When should you book your 2011 Cruise Vacation?

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/24/2011-cruise/”%5DSo, you missed the huge cruise line sales last week? Don’t fret! I’m here to tell you the best time to book your next cruise. The answer to the question: “when is the best to book your next cruise?” is determined by several factors… I’ll try to cover the most popular scenarios.

2011 Cruise departing March – December.
So some in the industry may fall over… but if I was your agent I would instruct you to WAIT until CLIA’s World Largest Cruise Night October 13th – 15th. The World’s Largest Cruise Night is an event in which most of the Cruise Lines and Online Agencies like CruiseDeals.com offer steep discounts, free onboard spending money, and other amenities. Most of the offers will be focused on enticing potential cruisers to book their 2011 cruises early. So if you are going to cruise between March – December of 2011, this will most likely be the best time to book. Each year, the World’s Largest Cruise Night sees impressive growth in number of new bookings. In 2009, over 4,000 travel agencies generated about 44,000 cruise bookings during the World’s Largest Cruise Night booking period.

Worlds Largest Cruise Night Oct 13 - 16

Disney 2011 Spring Break or Summer Cruise.
I would book now! Due to supply and demand, Disney does not need to offer sales or discounts for Peak Season which happens to be any time the kids are out of school. The new Disney Dream is a hot ticket with the amazing slide coaster. I’ve been watching Disney Dream and Magic’s availability closely and it continues to drop which is causing rates to increase.

2010 Christmas Cruises:
Be on the lookout for deals. During the next couple of weeks I expect for there to be some price drop on Christmas sailings. If you see a Christmas sailing rate drop, be ready to act! opportunity to book will be 3 days max. Currently, Carnival and NCL Christmas cruises are the best deals and I would consider booking many of those ASAP.

2010 New Year’s Eve Cruises: I would book most of them today. The rates are low compared to previous years, but in many case the rates are increasing.

Do you have a cruise vacation that you’re wondering when is the best time to book it? Leave details in the comments and I will tell you when I think is the best time to book. I’m going a little crazy and old school here… but if you want, call my cell 704~965.0228 and we can discuss it.

Disclaimer: I am giving you my opinions about when is the best time to book your cruise vacation. There are many factors that are outside of my control that may affect cruise prices. This is the same advice I would give my own clients, friends, and family.

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5 Tips for better sleep on your cruise vacation

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/21/sleep-cruise/”%5DMany of us go on a cruise vacation looking to recharge from the daily grind. Getting plenty of GOOD sleep is an important part of coming home refreshed and rejuvenated. We asked Dr. Robert Oexman Director of the Sleep to Live Institute for his top 5 keys for getting plenty of sleep on your next cruise vacation.

5 Tips for better sleep on your cruise vacation:

1. Ear plugs: Whether you plan to sleep in late or retire early, cruise ships are busy 24 hours a day. To prevent being awaken by the late night crowd or early morning risers use ear plugs to stop the noise. If the ear plugs are uncomfortable you can usually cut them in half so they fit in the ear more comfortably.

2. Eye mask: if you have an inside state room you will not have to worry about early morning light. If you have an outside stateroom the early morning light may prevent you from sleeping in as long as you wish.

3. Pool side napping: One of the great pleasures about vacation and cruising is the ability to sleep any time you wish. Most people take advantage of our natural tendency to be sleepy after lunch to catch up on sleep that we may have lost the night before or the weeks leading up to vacation. If you have trouble sleeping at night you may want to skip on the naps during the day. Napping during the day decreases our sleep drive at night. If you find yourself getting sleepy around the pool, get up and take a quick swim or walk around the deck.

4. Alcohol: People who normally drink very little at home will see an increase in the alcohol consumption when vacationing. Alcohol will decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep but it will decrease the quality of our sleep. People who drink have very fragmented sleep but will often not remember all of the awakenings. If you are going to drink, do not drink more than one alcoholic drink per hour. Make sure and drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. The combination of alcohol and sun exposure will dehydrate you very quickly. Always quit drinking alcohol at least one hour before bed time. Do not drink caffeinated drinks to “sober you up” before bedtime. Caffeine will only add to the sleep disruption later in the night. Water is the best liquid to drink at bed time.

