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Friday, August 27, 2010

When is the Best Time to Book a Cruise Vacation?

YET ANOTHER SUBJECT THAT IS THE CAUSE OF MUCH CONSTERNATION is when to book a cruise. Well, it depends on whether you are driven purely by price or if you would rather have your choice of ship, itinerary, accommodations and sailing date.

What is the best cruise line for you and your lifestyle, personal preferences and onboard expectations? 
Not all cruise lines are alike, and the experience “is” quite different. Service levels, onboard amenities, common area space, quality of food, types of entertainment, available activities and the lifestyles of other passengers onboard are definitely important to take into consideration.

Is there a particular ship, itinerary or specific ports of call that you don’t want to miss? 
Chances are if it’s important to you, it’s most likely important and popular to others as well.  There is no secret formula here other than to plan well in advance. Ensure that your personal preferences are available to you and avoid unnecessary disappointment by working with an experienced cruise planning professional.

Are you cruising with more than two people in your stateroom or with children that need to be in an adjoining stateroom or across the hall?
Each ship has a limited amount of staterooms available to accommodate more than two passengers. There are also limitations on the number of triple and quad accommodations made available for any given sailing date. Because third and forth passengers within the same stateroom come at a much lower rate, many families and other cost conscious cruise vacationers take advantage of this as an affordable option.

Is the location, type, size and category of your stateroom important to you?
Aft facing and midship location balconies are generally the first to go. This is especially true on the newest and most desirable ships. Other factors also weigh into the equation such as easy access to elevators without having to walk down the hall.  While $499 may sound great for an inside stateroom on a 7-Night cruise, what if you desire an oceanview or balcony and none are available? Many of the last minute cruise promotions leave the location of your stateroom to the cruise line’s discretion based on availability. 

Are you available to cruise based on a last minute price promotion or are your dates specific?
If you decide to wait for the last minute bargain, it's true that you may find some great prices on certain cruises, but then again, you may find no space at all on the cruise of your dreams, or you might end up paying more than you want to because the early booking deals are all sold out.

If you have your heart set on a specific ship, itinerary, sailing date or stateroom accommodations, book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Don't hesitate to book 9 to 18 months in advance if possible.

Confirming your cruise vacation only requires a small refundable deposit. Depending on the cruise line, final payment is not due until 60 to 75 days prior to your cruise. In some situations, it is possible to adjust your price down to new rates within your specific stateroom category, depending on restrictions of course.

Choosing an experienced, accredited and reputable cruise vacation professional is the “key” to the cruise vacation planning process.  At Xpertise Cruise Travel, we know that you have a choice, and we will do everything possible to ensure that you are always pleased with a choice made in coming to us.

We are very proud of the service we extend to each and every one of our valued customers, and we look forward to making the planning process an enjoyable part of your cruise vacation experience.

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