Monday, July 7, 2008

Book your cruise vacation early

This is something I've talked about before - booking early - and now there is even more reason to plan ahead. getting to the embarkation port.

We all know that booking early makes sense for both best pricing and best choice of categories and cabin locations (especially if you are looking for more than one cabin next to each other).

But on the news this morning, they were talking about air fare increases again. In fact, the 21st attempt at raising air fares due to fuel costs. All the legacy airlines have just added another $20 round trip to the prices except US airways. If you are going to have to fly to the port of embarkation, you not only need to commit (deposit) your cruise but you also need to purchase air for the trip and not wait.

With less planes in the sky since airlines are cutting back flights, there are less seats to compete for so lower priced ones go faster. Higher cost of air means higher cost of your vacation.

Even several cruise lines now are changing their air/sea policy. They may quote you are pricing when you book and deposit but that air price is not guaranteed until the bo0king is fully paid.

For the most part, we have always helped our clients find air independent of the cruise line anyway since it will normally be lower priced but when we do use their air (expecially for cruises that depart in one port and return to another or one way to Europe for example) the cruise line is usually a better choice.

Does this mean it might be better to fully pay for your cruise earlier too? Normally 75 days out is when the booking must be fully paid. But think about this - even if fully paid and cancelled before the final payment due date and the cancellation penalties begin, you can still get a full 100% refund of monies paid. So now even paying the balance due earlier may be advantageous when using cruise line air to lock in air pricing.

It's just something to think about.

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