Who says luxury has to equal â€œout of reach?â€? While it is true that luxury cruise line vacations are more expensive than mainstream cruise line vacations, you can still find deals, discounts, special credits, and luxury cruise line vacation packages to take some of the pressure off of your wallet so you can relax and enjoy your luxury cruise vacation.
So what exactly is a luxury cruise line? Luxury cruise lines have several distinct differences from other cruise lines. The ships are likened to six (or even seven) star hotels, the clientele is typically rich to ultra-rich, the destinations and ports of call are unbelievably unique, and the shore excursions and tours are extremely elaborate. Additionally, on a luxury cruise line, you wonâ€™t feel like youâ€™re just a face among many — youâ€™ll feel like youâ€™re being pampered by your own personal butler thatâ€™s focused on you and only you.
Most luxury cruises will accommodate smaller numbers of passengers, which makes it easier to offer personalized service, privacy, and a more intimate environment. However, there are several lines that cater to bigger crowds of luxury seekers, but they are far and few between. Crystal Cruises, for example, features larger ships for its luxury cruises, but they still manage to offer stellar service to satisfied customers. Cunard Cruise Line is another example of the large ship/luxury cruise. They have larger crowds, but the luxury service and feel doesnâ€™t suffer.
With all of this, youâ€™re probably thinking — how on earth can I score a deal? The answer is simple. While luxury cruise lines are like no other, they are like other forms of travel in several ways. If you book online, you may come across Internet only specials and onboard credit offers or if you book through a cruise travel agent, the agent will have access to special luxury cruise line vacation packages that you wonâ€™t be able to find on your own. You can also check with online booking search engines such as Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Kayak.com, and Hotwire.com if you have a luxury cruise line in mind. Speaking of, there are several other popular luxury cruise lines available.
Some of the top luxury lines in the business today include: Seabourn Cruises, Sea Dream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises, and Radisson Seven Seas. The majority of the luxury ships will accommodate anywhere from 200-300 passengers — 110 for Sea Dream Yacht Club.
If you find that the specials and luxury cruise line vacation packages offered are still too steep for your budget, there are several options available to you. Princess Cruises and Holland America Line both feature â€œluxury cruise offerings,â€? but rates are far less than a regular luxury cruise. Meaning, these lines do offer some luxury amenities on certain cruises. Contact the cruise line directly for details.
Still looking for a deal? Here are some tips that may help save money:
Â· Look for â€œselect cruisesâ€? such as Caribbean cruises. Most cruise lines offer deals on popular cruise destinations
Â· Book far in advance. You could save anywhere from 40-50% just for booking ahead.
Â· If youâ€™re willing to take a gamble, booking at the very last minute may also offer deals. If the luxury line still has empty suites several weeks before setting sail, you may score a reservation at up to 75% off!
Â· Book with a group. Group travel always offers extra discounts
Â· If you are 55 or older ask about senior discounts. All you need is proof of age to enjoy significant savings.
Â· Book off-season. If you want to book off-season, youâ€™ll find the most bargain opportunities in year-around destinations. For example, slow or â€œshoulderâ€? seasons for say Alaska, may differ from the Mexican Riviera. Here is a list of destinations and their slow seasons: Alaska, May and September; Bermuda, April-May and September-October; Canada/New England, July-August; the Caribbean, late April-May, September-early January; Hawaii, late August, late November, and February; Mexican Riviera, early January and May, October-November; Eastern and Western Mediterranean, March-April and September-November. Expect for the â€œquirks and perksâ€? to be plentiful during these times as well.