Have you ever heard of wave season? What is it? It’s when the deals start rolling in!
Wave Season has been coined the three month long Black Friday of the travel industry that takes place from January through March. It originally started since a large percentage of cruisers book their sailings in the early months of the year. The combination of a new year with an empty calendar, the holidays calming down, and chilly winter weather gets travelers thinking about sunny island getaways throughout the remainder of the year.
To capitalize on a travel state of mind, cruise lines offer extra incentives, typically free perks and reduced cruise fares during these months in the hopes that the promotions will be the final push travelers need to book those cruises.
What types of perks and extras should you expect to see?
- Onboard credits – for anything from family photos, to a couples massage
- Prepaid gratuities – it alleviates sticker shock on the final bill
- Unlimited drinks – a great way to enjoy the cruise, without the fear of the drink tab
- Specialty dining packages – the opportunity to escape the buffet lines and have a dining experience, generally with foods not available in other dining areas
- Shore excursions – opportunities to experience a port of call or adventure that might not be part of your original plan
And that pampered feeling you get during Wave Season isn’t limited just to the ocean going, mega cruises, many other cruise operators offer additional indulgences, too! River Cruising has picked up in popularity and because those cruises are more itinerary focused and culturally immersive, they’ve become part of the perk party as well.
Many cruise lines have recognized that every traveler’s vacation needs are different and have started giving guests a choice of these amenities, even booking earlier in Wave Season also allows guests to have first pick of the best cabins.
Haven’t been on a cruise yet?
You will and you should.
Cruising is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel and leisure business, because of its appeal to multiple different groups. It offers a superior value for the cost, it appeals to many different vacation styles and it helps maximize both the amount of places you can visit and the time you have off to go on vacation.
And as it grows in popularity, it’s not only confined to Caribbean cruises. There are tons, literally tons of different trips from sailing around Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to southern hemisphere sailings around Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. One of the most popular cruise itineraries are the Alaskan cruises departing out of Seattle.
Think about it. Where else can you check out a new port and find the thrill in a zip lining excursion in the morning, sun yourself by the pool in the afternoon while reading your favorite book, learn how to salsa dance before dinner, enjoy a Broadway show at night, and all the while eat and drink whenever you like and have all of this paid for up front in one small package?
So how do you score Wave Season deals?
Well you could scour through all of the cruise line websites or call each individually to compare discounts and extra perks. And since Wave Season is more designed for travelers planning their vacations far ahead of time and with it only being 3 months, do you want to spend those 3 months researching your 1-week cruise?
Instead, contact your local travel planner. They have the inside scoop on the cruise line that is best for you, what perks are truly worth the booking, and what destinations will match up with your expectations, travel style, and preferences. And in some cases, they have access to additional perks that the general public won’t be able to take advantage.
Leave it to a travel professional that can save you time, money and match you to the perfect cruise to meet your vacation desires.
And that’s where I come in! I’m a member of CLIA, the world’s largest cruise industry association and am certified with cruise lines and partners that I work with directly to get my clients the best vacation for the value.
So, what are you waiting for… let’s cruise into Wave Season together and take advantage of the best time of year to book a vacation. Even if you have never cruised, now is the perfect time to test the waters and see a new part of the world.
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