Being offered a “free” dining or beverage package seems to the be sign of the times today in ocean cruising bookings. Every cruise line has its own twist on the perks offered but these two are always in the mix of offerings.
So, which do you choose? You love to eat and…. okay you like to consume adult beverages too, thus the dilemma exists.
Now, my first recommendation is talk to your travel professional because all “free” perks are not created equally. For example, some lines charge service fees associated with their “free” while others do not. Most lines have a dollar limit to drinks available using the perk and the big difference is how they handle those drinks that hop over that limit. For example, let’s assume your drink limit is $13 but you really want to try that $16 martini. On some lines, you would pay only the $3 extra, on other lines you would not be able to use the beverage package and be charged the full $16. Note from one wine snob to another: Serious wine drinkers (those who won’t drink the house wine at a bar and who don’t drink much in the way of other alcohol) should think twice about the “free” beverage package because it isn’t likely to have wines that will make you happy. You, may want to consider choosing the free dining perk and then buying your own wine package.
Dining packages are no different, you really have to do the math regarding which perk will be best. Example: you are on a 7-day cruise, your perk is 3 nights in a specialty restaurant, on board credit, free wifi or the beverage package. What is the value of those 3 nights dining? Let’s say the price is $35 per visit to the specialty restaurant x 3 = $105 but the onboard credit is $150 per person…..which is better?
Remember a particular cruise line can only speak to and only wants to sell you their product, they cannot offer you a side by side comparison like a travel professional. We can help sort all that out and can search across all cruise lines for the best perk offering out there.
We love our clients and work very hard to make sure all of their travel dreams come true.
As the majority of our business is from word of mouth referrals, it’s always great to get feedback to see how they enjoyed their vacations.
Here is some of our most recent feedback:
“GetAway Travel Service is the company that we used for our recent trip to France and Italy. They spent a lot of time with us to help us decide where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. They took care of all of the details and provided all of the information we needed to avoid stress when we were there. Everything went flawlessly. I highly recommend Sue Adams and Paul Adams at GetAway. Consider using them for your next trip!”
These clients took an amazing river cruise in France and then while they were already in Europe, we sent them on a luxury tour of Italy (Venice, Rome, Florence).
“We booked our 25th anniversary trip with them this summer. When the plans changed (beyond our control) just 5 days before our trip, Paul and Sue booked us an entirely new trip and took the stress away! We are already booked with them next year.”
These clients had booked a Celebrity Galapagos cruise over 1 year in advance. Literally days before departure, the cruise was cancelled (very rare circumstances). We quickly scrambled and sent them on a dream cruise to Alaska. We worked with the cruise lines to get them an upgrade on their Alaska cruise stateroom, and got full refunds on their air and cruise for Galapagos. They have already rebooked their Galapagos cruise for next year.
Is there anything we can do to help you make your vacation dreams come true?
Experience the difference that smart dedicated travel agents can make in your next vacation.
On the southern bank of the Seine in Lower Normandy is a beautiful town with the most picturesque 17th century harbor – Honfleur. Painted many times by famous artists including Claude Monet, the port is characterized by its houses with slate covered frontages.
Harbor of Vieux Bassin, Honfleur
The sky was well overcast and it drizzled most of the time during our visit, but you could not escape the unique charm of this town.
The amazingly well-preserved half-timbered medieval architecture was everywhere to be seen during our walking tour.
St Catherine’s is certainly one of the most unusual churches you will visit in France. Apparently all the local stone was used to build town defenses, so the church was built out of wood by nautical ship builders.
Oh and there is no shortage of bakery goods available for the tourists to satisfy a sweet tooth. There are many different ways to tour Normandy and Honfleur, one that we highly recommend is by River Cruising. You can get more details at our partner site with Uniworld
There is no place on Earth quite like the Galapagos Islands. Lying some 600 miles off of the west coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife. Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and different bird species can all be seen up close in the wild.
The Islands were claimed by Ecuador in 1832, just 3 years before Charles Darwin visited on the Beagle. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the islands were inhabited by very few settlers and used as a penal colony which closed in 1959 when the islands were made a national park. In 1978 they were listed as a World Heritage Site. The island group consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets.
Seeing the sites and wildlife of the Galapagos is best done from the water with Cruises being the only option to see the majority of the remote islands. All Galapagos Cruises have fixed itineraries that is set by the National Park in order to control the number of tourists arriving at each island.
One of the best cruises available is on the Celebrity Expedition. This all-inclusive cruise includes:
All Beverages, including bottled water, beer, wine spirits, coffee, tea and specialty coffee drinks
All shore excursions
Pre and post hotels on 10 night and greater packages
Air to/from Quito and Baltra
Park entrance fees and Galapagos tourist cards
All meals, including room service
Snorkeling equipment, including masks, fins, snorkels, wet-suits
On board briefings and lectures
We have clients of ours going this year, and think you might enjoy going some time as well. Be sure to bring a camera!