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Archive for June, 2014


Windstar Cruises offers 4th of July sale – savings up to 76% off!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 30 - 2014

Windstar Cruises, a leader in small ship cruising, is celebrating the Fourth of July with exceptional savings on select sailings. Guests can book the yachting vacation of their dreams for as low as $1,776 per person, a savings of up to 76% off, on select voyages until July 11, 2014.

Take advantage of these savings and cruise in Windstar Style, the perfect pairing of comfort and luxury. Experience the glamorous ports of the French Riviera on Glitter & Glam of the Riviera. Relax on the beautiful beaches of the French Polynesia islands on Dreams of Tahiti.

Windstar Cruises Wind Surf sails in the Caribbean used by ExpertCruiser courtesy of Windstar CruisesAdditionally, select Asia voyages include a $1,000 airfare credit per person.  From Singapore and the Malay Peninsula to Hong Kong and Vietnam, Windstar explores the best of Asia. All Asia voyages include Windstar’s new Private Events, a complimentary on shore experience that is crafted to give guests an in depth and authentic taste of the local culture.

Every Windstar voyage promises an intimate, yacht style experience, including pampering without pretense, smaller ports of call, and unique private events on shore.

To learn more about the featured voyages and take advantage of Windstar’s Fourth of July Sale, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

Princess offers a Red, White & Blue Sale, savings up to $700 per stateroom!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 26 - 2014

Princess Cruises is celebrating the summer season with the “Red, White & Blue Sale” featuring cruise deals on North American departures 10 days or longer. The June 26 to July 10 sales event offers cruise discounts of up to $700 per stateroom, plus up to $150 free onboard spending money.

Voyages featured in the sale include cruise vacations to the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Canada & New England and Hawaii. Cruises depart between September 2014 and April 2015.

In addition to special fares, guests booking balcony staterooms or above will receive an onboard credit of $150 per stateroom and those booking interior or oceanview staterooms can get a $100 per stateroom credit. Plus, guests can book their stateroom with only a $100 deposit per person.

princessship2More information about the cruise sale and pricing can be found at http://www.princess.com/sale.

Examples of cruise deals include:

  • Caribbean cruise – 10 days: $999 interior; $1,599 balcony
  • Mexico cruise – 10 days: $799 interior; $1,299 balcony
  • Canada & New England cruise – 10 days: $999 interior; $2,399 balcony
  • Panama Canal cruise – 11 days: $999 interior; $1,499 balcony
  • Hawaii cruise – 15 days: $1,399 interior; $2,299 balcony

Information about other cruise deals and promotions can be found at http://www.princess.com/topcruisedeals.

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The Red, White & Blue Sale begins at 12:01 a.m. PDT on June 26 and runs through 11:59 p.m. PDT on July 10, 2014 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has expanded its Silver Select promotion beyond Alaska and the Mediterranean to include select voyages in the Caribbean.

The Silver Select promotion enables guests to personalize their voyage with a choice of three enticing offers: a two-category suite upgrade, a $500 per person credit towards the purchase of the Silver Sky® air program, or a $500 per person onboard credit that can be used for shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty restaurants and more. Silver Select is available on new bookings made by August 31, 2014 for select voyages sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean.

Silversea's Silver Shadow (image courtesy of Silversea Cruises)Silver Select’s three generous savings options have proven hugely popular, and we’re delighted to be offering them now on voyages to the beautiful, sunny islands of the Caribbean,” said Kristian Anderson, Silversea’s senior vice president and general manager for the Americas.

Below is a small sampling of the 2014-2015 Caribbean voyages offering the Silver Select promotion:

Silver Cloud departs December 5 on a 7-day, roundtrip voyage (#1436) from Fort Lauderdale with calls in Key West, Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,950.

Silver Spirit departs December 12 on a 10-day, roundtrip voyage (#5437) from Fort Lauderdale with calls in San Juan, St. Barts, Antigua, Tortola, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk. Silver Privilege fares start at $3,750.

