At FunCruiseDeals.us, we give you exactly the same advice that we give our friends and family who have trusted us for years as cruise experts. Whether or not you buy from FunCruiseDeals.us, we hope that our helpful advice acquired through our years of experience in the cruise industry will help you find the cruise vacation that is right for you.
Smart cruise shoppers appreciate the saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". Here are some of the secrets that smart cruise shoppers know:
"Save Up To 70%" Advertisements Typically Result in 30% Savings
Many cruise retailers will advertise "save up to 70%", but, when their offers are closely examined, what they are offering is not particularly attractive. There may only be 1-2 cruises (out of several thousand cruises) with a very limited number of cabins at the 70% off price. Also, the cruises with the 70% savings tend to be on older ships, in the less desirable cabins and at low season.
Smart cruise shoppers know that early bookers generally save 20-35% off the "brochure price" and choose the best cabins first. Once the early booking offers have expired, smart cruise shoppers know to look for savings via promotions like cabin category upgrades, bonus shipboard credit, resident rates and senior rates.
Savings Off The "Brochure Price" Should be Taken With a Grain of Salt
Cruise lines have a "brochure price" – a full price with no discounts. Brochure prices tend to be highly inflated so when prices drop, the savings % looks all that more impressive. A good analogy is new car pricing: it is a rarity that anyone ever pays the "sticker" price.
Smart cruise shoppers pay little attention to savings from the brochure price and evaluate whether they are getting a good deal by looking at the price drop from the most recent price – that is a more accurate reflection of the real savings.
Cruise Lines Set the Cruise Price – Not The Travel Agency
No travel agency can legally discount the cruise-line established price. The truth is that cruise lines set the price of the cruise – not the travel agency. There are travel agencies who will advertise "that nobody can beat their prices". While the travel agency might opt to give you a "freebie" (bonus onboard spending credits, paid gratuities / tips or a complementary shore excursion) out of their commission, they would be in violation of cruise line policies if they charged you less than the cruise line established price. Beware – enough said.
You Do Not Have to Submit Your E-Mail to View the Lowest Price
Smart shoppers know that the same fares are on many major cruise sites that don't ask for an e-mail address. If you give-up your e-mail address to any site that insists on it before they show you a price, it may be time to invest in an industrial-grade SPAM filter.
Shipboard Credit is a Good Deal
Smart cruise shoppers look for promotions that feature free onboard / shipboard spending credit. You will spend money on the ship (spa treatments, tips, shore excursions, drinks, etc.) – shipboard credit goes to offset the bill you get for incidentals at the end of the cruise.
Category Upgrades Occasionally Live-up to the Hype
These promotions will say "up to 6 category upgrade", but, the fine-print places restrictions on which cabin categories are elligible for the "6-category" upgrade. The majority of the transactions in cabin-upgrade promotions end up with a 1-3 category upgrade. Smart cruise shoppers know that the number of categories in the upgrade are irrelevant. A good upgrade offer moves you from an inside cabin to an outside cabin, or a picture window cabin to a balcony cabin, or let's you select a cabin that is not under the disco or some other loud area.
Don't Pay a Booking Fee
Smart cruise shoppers know that any cruise retailer who charges a service fee / booking fee is simply taking advantage of you. Why would you pay the same price for a cruise plus a $19.95 service fee you could get somewhere else with no service fee? FunCruiseDeals.us does not ever charge a service fee to book a cruise.
Have Realistic Expectations About Best Price Guarantees
Smart cruise shoppers know that the value of best price guarantees is limited. The fine-print of the guarantee lays-out stringent qualifications in order to get the lower price. Also, whenever cruise lines create promotions aimed at selling-out their ships, they make certain that their offer will not trigger hundreds of best price guarantee claims. Smart cruise shoppers know that the guarantee will ensure that they got a good price. However, the really smart cruise shoppers know that Carnival's Early Saver program combined with their best price guarantee ensures you receive the best price all the way up to 2 days prior to your cruise sailing.