[fblike] You may wonder why I’m saying that saving you money is the second most important thing we do. There is no shortage of cheap cruises in today’s market, but that doesn’t mean the lowest priced cruise will make YOU happy. The most important thing we do is to learn enough about your vacation desires to find the right ship, destinations and overall experience–THEN, we’ll work on getting you the very best price!Think about your personal circumstances. . .chances are you didn’t buy the very cheapest car on the lot, and that you don’t only dine in the cheapest of fast-food outlets. On the other hand, even if you’re buying a luxury item like a high-end car or a piece of jewelry, you want to feel like you got value for your money–I know I do. Which leads me to today’s topics–cruises that are definitely NOT cheap, but represent a great value because of the experience they deliver.
When a veteran cruiser asks about a Disney Cruise, their first reaction is “why is it so expensive compared to other cruises?” My simple answer is because there really is no comparison. Everyone understands the difference between an amusement park and Walt Disney World, and that difference carries over to Disney Cruises’ onboard experience. For families, it’s a vacation they’ll always cherish with benefits greater than even visiting Disney’s attractions. One great example is interaction with the characters. . .at the parks it can mean a long wait in the hot sun and dashing to get in line. Not so on the ships–the ratio of guest to character appearances is so much better and in more comfortable settings. Character breakfasts are available to all and at no additional fee like the parks! Disney has a marvelous program for children, tweens and teens, and have truly taken the time to “tune” each program to meet the needs and wants of the kids, and offers experiences other cruise lines could never replicate. As for adults, there are areas of the ship just for them–those with kids that are looking for time to reconnect guilt-free (knowing their kids are having a blast), and for those adult guests without kids. You may be asking, “who would go on a Disney Cruise without kids?” Well, Walt Disney World is one of the leading venues for both Destination Weddings and Honeymooners. . .after all, if the parks and attractions are really for everyone. . .and so are their cruises.
River cruising is another value that often appears expensive, until you dig into the experience. First of all, I have to admit to loving Royal Caribbean’s two mega-liners, the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, so I’m not a small ship snob. But, having worked on cruise ships and spending a LOT of time in the Caribbean, smaller ships that take me places the big boys can’t go is very appealing. Evidently, I’m not alone because river cruising continues to grow, evolving from a niche experience on “quirky” hardware–and with growth comes competition, which means prices have come down while the ships have become more deluxe. On a river cruise, the value comes in several ways. . . first, there are more inclusions like shore excursions, and wines and beers with meals, complimentary internet and others depending on which line you select. But there are less obvious value-adds as well. . . for example, while cruising you’ll actually have ever changing scenery to enjoy and learn about. When you dock, you’re typically immersed in the heart of the city you’re visiting. . .step off the ship and into history vs. spending an hour on a motorcoach getting to the good stuff. I also think there’s a lot to be said for the small ship experience where you truly get to know your fellow guests and crew.As a former crewmember on a 600 passenger ship (very small by today’s standards), we got to know our guests and I felt it made for a more enjoyable experience for them and us. We’re happy to have relationships with Avalon Waterways, AMA Waterways and Uniworld, and invite you to give us a call to learn about river cruising. And if it’s the right fit, we’ll make sure we get you the best possible price!