Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas
Never a Better Time
to Book a Summer Cruise
I have said it before and will say it again - if you are looking for a once in a lifetime experience - this summer may be your opportunity. The cruise fares in Europe are bargains this year, and adding to the potential - airfare is also predicted to be as much as 33% lower this year. Alaska is also a screaming deal, so don't overlook the opportunities there.
Cruise prices usually go higher in the summer just because it is family vacation time, and this will probably happen in the Caribbean, but this year Europe and Alaska are already on sale. Between the cruise fares, the airfare and a much stronger dollar, this is the year to go to Europe. You already know that because I have been telling you.
To confirm this, just yesterday the travel correspondent for NBC, Peter Greenberg, reported that he expects airfare from the U.S. to Europe to be down as much as 33% this summer. That is an incredible savings. A ticket that cost you $900 last year will be $600 this year. That is $1200 instead of $1800 for two people.
So, we know airfare is a bargain right now, but once that cheap airfare sells out it is gone. So, I repeat, now is the time to be planning your summer cruise.
Here is another reason, by polling our readers and talking to the cruise lines we know there are millions of cruisers out there checking cruise fares each week but not booking. They are watching and waiting, hoping cruise fares could still go lower. The cruise lines have also noticed this pattern, and they aren't caving in. They tell us that they see people waiting until the last minute to book, so they are not lowering prices in a last minute panic. People are still booking, they are just waiting longer to do it.
There is no real incentive in waiting for cruise fares to get cheaper. Chances are they will get more expensive. We have seen prices rising oh so gradually in the last couple of weeks, but they are still bargains.
Here is a spot check of prices; the mid-May 10-night Holland America Noordam sailing roundtrip Rome (Civitavecchia) is now $200 more per person than it was seven weeks ago, from $1699 for a balcony cabin to $1899 now. This is still a steal, but it shows that waiting for a lower price is no guarantee - a gamble at best. Buying early locks in lower rates, gets you a better cabin selection and gives you the opportuity to lock in your lower airfare.
Obviously, many cruisers have been listening to us since ships are starting to sell out in some categories and prices are rising ever so slightly. If things were so tough for the cruise lines that they needed to be discounting, they would be doing it already. They reëvaluate their pricing on a daily basis.
For Europeans, or people who may be in Europe this summer, there are a number of short Royal Caribbean cruises at great bargain prices.
I see a four-night Navigator of the Seas sailing from Barcelona to Marseille and Ibiza. This is a fun ship and the cruise starts at just $299 per person; balcony cabins are just $429! A five night cruise on the same ship has a tremendous itinerary; from Barcelona to Cannes France and then to Livorno Italy, the port for Florence and Pisa. This five-day cruise has balcony cabins for just $599.
Vision of the Seas is sailing a four-day repositioning cruise, from London to Amsterdam and ending in Oslo Norway, starting at just $172 per person. From Oslo it offers four-day cruises roundtrip to Amsterdam starting at just $201 per person. What a fun, short getaway at an amazing price.
If you want a longer cruise how about an 11-night cruise on Voyager of the Seas from London throughout the Western Mediterranean? Inside cabins start at just $799 for the May 23 voyage. The May 9 voyage on the same ship is 14-days and starts at $1500 per person.
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