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Cruise Price Protection
One of the most common questions we get is about the possibility of price drops, and when the best prices are to be expected. The answer to this question is one of the best reasons to work with a qualified travel agency like Culture Discovery Cruises that embraces advanced technology to assure you get the best price.
Prices can vary greatly depending on the time of year, destination, and other factors. One way to ensure that you get the best possible price for your cruise is to use a qualified travel agency that offers cruise price protection using an advanced price-drop algorithm.
Many say they will help you with price drops, but very few have the technology in place to actually deliver. At CDV, when you book a cruise through us, using our full service, your cruise, cabin category, and price are entered into a database that is automatically checked every day against cruise line-published specials. When a price drops a certain threshold, we are notified of the change, and can work to get the cruise line to re-price your cruise to the lower price!
Note that we offer this with our full service offering, and not our booking only service, because it does take calling and negotiating with the cruise lines to implement the change. You can see more about our Booking Service versus Full Service here.
While not all cruise lines offer price protection, most do. And often the ones that do not will respond to a little nudge from us. We have been able to get price drops applied by cruise lines that do not normally offer it many times.
Even after your final balance is paid, if there is a price drop. we may be able to get the difference in onboard credit or even an upgrade.
When Are Cruise Prices The Lowest?
This is the million-dollar question! Cruise lines use extremely complex pricing systems in order to get the most income for a given sailing. This does not just factor in the price of a room, but also how much they expect you to spend onboard in drinks, special dining, shopping, excursions and any other extras. In fact, on average the actual cruise price is only roughly 65% of a cruise line’s income per passenger! The remaining 35% comes from all of the extras they offer… and they factor this into their pricing systems!
Still, there is a basic guide to go by. First of all, in very general terms, the further in advance you book a cruise, the lower the price is likely to be. It is also a safe bet, because if the price does go down later, you can almost always get the price matched by price protection.
Next, there is a period of roughly 90 days that occurs between 90 and 180 days before your cruise departs. Many agencies like ours know that the pricing is generally at its lowest early on, so we take out blocks of space on lots of cruises locking in the lower rate in the hopes of selling them at the lower price when cruise prices go up.
However, in general, roughly 120 to 190 days before the cruise departs, all of these agencies need to start releasing unsold space back to the cruise lines, otherwise, they have to pay them in full.
During this period, cruise lines are most likely to offer some sort of special if they have lots of unsold space. Usually, the price will not be what it was early on, but you never know for sure. But if you have price protection, you can almost always get the lower price if it exists for your cabin category.
What About Last Minute Cruise Specials?
We have all heard about last-minute specials, often that only some companies have access to them. These specials are essentially what was described above. Nobody has any special access to them. Any agency can get the same “last minute” deals.
But these last-minute specials are not quite what they used to be. It is not as though you can get a super low price for a cruise the day before sailing. In fact, in most cases they won’t even let you book that late. Nowadays, many cruise lines have found a better way to handle bringing in more income when they are very close to the sail date. They know that people with higher-priced cabins are more likely to spend more while onboard, so those empty high-priced cabins are more valuable to them. On the other hand, the inside cabins are often sold close to their actual cost.
So many cruise lines have gone to an auction system for any unsold higher-priced cabins. That is, a few months before sailing, they email all existing passengers for the sailing and offer for them to bid on higher-priced cabins. This way they bring in significantly more income.
Why Would a Travel Agency Offer Price Protection?
This is an excellent question. Naturally, agencies get paid commission based on the amount of the cruise, so if you get a lower price, the agency makes less money. In fact, many agencies do not offer it. From our perspective, we don’t look at the one trip you are taking. We think of the lifetime of trips you will take, and the relationship we will build with you. Keeping a few extra dollars is simply not worth it. It just isn’t in our DNA. We need to be your advocate above all.
What is The Best Way to Get Cruise Price Protection?
Simply put, when you book a cruise with us with full service, you will always get it. We will always monitor for price drops, and let you know when it happens.
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Why Always Book with CDV:
Book cruises with CDV and you can get a credit of up to $10,000 for each cruise to use toward any CDV land vacation! Click here for more info.
In addition to the CDV Tour credit, we have special offers you cannot get directly from the cruise lines on thousands of sailings every year. When you search for a cruise on our website, look for these badges next to a sailing : and – These indicate a special group offer that can provide you with free onboard credit, free excursions, or included gratuities.
The special and exclusive CDV offers can almost always be combined all with current qualifying national promotions offered by the cruise line, as well as full credit toward cruise line status.
We believe in the concept of Luxury of experience. This means that our guests are not just looking for bucket list places, but life-changing experiences. Our passion is making that happen, and to do so, we need to think of each person we deal with as friends and family. We are not just planning a trip or event or you, but rather a life experience you will talk about long into the future.
Our secret sauce is a mixture of people that truly care about you above the “product,” leading-edge technology, and our carefully cultivated relationships with vendors that have become dear friends. For us, it is always personal. Click here to learn more about us and why we are in no way a typical travel agency.
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CDV Culinary Tours
We directly operate the highest-rated culinary, cooking, wine, and experiential small-group tours in Europe! And any cruise booking you do with us gives you credit toward our tours.
Get up to $10,000 credit or more when you book with CDV
Book cruises with CDV and you can get credit of up to $10,000 for each cruise to use toward any CDV land vacation!