June 18, 2024

The Remarkable Value of Cruising

Above Sun Princess in Mexico. Cruises remain one of great vacation deals of our time.

It’s the sale that never ends. Ever since the global recession of 2008 put a damper on people’s travel plans, cruise lines have been offering great deals to keep their ships running at full capacity. Experienced cruisers keep enjoying the bargains but first-time cruisers are reluctant to come aboard, many of them unnerved by round-the-clock media reports that convince them they will become sick, stranded or have to swim ashore if they are foolhardy enough to book a cruise.
The reality is there has never been a better time to go on a cruise. Base fares remain low and cruising is still an all-inclusive travel package. Yes, you will be enticed by the ever-expanding array of opportunities to spend money on board the ship, but these extras are optional and the basic cruise experience remains good value. And if something goes wrong, the compensation offered by the major cruise lines is often generous.
In one instance, friends of mine were ready to board the Sun Princess in Singapore last summer when it was announced that the 14-night sailing had been cancelled due to a malfunction in the ship’s power supply. Were my friends disappointed? Yes, initially. But they’re seasoned travellers and know how to make the best of an unexpected situation. Princess Cruises promptly issued them a full refund for their cancelled cruise plus gave them a 100% credit in the same amount for a future cruise. The company also offered to cover their flights home and any incidental expenses incurred in Singapore.
But Jacques and Laureen didn’t want to fly home because they had arranged to spend time in Australia after their cruise, which had been scheduled to terminate in Freemantle. So, with two weeks to fill before the Australia leg of their trip, they decided to fly to Phuket, Thailand, and enjoy two weeks at a resort on this tropical island known for its beautiful beaches – compliments of Princess Cruises. When they got home, they sent the receipts from their Thailand holiday to Princess and were reimbursed within a few weeks. They have since booked their free Princess cruise – a partial transit of the Panama Canal, departing from Fort Lauderdale. The good value of cruising just got better for my two friends.

Avatar photo About Anne Vipond

Anne Vipond is the author of several guidebooks to cruising destinations around the world. She draws on an extensive sailing background to impart her enthusiasm for cruise travel. From her home port of Vancouver, she travels by cruise ship to a wide range of destinations to keep her books current and useful for her cruise readers. Her cruising articles have been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and over seas.