at National Conference
Times are a Changing
One of the highlights of CruiseOne / Cruises Inc. 2014 National Conference, which was held onboard Regal Princess earlier this month, was the Cruise Line Panel Q&A. Each year, we hold our conference on a different cruise ship but no matter what line it is on, the other CLIA member cruise lines participate.
This year was no different with, representatives of many lines including Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Holland America, to name just a few. A subset of those lines participated in the moderated Q&A session which talked about the Cruise Industry, their business, and the outlook for next year.
Prices Are Rising
As you might expect, the cruise lines want to sail full each sailing, so they need to monitor sales closely and adjust prices as needed. In 2014 there was excess capacity in the Caribbean, with all the new ships, so that had pressure on pricing forcing some last minute discounting. Cruise lines don't like to do so because it hurts their bottom line and also penalizes those that booked early.
Cruise lines are making adjustments in deployments for next year, and that over-capacity situation will not exist driving prices upwards. Across the board the cruise lines indicated that their goal for 2015 was to have the best prices early in the sell cycle with higher prices resulting as the ships fill and demand continues.
Message to Consumers - Book Early for Best Deals
Sales for 2015 are off to a good start, so the cruise lines are confident that their strategy will work. To be sure to keep sales on track, the lines are kicking off Wave Season early. Normally it doesn't start until January, but many lines have already released Wave Season offers. Wave Season is the first quarter of the year and typically has some of the best offers. This is the time of year when people are locked inside their houses due to cold temps, so they really start to dream about getting away to somewhere warmer.
Of course, Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, so cruise lines have announced offers for that as well. See our Facebook page for some highlights.
Location, Location, Location
Besides getting the best prices by booking early, there are other advantages as well. What would you rather look at when you wake up - 4 walls or the ocean? Would you like the smoothest ride or is a roller-coaster cruise satisfactory?
The most important thing to having an enjoyable cruise is your accommodations. Contrary to popular thinking, you do spend a significant amount of your vacation in your cabin, so comfortable surroundings does increase your satisfaction level. If you've ever looked at multiple cabin categories, you'll notice that location factors into the price you pay. Mid-ship demands a higher price tag than all the way aft or all the forward, even on the same deck. You will find the least motion mid-ship, so anyone that might not want to feel the "motion of the ocean" should definitely try to get one of these prime cabins.
Guess which cabins sell out first? Mid-ship and higher decks - which often mean the balconies and suites that are highly sought after.
Delaying your booking means you get what's left. You'll still have a great cabin and no doubt an enjoyable cruise, but perhaps it could have been even better if you were able to get your first choice in cabins.
How to Play the Game
Our goal is to help you find the right cruise for you and your guests. With all the added capacity, there are also many choices. It is becoming harder for the individual to sort through all the choices and offers to find the best value for your vacation dollars. That's where we come in - that is our task and one that we really enjoy. We love making dreams come true and hearing about your fantastic vacation afterwards.
Our website has links to all of our various social media outlets. Most importantly is our eNewsletter which is sent out via email on average once a week. During Wave Season, and times when there are an abundance of offers, it might be more frequent. Some offers cross our desk and have a very short duration - so we suggest you let us know in advance about your plans so that we can watch for the best value.
We've included links here with a brief explanation of some of the resources we offer to our followers. Please be sure to take advantage of all these opportunities, as that is the best way to stay informed.
If you haven’t signed up for our eSavers Newsletter yet, be sure to do so. This is just one of our communication vehicles to keep you informed about industry news and special offers for our loyal followers.
Be sure to visit our Facebook Fan Page and "Like Us" so that you can be in the inner circle of our Fans. You’ll have the opportunity to be the first to know about specials and other exclusive information, such as updates from cruise lines.
Each week we post images from our trips and participate in several travel chats on Twitter.
Take advantage of these resources to assist you in planning your dream vacations. Of course, we are always available to answer any questions you might have about travel and the industry.