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20 Winning Strategies To Finding The Best Cruise Deals

Forecast for 2014: Better Than Ever Cruise Deals, If you know where to find them.

by Raye & Marty Trencher

Cruise Traveler Magazine

( November 17, 2013 ) We predict 2014 is going to be an amazing year for travel.  We're so excited about all we have planned, we can't wait to get going.

But, we're much more curious about how you are feeling about 2013?  Do you agree that the economy is improving? Or is it getting worse?  Do you hope it will be a better year for you than 2013?  Will you take that vacation you postponed last year?

Did you know that Approximately 85% of travel-related businesses reported a significant decline in visitors, passengers or income from 2008 to 2012.  Airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and others all were affected. However, while the media was reporting stories of doom, and gloom 15% of them reported an increase in business despite some having to lower prices to maintain occupancy levels and cash flow.

We are proud to say that we were one of those who ended the year on top. In fact, 2012 was our best year yet.  2013 should be just as good. We do more business with more people than ever before. And, we recorded more revenue per guest than ever before.

How come?

We decided early on, that we were not going to just sit on the sidelines and watch the downturn on the economy effect our business. We knew we had to do something to stem the tide. So we spent a lot of quality time with our guests, found out what it would take to get them to travel now, rather than postpone their vacation. Understood their Cruise Lifestyle Interests ( see survey )


Among other things, they told us they wanted more value for their money, but were not willing to cut corners on the quality or value of their vacation experience. If they were going to travel in this economy they wanted more than just a cheap vacation, they wanted a great vacation - cheap. So, on their behalf, we burned the midnight oil, researched and found some of the highest valued, best cruise deals around. Not for an ordinary 3 or 4 day cruise to the Bahamas, but some great deals full of enlightenment, enrichment and fun to Alaska,  Europe Mediterranean Mexican Riviera Caribbean, Bermuda, South America,  Panama Canal Hawaii, Asia,   Australia,  New Zealand South Pacific,  Tahiti,  Africa, Middle East,  Transatlantic,  World Cruise, Grand Voyages

and elsewhere.

Now, we're not bragging.  We just want to tell you, that when you have a plan, you can find that great vacation to take your family on, despite what's going on in the economy. AT a price you can afford.

To make it work, we want you to employ a simple but effective formula we call the 20 Winning Strategies to Finding The Best Cruise Deals.  If you took a resort-style vacation, sailed on a cruise, went on a safari, or just drove across America, you know 2011 is a great year for travel deals. But finding them did not come by accident, or by just shopping around on the Internet. They came about simply, because you started 2011 with a plan and followed it. 

And we know that the travel deals for 2013 have to be better than good. So in addition to our already established offerings, we joined with the Travelocity to bring our guests even better bargains, more selection and greater value. Cruise Direct Online guests can now select from over 12,000 sailings for 2013-2014. Guests may choose from more than 80 ports of embarkation, including 24 close-to-home within driving distance of most residents of the US and Canada. Popular destinations include Alaska,  Europe Mediterranean Mexican Riviera Caribbean, Bermuda, South America,  Panama Canal Hawaii, Asia,   Australia,  New Zealand South Pacific,  Tahiti,  Africa, Middle East,  Transatlantic,  World Cruise, Grand Voyages

By the way, there's nothing special about it - anybody can do just takes the ability to understand the marketplace and then implement a plan that results in a great vacation value for you.

If you decide to take a trip ( hopefully a cruise ), you will be contributing to our nation's speedy recovery and return to prosperity. For when you travel, jobs are created, income is derived and wealth is acquired.

All without government help or intervention.
All with great fun and fond memories.

So what are you waiting for...

To get started visit
20 Winning Secrets To Finding The Best Cruise Deals
A bad economy makes for some very good deals: Super cruise deals, lowest prices in years. But don't book them directly with the cruise line. You can get "bonus" savings from many travel agents.  Not only a better price, but some agents throw in shipboard credits, pre-paid gratuities and other incentives to get you to book. Shipboard credits, where available from the cruise line, are house credits that are placed on your stateroom's account for you to use during your cruise vacation. You can use the credit towards merchandise, lounges and in some, but not all cases, for Spa Treatments or Shore Excursions.
Contact your credit card company. They may offer additional savings, shipboard credits or frequent flyer miles when you pay for your cruise in full with that credit card.
Sign up for e-mail deal alerts that let you know where the great deals are. Some services will e-mail you when cruise fares drop for the cruise you want.

Cruise Tip: After you've booked your cruise keep checking the prices. If the price drop, contact your travel agent, changes are they can you can save you more money.

