It's wave season, the period between December and the end of March where cruises are at their lowest prices all year. There's something about a snowmageddon that makes you want to pack your bags and follow a journey toward the sun. Here's the catch: I've never been on a cruise before, and definitely never booked one.
See, I am a habitual vacation-add-to-cart-er. I will search vacation rentals, flights, hotels, cultural excursions, and restaurants for a trip I will add to cart and then let the tides of time wash away (I really like cruise puns). So it occurred to me, why not ask an expert about taking an Atlantic voyage during the most economically beneficial time for me? I spoke with the Cruise editor for CruCon, a travel site that collects deals, trends, and insights on cruises and serves as your personal cruise travel agency. Alejandra Lopez helped clear up my booking anxiety and gave the best tips for different types of personalities.
January-March is known as wave season, the time of year where people can get awesome deals on cruise packages. What is it about these months that make cruise hunting so great for the consumer?
Wave Season is the time when the cruise lines offer some of their most aggressive deals of the year and offer great value to consumers looking to plan their next vacation and when you book with a travel agent, you typically get even more value-adds on top of what the cruise lines offer. In celebration of Wave Season, this year CruCon is giving away three 7-night Caribbean cruises on Celebrity Equinox. (Click here for more details.)
"Cruise pricing is based on a lot of factors – the number of nights, the service, the quality and size of the ship, the cabin type, etc. – even more so than the actual destination (although port taxes do vary by destination)...it's all about planning accordingly and looking for deals on dates outside of peak times."
There was an article that said that cruise deals are especially low right now because of economic hardships the country is facing. In your experience, is there any truth to that this year?
We are seeing a trend towards cruise packages including more perks once you get on board – helping the consumers save on things such as drinks, dining, gratuities, shore excursions, etc.
What are the priciest cruise destinations that you have seen?
Cruise pricing is based on a lot of factors – the number of nights, the service, the quality and size of the ship, the cabin type, etc. – even more so than the actual destination (although port taxes do vary by destination). We have seen amazing offers on cruises in every destination – it's all about planning accordingly and looking for deals on dates outside of peak times. No matter what your budget is, there is a cruise that can fit your needs. But, why choose one destination when you can always spend 137 nights sailing around the globe on Regent Seven Seas (Round-trip from Los Angeles) with prices starting at $59, 999 per person.
If I want a child free cruise, is there a cruise line you recommend? What about families, singles?
The cruise lines that cater more to adults are often the luxury lines such as Silversea, Crystal, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas – and river cruise lines such as Viking. For families or multi-generational cruises, cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Disney, Celebrity and Carnival offer something for everyone onboard. For the single-traveler, Norwegian Cruise Line offers studio cabins at a reduced fare – plus onboard, there are plenty of singles' meet-ups.
"But, why choose one destination when you can always spend 137 nights sailing around the globe on Regent Seven Seas (Round-trip from Los Angeles) with prices starting at $59, 999 per person."
What are the often-forgotten items when planning and packing for a cruise?
Refillable water bottles come in handy when strolling around the ship and on your shore excursions in port. Many people forget their sunscreen, flip-flops and hats, but don't worry, you can get all of this at the shops onboard the ship!
What's the "choose your own bonus" feature I often see with cruises? How do I get the best deal possible?
As mentioned, many cruise lines are offering value-adds to help consumers save money on their cruise vacation. They are giving cruisers an opportunity to choose the best perk that fits their needs. On top of what the cruise lines offer, when you book with a travel agency like CruCon, you get to choose even more perks – getting you the absolute best deal!
Quick! Name your dream cruise vacation!
Australia & New Zealand on Celebrity!