Silver Whisper departs December 12 on a 7-day voyage (#4433) from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale with calls in St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Barts, and Virgin Gorda. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,450.

Silver Cloud departs February 11 on a 9-day voyage (#1504) from Barbados to San Juan with calls in Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominica, St. Barts, and St. Maarten. Silver Privilege fares start at $3,950.

Silver Shadow departs March 20 on a 14-day, roundtrip voyage (#3506) from Fort Lauderdale with calls in Ponce (Puerto Rico), St. Barts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bequia, Dominica, St. Kitts, and Tortola. Silver Privilege fares start at $5,850.

Silver Select is still available on several 2014 Alaska and Mediterranean voyages with an extended booking deadline of August 31. Here’s a small sampling:

ALASKA

–Silver Shadow:

Voyage 3426: Seward to Vancouver, 7 Days, August 28 – September 4
Voyage 3428: Vancouver to San Francisco, 11 Days, September 13 – 24

 

MEDITERRANEAN

–Silver Spirit:

Voyage 5426: Istanbul to Istanbul, 9 Days, August 20 – 29

Voyage 5433: Athens to Rome, 14 Days, October 17 – 31

Voyage 5434: Rome to Barcelona, 9 Days, October 31 – November 9

–Silver Cloud:

Voyage 1432: Istanbul to Athens, 9 Days, October 22 – 31

Voyage 1433: Athens to Rome, 12 Days, October 31 – November 12

–Silver Wind:

Voyage 2432: Barcelona to Rome, 9 Days, October 12 – 21

Voyage 2433: Rome to Athens, 10 Days, October 21 – 31

Silver Select is a capacity-controlled program and subject to availability. The $500 per person credit towards the purchase of the Silver Sky® air program is not available in Central and South America. Guests or their travel agents must mention promotion code NASELECT03 at the time of booking to receive this special offer. For complete details and fares, visit Silversea.com/silverselect.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales

Norwegian DASH Sale – get on board credit and air savings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 13 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its popular DASH sale, offering exceptional savings on all Norwegian Cruise Line sailings of three days or longer, fleet-wide. Guests who book a cruise vacation from Sunday, June 15 through Saturday, June 21, 2014, can receive up to $250 per stateroom to spend on board depending on the category of stateroom booked. Air credits up to $1000, Military, AARP and Latitudes Rewards discounts also apply to select sailings.

Norwegian Getaway, Miami’s Ultimate Ship, sails seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from her year-round homeport, Miami. The line’s newest ship visits tropical ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. On board guests will be dazzled by the ship’s Miami flair, exceptional dining and entertainment as well as the excitement of 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, a variety of interconnected indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that create a multiplex of dining, activities and more that enhance guests’ connection with the ocean. Fares start at $549*.

Also sailing from Miami, Norwegian Epic, the “Best Ship for Sea Days” by Cruise Critic and “Best Overall Cruise Ship” by the readers of Travel Weekly two years in a row, cruises to sunny Western Caribbean destinations on seven-day sailings between November 9, 2014 and April 19, 2015. Cruisers will explore ports of call including Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico; with fares starting at $399*.

Beginning October 5, 2014 through April 19, 2015, cruisers can set sail from the Big Apple on seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway’s sister-ship and the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea. Fares start at $599*.

Guests looking to sail from Houston to the tropical Western Caribbean can do so aboard the newly-refurbished Norwegian Jewel, beginning October 11, 2014 through April 11, 2015. Vacationers will visit ports of call including Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Banana Coast, Honduras; with fares starting at $429*.

Vacationers can dash to cruise savings in Hawai`i when they book a seven-day cruise on board Pride of America, with fares from $999*. Sailing year-round from Honolulu, this stunning cruise offers nearly 100 hours of port time and visits Hawai’i’s four main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; stops in Hilo, Hawai`i and Kona, Hawai`i; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast.

