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How To Plan Your Luxury Cruise And Get The Best Deal

2007 words - 9 pages

The ultimate travel experience can only be made better with careful planning. By paying attention to details from the start, you can customize your vacation and save money, too. First, decide on your destination. Do you want to go to the Bahamas and swim with the dolphins, tour a coffee plantation in Esmeraldas, or attend a wine tasting in France? Or, perhaps you want to go all out and take a world cruise? You can go around the world not in 180 days… but would you believe 105?

How many days would you like for your cruise to last? There are short, two day cruises, and the more common four, seven, and eleven day trips as well as the around the world extravaganza. Decide what your travel ...view middle of the document...

To help narrow down your search, look for any web sites that offer reviews on the different cruise lines. Often, the thoughts and experiences of other travelers can help you immensely in making up your mind which cruise line will best fit your lifestyle and the budget you have decided on.

If you think you would like to experience a cruise where you would be immersed in programs, lectures, activities and entertainment which pertain to many hobbies, sports, music, health, history and a host of other topics, you may want to check out theme cruises, which will be covered in greater depth later in this book. Also, a type of cruise called a “repositioning” cruise could save you quite a bit of money. Cruise lines need to move their ships from Alaska and Europe to the more temperate waters of the Caribbean in the fall of each year, and then move them back in the spring of the next year. You should also be able to find this same type of trip from the United States to South America via the Caribbean, the Pacific, or the Indian Oceans. The cruise lines would prefer not to sail the ships empty, so they really discount these trips. If you don’t mind spending a lot of time onboard (these cruises typically last anywhere from 9 to 18 days) instead of having the days in port that most cruises offer, and also realize that you may well spend more money in the shopping areas, casinos, and bars when you are on the ship for a long stretch of time, then this could be a good choice for you. The Internet is a good place to check out repositioning cruise specials.

There are several ways you can save money on other types of cruises. One good way is to take advantage of empty cabins on the ship. When you go to a cruise line’s web site, check to see if you can locate a chart which lays out a floor plan of the ship and its cabins for, say, the next six months. If you see a lot of unsold cabins for an itinerary, and the trip starts within the next few weeks, there is a good chance that the company is already offering discounts on that itinerary, or will discount the trip very soon. Especially after September 11, 2001, it is sometimes difficult for the bigger ships to sell out a trip.

If you are able to travel on short notice, do a web search for “last minute cruise bargains”. These will be cruises that will be leaving within the next couple of weeks, and the cruise lines will probably be scrambling to fill as many cabins as they can. You can get an excellent price this way. It isn’t at all unusual to find prices that have been discounted 50%, and sometimes, even more. You must be flexible with this type of cruise, both with your schedule and with your onboard accommodations, as you might get assigned to a cabin that isn’t necessarily one you would have chosen yourself. But really…. how much time are you going to spend in your cabin, except for bathing, dressing, and sleeping? It is well worth having a smaller, windowless cabin in exchange for a really cheap rate!...

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