To kickoff March 2011, I think it is a great time look at some trends that are taking shape in the cruise market. Cruise prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. As someone who monitors cruise prices daily, predicting cruise price trends is my specialty – landing me in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ABCnews.com, USA Today, etc. I mention this for those who are unfamiliar with CruiseSource – the information I’m sharing with you for free is valuable and trusted – [gotta be careful on the internets]
The Cruise Lines tend to have a pack mentality when positioning their ships. This year there has been a huge supply increase in Europe. With an increase in supply and demand not catching up thanks to increasing gas and food prices and political uprisings in the Middle East there are some awesome deals. 7 night Summer European cruises starting at low as $549 per person. For Peak Season, the greatest potential for weakness is Europe.
Unfortunately, expensive airfare can ruin a great cruise deal… air prices and fuel may continue to go up through 2013, so although they are high now if they continue to go up this may be your last chance to afford a European vacation.
Bermuda cruise prices in April, May and September are currently pricing up to 15% less than a year ago. Due to less supply departing from the US during the Summer, Bermuda Cruises during the Summer are actually more expensive than a year ago. I think with airfare increasing and gas prices going up, people will be looking to cruise from close to home forcing the Bermuda Cruise to go up. One of my favorite Bermuda deals is the 6 night Carnival Fantasy departing Charleston in September only $419 per person.
Boardwalk and Central Park Balconies
On the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is having issues selling the Boardwalk and Central Park Balcony cabins . Boardwalk & Central Park Balconies offer a totally new cruise experience with views of the open air Boardwalk and Central Park areas of this massive ships. If you book a Boardwalk Balcony toward the rear of the ship, you can actually get a decent view of the Aqua Theater and be able to watch the dive show from your balcony.
I think that due to these cabins being so different from anything found on other cruise ships that many cruisers either do not know what they are or are hesitant to test out the new cabins. They are currently the best value on the Allure & Oasis of the Seas.
If you book a Boardwalk or Central Park Balcony departing March, April, or May 2011 prior to March 31st you will receive a $100 onboard credit. Plus on several dates these balcony cabins are at almost the rate as oceanview cabins without a balcony. The Allure of the Seas 7-night Caribbean Cruise departing May 8th has Central Park Balconies for $1069 per person with a $100 shipboard credit [Oceanview cat. I is $1065 per person without the shipboard credit].
It is pretty standard that every year the Repositioning Cruises offer the best value. 2011 is no different. Repositioning cruise is when a ship that spends one season in one destination like the Caribbean switches to a new Destination like Alaska. The ship has to sail from one destination to the other and the cruise line wants to make sure that the ship is full – and to fill it the cruise line will offer some awesome deals.
An example of one these great values is the 8-night Celebrity Summit Caribbean and Bermuda cruise sailing from San Juan to Bayonne, NJ starting at $499.
Where the Deals Are Not
Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska Summer Cruises – prices are steadily going up. If you need to book a cabin for 3 or 4 people in the Summer you may find that you may be too late for some of these cruises. I recommend booking these destinations as quickly as possible, if this is where you are wanting to go… even though rates are higher, the value is much better than other vacation options.
Christmas and New Years cruises are already increasing… I know these cruises are popular, but even I was surprised that so many of them have already started going up.
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