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Cruise Line Q/A
Q: What "Standards" apply to all Cruise Lines?
A: No enforced international standards for quality, amenities, design, health, safety, security (or anything) exist. All vary by cruise line!
Q: What do all cruise lines have in common?
A: All have ships on water carrying passengers housed in some type of stateroom (else all different in multiple ways)!
Q: Do all cruise lines offer similar experiences?
A: By design… absolutely not. All have different amenities, food, staterooms, service level, activities, entertainment, and more!
Q: Do ship designs vary by cruise line?
A: Yes. Ship designs vary by cruise line, within each cruise line, and within each class of ship for each cruise line!
Q: Do staterooms, amenities & service costs vary by cruise line?
A: They vary by cruise line, by ship, by itinerary, by stateroom class and location, and by how (and from whom) purchased!
Q: Do cruise lines offer (or can CM TRAVEL 4FUN arrange)… cruise fare or other cruise discounts?
A: Yes, but vary widely by cruise line. Common examples include senior, child, group, teacher, police, fire, and civil service employees.
QQQ Q: Are all cruise lines truly "all-inclusive" as their marketing indicates?
A: No… few are truly "all-inlcusive" (excepting high-end cruises, all cruise lines have significant hidden unadvertised costs)!
Q: Are gratuity costs the same on all cruise lines, and are gratuities included in the advertised cruise fare?
A: Not same, usually not included. Vary by cruise line, stateroom, and itinerary. Gratuity charges range from 12 to 18% of total cruise fare.
Q: How much do gratuities and other hidden costs (costs not included in advertised fares)… usually add to cost of a cruise?
A: Typically range between $800 and $1400 per person. Cost usually inversely proportional to advertised fare (i.e. more for cheaper fares).
Q: How much does average cruise passenger spend (after boarding cruise ship) for extras like specialty foods, drinks, spa, tours?
A: Varies by cruise line and cruise package purchased. Per person spend on optional onboard extras varies from $200 to over $1000.
Q: Is it true there are restrictions regarding child travel on some cruise lines?
A: Yes, but varies by cruise line and itinerary. In general child cannot travel on a cruise ship without a parent… unless child has written parental release to do so. Also, special release required if only one of two parents traveling with child. Ask agent for details.
Q: Are cruise fares similar for different types of cruises… i.e. Ocean Cruises, River Cruises, Barge Cruises, etc?
A: No. In general, (although notable exceptions exist)… the cost of similar length cruises having similar accommodations and amenities vary from highest to lowest in this order: Adventure Cruises often most expensive, followed by Upscale Small Ship Ocean Cruises, then Upscale River Cruises, then Upscale Large Ship Cruises, then Standard Small Ship Cruises, then Barge Cruises, then River Cruises, and last… Standard Large Ship Ocean Cruises (normally least expensive).
Q: Do all cruise lines accommodate travelers with mobility issues or other disabilities?
A: No, but many do. Of those who do, there are restrictions or limitations regarding these travelers. Generally the most accommodating cruise lines for the mobility impaired (and travelers with other disabilities) are large ship cruise lines. CM TRAVEL 4FUN is a "Certified Accessible Travel Advocate"… meaning our agency can arrange special assistance (on land or sea) for the mobility impaired or disabled.
FYI… Regarding Fare Basis:
Fare information most travel agents (and companies advertising cruises online) do not tell you…
Most cruise line profits come from onboard hidden charges, add-in cruise options, and gratuities… not cruise fares.
Advertised base-fares and various cruise taxes and port fees (often not included in advertised base fare)… are normally designed to cover cruise ship operational costs – only (for most stateroom categories). Notable exceptions include: luxury cruise line fares and most upscale stateroom fares on other cruise lines (which do contribute to cruise line profits).
The average total of add-in, onboard cruise options, gratuities, and hidden charges per stateroom typically exceeds $1000 for a 7-day cruise (most standard large and small ship cruises (regardless of stateroom category)). Please note: This $1000+ in added charges is in-addition-to any hidden cruise taxes and fees (which are often not included in advertised fares for these cruise lines)!
When all hidden charges are added-to standard large and small ship ocean cruise advertised fares… this fare total is often close-to (or more than) a similar stateroom on competing upscale ocean cruise lines. This is because upscale cruise lines normally include more (or all of) the hidden charges incurred on most other cruise line ships – within their more expensive advertised base fares. CM TRAVEL 4FUN always researches cruise options on upscale cruise lines sailing the same itinerary to search for better staterooms with more amenities on a more upscale ship (for the same total cost they would otherwise pay on the downscale cruise line they had requested).
- Professional cruise agencies like CM TRAVEL 4FUN research and compare total fare costs for clients… and always includes all known hidden costs and fees when quoting fares to clients. For this reason, CM TRAVEL 4FUN cruise quote totals are sometimes higher than found online (because nearly all online cruise vendors do not include all fees, taxes, and hidden charges in their advertised fares).
Cruise Purchase Experience
Factors to consider when purchasing a cruise:
CRUISE LINES, CRUISE ONLY AGENTS, and ONLINE RESELLERS:
- market and sell cruises like widgets. Only offer a list of cruise lines and cruise options they know/prefer to sell (or receive most compensation for).
- are profit focused, goal is "closing the sale". Selling staterooms is what they do. Cruise lines/options offered inversely proportional to ease of sale.
- see clients as user/buyer of staterooms. Matching client needs/wants to specific cruise lines/options never a focus (unless needed to close sale).
CM TRAVEL 4FUN:
- has access to over 100 cruise lines sailing more than 1,000 different itineraries (and thousands of possible client-matched cruise experiences).
- knows it is critical to match clients with specific cruise lines and cruise experiences they most likely will enjoy. Want our clients to cruise again!
- provides all other travel components associated with cruise (package). We make every cruise reliable, pleasant, memorable (and affordable).
ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THOSE WHO SELF-BOOK:
- Cruise decisions made primarily on advertised (not actual) price, thus often pay more for less (compared to CM TRAVEL 4FUN arranged cruise).
- Not aware of other cruise line options at/near same price point, thus fail to consider options and differences available through other cruise lines.
- Choose first cruise primarily based upon itinerary, ship size, and advertised price (with price often final determinate), often leading to bad result.
- Join legion of "First-time" cruisers who will never cruise again (because did not have expected type/quality of experience on their "first" cruise).
- If do book a second cruise usually limit themselves to sailing repeatedly on same cruise line (they rarely consider or are offered other options).
- When booking cruises online (or booking direct through cruise company) rarely learn of all the other cruise lines and cruise options available!
- If choose to work with "cruise only" agent, often incur budget-busting unexpected costs for other needed travel not offered by "cruise only" agent.
Why Book Your Own Cruise
and Risk $$ on Outcomes?
Contact CM TRAVEL 4FUN
(for assured outcomes matched to wants & needs!)
BOOK WITH THE BEST!
Submit your cruise ideas using the:
Travel EZ Planner
Agent will start planning your cruise immediately!