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  12.28.2010  
 


2011 could be the first real Wave Season sales bump we have seen in years.

Are You Ready for Wave Season?

By Paul Motter

As the 2010 holiday season passes it brings an entirely new cruise paradigm with the new year. This new paradigm will begin in January, coincidentally with the official start of "Wave Season." Now, although wave season was once the busiest booking season of the year, in recent years it has been more of a disappointment than an improvement. In fact, in the past few years many industry watchers had declared wave season to be "all but dead." These experts correctly noted that more people were booking in the preceding autumn season when prices traditionally went down due to lower demand. This is all part of the new world of instant communication we live in.

But this year we see a confluence of new factors that may just make a this surprisingly better wave season than expected.

Wave Season had only previously existed because the cruise lines knew the oncoming long and bleak winter season would eventually incentivize people to book a cruise. With wave season they could raise prices and still sell a higher than average number of cruises. But as consumers have become better educated in the differences between wave season and value season, the industry had seen consumers booking their winter cruises earlier.

But, ironically, it looks as though we may have the first robust wave season in many years this year because of new and unexpected conditions affecting cruise prices. In addition, it is the new information age disseminating this information that will make this a better than average wave season. It won't be long before more cruisers start to hear more abou the following:

First, there is the unusually cold weather hitting the Northeast right now and predicted to last throughout the winter season. These cold weather snaps motivate people to book cruises. We are seeing record cold weather from Boston to Florida, Chicago to New Orleans.

Secondly, there is the improving economy and the prospect that the job market is finally improving. This does not mean that the people without jobs now will suddenly start working, pay off their credit card debt and start booking cruises, but it does mean that the people who have money but have delayed taking a cruise because they have family members without jobs who need money, for example, are about to return to self sufficiency, and so the people who have been sacrificing their own lives in order to take care of other people will finally be able to reward themselves by booking their own cruises again.

Thirdly - the timing for booking a cruise looks good. As this economy returns we see the prospect of rising commodity prices for things like oil. Cruise ships need oil to operate at any price and it is not getting any cheaper. In addition, certain new environmental statutes may require ships to burn even more expensive fuel than the standard bunker fuel in the near future. This will add cost to every cruise beyond the control of the cruise lines.

Cruising is still a great value, as its survival during the last two years has shown us. It can survive the worse economic times and do even better than expected. But when this economic slump eventually turns into a real working economy again then cruise prices will doubtlessly go higher.

So, the bottom line is this - if you have the money to cruise, now is the time to be making your booking. We are sure that cruise prices are not about to go any lower.

Discuss Oceania Cruises - and Azamara Club Cruises.


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Norwegian Cruise Line - NY to Bahamas
Norwegian Jewel 7-night cruise from New York to Port Canaveral, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. Starts at $399 pp. FREE onboard credits, REE onboard savings booklets, FREE travel insurance on cruises 5-nights or longer and reduced rates! Give the gift of travel.
•  Direct Line Cruises 1-800-352-8088
CM says: Book before Jan. 2 for the best values!
 
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9 Night Royal Caribbean Bahamas
Baltimore, Maryland to Port Canaveral, Key West, Nassau and Cococay, Bahamas. FREE onboard credits, REE onboard savings booklets, FREE travel insurance on cruises 5-nights or longer and reduced rates! Give the gift of travel.
•  Direct Line Cruises 1-800-352-8088
CM says: A nine-night cruise from $574 pp!
 
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12-night Holy Land on Celebrity Silhouette
Jewish Heritage cruise - Celebrity Silhouette: Rome to Egypt, Israel, Athens and Naples. Sails 8-10-11 from $2777 pp. (tax & fees included).
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CM says: One of the best cruise bargains ever!
 
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See All Our Cruise Specials
Hundreds of Cruise Specials from Cruise Marletplace; Oceania, Silversea, Paul Gauguin, Crystal and many, many more
•  CRUISE MARKETPLACE 1-800-826-4333
CM says: A family-run travel agency since 1939!
 
hr blue bar
 
Let's Get Lei'd 5.0
We're going to Hawaii for the fifth time - this time on Sapphire Princess. Roundtrip Los Angeles for eight days at sea and five beautiful ports of call - four of them in Hawaii, plus Ensenada.
•  Cruise Planners 1-800-561-0802
CM says: From just $1589 plus $50 pp shipboard credit.!
 
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Join CruiseMates on Allure of the Seas: October 2, 2011 From $779 per person.
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