Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Each month we send out our personal newsletter - "Cruise Newz and Views" -to hundreds of subscribers who like to cruise. It is entertaining, informative, and best of all, FREE.

To be on our subscriber list, simply send e-mail to subscribe@askusaboutcruising.com with your full name. (We need the name to be able to find you if you want to opt out at a future time.)

This is from the "From the Bridge" section of the April issue which went out yesterday:

January through April is referred to as “Wave Season” - the time frame when most people plan their summer, fall, and holiday cruise vacations. Over the last several years, the “booking window” had been about 7-8 months or longer prior to sailing. With the economic situations beginning the latter part of 2008 and early 2009, this “window” has changed to more “close-in” sailings. Since there was a higher than normal amount of availability, the cruise lines offered some amazing promotions in recent months to fill their ships. Some of you reading this month’s Cruise Newz did take advantage of a promotion and may have already sailed. In fact, in this month’s Cruise Newz, we share some stories about people who have taken advantage of recent promotions.

However, we said last month that these great bargains would not last for long and we are now seeing prices begin to increase as sailing dates fill up. There are still some great deals and bargains (depending on when and where you want to go) and our job is to find them for you.

Here’s an example: We (fortunately) took an option for a client this week on a Europe sailing for August. After working out the extra details (a few days in London and then getting to Copenhagen for the cruise), the client made the deposit before the option expired. Had we started the process two days later, the price of their cabin would have been an additional $600 per person. When you contact us and we find a cruise that looks right for you, be glad we do take options! There is no obligation, but it does protect you and the pricing we find for you!

The steps are easy:
1) You contact us to begin planning a cruise;
2) We help you by checking availability and pricing for the time frame and itinerary you are interested in;
3) We analyze pricing to find the best value for you;
4) We take an option which “locks in” the pricing we find and usually this will give you a few days to “think it over” before making the final decision.

Once you make the deposit, you can always cancel before final payment and receive a full refund so there is nothing to lose by depositing. Should the pricing go lower (once under deposit) we can get the pricing adjusted lower or better accommodation for what you are paying. Even after your booking is fully paid, we can either get you a refund or perhaps an upgrade to a better accommodation.

One last tip – if you are thinking about a cruise to Alaska, there will be less ships sailing there in 2010 (than this summer) so expect pricing to go up. There are still some great “deals” for 2009, but for 2010 dates, we recommend booking this year for next and getting something under deposit. This will assure you of the cruise or cruise tour, cabin type, and travel date that is your preference.

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