To take advantage of the DASH limited time offer, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under cruise sales

9 strategies for cruising nirvana

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 10 - 2014

Why are some cruise travelers smarter than others? Simply put, they’ve been there, done that, and through trial and error have concocted strategies that avoid travel mishaps. Here are some tips that guarantee smooth sailing from cruisers in the know.

1. Loyalty=perks
Los Angeles area resident Janice Williams loves to reap the sweet rewards of being a repeat cruiser. On her last repeat cruise, she saved more than $1,000 from a single coupon. That coupon was from Princess Cruises’ “Captain’s Circle,” the line’s program for past guests. Williams is loyal to Princess because she feels the line offers the best past passenger perks in the business.

Most cruise lines confer membership in a loyalty program as soon as passengers complete their first cruise. Members then receive mailings urging them to book another cruise at a special discount. On board, members also receive special treatment; perks can include gifts, upgrades, credits, cocktail parties, in-room bar set up, complimentary laundry service, free Internet, dinner with the captain and free shore excursions.

2. Plot for the perfect stateroom
One thing smart cruisers know is that picking the right stateroom is essential to truly enjoying the cruise. Laney Adams of Ocala, Fla., always studies the ship’s deck plan before booking a stateroom. “It’s the only way to prevent problems with noise along with finding a stateroom with easy accessibility around the ship,” says Adams.

Passengers with disabilities might want to book near elevators. Watch out for staterooms with obstructed views – usually the lifeboat deck and those with close proximity to noisy areas like lounges, discos, theaters, pool areas, room service and steward service areas. Staterooms midship on lower decks are best for those prone to seasickness.

3. Keep watching your fare
The cruise line will never call you if they have lowered the price of your cruise. Therefore, it can really pay off to keep tabs on the price of your cruise after you book. Just ask Scott Larsen of Fairfax, Va.

Last year, Larsen booked a September cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas. He went for the least expensive option: an inside cabin. In July, Larsen was thinking about upgrading his cabin, so he checked the Internet for the current cabin rates. He discovered that the prices had dropped quite a bit. In fact, an outside cabin was now going for $1 less than the price he booked for his inside cabin.

Larsen called Royal Caribbean to see if he could upgrade to the outside cabin. The cruise line told him the upgrade was possible, but he would need to make arrangements through the travel agency that handled his booking: Travelocity. Larsen then contacted Travelocity and the changes were made. Larsen notes that had he chosen to keep the inside cabin, Royal Caribbean would have refunded him $200. He says, “I really prefer the upgrade and I am really happy with the outcome.”

4. Book shore excursions, spa services before you sail
Shore excursions often fill up quickly, and services like spa appointments can be overbooked in the blink of an eye. Savvy cruisers surf the Web long before they sail. When cruising to Alaska last summer Gerry Altmire booked his family’s shore excursions on Holland America’s Web site prior to sailing. “We avoided a lot of disappointment by booking early because the popular flightseeing tours sell out quickly,” said Altmire.

Advance bookings are convenient, and they make for a personalized vacation. Best of all, they save you from rushing around the ship trying to nail down reservations in the first hours of your cruise. Instead, you can actually sit back and enjoy your cruise from the minute you step on board.

5. Notify your credit card company
As credit card fraud has become more global and more sophisticated, so have efforts to ferret out illegitimate charges. Sometimes large purchases will raise a red flag, as I found out when I purchased an emerald in Cartagena, Colombia. The bank called my home to make sure I was the one using the card. Fortunately, a family member was there to let the bank know that I was indeed in Colombia, thus preventing my card from being put on hold.

A stamp of approval in advance of departure will make charging much easier overseas. If you are planning to travel to far-flung destinations, call your credit card company or the bank that issues your card and let them know your travel itinerary — both dates and destinations. Make a note of your card number and the overseas customer service number, and keep them in a safe place separate from the card. That way, if the card is stolen, you will have the necessary information to make a report.

