Monday, May 03, 2010

Coming Up On Six Weeks Out

My next cruise, and I've already booked for 2011. That's how the smart people do it and here's why. Booking a year in advance is common for the “regulars.”

The category I want (K-category, in this instance) is for people who travel alone but don’t want to pay full-cabin price. We are willing to share with whoever the cruise line puts in there with us. It’s not that bad, really; we all know the rules. I pay half-cabin cost, even if I end up alone. K-cat is limited to only a few cabins, so you book early.

There is an early-booking discount; the line wants to start filling the ship as soon as possible. Why they do this is a mystery to me, but they know what they are doing, so I hit this one fast before the offer is withdrawn. The discounts are starting to add up and each one adds a little more to your savings.

For those who have sailed with my line before, there is a “regulars” discount, a rather healthy one. “Stay with us and we will take care of you.” It also helps with the word of mouth, as well. Not only that one, but also the “OBC,” or “On-Board Credit,” a little extra when you shop. It costs the line about 1/3 the face value and makes you happy.

Prices go up as the ship fills. Yours never does, but if your category gets discounted, your price goes down and you get that refund. Your travel agent might be able to put you into a phantom “group,” which exists for pricing only and never in real life. Only the uninformed and late-comers pay list.


Post a Comment

<< Home