Cruise ships offer variety of amenities

Published 7:03 pm Saturday, December 5, 2009

Recently I received a request from a customer asking for a price on a family cruise vacation over the upcoming 2010 Easter school break.

I knew that they are loyal Royal Caribbean Cruise Line sailors and members of Royal’s’ “Crown and Anchor” Society. This association provides special discounts, priority boarding, special on-board events and other benefits.

My first question to ask was whether they’d like to obtain rates on a comparable cruise lines or just Royal Caribbean.

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As expected they responded please only RCCL but please price out the brand new Oasis of Seas along with a few other ships.

Oasis of the Seas is brand new and the world’s largest cruise ship. It has 16 decks, 2700 passenger cabins and 7 themed neighborhoods. Sailing at capacity it can accommodate over 7000 guests.

I agree it is a modern marvel however it is pricing out at premium rates when compared to other Royal vessels on comparable sailing dates and itineraries.

Here’s what I found for the Oasis sailing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean itinerary on April 3rd 2010. Windowless interior cabin fare starts at $1,549 per person and an outside room with a view cabin came in at $1,729 per person.

Balcony cabins were available at $1,879 a head and a suite would run $2,599.

The Independence of the Seas sailing an 8 day Eastern Caribbean itinerary on April 3, 2010 offered much lower cruise fares.

The interior windowless stateroom priced out at $862, an outside room with a view $1049, a balcony cabin $1162 and the suites started at $1,874.

The Independence is a Freedom class cruise ship that entered service in April 2008.

That ship features 15-decks can accommodate 4,370 passengers and offers the standard Royal Caribbean amenities.

I believe this is a fair side by side comparison so I presented both rates to her. Care to guess which one the family selected?

NOTE: These are sample rates that were accurate and available at the time I priced the trips. The rate quoted are cruise only fares and do not include extra fees like transportation to the port, shore excursions, non commissionable fees, fuel surcharges port charges and taxes.

Prices are always subject to availability and change. The best way to guarantee space and price is to make a reservation and apply payment towards it.

When you are reserving or discussing your vacation your travel professional should provide an inclusive quote that includes all fees and charges.

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Be kind to your travel agent and get out of town!