Two-for-one Pricing, Kids Sail Free, Early Booking Offers and Other Incentives Add Value on Top of Value
Fort Lauderdale, FL — January 28, 2009 — Even in the best of times, cruises represent outstanding value; in fact, consumer and travel agent surveys consistently cite value for money spent as the number one reason to take a cruise. Today, when budgets are tight, value is even more important. Factor in the money-saving offers currently available from the member lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and there is only one conclusion to be made: there has never been a better time to take a cruise vacation.
Cruise value begins with inclusive cruise pricing that typically covers accommodations, meals, entertainment, use of many of the ship’s recreational facilities and travel from destination to destination – sometimes as many as six during a one week cruise. Whatever else the traveler spends is optional and easily budgeted for in advance. But other factors also contribute to the value of a cruise.
Cruise vacations are available in every length, on ships of every size, in every part of the world – and in every price category. Cruise passengers pack and unpack once during their vacation and have no worries about catching planes and trains, or finding the right hotels or restaurants, or the need to communicate in languages they do not understand. The value of ease and comfort of travel may not be easily quantifiable but for many travelers it ranks right up there with price.
What all this adds up to is that there is a cruise for every budget, taste, interest and time schedule. And, with almost 30 ports of embarkation here in the U.S., millions of travelers can even drive to their ship, thus saving the cost and inconvenience of flying.
These are some of the reasons why a cruise adds up to great value. Now, there are more: CLIA member cruise lines have just announced special recession-busting offers that make cruising truly irresistible. Here is a sampling:
- AMAWATERWAYS: Free airfare from the U.S. for nine European river cruise departures during April.
- American Cruise Lines: An Early Bird savings program offers $400 per stateroom when reservations made three months in advance.
- Azamara Cruises: Low fares and 50 percent reduction in deposits.
- Carnival Cruise Lines: An Early Saver program offering as much as 25 percent off on bookings made up to three months prior to sailing for cruises of five days or less and up to five months prior to longer sailings, including rate protection in case rates later drop further.
- Celebrity Cruises: Low fares and 50 percent reduction in deposits.
- Costa Cruises: Free upgrades, up to $200 onboard credits per cabin, Kids Sail Free specials and 60% savings on Europe 2009 sailings with its "So Much More Amore" promotion.
- Crystal Cruises: Up to $1,500 in savings on Mediterranean and Baltic cruises and up to 50 percent off on “Value Collection” cruise departures; in addition, guests who book most 2009 voyages by March 31 receive 20 percent off most sailings in 2010. Crystal also offers free one-way airfare for spring Panama Canal cruises, free air upgrades with most Europe cruises, and a “Crystal Family Memories Program” featuring one complimentary berth for every 10 full-fare berths. The line also features deposit reductions, relaxing of cancellation policies, and further savings on bookings 180 days in advance.
- Cunard Line: Transatlantic Crossings on Queen Mary 2 start at $795 per person, double occupancy. In addition, starting with Queen Mary 2's April 26 Transatlantic voyage, guests can book a Queens Grill suite for the price of a Princess Grill suite when traveling on a six-day Crossing (subject to availability). Fares start from $3,545.00 per person, based on double occupancy.
- Disney Cruise Line: Guests 12 and under sail free on most three-night voyages aboard the Disney Wonder from March 12 through May 28.
- Holland America Line: A Vacation Stimulus Plan featuring low fares, 50 percent reduction on deposits and cruise tours; and 25 percent savings on the standard cancellation protection plan.
- Hurtigruten: Two for one pricing on selected voyages, free upgrades, senior discounts, and a layaway payment plan.
- MSC Cruises: Kids 17 and under sail free on all MSC Cruises when sharing a cabin with two full-fare adults; A “Suite Deal” features savings of almost 50 percent on selected MSC Lirica 10-night Caribbean itineraries; savings of up to 50 percent for Baby Boomers and seniors on Caribbean sailings; “Senior Saver” rates of more than 60 percent off for European itineraries; and free balcony upgrades on selected European cruises.
- Norwegian Cruise Line: Families who book a cruise from February 2 through March 15, 2009 on any sailing can take their kids for as low as $99 each, and also receive up to $250 in on-board credit.
- Oceania Cruises: A 5th Anniversary Celebration of Savings features up to 72 percent off on selected 2009 European and 2010 Winter Season voyages as well as price reductions, shipboard credits, free air, two-for-one cruises and free prepaid gratuities on selected 2009-2010 winter cruises. Other savings include 25 percent single supplements and 50 percent reductions for third and fourth passengers in a cabin.
- Princess Cruises: “Balcony Bonanza” offers a balcony for the price of an oceanview stateroom – representing a savings of up to $1,200 per cabin. The Balcony Bonanza promotion applies to bookings made through February 28, 2009 on most 2009 summer sailings to Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean.
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Ultra-Inclusive voyages featuring free air, two for one fares and free shore excursions.
- Royal Caribbean International: $200 onboard credit for Alaska cruisetours, $300 onboard credit for Europe cruisetours, low fares, and 50 percent reduction in deposits.
- Seabourn Cruise Line: “Inaugural Celebration Savings” of $1,000 per suite on top of early booking savings of up to 50 percent on all seven-day Mediterranean cruises in 2009; “Inaugural Celebration Savings” of $1,500 per suite plus early booking savings of up to 45 percent on northern Europe/Scandinavia cruises; and a “Between Friends” savings of $1,500 in shore arrangements per couple for guests who book three suites.
- SeaDream Yacht Club: A “Cancel for any Reason” policy with no cancellation fees.
- Silversea Cruises: For 2009, there is an early booking incentive featuring discounts of up to 30 percent, plus an additional 5 percent in Advance Payment Bonus for those who pay in full six months prior to sailing; For 2010 voyages the early booking incentive climbs to as much as 35 percent, with an additional 15 percent for payments made one year prior to sailing.
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: A "Pay-In-Full" (by January 31, 2009) savings of up to $2,000 per couple on European itineraries; $600 savings per couple for booking and depositing by January 31; 2 for 1 air offers for all Europe, Russia, and Egypt river cruises departing in 2009; no single supplements for a variety of European itineraries; two for one pricing on 32-day Paris & Grand European Waterways itinerary.
- Windstar Cruises: 50 percent reduction in cruise deposits on all new bookings through February 28 for 2009 sailings; up to 50 percent savings on selected 2009 European sailings; and a family offer featuring a 50 percent reduction on the purchase of a second cabin.
For more information about the latest special offers from CLIA member cruise lines and to find a CLIA travel agent near you, visit www.cruising.org