Friday, February 13, 2009

Superstitions or quirks when you cruise?

Gamblers, sports figures, and probably most people have some superstitions or quirks if you will. Gamblers have lucky shirts and some sports figures maybe don't shave if on a winning streak. When I realized this was Friday the 13th, I wondered how superstitions or quirks and cruising might fit together. OK, so sometimes my brain goes in strange directions. :-)

One of my cruising superstitions is not to wear a shirt I've worn before when embarking a ship as we always buy the Welcome Aboard picture they take. I have not idea what would happen if I do but why take chances.

Another one of mine is about winning in the casino the first few nights of a cruise. It seems when I do, the winning streak goes downhill fast later in the trip. Understand, I don't want to lose a lot early on (in fact I never like losing) but I know that I will have a good streak sometime during the week and if it happens later on, there is a much better chance of coming home ahead.

We also feel that if we can get our luggage delivered to tthe cabin and get unpacked before muster drill, we will have a better time the rest of the trip.

I know some of our clients prefer the port side and are not happy when they can not get a cabin on that side. Do they think there is less chance of falling overboard?

As I have been thinking about this today, I also realized that even at tables for 6, 8 or 10, whatever seat people take the first night, they tend to sit in every night. Is this a superstition or a quirk?

So I'm asking those of you who follow this blog, do you have any superstitions or quirks when you cruise? Let me know by posting a reply.
Also, for those not on our monthly newsletter - Cruise Newz and Views - email distribution list and you would like to be, simply send me an e-mail with your name. list. Send it to and please include your name (I ask for this so I can find it easier if you decide to opt out at a future date as the file is by last name.)
And last but not least, on Tuesday Feb 24th at 8 PM ET, we are having a "live" online cruise night. Our special guest will be from Norwegian Cruise Line and our featured destination this month is Bermuda. Space is limited so if you would like to attend this webinar, let me know so I can send you the website and teleconference information necessary to join in. We will have some fun, and of course have some special offers for those who do attend.

Lastly, have a wonderful Valentine's day tomorrow.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's a good time to book a cruise

January proved to be a very “interesting” month for us in our business as well as in our personal life. Although I will not go into the personal situations, I will only say they were challenging. Now, we are looking forward and working on some new ideas that we can offer to our current as well as future clients.

As far as the “cruise industry” goes, the economic situations today have actually been good for the consumer in several ways. Normally, all the cruise lines prefer to see their capacity filling up earlier rather than having to offer promotions or reduced pricing as the sailing gets closer and will normally offer booking incentives when people book early and raise prices as ships fill up.

However, since the consumer is unsure of what the future holds for themselves, the recent trend has been for bookings 1-4 months prior to sailing instead of 7-10 months as we have seen for the last several years. Because the cruise lines need to fill their ships, they have been forced to reduce pricing and possibly offer some incentives to generate the new bookings needed. Besides lower pricing, they are also requiring lower deposits (although full payment due remains approximately 75 days before sailing), on board credit, upgrades, and other incentives to stimulate business and fill the space available on many itineraries.

So what happened to those customers who did book months ago and who should get the best pricing? We can’t speak for other agencies (lower price means lower commissions so many agencies will not adjust prices once booked) but we will always get pricing adjusted for our clients if the pricing goes lower after you are booked. We have always promised to protect our clients and always will. Many of you who booked a while ago on 2009 cruise vacations have had your pricing lowered recently. Lower pricing is not happening on every ship or sailing date but it has happened quite a bit lately.

But, we don’t expect this to last for long! Because of the recent promotions, space has been getting sold and ships are filling up for the premium dates and the close in dates.

Not only does pricing go up as the ships fill but just as important, the choice of desirable accommodations becomes less. When you book “close in” you must take what is left. The further out you plan a cruise, the better off you are. By booking early, you get the most choices for the type of accommodation you prefer and we will protect your pricing if it does go down after you book (it doesn’t affect you if pricing goes up unless you are making a new booking). Plus, your deposit is fully refundable prior to the final payment due date at which time the cruise line cancellation penalties go into effect (we have no cancel penalty either if there is no cruise line penalty imposed). If something happens in the future and you have to cancel and change your vacation plans before that final payment due date, you have not lost anything but if all goes as planned, you have everything to gain. Now is the best time to plan your summer and fall vacations and hopefully a cruise is in those plans.