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Cruise Prices


Every cruise brochure spells out the price for each sailing, as well as what's included and what's not. The price is basis two or double occupancy--it's per person, based on two passengers to a room. Price depends upon where the desired stateroom "category" is located on the ship.
In general:
*The higher the deck your stateroom is on, the higher the price.
*Outside staterooms (which have windows) are generally more expensive than inside or interior staterooms (generally without windows). Often, the outside stateroom is refered to as an "ocean-view" stateroom.
*Larger staterooms on a given ship are usually more expensive than smaller ones.
*Outside staterooms whose views are obstructed (e.g., by a lifeboat) often cost less.
On many ships, it's possible to have three or four different stateroom price categories on a single deck: The smaller outside staterooms toward the front (bow) might be one price, larger outside staterooms another, inside ones another, a suite on that deck still another, etc.
Many other factors can affect price.
*Booking six to nine months or more in advance usually yields a savings.
*A last-minute "sale" when the ship isn't fully booked also results in lower prices.
*To encourage early bookings or to energize slow sales, cruise lines often offer special promotional fares, such as two-for-one prices, 50% off the second passenger, and the like.
*If there's a third or fourth person in your stateroom, their per-person price is often much less than for the first and second persons. (Conversely, a single occupancy--one person in a stateroom designed for two or more--usually costs much more.)
"Seasonality" is a factor, too. Cruise lines always price their itinerary according to seasonal demand. For example, summer is high season in the Mediterranean; that's when cruises there are most costly. Spring and fall are shoulder seasons, when prices are somewhat lower. Winter is low season. Prices for a Mediterranean cruise then are usually the lowest. (The weather is windier and rainier.) Repositioning cruises. when vessels are moving from one general cruise area to another, are almost always a bargain.
Other factors that can reduce the cost of a cruise are special alumni or past passenger (rates given to people who have sailed on that cruise line before), group rates or the special pricing to stimulate bookings.
Since cruise pricing is such an "elastic" thing, you should not consider the rate given in the brochure as set in stone. Think of it, instead, as something more akin to a "suggested retail price."
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