Analysis of a Good Deal in Cruising

Every day, five days a week for the past few years, we have researched and provided you with what we call our “Daily Deal (see below).”

But what’s a deal?

Whether you’re going on a cruise, buying a house or shopping for bananas, there are bargains…and there are bargains. But with cruises, what’s the deal?

We look for deals for ourselves, just like you do. We’re no experts but we once came across some strategies from “Business Travel Tips” when it comes to deciphering the sales pitch:

1. Assume you’ll get a room for at least 25% off the “rack rate” and if you get one for 75% off, that’s definitely a good deal.

2. Cruise lines always advertise their lowest prices, probably an inside stateroom and a shortest cruises.

3. If you get a cruise for somewhere between $75 and $100 a day, it’s likely a good deal, but it’s not an “all-in” price. You WILL spend money on the ship — in the casino, Eclipsebuying shore excursions, gratuities, paying for drinks — soda as well as booze. Our rule of thumb is double the cost and you’ll be close.

4. Don’t dismiss on-board credits — they are valuable. It’s money in your pocket, or at least on your account, which is paid by your pocket.

5. Upgrades are a bonus if you don’t mind being in your room, watching the water go by and not spending.

6. If you’re comfortable with making your own shore excursions, you can make great financial deals, always remembering that the ship that won’t wait for you.

7. Watch for re-positioning cruises, because it’s not for everybody and there are often empty staterooms.

8. As boring as it is, read the fine print — you must know exactly what you’re getting.

And now, today’s deal…

Norwegian Sun
7 nights
September 8, 2014
Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Tracy Arm, Skagway, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Inside: $279
Cost per day: $39
www.ncl.com

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