Cruise lines are offering deeper discounts earlier, with great deals rates for spring and some offer kids to sail for free.
You can find deals priced at less than $45 per person per day including all your meals and most activities -- but watch out.. you will pay an "up charge" for specialty restaurants, bar drinks, spa treatments and shore excursions.

Plan Ahead and Save Big. Get The Best Value for your Money. 



Raye & Marty Trencher's 20 Savvy Cruise Tips

1. Reserve Your Cruise Now
At least 3 - 6 months prior to sailing. You get the best choice of locations and stateroom availability and the sooner you book, the better the discount.
2. If You Can, Pay For It In Advance
Save as much as 15%. Some cruise lines give an extra discount if you pay in full at least six months in advance of your sailing date.
3. Reserve Your Cruise At The Last Minute
Depending upon when you want to go, last minute bookings can save you money! Especially if you are not particular about what cabin and where on the ship you are staying.
4. Cruise In The Off Season
Cruises are more expensive in high season, so if you can go some other time you will save even more. Alaska cruises are cheaper in May and September. Europe and Mediterranean cruises in September and October. Caribbean cruises in September, October and January.
5. Do A Transatlantic, Transpacific Or Repositioning Cruise
Want to sail from Europe or the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, or from Alaska to Hawaii, or Mexico? You will cruise for about half the cost of the same number of days of a single destination cruise. You'll get more lazy days at sea and fewer port stops.
6. Cruise On The Ship's Very First Journey
If you take an inaugural cruise on a new ship, you may save money, but don't expect everything to be ship shape.
7. Go With A Group
Groups that travel together save more. Go with or put together your own group from your church, club, work, school or plan a once in a lifetime a family reunion. And if you can get 15 or more people to go, you could go for free!
8. Don't Care About The View... Why Not An Inside Stateroom?
If you think of a stateroom as only a place for sleeping and dressing, and a view isn't necessary, you can save money with an inside stateroom.
9. If Four's Not A Crowd, Put The Family In One Stateroom
Third or fourth guests go at a substantial discount, and kids sometimes go free. If you take 4 adults, everyone shares in the savings. However, it can be very crowded. And just one bathroom!
10. Reserve Without A Stateroom Assignment
Even if the stateroom category that you want is sold out, you can reserve your place on the ship. The cruise line guarantees to provide you a stateroom in the category you want or one higher at the time they assign you a stateroom. However, you don't have a choice where it will be. You may save money and get a free upgrade if at the time they assign you a stateroom there are no more, in the category you reserved.
11. Join The Club
Cruise lines give a special discounts or free upgrades to past passengers. Carnival give you a break even you have sailed on Holland America, Windstar, Princess, Costa, or Cunard, as they own them all.
12. Ask And You Shall Receive
Keep a close eye on weekly newspaper ads and newsletters for promotional specials. You may qualify for a two-for-one offer, kids free, or 50 percent off promotion. And, if you already have put a deposit down or paid for your cruise, do hesitate to ask for the lower fare if it applies to the stateroom type and category you reserved.
13. On A Honeymoon? Or Celebrating A Special Occasion?
Celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or a family reunion on the cruise. On some ships you may qualify for an extra discount.
14. Look For Added Value
Some sailings offer free hotel nights before or after your cruise, sightseeing tours, or the cruise line will offer shipboard credits you can use in the shops.
15. Free Upgrades
Some lines offer an upgrade in cabin category if you are a repeat passenger, on a honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary, or your friends or family reserved more staterooms.
16. If You Like It So Much, Stay Onboard Another Week.
If you arrange to stay on the ship for a second cruise, you could sail the second week at a discounted rate.
17. Age Has It's Advantages
Over 55? Some cruise lines have discounts for you. And, if a senior is traveling with other people in the stateroom that are under 55, the discount may apply to both fares.
18. Airfare Prices Vary
Sometimes the airfare offered by the cruise line is cheaper; sometimes not. Plan as far ahead as possible to get the lowest priced airline tickets. Comparison shop the ship's offer and what the airlines are offering.
19. Consider A Pre Or Post Cruise Hotel Package
Hotel stays can be arranged at the same time you book your cruise. As with airfares, compare the ship's price with what the hotel would charge you direct.
20. Every Cruise Line And Cruise Ship Is Different
The most important thing you can do is research all the ships and cruises that go to your chosen destination. Compare itineraries, accommodations, shipboard activities, shore tours and fares. By comparing, you will find a cruise that offers what you want at a price that fits your budget.. Be sure when you compare fares that you know whether taxes and port charges are included or not.

