If it’s a cruise deal you want, October 14 is the day to find it. Why? It’s the World's Largest Cruise Night—the industry’s blowout sales extravaganza. Don’t worry, while the event is promoted as “one night,” in actuality the offers and deals for the annual event will be available all week, some even through the end of the month.
The Travel Group's John McMahon with Cruise Lines International Association's Terry Dale
A total of 5,484 virtual and in-person events were scheduled for World’s Largest Cruise Night—a 27 percent increase over last year. Luckily, Travel Agent got in on the action Wednesday aboard Costa Atlantica, which was in the port of New York on a Canada itinerary. Costa welcomed hundreds of travel agents and a small group of press to take tours of the ship and have an intimate lunch. We heard firsthand from Costa North America’s president and CEO, Maurice Zarmati, who was optimistic that the upcoming year would bring better bookings and pricing. (Sadly, he had to split during lunch to catch a plane to Genoa, Italy).
Costa Cruises Maurice Zarmati, a Costa Atlantica employee, and CLIA's Terry Dale
Of course, all the cruise lines are trotting out great offers. If it’s a cruise you want, this is the time. Here’s a list of what some of the lines are offering:
Amawaterways: The river cruise line is offering up to $1,000 per cabin discounts on select November and December cruises; up to $500 per cabin off on select April and May sailings. Valid on new bookings made between October 1-31.
Avalon Waterways: The river cruise line is offering 50-percent-off airfare on all 2010 air-inclusive European river cruise vacations. Booking window is October 1-31.
Azamara Cruises: New bookings for individual travelers on 2010 European sailings made today through Friday are eligible for onboard credits of $300 to $500 per cabin, depending on cabin category.
Carnival: “Cash back” of $70 to $200 per cabin on bookings for select 2010 voyages from a variety of North American homeports.
Celebrity Cruises: New bookings for individual travelers on select sailings made today through Friday are eligible for onboard credits of $50 to $200 per cabin, depending on length of sailing.
Costa Cruises: Passengers receive a $50 onboard credit per cabin on Caribbean and European sailings through December 2010 booked today through October 31.
Crystal Cruises: Vacationers will receive a $100 per person discount on most 2009 and 2010 departures booked today through November 7.
Cunard Line: Passengers will receive onboard credits of $50-$300 per cabin, depending on sailing and accommodations, plus a waiver of the deposit on a second person in the booking.
Disney Cruise Line: Passengers will receive $50 to $100 onboard credits when booking sailings that take place between January 3 and December 19, 2010.
MSC Cruises: Passengers booking select sailings in the Caribbean on MSC Poesia will receive shipboard credits of up to $200.
Norwegian Cruise Line: Passengers will receive onboard credits of up to $250 per cabin, depending on cabin category, on more than 300 sailings around the world.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: The luxury line is offering $100 per passenger in shipboard credits for seven-night or longer cruises in 2009 and 2010 with bookings made between now and November. 14.
Royal Caribbean: The line is offering travel agents a choice of offering their customers up to $200 off per cabin, onboard credits of up to $100 or special amenities. Bookings must be made by Friday.
SeaDream Yacht Club: Passengers who book during the month of October will receive a $100 per cabin spa credit.
Silversea Cruises: The luxury line is offering a $100 per passenger shipboard credit (maximum $200 per cabin) for new bookings made between today and November 14 for seven-night or longer sailings in 2009 and 2010.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Passengers will receive a $100 savings on all 2009 and 2010 cruises when booked between today and October 21.
Windstar Cruises: Passengers booking today through November 14 will receive a $50 per person shipboard credit for selected sailings on Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit between January and March, 2010.