Monday, April 11, 2011

Is Cruising Recession Proof?

Over the last few years, many of our cruise clients commented that they were getting tired of what they saw as "nickle and dime-ing" by the cruise lines, with extra fees for better restaurants, better coffee, ice cream on some lines, the seemingly increasing costs of liquor on ships and the high cost of excursions.

Last year, many of our cruise clients dipped their toes into the all inclusive travel market. Because we carefully listened to their likes and dislikes, we were able to recommend resorts that met their requirements and every one of them came back with positive comments. They enjoyed the fact that they knew in advance what the entire cost of their vacation was before they left and didn't come home with a credit card bill for hundreds of dollars in extra charges,

However, this year we are seeing a resurgence in Caribbean cruise travel and in particular, cruising from our home port of New York. The high cost of air is making traveling out of the U.S. to an all inclusive resort prohibitive to many clients.

There is some great pricing for European cruising, yet when clients see prices of $800 and up per air ticket to get to these cruises, they are changing their minds and booking cruises from the U.S.

Celebrity has some new itineraries this November through April of 2012 from Cape Liberty in New Jersey on a brand new ship, the Celebrity Silhouette. They are offering 12 night cruises going as far south as St. Lucia, opening new doors for many of our regular clients to save hundreds of dollars in air, since they would normally have to fly to San Juan or Ft. Lauderdale for a similar itinerary. We have a group traveling with us Jan. 17, 2012 and have had a tremendous amount of interest when clients start pricing air to other destinations. The timing for Celebrity couldn't have been better.

Our recommendations:

If you are planning to travel and need to fly, we recommend booking now - air pricing continues to go up. There are very rarely any last minute deals - particularly on air.

If you are considering cruising this summer from the tri-state area, book NOW. There are fewer cabins that can accommodate four or even five people on ships and these book early. Many cruises have sold out their family cabins for summer sailings. You may need to book two cabins if you have three or more people traveling.

If you are considering booking a cruise out of the New York area next year when school is out - now is the time to book! Those are prime travel times and family cabins sell out first. Remember, unless you are booking a restricted rate, deposits are fully refundable until the final payment date. And if you book through Promal Vacations - we monitor prices of every cruise and if a price drop occurs that you are entitled to, we will obtain it for you.

Promal Vacations

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