More Things To Consider...

A. Become Cyber Savvy
Check online for the latest discounts and special offerings on ships and sailings. Visit the cruise line's own web sites and several travel agents online to get the best service and price. But remember, don't reserve a cruise just because of price.
B. Choose The Cruise That Best Fits Your Needs And Desires
So many people have bought the cheapest thing around, only to be disappointed once onboard. As you know by then it's too late to change your mind.

Get Cruise Coverage through Travel Guard, starting at $30. Get a quote today.


All About What You See & Read.

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all cruise rates, destination, and accommodation details directly with the cruise line mentioned before planning your cruise vacation.  The cruises shown on this web site are capacity-controlled and similar deals may be available from competing online, neighborhood travel agents, as well as the cruise line directly. All rates are per person for an inside cabin unless otherwise stated, and include port charges. Prices may vary by departure date. Please note these recent deals were limited-time offers, when we searched the Internet. Cruise lines raise and lower rates according to demand and available inventory, just about every week. Sometimes daily. So, you will need to click on an available link to check what's on offer today, to stay updated on recent deals, and to take advantage of opportunities to save before they are sold out or their time is (or was) up. Prices and availability are subject to change and offers may be withdrawn, by the suppliers at any time. There is no guarantee that these rates, free extras or special amenities will be available at the time of your search or actual booking. Use this information as a starting point in your vacation planning process. Check with your travel agent or the cruise line directly for the latest up-to-date-offers.


Cruise Deals: Biggest Sale of the Season!!** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **

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You can cruise from the wonder and wild beauty of Alaska to the sophisticated capitals of Northern Europe or the Mediterranean . Sail to the lush landscapes of the Mexican Riviera, the Caribbean, Bermuda  and South America. Marvel at the engineering of the Panama Canal or experience the beauty of Hawaii. Immerse yourself in the diversity of Asia, Australia  and New Zealand, the South Pacific as well as Tahiti. Take a cruise to Africa or explore the variety of cultures in the Middle East.  Experience the legacy of a Transatlantic Cruise or the ultimate journey of a World Cruise or Grand Voyage

Best Cruise Deals


Did You Know: Most cruise lines require guests to be checked in no later than 90 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time*. Guests arriving late will not be permitted to sail. This supports government regulations in some ports that require cruise lines to submit a departure manifest 60 minutes prior to sailing. Guests are requested to complete Online Check-In no later than 3 days prior to the cruise in order to expedite the pier check-in process. *Some sailings may require an earlier check-in time. Please contact your cruise line direct for specific boarding information.
Booked on a Special fare or Discount? It is important that at least one guest per stateroom be eligible to be considered in compliance with a restricted price program, such as a Senior, Military, or Resident rate. It is also important to note that non-compliance of the restricted price program terms will result in the reservation being re-priced to the lowest available fare for that particular day. Furthermore, you will be responsible to pay for any differences immediately or else your boarding rights will be denied.

Traveling with a minor without the parent or legal guardian?
Should the last names of the parent and minor child traveling with them differ, the parent is required to present the child's valid passport and visa (if required) and the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy). The name of the parent(s) and the child must be linked through legal documentation.

Secret Deals Just for You!
Save Big With Exclusive Resident Rates Plus, select sailings may qualify for free onboard credits.

Take Advantage of Our Cruise Deals!

Looking for new ways to cruise for less? Hereís a tip that even experienced cruisers may not know. Start your search for a low-cost cruise by researching resident rates. Where you live could entitle you to exclusive savings. Just click on your home state or region below to see qualifying cruises for your state. Specific sail dates will be marked with an asterisks * next to the sailing date. Itís that easy to unlock the special fares.

Adults who are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with them are required to present the child's valid passport and visa or the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy) and an original notarized letter signed by at least one of the child's parents. The notarized letter from the child's parent must authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise, must authorize guardian to sign legal documentation/waivers for participation in any activities requiring them and must authorize the traveling adult to supervise the child and permit any medical treatment that must be administered to the child. If a non-parent adult is a Legal Guardian, the adult must present a certified certificate of Guardianship with respect to the child.

Directions to the Cruise Terminals and Parking Information 
Please visit our Directions to the Pier web page to obtain parking information, directions to the pier and transit information where available.


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Cruise Ship Reviews: Carnival  • Celebrity • Cruise West • Crystal • Cunard • Disney • Avalon Waterways • Holland America • NCL • Oceania • Princess • Regent • Royal Caribbean • Seabourn • SeaDream • Viking River • Windstar


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