Cruise Consumer Affairs; Answers to Cruise Questions

CruiseMates Cruise Consumer Affairs

This section is for people who enjoy the chase of a good bargain. They keep track of what cruises cost and think about the pricing strategy of cruise lines.

Got a cruising question for Us?
Go to our "Ask the CruiseMates Staff" Message Board.

What 2013 Wave Season Reveals
by Paul Motter
The 2013 Wave Season reveals an interesting new strategy in cruise pricing and ship aesthetics.

Wave Season 2013 Begins!
by Paul Motter
Wave Season 2013 starts today and I had to work hard to get all of the deals today. So, let's get started.

2013 Transatlantic Cruise Bargains
by Paul Motter
It's not too late to get a great deal on a transatlantic crossing to Europe this spring

Bundling Cruise Services Into Price
by Paul Motter
Cruise lines bundling tours, drinks, Wi-Fi and pre-cruise hotels are seeing serious success.

Christmas Markets Cruise Deals
by Paul Motter
The European Christmas Markets Cruises are among the most memorable holiday experiences possible.

Last Minute Bargains Are Back
by Paul Motter
"How low can you go?" is the cruise price question for December, the slowest selling month every year.

Book Your Hawaii Cruise Now
by Paul Motter
With the prices going up January 1st, it is time to book your Pride of America Hawaii cruise now

Three CruiseMates Election Day Predictions
by Paul Motter
This is a very close race but we have our own Election Day certainties about the future of cruising.

Three Vital Cruise Purchase Tips
by Paul Motter
Hurricane Sandy shows us how cruise, insurance and airfare purchase decisions can have consequences.

Cruise Lines Fight Agent Discounts
by Paul Motter
But the buyer will benefit with more clarity in cruise pricing

Five Surprises Found on Cruises
by Paul Motter
Is a cruise is like an "all-inclusive vacation" with the added benefit of luxury travel, or the other way around?

Five Advantages of Cruise Vacations
by Paul Motter
Here are several advantages Cruises offer over typical vacations that you probably never heard before.

Holland America Staterooms Ready at 11:30
by Paul Motter
This important premium boarding option is included in the cruise fare for everyone at one cruise line

Make the Most of Your Alaska Cruise
by Paul Motter
See the best of everything this great state has to offer on your Alaska cruise.

How to Get the Best Cruise Value
The trick to finding cruise values is to think like a "contrarian" so you can "buy low and sail high."   Go>
Free Cruise Scams Return
by Paul Motter
Slick language and flashy images attempt to lure postcard recipients with false promises.

Hot Cruise Buying Tips from a Real Expert
Hot cruise buying tips from Michelle Fee of Cruise Planners. At $100,000,000 is cruise sales annually not many people understand cruise sales better.   Go>
Organizing a Group Cruise
Organizing a group cruise means price cuts and other perks, including a free cruise for the group leader.   Go>
The Cheapest Cruises
What are the lowest-priced cruises out there? And is a "cheap" cruise really worth the savings?   Go>
Hidden Costs of Cruising
What is included in your cruise fare depends on what type of cruise you are considering. How to know how much your cruise will really cost.   Go>
How to Complain to a Cruise Line and Get Results (Part I)
A poll of our readers finds surprises in the most effective ways to get satisfaction for problems -- including financial compensation.   Go>
Cruising to Bankruptcy?
In these tough economic times, using your credit to pay for a cruise could be a big mistake. Sage financial advice from our CruiseMates readers.   Go>
How to Solve Your Cruise Problems
Passengers who address shipboard problems like a cruise industry insider are likely to get better results.   Go>
Cruise Ship Art Auction Controversy 2008
Art auctions on cruise ships have become controversial for a number of reasons - caveat emptor, buying art is risky and expensive.   Go>
Your Cruise Has Been Refused!
People with cruise tickets are sometimes denied boarding at the last moment, losing not only their vacation time, but their cruise fare as well.   Go>
The Most Common Cruise Mistakes - Part 1

There are two reasons why cruisers make mistakes that ruin their vacations: The questions we never think to ask; and the things we neglect due to over-confidence.

The Most Common Cruise Mistakes - Part 2

Part two: how to avoid scams, and honest errors that can turn into big problems.

Cruise Misperceptions Old and New - Part 1

Part 1: No matter what, some things never change. Correcting some long-term misunderstandings about seagoing vacations. Will I get seasick? I don't want to be stuck on a boat.

Cruise Misperceptions Old and New - Part 2

Part 2: Modern day misperceptions clarified and legitimate concerns put into perspective. Health, environment and safety issues.

Understanding Cruise Line Ads
The Master Class on deciphering cruise prices in ads. How to really know a bargain when you see one.

The Devil is in the Disclaimers

What are you entitled to when something goes wrong with your cruise? It's one of the most common questions we get.

Price Shopping? Pick Up the Phone

Cruise line price display policies for ads and booking engines keep some of the best rates off the Internet. 7

Direct Booking vs. Agents: The Latest Chapter

Is the perception of "flat" pricing leading more consumers to book directly with cruise lines?

Cruise Insurance For Everyone

This article doesn't have any sexy pictures, but it is chock-full of great information about cruise and travel insurance.

Outsmarting the Travel Scammers

How to avoid getting taken by flim-flam artists hustling "free" travel.

The Luxury Lineup - Part 1

Looking for Luxury.
An comparison of two winning luxury cruise lines, Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.

Looking for Luxury
What constitutes a top-end cruise line? Gourmet cuisine, tips & drinks included, exotic ports and more. The latest in a series.

Budget Cruising?
Read about budget cruising, yesterday and today! An extension to our "four classes of cruising" article.

Premium or Mass-Market?
From Budget to Luxury, Ships come in four classes. Read about the mass market and premium lines.

Finding the Right Travel Agent
Factors to consider include price quotes, service levels, cruise expertise and should you book directly with cruise line?

How to Buy a Cruise Online
Why you should book online, how to select an online agency, and verifying their credentials.

2007 Port Roundup
Several lines are adding new itinerary options next year.
Tipping! Readers React.
Our comsumer editor found our reader's hot button with his tipping article.
The Ins and Outs of Tipping Policies
Here's an inside look at how the major lines handle automatic gratuity collections.

Feature Articles:

Articles by former Consumer editor, Art Sbarsky:


  • Security and Health: FAQs
  • Cruise Price Juggling
  • Dreaming of 'Ultra Yachts'
  • Nickel-and-Dime Economics
  • Biting into the Big Apple
  • New Cruise Cancellation Options
  • Safety at Sea
  • Chasing those Bargains - Where do I find the Best Price?
  • The Secret of Shipboard Credits
  • The Elusive Cabin Upgrade
  • Should I Book on Board?
  • Safety in Numbers--or Holiday of Horrors?
  • If I Owned a Cruise Line
  • The Devil Is In the Disclaimers
  • Passenger Yachts: Peril at Sea


  • Alaska, Luggage Security and Discounts
  • Alaska, Texas, Security and More
  • Schedule Changes, Security, Supplier Defaults
  • Bottled Water, Bargains and FMC Bonds
  • Weather, Spring Break and Scandal
  • Alcohol, weather, prices and policies
  • Baskets, Booze and Bamboozlers
  • Butlers, Tips and Toilets