Friday, February 17, 2017

Why should you book your next cruise while on board? BOOKING BONUSES!

Read all about them ...

For past cruisers, you’ve likely waltzed by the onboard sales office on your way to all the fun.

Being too busy enjoying your current vacation, you really don’t want to spend your time meeting with a Future Cruise Counselor discussing your next cruise when you only have about a week onboard to spend sunbathing at the pool, exploring your ports of call, or trying to hit big in the casino.

But, the thing is, if you’re going to go on another cruise (let’s face it -- we all know you are!) then, you’ll really want to check out the onboard sales office to see what all they’re offering.

The cruise line is likely to be offering reduced deposits, onboard spending credit, and other freebies if you reserve onboard. Sometimes, there is even onboard spending credit applied to the cruise you are already on AND your future cruise! 

Most cruise lines offer this convenience.  You can check your cruise’s daily newsletter for desk location and hours.

The best news of all is that you can snag one of these future cruise “credits” and have it transferred to our agency for an ADDITIONAL DISCOUNT!



Unfortunately, the Imagination, Inspiration, Sensation, Spirit, Valor, and Legend do not have Future Cruise Counselors onboard the ship but the remaining, unmentioned vessels do.

Cruisers may select ships and sail dates and also receive an onboard credit of up to $200 per stateroom. 

The reservation can be combined with other promotions, except interline discounts, and you get two vouchers for the same onboard credit that you can give to friends or family who will be joining the sailing. 

There is no deposit discount. 

You can cancel for no charge up to 90 days before the scheduled sailing. 

I would strongly recommend this program. You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions with Carnival’s no charge cancellation policy of up to 90 days before sailing. 



Celebrity’s Future Cruise Vacations program offers discounted deposits of $100 per guest.  

Additionally, you can book up to three future cruises at one time and the offer is combinable with Celebrity’s promotions such as their “Go Big, Go Better, Go Best!” sale.  

You can choose either the “Cruise Now” or “Cruise Later” option when making your reservation.

The “Cruise Now” plan offers up to $500 onboard spending credit which is based upon the sailing you choose.

You can cancel your booking up until 90 days before the cruise departs without penalty.

You also can change your cruise date or ship, and, if the price drops for your cruise, you can get the better deal. 

The Cruise Later option is best if you know that you want to cruise but haven't yet picked a ship or date. 

There is no expiration date on your reservation and you're eligible for up to $200 in onboard credit. 

I would strongly recommend this program. You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions with Celebrity’s no charge cancellation policy of up to 90 days before sailing without penalty, allowances of refaring if the price drops, and Cruise Later program. The Cruise Later program, in particular, allows you to take advantage of the bonuses without the bind of being locked into a specific cruise. 



If you reserve a cruise with Costa while on board, you get a 5 percent discount that becomes guaranteed once you finalize the booking through your travel agent. 

The line also runs promotions on top of the 5 percent discount, such as a 100 euro voucher to use toward that future cruise.  

This amount may vary based upon ship and sail date.

You also would get a voucher to give to a family member or friend in such a case. 

The discount may vary depending on the ship and sail date you are interested in.

The deposit cannot be redeemed for cash. 

I would cautiously recommend this program. Rules and restrictions are provided onboard, and may be more binding than other cruise line’s programs. 



One important thing to note for Disney’s Future Cruise Credit program is that there are blackout dates (typically Christmas sailings). If there is a specific sailing you are interested in, be sure to ask the counselor onboard the ship if you can use it for that cruise prior to purchasing. 

Disney deposits are reduced to 10% for 7 night or longer sailings, come with a 10% discount on your future cruise, and come with up to $200 onboard spending credit as well (amount depends on the ship and sail date).

Blackout dates receive the onboard credit as well as the reduced deposit if it is a 7+ night sailing, but will not get the 10% discount off of prevailing rates. 

You can select a specific cruise at the time of purchase or you can save it and have it applied at a later date.

Guests must sail within 18 months after the date of the original booking was made onboard. 
It is also limited to two staterooms on one future cruise date per household, any additional staterooms may be booked at current prevailing rates

This offer is valid for Categories 4-11 only and is not valid for concierge level categories, 1 or 2 night sailings or IGT, OGT, and VG Restricted Categories.

Name changes to the reservation may be made as long as one adult on the original booking remains on the reservation.

Certificates are non-refundable for cash.

I would cautiously recommend this program. Disney has black out dates that this program cannot be applied to, and they may apply to the date that you had wanted to sail on. There are also restrictive name change rules and only an 18 month time frame to use the future cruise credit. These restrictions may be too limiting for some and could cause problems. 



The Future Cruise Consultant desk on Holland offers up to $200 per cabin in onboard credit (based on length of sailing and stateroom category) with a deposit of $100 per person for a 3 to 10 day cruise.

You can choose an itinerary on your current sailing or make a future cruise deposit and take up to four years to pick your cruise before the deposit expires.

You can cancel or change your reservation up to 90 days before the departure without penalty. 

Here are the typical onboard credit amounts:

3-10 Days: 
  • $25 for Inside/Oceanview
  • $50 Balcony and Suites

11-21 Days: 
  • $50 for Inside/Oceanview
  • $75 Balcony and $100 Suite

22-50 Days: 
  • $100 for Inside/Oceanview
  • $150 Balcony and Suites

51+ Days: 
  • $150 for Inside/Oceanview
  • $200 Balcony and Suites

Holland’s Future Cruise Deposits are not valid on Grand World Voyages, Grand Voyages, or segments of Grand Voyages. 

