Online Cruise Agent

email enquiries@onlinecruiseagent.com.au

prices can change at any time

The most important point to understand about cruise pricing is that fares can change up or down at any time without notice.

This is basically due to supply and demand. If a cruise is selling well the cruise operator doesn't need to lower fares to fill it. Conversely if there is plenty of availability only a few months before departure then you can expect to see prices come down. Of course the cruise lines keep the status of availability close to their chest so it's difficult to predict what prices for any particular sailing will do.

Plenty of deals are available throughout the year offering a range of incentives including reduced rates, airfare discounts, additional onboard credit, or a combination of added-values. However, to secure the itinerary, ship stateroom and any shore excursions you prefer, plan on booking at least four to six months prior to departure. Especially for travel during peak periods such as school holidays, where you may have to book up to 12 months in advance.

last minute deals

Last minute deals are often available, which are great for those searching for a quick cruise get away. In most cases, last minute deals are what the cruise has left in stateroom availability, which means your choice of accommodations will be limited. Last minute deals invariably are not available on a specific cruise you have in mind. But if you aren't fussy about the ship, itinerary or cabin you want then you just might get the deal of a lifetime. At Online Cruise Agent we provide plenty of last minute deals in our weekly e-newsletter.

If you are travelling with children or as part of a larger group and need cabins reasonably close together then you will probably need to book reasonably early. Remember, those last minute deals don't give you the opportunity to select specific cabins.

book with confidence

Pricing is often topic of conversation even onboard a ship because so many people have paid different fares depending on a host of circumstances, some of which we've discussed here. What we suggest is that after taking into consideration all these factors and talking to our cruise specialists if you feel you have come up with the right combination of price, cruise and cabin type then go ahead and book with confidence. Whatever you have paid you can be assured it is good value.

After you've booked, if fares are reduced we can often apply any additional offers and/or savings to optimise your benefits up until the time of final payment. After this time your fare is locked in.

what's included and what's not?

You can usually count on meals, entertainment, accommodation with private ensuite, use of ships facilities and taxes all being included in any published cruise price.

*What is often not included in the fare you see in some websites may be applicable government taxes and fees, fuel surcharges, and, if applicable, any airline taxes and fees.

Onboard extras such as mini-bar, spas, excursions, internet, casino gaming, drinks/liquor (on some cruise lines), laundry service, and babysitting, are not typically included in the cruise fare.

beverage packages

Beverage packages are available on many cruise lines, although not on all Australian based sailings. A beverage package offers a fixed daily cost for unlimited drinks, such as Royal Caribbean's 'Select' package offering coffee, tea, bottled water, beer and wine by the glass at around USD$40 a day.

A beverage package can be great value for big drinkers, but if you enjoy just the occasional drink it’s cheaper to pay as you go. Of course, the luxury cruise lines such as Seabourn and Silversea are all-inclusive, and this means alcohol served on demand throughout their boutique ships. Obviously the fares reflect this but it’s nice to know that everything onboard is available without taking out your cruise card.

Contact us for information about beverage packages on your preferred cruise.

shore excursions

Excursions in each port of call are available from every cruise line and offer a convenient way to experience some of the best attractions of each destination. They can however be expensive. Excursions can usually be booked prior to departure, or once you're onboard, although some of the most popular can sell out fast. The main selling point in booking a tour through the cruise lines is that the ship will not leave without you if you are late back. If you book something independently and the tour ends up running late and you don’t make it to the ship on time, it will leave whether you’re onboard or not.

You can of course just do your own thing in each port. It depends on the individual stop as to whether this will be your best option. For example, if you're in Alaska and want to do a helicopter ride to a glacier this could be a little difficult to organize on the day of arrival so you are probably best to pre-book. If on the other hand you are happy to take the local tram to the town centre and visit a museum then this is very easily done on your own.Another alternative is to use our recommended specialist shore tour company, Shore Excursions Group. They offer tours in the most popular destinations around the world, often at much lower prices than through the cruise lines, and usually in smaller groups. They also offer a written guarantee to get you back to the ship on time, or they'll pay for you to catch it up!

Check out the shore tours available through Shore Excursions Group here

what are the cancellation penalties?

Cancellation penalties vary by cruise line but are usually a loss of any deposit paid if you make a booking and then cancel prior to having paid in full. After you have made your final payment fees based on a percentage of the total price apply and vary according to when you cancel. If you cancel within 14 days of travelling you can expect to forfeit the entire fare. This is one reason why travel insurance is so important.

> Why take a cruise?

Find out why cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry

 

> Choosing the right cruise 

Selecting the right cruise line and ship for you


 

> How cruise pricing works

Confused by all the different pricing available? We can help


 

> Check-in & Boarding 

Get your holiday started

 

 

> Life onboard

What to expect once your cruise holiday

 

 

starts> Preparing for your cruise

Now your booked, what's next?

 

 

Questions?

If the price for my cruise comes down after I have booked will my fare be reduced?

We can usually have your fare reduced to any lower rate available up until the time you are required to pay in full. After this date your cruise fare is locked in.