Two Cruise Deal Trends Take to the Seas

October 15, 2013
(9:05 a.m. EDT) -- Saving money is the ultimate endgame for deal hunters, but it doesn't always come in the form of deep discounts or half-price promotions. Sometimes it's what you're not paying for that makes the difference. Two new trends in cruise sale promotions are saving passengers money in the form of waived fees and supplements as well as value-adds like free dinners or other onboard services.

Though value-adds have always been a common sales tactic for cruise lines, this year lines are offering passengers never-before-seen flexibility. Rather than tell passengers which onboard amenity is most valuable, the lines are giving passengers the option to choose which amenity they value most. Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises are all offering choose-your-perk promotions.

It started with Celebrity's 1, 2, 3 Go! offer, which gave cruisers the choice of three bonuses including a free beverage package, prepaid gratuities or onboard credit. Since the initial offer, Celebrity has brought 1,2,3 Go! back for an encore (now ended), and Holland America and Princess have chimed in with their own versions.

Aside from value-adds, cruise lines are also ramping up deals for solo travelers. Carnival Cruise Lines, Star Clippers and Tauck are all slashing or ditching the dreaded single supplement on several 2013 and 2014 sailings. Such a widespread reduction on solo sailings across multiple ships and itineraries, on a major cruise line such as Carnival, is rarely seen. Tauck has even gone so far as to reduce or eliminate the single supplement for most of their 2014 sailings.

--by Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant