Understanding Luxury Cruise Discounts
Learn about Cruise Discounts
It is one of those awkward subjects that seems to be a topic for discussion on every cruise. What discount did you get and from who? When it comes to pricing, cruise company promotions are becoming more and more inventive; everything from Wave Promotions each year, 123 choices, ‘One Week Sales’ and discounts to celebrate something or other.
The reason is simple. Cruise lines need to keep their occupancy rates up and fill their ships. For customers, this is a good thing. So make the most of it and play the game… We do and you too will be amazed how much you can save.
Price is always a sensitive issue and we as customers need to stay alert to the offers that are around even after your cruise is booked as sometimes prices can move downwards. This happens when the cruise lines occupancy rates are too low.
The old concept of leaving your booking to the last minute to get the best deal has really had its day particularly in the Luxury Cruise market.
It is nearly always better to book early to ensure you get the stateroom or suite that you want. Your travel agent is best placed to get the right deal for you.
The best cruises sell out early. Don’t get us wrong, there are sometimes good last minutes deal to be had, but you might wind up with a lesser stateroom suite and end up spending more money than if you had booked early.
That said, there are deals or discounts to be found. Alongside the cruise lines most travel agents will offer small discounts and offer other incentives to win your business.
Repeat Guest Discounts
It is quite normal for Cruise Lines to reward Past Guests with additional discounts for sailing with them. This works well and your travel agent can help with this. Also rewarding the repeat guest is a system of “Future Cruise Credits” which may be purchased whilst onboard your cruise. For a small deposit which counts towards your cruise deposit, you get a discount, typically 5% off a cruise booked within 3 years. Seabourn operate such a scheme and it pays dividends for the regular Seabourn cruiser. Silversea Cruises has their “Venetian Society” savings for past guests on selected voyages. Other Luxury Cruise lines also operate similar schemes.
Recommend a Friend Schemes
So you have friends who you believe should be sailing with your favourite cruise line. What better way to encourage you to recommend them than to provide an On Board Credit for not only your friends but for you or your next cruise. A great way for like-minded individuals to experience a Luxury Cruise with a different cruise line. The cruise companies who offer these schemes are banking on the hope that once tried, the new guest will never look back!!
Use a Travel Agent
One of the most common misconceptions is that if you deal directly with the cruise line, you will get the best deal. That is almost never the case. Most cruise lines rely on the trade for the bulk of their business and there never try to undercut them. You will find that most specialist travel agents will offer you a better deal and they will quite often add in little extras like On-Board Credits, Pre-Paid Gratuities, Flowers in your stateroom, Drinks packages etc. Always push them a little and shop around as there are some very good specialist cruise travel agents around. Read our in-depth article about why you should use a travel agent here.
There are also many other considerations when it comes to your final price with discounts and other benefits that are not always known about. Using a specialist travel agent can help uncover many of these hidden ‘extras’