One of the best ways for avid cruisers to save on their next holiday, is to infact, book their next cruise on their current one.
While you might be sceptical when the crew announce over the loud speaker that you can save thousands on your next holiday – make sure you go to those seminars.
Kath Pavlidis from Cruise About in Melbourne says that she always advises her clients to have a look at their options when the staff aboard their cruise offer deals to book their next holiday.
“Around 80 per cent of first time cruisers fall in love with the experience and are keen to book their next holiday. But when you step off your ship, you might not realise the amount you can save if you take up the discounts the lines offer while you’re cruising. I always spend 10 minutes with my clients explaining how important it is to book while they are still sailing.
“Viking Ocean Cruises offers past passengers a discount between $200 to $500 off per person which is a massive saving. The $500 discount is only available on selected sailings which are only on offer when you’re on the cruise.”
Ms Pavlidis said most lines like Crystal Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises also offer their repeat customers some great deals.
“Crystal will give you 5 per cent off your cruise as a repeat customer but if you book while you’re onboard your current one, you get an additional 2.5 per cent off – a combined discount of 7.5 per cent which is a massive saving.
“My Oceania Cruises clients (which are quite a fair few) all do this. I had one client who booked a 35-night sailing and saved $1,620. There is no chance of getting that kind of saving on land. You have to remember though, that the biggest savings are sometimes on cruises which are not popular so make sure you choose one that you will enjoy – and not just go for the big discounts. You’ll still save money if you book your next cruise on the ship.”
Here are what some of the cruise lines offer for future cruisers.
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara’s Future Cruise program offers its guests reserved sailings with a reduced deposit. They will also get up to $500 of onboard credit, depending on the category of stateroom you book as well as the sailing. Another plus side is that you don’t have to pick your sail date right away.
The line also offers the Confirmed Passage deal where you will get reduced deposits if you pick your cabin, ship, sail date and category at the time of the booking. You can get up to $1,000 of onboard credit.
Carnival Cruise Line
This year, the line introduced a Future Cruise Vacation program where cruisers can book a new cruise at a promotional rate up to two weeks before the sailing. Part of the program is that guests are able to combine their Early Save Rates with some offers like $25 of onboard credit per person and 50 per cent reduced deposit requirement. For suite bookings, guests will get up to $50 per person up to $100 per stateroom with other benefits.
The line’s Future Cruise Program includes reduced deposits and passengers pay $100 each instead of the standard deposit fee of $250 to $450, depending on the length of your cruise. Guests can book unlimited future cruises for themselves and up to three additional cruises for friends and family. Repeat customers can choose either the Cruise Now or Cruise Later option when reserving their cruise. The Cruise Now plan offers up to $500 onboard cabin credit and guests can cancel up to 90 days before their cruise without any penalties. The Cruise Later option allows you to reserve a cruise even if you don’t know the ship, the sailing, destination or date.
Passengers who wish to book another cruise aboard a Cunard ship are entitled to up to $400 onboard credit on their next holiday (depending on cabin category and length of cruise). Passengers only pay a reduced deposit as well of $300 per person. And if your cruise is more than 24 nights, then you get a discount of up to 3 per cent.
Holland America Line
HAL’s Future Cruise program offers up to $200 onboard credit per person for the next cruise with a deposit of $100 per person. If you’re really indecisive about which cruise you want to take, HAL are lovely enough to give you up to four years to pick your sailing.
Norwegian Cruise Line
The NCL CruiseNext program allows passengers to make a $250 deposit per stateroom or a $500 deposit for Haven and suite categories. The program is also combinable with whatever other promotion the line is offering. You’ll also get a complimentary in-category stateroom upgrade for the future cruise. While you’re onboard you can make up to four deposits towards future cruises.
For one of Australia’s favourite lines, you pay just $100 per person to reserve a future sailing and you can claim up to $150 onboard credit per passenger. Your deposit is refundable if you choose not to use your reservation. But the reservation is valid for two years.
The NextCruise booking program has a non-refundable deposit where guests will get up to $500 per cabin of onboard credit based on the length of the cruise and the cabin category. But you’ll get a choice to take the future cruise credit or a discount on the new booking – not both unfortunately. Cruisers must pick their ships and sailing dates at the time they reserve their trip but they can opt for a refundable reservation.