But what about the rest of us that need a bit more time to plan?
That’s where Blue December vs. Black Friday comes in. We’re extending our Royal Caribbean Bonus Plus promotion through December 31st. This is truly the most “open” deal we’ve offered, because it allows you to double (and sometimes, triple) dip by combining any sale Royal Caribbean is running with onboard credit that we’re covering. Just make a new booking for any 2012 cruise departing prior to July 1st and we’ll provide onboard credit of $25 to $300 on top of any cruise line sale. Plus, this applies to any of our in-house group deals as well–meaning that you’ll get a fare that’s below current retail and additional onboard credit with the group. We’ve noted a couple of our hand-picked deals below where you’re getting all three benefits.[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]QUESTION: What will YOU do this Black Friday? Let us know at our facebook page–we’ve posted the question there.[/box] [fbshare]
Air Outlook for 2012–several news sources report that domestic airfares are up 20% this Thanksgiving season vs. last year. If that trend continues it will make the cost of a cruise higher for those people that book last minute and don’t have the option of driving to a port. We’re especially wary of the pricing for air to Europe in 2012–this year we saw rates that were astronomical and truly caused customers to abandon their Europe vacation plans. The airlines have choked off enough supply to ensure the last minute traveler pays top dollar–and we expect that to continue in 2012. The cruise lines understand this and are encouraging early booking with attractive rates. If a Europe Cruise (River or Blue-Water) is in your 2012 plans, my recommendation is to lock it in before the end of the year as there are some great incentives that will expire then.
Here are some sample Black Friday and Blue December deals from Martha Allen, CruiseDeals’ CDP (Chief Deal Picker) :
May 12th Oasis of the Seas 7-Night Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale: We have exclusive rates with savings up to $520 per person, plus $125 to $275 Onboard Credit. Balcony cabins start from only $979, and interiors are even lower.
May 11th Rhapsody of the Seas 7-Night Alaska from Vancouver to Seattle: CruiseDeals.com has exclusive rates of $549 for an inside cabin, this is $70 less per person, $140 per cabin over booking with the cruise line. This is only $74 for an Alaska cruise! Plus, we are giving $125 to $275 onboard credit.
February 27th Monarch of the Seas 4-Night Bahamas from Port Canaveral: Inside cabins start from $284, only $71 a day. Plus, CruiseDeals.com is giving $125 to $200 Onboard Credit!
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity also have some of the best “Thanksgiving Sales”. Check out the details for each below:
Royal Caribbean: Friday, November 25th through Tuesday, November 29th
The sale includes rate drops on 41 voyages most of which are departing this December with a few January sailings mixed in. Definitely take advantage of these rate drops while they are around because next Wednesday rates will go right back up! Check out the full list of sailings here.
Celebrity: Friday, November 25th through Monday, November 28th
Celebrity’s sale includes $75 to $150 off per cabin for Veranda staterooms and higher. This offer applies to select cruises to the Caribbean and Europe departing December 11th through November 2012. Keep in mind that this sale is not combinable with other offers. If you shop this sale, please note that the rates you see do NOT include the savings amount; this will be applied after a reservation is made. See all the details here.