Even with advance notification, you may not be able to spend as you please while you are abroad. Certain charge patterns will still arouse suspicion, and your card may be subject to spending limits, so you should always carry a second credit card.

6. Get to the port a day early
If you live far from the embarkation port, get there a day early. I’ve heard too many stories of people traveling on embarkation day, arriving late and literally standing at the pier, watching their ship sail off without them. That was literally the case for Dini and Tony Saponara of Toronto whose flight from Canada was delayed due to bad weather. Sadly the Carnival Sensation sailed off without them and they were unable to catch up to the ship. Padding your travel time may cost a bit more, but it pays off in the assurance of a stress-free start to your vacation.

7. Carry-on savvy
Upon boarding, you’re separated from your luggage for an indeterminate amount of time. Until then, you’re stuck wearing what you’re wearing. “I always bring a change of clothes and a swimsuit in my carry-on bag so I can change and start enjoying the ship,” says veteran cruiser Nina Lewis of Miami. A lot of first-time cruisers don’t realize it sometimes takes hours for luggage to be delivered to your stateroom. So, take Nina’s advice — bring a change of clothes so you won’t miss any ship time stuck in your traveling clothes.

8. Don’t skip travel insurance
Robert Smith and his wife were on the trip of a lifetime. The couple flew from Arizona to their destination in Europe to embark on a cruise tour of the Baltics. During the cruise Robert injured his leg and thought things would be fine – unfortunately his condition gradually worsened. Eventually Robert needed immediate medical attention. The ship had to disembark the Smiths in St.Petersburg, Russia where Robert was quickly admitted to the hospital.

His wife immediately called their travel insurance company, Travel Guard, to inquire about their coverage for the missed portions of their trip and other expenses they incurred. Upon their safe arrival home, Travel Guard reimbursed them for missed portions of their cruise, medical bills, a hotel stay for his wife while Robert in hospital, and upgraded plane tickets for the medical evacuation home so his wife could sit by him. The Smith’s were fortunate they had excellent travel insurance coverage.

Most cruise lines offer travel insurance, as do several independent third-party insurers like Travel Guard. It’s important to understand that ordinary medical insurance coverage doesn’t travel the same way aboard ship as it does within the United States. Sometimes coverage doesn’t extend to foreign travel at all. Medicare beneficiaries should always purchase travel insurance when they cruise, because they do not have Medicare coverage outside the country.

9. Affordably staying in touch
“I can send text messages from the middle of Caribbean!” marveled teen Amy Green, who was thrilled to have full coverage for the majority of her Disney Cruise Line voyage. Her cell phone looked normal and didn’t indicate it was roaming. Her, provider, it turns out, charges $2.49 a minute while roaming. When Green’s bill arrived a month later, her parents were horrified to see that she owed $225! Using the phone in your stateroom can be even worse as the service can cost between $2-$10 a minute. Internet access onboard is the lowest cost option to stay in touch from the ship; however, to reap the best savings you need to purchase in blocks of time – 60 minutes can cost $25 on up. The most economical way to stay in touch is when you get into port – phone rates are much cheaper on land.

Don’t be vexed when planning your cruise. If you do a little research on options and pricing you can board the ship without a care in the world. And that’s the only way to cruise.

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Royal Caribbean is offering two new sales in one. Book any Royal Caribbean cruise (excluding Quantum of the Seas) departing from September 1, 2014 and December 15, 2014, and choose one of two offers:

  • •Buy One, Get One 50% Off deal ◦50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as a first guest who books at full fare
  • •Buy Two Get 3rd & 4th Guest Free deal ◦Free cruise fare of third and fourth passengers booked in a triple or quad occupancy stateroom

Both deals run between June 9 and 30, 2014.

See Royal Caribbean’s website for more details.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under cruise sales, gallery