Certificates are non-refundable for cash.

I would strongly recommend this program. You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions with Holland’s no charge cancellation policy of up to 90 days before sailing, and relaxed 4 years to choose a sailing to get the future cruise credit applied. 



MSC’s Future Cruise Credit program is only offered on the MSC Divina in the Caribbean.

This program allows passengers who book onboard to receive up to $200 per cabin in onboard credit, based on ship, sail date and cabin category. 

Deposits are $100 per person. 

Cruisers can book specific cruises while onboard or decide up to four years later before the deposit expires.

You can combine the reservation with certain other promotions including the military discount.

Certificates are non-refundable for cash.

I would strongly recommend this program. You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions with MSC’s relaxed time-frame of 4 years to choose a sailing to apply the future cruise credit to. 



With NCL, guests may purchase a $250 Freestyle Cruise Rewards deposit to reserve a sailing of 6 days or longer.

Additionally, guests get an instant $100 onboard spending credit for the sailing that they are currently on. 

Guests have the option to apply the $250 deposit to a sailing they have already picked out or they can simply save it until they have one.

The Freestyle Cruise Rewards is valid for four years from the purchase date before it will expire.

Guests may charge the $250 Freestyle Cruise Reward to their onboard account and it is refundable within 30 days of purchase (less the $100 instant onboard credit if refunded).

I would cautiously recommend this program. You only have 30 days to decide to cancel the program which is a very short time frame, and you will be penalized for the instant onboard credit portion of the purchase. 

However, this is a great option if you are certain you are going to cruise again and will not cancel your or return your future cruise credit. 


Princess offers future cruise sales consultants on each of its ships. 

You pay $100 per person to reserve a future sailing and you can claim onboard credit of up to $150 per passenger (based on cruise length and cabin class). 

You can book a specific cruise onboard or get an open reservation to sail that's good for up to four years. 

Your deposit is refundable if you choose not to use your deposit towards a future sailing. 

I would strongly recommend this program. Your deposit is automatically refundable if it’s not applied to a specific sailing. The benefits are great, and there is no risk of losing your deposit if you do not find a sailing to apply it to.
Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean's NextCruise program allows guests to get up to $200 per cabin in onboard credit (based on length of sailing) and pay a reduced deposit of $100 per person for their reservation. 

Cruisers don't have to pick their ships or sailing dates at the time of the reservation as there is no expiration date. 

Guests get two NextCruise certificates for friends or family who can sail with you and also receive onboard credit. 

These certificates are valid for 5 years and are non-refundable after purchase.

Royal Caribbean's standard cancellation policies apply to onboard bookings. 

Certificates are non-refundable for cash.

Shareholder onboard credits and other onboard credit or dollars-off promotions are not combinable with the onboard credit for booking a NextCruise onboard. 

I would strongly recommend this program. You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions with Royal Caribbean’s relaxed time-frame of 5 years to choose a sailing to apply the future cruise credit to. 

******* Please note that this information is subject to change at any moment and may vary based upon the current promotions.  This article serves to inform our clients of the potential benefits to booking onboard. ********

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Where do cruises go? How much does one cost?

Here is an example map from Norwegian of the many options available to cruisers!

Most cruises in the U.S. go to islands in the Caribbean Sea, or other islands like the Bahamas which are technically in the Atlantic. 

Cruises to the Caribbean usually go to either the Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, or Southern Caribbean.

To see map of where cruises depart from in the U.S., and go to in the Caribbean, click here! 

There are also cruises departing from California which go to Mexican ports like Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. 

Cruises from Seattle and Vancouver go to Alaska. 

There are a few 15-day cruises which go from the West Coast of the U.S. to Hawaii, but most Hawaiian cruises begin and end in Hawaii. 

There are many cruises departing from southern Europe which cruise to other ports in the Mediterranean Sea, usually either on the Western side of Italy toward Spain, or on the Eastern side toward the Greek Isles. 

Cruises depart from Northern Europe cruise the North Sea to the Norwegian Fjords and cities in the Baltics and Russia. 

Cruises go everywhere in the world, including all over Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. 

There are also TransAtlantic and Repositioning cruises which cross the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.

Want to cruise through the Panama Canal?  You can do that! 

 How Much Do Cruises Cost? 

The price of a cruise could be anywhere between $200 and $20,000 per person! 

Plus, the cruise lines change the price almost daily! 

So there is no ONE price that we can tell you. 

To determine the price we need to identify one specific ship and departure date.  But then, we need to know what type of cabin you prefer (least expensive, ocean view, balcony, etc), the number of people in the cabin, and your state of residence, military status, senior and past guest status.

Whew - you see how getting a price on a cruise can be kind of complicated!  But don't worry, we're experts and we can help.

There are over 300 cruise ships in the world cruising to hundreds of destinations. 

Use cruise search tool to select when you want to go, where to and where from.

It's the blue box in the right column on most pages of our website. 

It will reveal a list of all cruises which fit your criteria and give you live pricing and cabin availability. 

We can tell you generally that holiday weeks and summer months are the most expensive time to cruise.

And some cruise lines are definitely more affordable than others. 

But, you can use our search tool to list all cruises in order of least expensive to most, so you can easily see what your best deals are.

Or contact us and we'll create a customized list of your best options for you.

We're open 7 days a week and we'd love to help.  

Military Cruise Deals