We are now in what is called “Wave” season for the cruise industry. This is when the greatest portion of bookings take place along with when some of the best deals are offered. The cruise lines recognize that shoppers have finished the holiday season and are ready to begin planning vacations for 2013, or any year for that matter. As they dig in and plan their summer vacations, it is easy to see how the beginning of the year is a busy booking time.
Not only are lots of cruises booked in the first quarter of the year, many other vacations are booked then as well. As we are focusing on cruises, we will detail more about the wave season for cruises now. The deals offered now vary among the different cruise lines. These deals also cover generally most destinations, but not necessarily all. Deals do exist for most all levels of accommodations on the ships as well. Thus, those who love balcony cabins don’t have to downgrade to get a deal.
Cruise lines typically list sailings one to two years ahead of the actual sailing date. It varies a bit by line and destination. Most are in the eighteen month plus range. Often the best pricing is right at the release of the sailing. Next best is usually the wave specials. These specials create actual discounts for some cruises and special perks for others. In some cases both.
Royal Caribbean is offering some really nice deals sailing out of Galveston during the 2013 wave season. These deals could also fall into the last minute deal category. They are restricted to a single ship, but with millions within driving distance of the port it is a good deal man can easily access. This is one example. Of course out of Galveston there are deals on Disney cruises as well along with some on Princess.
As far as the destinations go, the Caribbean is a hotbed of deals this time of years. Of course those planning ahead for summer can grab deals in the Mediterranean. More limited deals are found in Asia and the Australia and South Pacific regions. World cruises and Atlantic crossings are less frequently are available but less frequently offered up as special deals this time of year.
The reason for the deals now is that the cruise lines want to stimulate sales of their cabins. This is the time of year many plan their leisure vacation trips. Because many vacations are booked the cruise lines want to stand out and attract all the bookings for their cruise lines. To best compete the various cruise lines needs to offer something that really attracts the clients to their ships. Thus, we see many competing sales. The cruise lines also want to get the unsold cabins filled. This goes back to when cruises are initially posted for sale.
When cruises are initially listed for sale the ship starts out empty. Cruises are often booked at this time, both by groups and individuals. This initial wave of sales gives the cruise line revenue team an initial idea of how well the cruise will sell. Factoring in seasonal variances that occur nearly identically each year, they then as the year ends package cruises they want to fill up and offer great specials on these cruises during the wave season. There is a big push of specials at this time to really fill up the cabins to ensure
What this means to the cruisers, repeat and first time alike, watch for specials. They will come up and can help save. On board spending credit is one of the items that are given as a special perk by the cruise lines. Other deals include free drink packages, free gratuities, and various packages of shore excursions and on board dining special options. While these deals may not appear to be dollars off the cruise, when you add it all up and create a net cruise vacation total, yes these deals do help save some money for the cruiser. Thus, look not only at cash off fare deals but also at these added perk deals.
It is a good idea to chat with your favorite cruise specialist agent. They will be able to take from you the information about where and when you want to cruise and help match you with the right ship and best deal. That is one reason it is really important to pick and use a great cruise agent during the wave season.
We enjoy chatting about cruises with folks and especially helping them to pick a memorable cruise experience, especially when it is a once in a lifetime vacation for them. We recommend signing up for alerts to new articles on this and other cruise related topics. We typically publish at least once per week and more often when breaking cruise news warrants additional articles.