Costco and luxury make strange bedfellows. Costco isn’t a purveyor of luxury goods, and in fact it is essentially associated with the opposite – massive amounts of discounted products. Just the same, Costco offers luxury cruises through their travel division (Costco Travel), which is nice because you can get a price break on what would otherwise be (and in fact still is) an expensive cruise. Below is a guide to Costco’s luxury cruises, as well as some advice on how to book a luxury cruise via Costco Travel.
The first place to look for Costco luxury cruises is on the Costco Travel website, which has a page dedicated to luxury cruises. On this page are the “featured deals,” which are worth checking out first in case one of these discounted options is of any interest. (Not all of Costco’s “featured deals” are technically discounted, but you get free perks like shipboard credit, which can obviously save you money.) There are only four options at the moment, however, and although they are all pleasant-sounding itineraries, you’ll probably want to search Costco’s listings to see what else is on offer.
Of the 13 cruise lines Costco works with, four are luxury cruise lines: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Azamara Club Cruises, and Crystal. (For more on what constitutes a luxury cruise, we have worked out a definition of luxury cruises, as well as highlighted the differences between a luxury cruise and a regular cruise.) This gives you a lot of different luxury cruises to pick from. Unfortunately, however, you can’t search all luxury cruises together. So, if you simply know you want to take a luxury cruise, but don’t know (or don’t care) which cruise line you sail with, you’ll have to search the listings of each of the four luxury lines. Alternatively, you can search for cruises by destination, and this is probably the approach most people will take, considering that where you want to go will likely dictate, or at least heavily influence, the rest of your decisions. Once you’ve searched for a location, you can filter the results by cruise line. For example, if you want to sail to the Caribbean this December, to pick a totally random scenario, there are two luxury lines that can take you there, Regent and Crystal, and these can be zeroed in on after you search for cruises to the Caribbean in December on all cruise lines. After using the filter, 251 search listings is reduced to only three – just the luxury cruises to the Caribbean in December.
We’ll conclude by noting that even though these luxury cruises are offered through Costco and might be attached to some promotional offer, they are still priced like luxury cruises – you are going to be paying at least a few thousand dollars and very frequently much more. On the other hand, luxury cruises come with tons of free extras, some of which (like free alcohol) can save you a substantial amount of money, and that is crucial to keep in mind as you evaluate your options. Luxury cruises are expensive, but in a way that is somewhat misleading when all relevant factors are considered, and in any case they are out there if you want to take one, and you can book one through Costco if you’re a member.