Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Spend Your Tax Refund

Uncle Sam Wants YOU
To Cruise

Sail from one of 23 U.S. Ports

That dreaded day is here - April 15th.  Hopefully, since you are reading this column,  your taxes are already either in the mail or filed electronically.   If not, time is running out (I don't mean to nag)...   The sooner you hit the send button, the sooner you can start doing something fun (like planning a family get-away). 

What better way to help the economy than to reward yourself and your family with a cruise vacation?

Did you know that you can begin a cruise vacation from 23 different U.S. Cities?  If you happen to live in one of those cities, you don't have far to go to get onboard a cruise ship.   For others, a road trip or flight can bring you to the embarkation port of call.  A cruise vacation is an excellent value since your lodging, meals, and onboard entertainment are included in the price.  Did I mention you only unpack your bags once?

Assuming that you are getting a refund, and that you've filed electronically, you could receive your refund before the month is over. Why not put that refund to work for you by putting a deposit on a cruise leaving later this year or even next year.    Schedules through next summer have been posted for most cruise lines.  Booking early is the key to saving money on a cruise vacation.   Due to supply and demand, last minute deals are few and far between.

If you want to leave for your trip in May or June, I'd suggest that you make your reservations before you receive your refund check, as cabins are quickly being sold out.   That might come as a shock to many of you, but people are booking early to take advantage of special pricing, so the odds of even finding a cabin at the last minute are low (especially if you need a cabin with more than double occupancy).  Royal Caribbean announced that their new ship, Oasis of the Seas, exceeded the 6,000 passenger mark on a recent voyage.

What explanation is there for the high booking rates?   I believe there are several factors including pent up demand (previously postponed vacations) and the excellent value that a cruise vacation offers.

If you are ready to start planning, the Cruise Finder tool (left navigation pane) can help.

No comments: