"NEW YORK -- The cruise industry racked up dramatic gains November through January according to a new study released by CLIA, which shows more Americans buying cruises so far in 2002 than in the same period in 2001.
According to the study, several cruise lines set records for the number of reservations made in the first three weeks of January 2002.
CLIA president Jim Godsman attributed the resurgence of consumer confidence in cruises to a number of actions taken by the cruise lines, such as the repositioning of ships, new programs and enhancements, aggressive marketing campaigns, early booking incentives and reduced prices.
Carnival Cruise Lines set two one-week reservations records. Its record of 140,392 bookings for the week of Jan. 7 to 13 was broken the next week with 144,342.
Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises also broke previous booking records two weeks in a row.
Royal Caribbean achieved a record of 147,819 bookings for the week ended Jan. 18, and the next week was 78% over the same period the previous year.
After a six-week downturn following Sept. 11, Seabourn's revenues for the next three months were 307% over what they were the same period a year before.
The week ended Jan. 18 was Silversea Cruises biggest booking week in the line's nine-year history, 35% over the same week last year."
I think that you can find a good deal it just takes a little work and a lot of phone calls. I call about 5 & 6 TA to get the best deal and it has payed off most of the time. The last deal we got was from the LA times and that turned out to be a mess but thankgoodness turned out in the end but I will keep trying to get the best deal I can.
We've sailed 3 times since 9/11, and the only reason the ships are filling up is because of the "deals!" If the prices rise, it will be temporary. As soon as they rise, the bookings will drop, and the prices will follow... It's a familiar pattern.
We thought the cruise industry was "depressed" so imagine our surprise when we saw the sign on the Explorer saying the ship was full! That's over 3000 passengers.! Two of our tablemates booked 2 days before sailing and worried about what kind of cabin they'd get. Surprise!! A "Handicapped" cabin that was twice as big as a regular one. This, despite the large # of passengers in wheel chairs. We all had a wonderful time and will definitely go again.
While we all loved seeing the LOW prices, realistically we have to hope to they rise at least to a reasonable level to keep the industry healthy.
I don't think any of us want to see a repeat of Renaissance, Premier or AH.
PLUS, it's very difficult for the cruise lines to supply the onboard product we all want on $399 fares.
I know I booked before the end of January for this coming December and I am happy to see the cruise industry thriving after the slump last year. I think most people would love cruising if they would give it a chance!