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New Name For Cruise Sales' Big Week


Once a year, the entire cruise industry stages its biggest promotion, when everything goes on sale but the ships themselves. It’s hyped as the “World’s Largest Cruise Sale” because it’s time for — drum roll, please — Cruise Lines International Association’s National Cruise Vacation Week.

Now there’s a mouthful.

Or was.

Starting next week, when the 2014 sale begins, it will be called CLIA Cruise Week. Bet that one day we’ll just be calling it “Cruise Week.”

This is all about branding, marking and words that don’t fill your mouth. CLIA’s acronym has become better known in public. The words “National” and “Vacation” were unnecessary or redundant or both, especially since the promotion is going more international. And it is only one week every year so if everybody in cruising  knows what happens the first full week of October, Cruise Week should suffice.

Nobody calls it World Series Week, do they?

Today at portsandbows.com: One special cruise from Houston

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
October 13, 2014
Miami (return): Nassau, Coco Cay, Key West
Inside: $119
Cost per day: $29

From '57 Chevs to Formula One

Three things you might not have heard from the cruise world…

1. Star Clippers, which has a fleet of three ships, offers passengers a look at diametrically opposed worlds. Its flagship Royal Clipper regularly makes runs to and from Cuba, with either Panama or St. Maarten at the other end. Its Star Flyer next year will take passengers to Monaco for the Grand Prix (so Windstar's are not the only yachts going to the Grand Prix — see yesterday's blog). So, from the '57 Chevs of Cuba to the Formula One rockets of Monaco!

2. The third annual National Cruise Vacation Week (isn't every week a cruise vacation week?) has been declared as October 20-27 by the Cruise Lines International Association, otherwise known as CLIA. What it really means is that there will be sales galore available that week because CLIA members (almost all cruise lines) and travel agents come up with special offers and packages. Think of it as a Black Friday that lasts seven days.

3. Princess is staying longer in Houston. After committing to utilizing the new/old Bayport Cruise Terminal for a year (starting in November) when Houston sweetened the pot, Princess has signed a two-year extension that includes two one-year options. This guarantees 77 departures from Houston with an expected economic impact of $155 million. What is not known, at least not yet, is how much the Port of Houston Authority is paying the cruise line to be there.

Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
7 nights
October 25, 2013
Baltimore (return): King's Wharf
Inside: $419
Cost per day: $59

National Cruise Vacation Week

Time is running out. Isn't it always? This time it's for taking advantage of cruise deals during National Cruise Vacation Week.

It ends on Saturday. Every cruise line has saved something for this alleged "best week of the year to book a cruise." That may be subjective, but this week does attract attention to cruising, and it does have some specials that are used to market lines and ships.

The best place to see what's available is the Cruise Lines International Association website: www.cruising.org/vacation/national-cruise-vacation-week-specials.

It was CLIA that came up with this…er, idea, but some of us think every week you're on a cruise ship is National Cruise Vacation Week.

And it's you who can take advantage of it!

Crown Princess
20 nights
December 2, 2012
Venice, Rome, Florence, Cannes, Barcelona, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston
Inside: $905
Cost per day: $45

Cruises Galore On Sale Next Week

Think Black Friday in America. Boxing Day in Canada. The best sale, ever, at your favorite department store…except that this “department store” sells cruises.

This is what will happen next week and — like the World Series, falling leaves and Halloween — it happens every October. For those of us who like taking long rides on big boats, it’s called “The World’s Largest Cruise Sale” and it comes along every National Cruise Vacation Week, which comes along every National Cruise Vacation Month.

This is the month, and the week starts Monday.

Along with the sale.

Apparently, the potential for savings is as much as $5,000. Every major cruise line is involved, under the umbrella of Cruise Lines International Association, to which 25 cruise lines belong. The large, familiar lines will have deals and so will lines you may have never heard of — like Windstar, Louis and Hurtigruten.

More than 5,000 travel agencies are involved, and it’s safe to say they’ll book more cruises next week than in any week until….next October.

We don’t sell cruises. We don’t promote cruises. What we try to do is let you know when we find what we think are good deals, and we’ll post one here every day during National Cruise Vacation Week.

And here’s one we have left from this week…

Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas
18 nights
April 13, 2012
Sydney, Australia to Honolulu
Inside: $1,619

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