Vacation Deals, Carnival Triumph Fiasco Bring On New Wave In Cruising
Travelers who are not put off by the Carnival Triumph calamity can book some of the cheapest cruise deals of the year. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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The distressing images of Carnival Triumph stranded at sea are certainly a PR nightmare, but if the past is any indication, the cruise industry is not likely feel any lasting effects. A year after the Costa Concordia sinking, the Cruise Lines International Association (www.cruising.org) says that the industry is booming globally.
"Many members are deploying ships in Australia and Asia. River cruising has been the fastest growing segment of the industry. We've got many new ships and different itineraries being launched," says CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy.
With the mostly inclusive nature of cruising, it can be quite affordable to ride the wave. The time to buy is during the first three months of the year.
So-called wave season sales are loaded with enticements, such as shipboard credits for onboard purchases and shore excursions.
Cabin upgrades are also popular perks. Royal Caribbean is offering free bump-ups to ocean views and balconies on its Down Under itineraries.
Spring is also the time to profit from the shuffle of ships from their tropical winter homes to summertime European ports. These "repositioning" cruises can be great deals.
Speaking of repositioning, Carnival Splendor is changing its tack from Los Angeles to New York this summer, for eight-day cruises to Florida, Bahamas and the Caribbean. Inside cabins are as low as $499 per person. Splendor joins two other year-round Manhattan residents, Norwegian's Gem and soon-to-launch, buzz-worthy Breakaway.
Rates for a family of four on Breakaway’s seven-day maiden voyage to Bermuda begin at about $100 per person, per day.
The September 28 rates on the Gem for a seven-night Canada & New England cruise begin at $449 per person.