Cruises on Sale!|
Cruises are on sale, now! We are in a slow economy and the American public is mesmerized by our Presidential politics and economic problems. The last thing a lot of people are thinking about right now is a cruise vacation, but the ships still must sail, and so, the cruise business goes on by reaching out for your business!
The truth is, the cruise industry always experiences a doldrums every summer that precedes a Presidential election. But this year it's even more of a distraction because it is such an interesting race. We have the partly African-American Barack Obama running for President on the Democratic ticket and a woman, Sarah Palin, as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. Add in our current national economic concerns and I know I am addicted to the cable news channels.
And so we have "cruise doldrums." What is a doldrum? The dictionary has two definitions; (1) a state of inactivity, stagnation or slump and; (2) a part of the ocean near the equator abounding in calms, squalls, and light shifting winds. The second one is the original definition, which became part of English lexicon many years ago to describe any time you feel stuck, waiting for something to change.
What happens when we get cruise doldrums? We get Cruise Sales - and they are out there now!
The current hot one from NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) is the "Pity the Procrastinator Sale" which plainly says "The faster you book, the better your stateroom." I heard a radio spot last night that descibes it like this... "There are all kinds of balcony cabins, right? But right now we only have one balcony cabin price. Book a balcony cabin right now, and you get the best balcony cabin we have available."
The NCL sale goes on the say, "Get up to an 8-category stateroom upgrade FREE if you book right now (That's right, FREE.) But remember, every second you wait means another stateroom is gone. There goes one. There goes another. Hurry before the best staterooms go bye-bye. Book between September 22 and October 12.
Another cruise sale we saw announced as coming soon is "Carnival's October Recharge Event." It is scheduled to be a month-long sale that will feature a variety of booking incentives, including free stateroom upgrades and special discounts on select "Fun Ship" cruises through 2009.
Carnival already has plenty of last-minute specials including 4-day Caribbean cruises as low as $169, 5-day Caribbean from $279 and 7-day Caribbean cruises on the new Carnival Liberty from $379 and Valor from $399. That is if you want to sail next week.
Royal Caribbean's HOT DEALS are fewer, but a notable one is a sale on three to five-night Bahamas, Caribbean or Baja, starting from $149. Not only can you get a three-night cruise for $149, you can get Deluxe Suite for $269 per person. Four-night Caribbean cruises to Key West and Cozumel start at $199! That is a fantastic deal.
Now, just because these specials are being advertised on the cruise line Web sites, don't worry if you prefer booking through a travel agent. Agents will have the exact same prices as the cruise lines have, and there are no hidden fees or charges. We recommend using a travel agent in all cases - they take great care of you, but they get paid by the cruise lines.
And please don't expect these bargains to last forever! We are in a rare economic time right now, and the truth is that is the best time to buy anything. As soon as this election is over things will calm down quickly. The economy will likely start to recover sooner than expected.
Most importantly, January is the beginning of "wave season" in the cruise industry, the time of year when cruise enthusiasts return in droves looking to get away from the cruel winter. Seriously, after all the excitement we are havuing this fall, post election-season Winter is going to seem boring by comparison.
There are some VERY exciting new ships on the horizon, beginning with Celebrity Solstice in November, and cruise ships are about to start dominating the news cycle again. By the time Oasis of the Seas is nearing completion, I believe we are looking at a cruise industry that will have a public profile like you never imagined before.
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