I know people who are great at buying cars. They love to shop. Comparing brands, models, dealers and dealerships, they come to the showroom armed with helpful information. I also know people who would rather avoid the entire process. ‘Just get me behind the wheel’ is their thought.
When it comes to the price, if they can afford it, that’s a good deal. Deep down inside they know they are getting ripped off on that car purchase. Buying a cruise is also a land where dreams float around too, affecting our ability to see reality. Good news: paying attention to a few general topics will go a long way here.
Impulse Buying Is Out
Just make a rule: never see a cruise today and buy today. Most cruise lines will allow travel agents to put your stateroom on a complimentary hold for nearly any ship and sailing date. That hold might run anywhere from a few hours to a week. No matter what the deal is: take that time. Sleep on it and see if that deal looks as good in the morning.
Don’t Let Non-Refundable Deposits Scare You
Buyers commonly rush to the wrong conclusion about the phrase ‘Non-Refundable Deposit’. Rightfully so, it sounds like if they change their mind, they lose their money. True, they lose some of it but usually not all. Non-refundable deposits usually go along with really good deals, perhaps the best deals available.
Do Your Homework Before Boarding
There is no cruise line on the planet that is out to get you. The outstanding value of a cruise, on any cruise line, speaks for itself with a very loud voice. Still, like the car buyer who arrives at the showroom prepared, so do savvy buyers of travel. But buying the cruise is one part of the total cost to travel. Onboard expenses can add up to as much or more than the cruise fare itself.
Ripped Off Or Just Dumb?
Actually, the entire Avoid Getting Ripped Off premise of this post assumes deception. I have no reason to believe any cruise line wants to cheat or deceive us. Still, anyone who believes there is such a thing as a $99 cruise and that is the entire cost is just dumb. They need to let someone else handle this for them.
Let’s Define ‘Free’
This is simple for those who take their time buying. They have been watching prices and know that last week the cruise fare for a particular sailing was $1000. This week, better news, that same sailing now gets $100 onboard credit as well. Great news? Happy you waited to buy? Not when you find out the price went up $125. You’re paying $125 more for $100 of actual value.
The point of all of this is simple: most travelers will see the value of a cruise quite quickly. That realization will make buying cruises a far more frequent purchase than buying a car. Still, if you were to buy cars with much higher frequency, wouldn’t it be wise to think about it first?
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.