprint labels and stamps if you plan to mail postcards out while you are on your cruise. This saves some time and you wont have to lug around an awkward address book. Money Matters: Stock up on travelers checks since they are replaceable if lost or stolen. To expedite the replacements should your travelers checks be lost or stolen, write down the serial numbers and put them in a safe and separate place. That way, it makes the banks job a little easier and speed up the process for your replacements. Keep a handy supply of small denominational bills, usually ones and fives. Tipping is appreciated for porters and stewards at both the airport and docking pier of the ship. This is especially important in foreign countries. Horror stories abound about stolen or lost bags that never make it to the ship. Sometimes, you have got to grease their palms with cash. Its a small price to pay for having your clothing and toiletries aboard for your cruise. To avoid long lines at the end of your cruise, check out your ending invoice on your account. Check for any errors and resolve them as soon as possible. There is no sense adding the stress of standing in line to pay your final tab after you just had a relaxing vacation. Take a few rubber bands with you to wrap around your wallet. The rubber will grab onto your clothing. This makes it very difficult for a pickpocket to part with your wallet without you feeling it. Kid Stuff: If you are traveling with babies or toddlers, paper throwaway bibs are perfect for protecting your child from stains and messes at meal times, thus prolonging the wear of their clothing. Bring a collapsible stroller for your young child. The cruise ship is a happening place and before long you will hear the strains of Im tired! Carry me! This is exhausting to parents. With a stroller, you can just pop your kid inside and roll on. Pack a few portable, self contained snacks for your child like peanut butter or cheese crackers. These will come in handy and are much cheaper than buying some once you are cruising or at port. Odds and Ends: Throw inside your suitcase a few of those annoying plastic shopping bags that you usually get from the grocery store. These are handy for storing dirty clothing. If you have an inside cabin, take a nightlight with you. Darkness is not fun when you are in a strange room. No sense running into walls or stubbing your toe if you can avoid it. Little maglight keychain flash lights are handy too. Bring a little first aid kits for those minor emergencies. Wet wipes are handy too for those instance were a sink isnt handy. There are literally hundreds of cruise tips that can save the sanity of newbie travelers. Think of those little shortcuts or ideas that you use at home. Decide if they are adaptable to the cruise ship. The less you have to worry about, the more relaxed you will be after your cruise.