Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apply Your Tax Refund To a Cruise

Have you had visions of Caribbean beaches and cruise ships in your dreams?  I'm sure that I'm not the only one that does...  

Are you are getting a tax refund?  Help the economy grow - spend some of your tax refund on yourself - on a cruise vacation.  If you've not been on a cruise before, now is the best time.

If you are like most Americans, when the economy took a turn for the worse a couple years ago, your vacation plans went out the window.   Consequently cruise prices have remained at pretty constant low prices, but are about to start increasing.   There are still several cruise line offers available for those that want to take advantage of the lower pricing.

How about Europe Instead?

Of course, you don't need to go to the Caribbean, and in fact, the best deals this summer are actually going to be on European cruise vacations.   Why is that you ask?    The cruise lines have record deployments in Europe this summer but the demand hasn't kept pace with the increased capacity.

That's not to imply that people aren't booking European cruises - they are.  However, there are larger ships and more of them, in Europe this summer than any other time before. Obviously, the cruise ships need to sail full for the companies to make a profit, so the consumer wins.

Comparing Cruise to Land-Based

I just did a quick search on my website for a short European cruise vacation the end of May.  I found a 5-Night Baltic, Copenhagen R/T on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas with prices starting from $340pp for an inside cabin.   For those that aren't quick at math, that's $68pp per day (excluding taxes and fees).  

For comparison purposes, I did a hotel search for Copenhagen during the same 5-Night period and prices ranged from $319 Per Night.   The hotel didn't include meals or entertainment and was rated as a 4 star accommodation.    Contrasting the hotel stay and the cruise...  On the cruise it's like getting 3 nights free, all your meals, and entertainment onboard the ship.

Besides Copenhagen, you'll visit Bergen, Norway and Geiranger, Norway.  I've visited all of those locations and can assure you, you'd have a wonderful trip.  The Batlic was one of our favorite trips.

I've not discussed airfare, which is a large expense for a European vacation, especially in prime season.   Since the cost of air would be the same for the cruise and land-based vacation stay, I've excluded that from the equation.    Many of the current cruise deals for the Europe 2011 Summer Season feature reduced air, making the select cruises even more attractive.

There are many deals to Europe this Summer.   We'll feature some of the sales on our website and Facebook page.   If you are seriously considering a Europe get-away this Summer, my suggestion would be to book now while the supply is larger than the demand so that you can maximize your investment.  

The prices I've seen during my search in preparation for this article are on par with what you'd pay for a Caribbean vacation on the same or similar ships.   For the most part, the ships are the larger, newer vessels in the respective fleets.   Ships like Carnival Magic, Celebrity Equinox and Solstice, Norwegian Epic, and Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas are just a few of the choices you'll have.

Put Your Tax Dollars to Work for You on a Cruise Vacation to Remember for Years to Come.   Cruise Europe in 2011 !!

No comments: