catch a wave of the best deals
by Regina Bell
We all have friends who post pictures on Facebook of their latest cruise, everyone looking tanned and relaxed with a gorgeous sunset in the background or wearing parkas and sipping champagne while watching whales crest with icebergs in the background. How can I ever afford such an amazing adventure? you may wonder.
I have two words for you: Wave Season.
Wave Season is the cruise marketing blitz that takes place every year from January through March. Think of it as Black Friday that lasts for three months.
Cruise lines know that the holidays are over, winter has us dreaming of warm breezes and white sand, and tax refunds are around the corner. While some trips are deeply discounted, the best deals are the extra amenities that many cruise lines pile on to entice cruisers.
So, what kinds of amenity-rich perks are we talking about?
- free internet
- room upgrades
- onboard credits
- prepaid gratuities
- free beverage packages
- special spa or boutique deals
- lots more, just ask!
Each cruising company and each offer is different. Some offer a better price, others shower you with perks. Being a savvy bargain hunter is a great idea; know the regular cost of the cruise that interests you and the prices of the add-ons, then you’ll know if you’re getting a bargain.
On top of that, the variety of cruises is as varied as your interests. There are wine excursions in Bordeaux, France, wellness trips down the Ganges in India, Disney-themed family vacations, whale-watching ships in Alaska. Some are family-centered, others are adult-only.
In fact, there are so many choices and so many deals out there during Wave Season that you may want to consider going through a Travel Advisor. Here’s a couple of good reasons:
- Travel Advisors are paid through the travel companies. It doesn’t cost you anything to have one in your corner. They work hard to find you the best value for your vacation money.
- Often agencies offer extra incentives or credits that you can’t find on their websites; Travel Advisors can go behind the scenes to negotiate amazing perks and surprising deals.
- They are your advocate before, during and after the trip, making sure everything works seamlessly. Direct flights, transportation from the airport to the ship’s port, lost cell phones, special accommodations, emergency issues. Who wouldn’t love to have that backup?
- Most Travel Agents have been on numerous cruises with different lines themselves. They have first-hand knowledge of how things run, what is a must-see and a probably-should-miss and can share the little hacks that make it extra.
- If all the perks of Wave Season still don’t add up to the deal you’re hoping for, keep in mind that companies will offer incentives at other times of the year. Problem is, you don’t know when. A Travel Advisor can help by keeping an eye out for those last-minute deals and let you know when they pop up.
Keep in mind that during certain times of the year — spring breaks, summer and holidays especially — cruise prices increase dramatically . . . as much as double the Wave Season price. With a little planning and the right timing, you can book an amazing deal.
So . . . first step: contact Susan or Laura Becks with Footsteps World Travel to help you plan your next cruise.
Not only have Susan and Laura enjoyed numerous cruises themselves, but Footsteps World Travel is also certified with CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) and all of the major cruise lines:
- Viking Ocean Cruises
- Avalon Waterways
- Royal Caribbean
- Celebrity Cruises
Once you have your dream vacation booked, all you’ll have to consider is what to pack and how to be cool on your trip.
But don’t worry; here are a few more articles to get you started. And ask your Travel Agents Susan and Laura. They’ll be glad to share. With a little research and the right people on your travel team, a cruise can be an adventure of a lifetime that you’ll love posting about on every social media site out there.
Click here for The Ultimate 7 Day Style Guide.
Cruise 101: What Clothing to Pack for Your First Cruise by Royal Caribbean International
The Ultimate Guide to Packing for a Cruise by Cruise Critic
6 Embarrassing Cruise Faux Pas by Cruiseline.com