When’s the Best time to Plan a Cruise?

Whether you are an avid cruiser or its your first time, everyone wants to know how they can get the best value for their money. The answer is not so simple because finding the best prices depends not only on when you book, but also when you travel.

The cruise industry revolves around the seasonality of its destinations. Travelers who can plan around these key times can save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars by becoming a smart travel shopper. Here are a few tips to help you plan for your next cruise adventure.

When to Buy?

The most popular season to begin plannNational-Plan-a-Cruise-Month-Logoing and booking your cruise is usually October (National Plan a Cruise Month) and January through March, known as “wave season”. During these times cruisers can take advantage of incentive driven promotions and exclusive savings such as two-for-one deals, early-bird fares and additional amenities like onboard credit, free gratuities and free shore excursions.

In the last few years, cruise lines have released better and more enhanced promotions to entice early bookers. The latest trends have been lower cruise fares combineable with multiple value added perks like complimentary spa treatments, private lounge services or free Internet.

Why you Should Book Early?

Unlike airfare, booking a cruise is less stringent and restrictive allowing you to make deposits and allowing you flexibility to cancel without penalties before final payment. Booking early means a wider selection of staterooms to choose from as well. It allows you to select the perfect cabin instead of getting stuck close to a lounge or being too close to the public areas. It is important to plan ahead, especially if traveling with family, because the first staterooms to sell out are usually the triple and quadruple occupancy staterooms.

The pricing structure of the cruise line is simple: prices are low when the ship is empty. The general rule of thumb is the farther your cruise destinations are from where you live, the earlier you need to book.

Another key benefit is if the price drops before final payment, you can always ask for an upgrade or request a price adjustment. Travel agents monitor rates and can keep you informed when prices fluctuate to ensure you get the best value.

 When you Should Book Late?

If you are flexible in destination and time, booking late can be very advantageous and can get rock-bottom prices. Within 60 days from departure, cruise ships will offer discounted rates to fill up any remaining inventory and avoid unoccupied rooms. Please take note that most rooms however are in least desirable locations such as lower decks, obstructed views or close to public areas.

Why You Should Book Onboard?

next-cruise-oasis-2
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

One of the newest trends is booking your next cruise onboard. The cruise industry relies heavily on repeat customers, so being loyal to one does have its benefits. Booking onboard allows you to avail of the current promotions while combining them with additional incentives like onboard credit, reduced deposits, and/or lower cruise fares.

Cruise lines now allow you to make onboard bookings on behalf of friends and family members who you plan to travel with in the future, allowing you to share the savings.

When it comes to planning your next cruise the best way to save is to plan early. Start doing your research and talking to a travel agent to lay down your options especially if you have any specific preferences in destination or time. Being flexible is key, and planning to travel during the off-season will save you a lot of money and frustration.

What to do in Coron Island?

Just 191 miles from hustle and bustle of Philippines capitol Manila, is an island that has everyone talking about its newly discovered natural beauty. The Palawan island of Busuanga houses the up and coming town of Coron where you can experience majestic views of limestone karst, white sand beaches and some of the best marine life you will find on this this planet. It’s been recognized by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast for Blue Lagoonhaving the top beaches in the world. Conde Nast voted the Palawan Island to be the number 2 most beautiful island in the world as of January 2016.

It is a town that locales say, “they want to keep intact for its natural beauties even if many tourist come to the island.” General Manager Mike from the Funny Lion hotel, a native from Palawan says, “…that is why there are only a limited number of flights from Manila (MNL) to Busuanga Airport (USU) to limit the number of tourist that can be on the island at one time”. Coron wants to be known for its breathtaking panoramic view, limestone formations and an island that will remain untouched.


What to do in Coron?

When you start your day, start your trip by familiarizing yourself with the locales and the Coron Surroundings.

You may not know until you land that Coron town is different from Coron Island. Coron town is where you find all your local hotels & accommodations, restaurants and marketplaces. Coron Island is a 15-20 minute boat ride from Coron town where tourists travel to in the day by private boat or joining an island hopping tour. Some of the most notable destinations to visit while on your island tour will definitely be the most talked about rock formations and the world class under water corals and shipwrecks. First and foremost, the hands down site you must see is Kayangan Lake, which is surrounded by

Kayangan Lake in Coron
Very beautiful lake in the islands, Philippines

limestone and traces of lush greenery. With a composition of 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater, Kayangan Lake is the cleanest lake in the Philippines. Once you get to Kayangan lake, make sure to climb 167 steps to the peak where the viewing deck is located. There you will see where some of the most cinematic photographs of Coron were captured.

For those appreciate the beauties above and below ground, Lusong Ganboat is the place to go. The famous gunboat wreck is popular for its shallow sunken Japanese shipwreck from World War II. It has an average depth of 20 fee and a maximum depth of 33 feet. The clear waters and visibility as well as its vast variety of underwater species, makes the Lusong Gunboat the perfect place for snorkeling and underwater macrophotography.

Calauit Safari ParkFurther away from the turquoise waters, you can find yourself enjoying Calauit Safari Park. A must see attraction on the island, especially for families traveling with kids. Contrary enough, even if the safari park is located on land the best way to get to Calauit Safari Park is by boat. Both African and endemic species roam freely on site and brings the safari feel a completely new feel. Giraffes, zebras and the Calamian deer are some of the friendly animals tourist will be able to meet during you visit.

Coron has something special that everyone is talking. A holiday in Coron means engulfing its breathtaking seascapes, uninhabited coastal areas, white sand beaches, a safari adventure, freshwater lakes and friendly townspeople who care about the maintenance of their home. A family friendly island that will have visitors of all ages full of excitement and new discoveries. Not to mention a snorkeler and divers paradise.