5. Food: The midnight buffet is always a great treat on a cruise. If you are going to enjoy the buffet make sure and eat foods that are easy to digest. Stay away from high fat foods and limit the sweets that have chocolate which contain caffeine. If spicy foods upset your stomach at normal meal times you can guarantee they will disrupt your sleep when you are trying to sleep immediately after eating from the buffet.

Have specific Questions about getting great sleep while on vacation? Please leave them in the comments.

Photo by Planetchopstick on Flickr

We will continue the Cruise and Sleep subject later this week. We will get tips from Dr. Oexman about how to maximize sleep when crossing several timezones.

Dr. Robert Oexman also serves as chair of the Sleep To Live Institute’s Sleep and Wellness Board, and he received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, and his Master of Business Administration from Missouri State University. His graduate studies include the science of ergonomics and sleep disorders medicine and the effect they have on quality of life.

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Details on current Cruise Line Sales

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/15/cruisesales/”%5DMany of the major Cruise Lines are attempting to move their remaining 2010 inventory and get a jumpstart on 2011 with some big sales this week. Norwegian, Celebrity, Princess, and Holland America have Cruise Sales running this week. Below are the details for NCL, Celebrity, and Princess sales. It was tough to get the sales to display properly on the blog… click on links for details for each sale. The Celebrity Cruises Buy One Get one Half-Off is a very strong sale!

NCL Dash Sale September 14th-17th

The NCL Dash Sale applies to sailings 3-days and longer. On Board Credit is based on category and length of cruise; see the chart below for details. This offer CAN be combined with other offer to get additional On Board Credits but group rates do not apply. To combine; you must book using the PGDASH rate code.
Reduced Deposit is 50% off the standard deposit. Reduced Deposit does not apply to Courtyard Villas (Categories A3,A4,A6,S4,S5), Courtyard Penthouses (Category A7), Owner’s Suites (Categories AA,A2,A5,S2,S3), Spa Suite (Category S9), and Penthouse with Balcony (Category S6).

On Board Credit Per Stateroom
                                 Studio Inside Oceanvie Balcony Mini-Suite Suite Garden Villa
3- 5 Day sailings $7.50   $15        $20        $40               $50         $75         $100
6+ Day sailings $12.50   $25       $50         $75             $100       $150        $250

Celebrity BOGO Sale 9/10-9/17
Booking window: 7 days 9/10/10 through 9/17/10
* Applies to NEW BOOKINGS made during this time frame only
• Rates will be unrestricted LAF rates
• Not applicable to groups BOGO 1/2 off the 2nd guest
• Capacity limit of 20 staterooms per sailing (some sailings we allow more bookings based on need)
• Cannot use Resident Rates/ or Senior Citizen Promo codes for this offer.

Promotion Codes: Price programs will begin with BOGOxxx
Applicable Products and Starting from Rates:

Buy One Get one half off

Princess 3-Day Sale September 15-17th up to $100 Onboard Credit

Winter/Spring 2011 to the Caribbean and Panama Canal
Must book by 9/17/2010
Use Promo Code: R3S

Stateroom category 6- to 9-day cruises 10+ day cruises
Interior/oceanview staterooms $25 per stateroom $50 per stateroom
Balcony staterooms and above $50 per stateroom $100 per stateroom

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Norwegian Cruise Line and YouTube Partnership Announced

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/08/ncl-youtube/”%5DIt was 2 weeks ago when I asked the Social Media related question to the Cruise Lines: How do we get more passenger generated content like this:

This morning I received a press release announcing the YouTube & Norwegian Cruise Line Partnership.  I almost fell out of my chair due to the timing. I’ve said for years that cruising and social media are like peanut butter and chocolate; two great tastes that taste great together. Cruise vacations are full of passengers creating fun memories captured digitally as photos and videos. 75% of the US hasn’t been on a cruise vacation yet, so the cruise industry has tons of room to grow. After non-cruisers view their friends and family’s vacations online they will want to experience it for themselves.    Now, NCL needs to integrate onboard marketing and programs that will lead passengers to editing and sharing their vacations when they get back home.  Enjoy the Press Release below and make sure to checkout The YouTube Vacationer, www.youtube.com/vacationer!

Norwegian Cruise Line

 

YouTube Launches New Travel Channel Powered by Norwegian Cruise Line

Robust channel provides travel ideas and inspiration from experts along with ability to create personalized Freestyle Cruising videos

 

MIAMI – Sept. 8, 2010 – Norwegian Cruise Line today announced it is working with YouTube to power the first-ever YouTube Vacationer, a travel-specific channel within the world’s largest online video site providing vacation inspiration with ideas and advice from well-traveled experts, such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Travel Channel. The YouTube Vacationer, www.youtube.com/vacationer, is also interactive, offering visitors a first of its kind opportunity to create their own “Vacation You” video experience and share it with others.

            Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature Freestyle Cruising approach is at the heart of this site, providing users the freedom, flexibility and choice to interact with more than two million combinations of video content enabling them to create and share their own unique Freestyle vacation experience.

When interacting within Norwegian’s “Vacation You” section of the YouTube Vacationer channel, visitors will select from a series of short video clips that tap into their vacation mindset to produce a customized 60-90 second montage of their ideal Freestyle Cruising vacations. Visitors can then share their personalized “Vacation You” video with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter or email. 

“By working with YouTube on their first-ever travel-specific channel, we are giving visitors the opportunity to experience our brand and all the options that Freestyle Cruising offers,” said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing. “From a marketing perspective, this opportunity is compelling because it provides a truly organic user experience and represents another great way for brands to work with YouTube.”

“We are pleased to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovators in cruise travel, on our first branded travel channel,” said Mark Day, Sales Development at YouTube. “The YouTube Vacationer channel brings the best of our partners’ travel videos into a single destination to help users explore, plan and dream about their next vacations, and it gives users a way to see themselves in a customized vacation video with Norwegian’s ‘Vacation You’ application.”

To experience the YouTube Vacationer channel, visit www.youtube.com/vacationer.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility.

Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

Norwegian’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

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Hurricane Earl: NCL Sky Amazing Deal!

As Hurricane Earl brushes past the Northern Caribbean, he is leaving behind him a wake of amazing cruise deals. Deal hunters in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are fully aware that this is the season to land those dream deals. Combine a semi-recovering economy with a passing hurricane and you get the DEAL OF THE YEAR! The NCL Sky departing Miami on September 6th for a 4 night Bahamas cruise vacation is now priced at only $119 per person! The best part is that Hurricane Earl will be well past Florida and the Bahamas by Labor Day. And with the NCL Sky departing on Labor Day, you’ll only have to take off 3 days to enjoy this last-minute deal! Hurry and book it now!
NCL Sky Cruise Deal

If you can’t take advantage of this awesome Deal, make sure you subscribe in the top right of the blog so you so you do not miss out on the CruiseSource.us Deals, News, and Advice. Or just Follow us on Twitter!

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#IndieCruise Now Booking!

#IndieCruise 2011When Donna Marie, CEO and founder of the Indie Business Network started to research her idea of having Indie Business Owners join her on a Cruise Ship for networking, education, and of course fun she contacted CruiseDeals.com, the leader in Social Media group cruises. After a few weeks of planning, we’re excited that the Indie Cruise is now open for reservations, Twitter Hashtag: #IndieCruise.

Conference events at Sea, like the #IndieCruise display the incredible value of cruise vacations. We are able to offer conference style sessions, meals, room, transportation to tropical islands, entertainment, and more for the same price that most conferences charge just for admission to the conference.

The Indie Business Cruise is for Indie & Small Business Leaders. Indie Business leaders know how to connect, collaborate and succeed. They know how important it is to remain close to their industry peers so they can stay on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the world of small, independent and artisan business owners, artisan business owners.

They know that it’s vital to take online connections offline so they can be solidified and with face-to-face interactions that always result in building stronger and more robust business networks. Indie Cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you combine travel and relaxation with learning and sharing, plus the creation of life-long personal and business friendships. #IndieCruise will allow these leaders to do what they do best over 4 days with other leaders.

Follow @IndieCruise on Twitter and join the Indie Cruise Facebook page to interact with other Indie Businesses before the cruise!

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Hurricane Earl Cruise Impacts

Hurricane Earl has caused several ships to change itineraries in order to avoid the storm. Some of the most popular Islands in the Caribbean like St. Maarten and St. Thomas are too close to the projected path of Hurricane Earl. So in the interest of safety and not ruining vacations the cruiselines have altered some itineraries of ships currently cruising the Caribbean.

Carnival Victory, Carnival Pride, Carnival Dream, Norwegian Epic, Enchantment of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and possibly the Norwegian Dawn will have their itineraries modified due to the storm. You can see all the details on these changes on the CruiseSource.us Hurricane Cruise Tracker page.

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