Every single day of the year, there is a cruise sale going on. Father’s Day, Labor Day, Alaskan Summer, Kwanzaa, you name it, there is a sale. Not to mention, agency exclusive sales, consortium sales, and just generally great group rates I can offer. Then why don’t I advertise them on my website? One, it would mean updating my website 24 hours a day instead of selling you great experiences. But two, as per my contract (all travel agency contracts), many of the best deals cannot be advertised on an open website.
Should I RSVP For That Private Sale?
Often, agencies will make you RSVP for a private sale. That makes it seem exclusive. Gets you excited. Plays on the idea of getting something special, these priovate sales create an urgency. Roping you into booking during the sale. In reality, that sale is usually open to other agencies or other agencies have comparable pricing, and the deal isn’t the best. I’ve always felt these RSVP only sales undermine the relationship I’m trying to build.
I guarantee that I will also find you the best price, or the best value for your dollar. Not always the same, but you always end up ahead. I don’t hide lower prices because someone didn’t check their email in time to RSVP for a private sale. In essence, everyone is invited to my private sales, every day of the year.
I also try to match you with your perfect cruise, the perfect cruiseline, the perfect ship. What works for one person may not work for you. With private sales, you end up with the cruiseline on sale, on the ship and dates that are on sale. Is that right for you? Hopefully, but not always. I’d rather you get off the ship feeling like you got a great deal and had an amazing time. Not just that you got a great deal. I’ve been on that cruise.
I will admit that I went all in during a cruise sale many years ago. I booked an amazingly low priced Coastal Cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver on Holland America. It was my first cruise. An experienced travel agent would have been able to tell me that going North along the Pacific Coast in April means storms, choppy water and seasickness galore. I booked a balcony, but it was unusable, as the waves are so large that they soak the balcony. The rock of the boat closes the pool. Having spoken to the Captain and a HAL employee (who was enjoying his own great deal on the Penthouse), I learned that the April relocator cruises are always like that. Every year. My travel agent didn’t tell me that. She just wanted to close the sale during her “private sale”. Whether she earned a bonus commission or her agency was giving away rewards for top closers, I don’t know. I do know that she probably sold ten times the number of cruises that week, but I wonder how many of those people were repeat clients? In the end, I got off my cruise feeling a little let down.
Sure I scored a great deal, but I didn’t really enjoy myself.
Cruise sales could last a day or an entire season. Often there are two or three overlapping sales depending on the cruiseline. My job is to offer you the sales, the non-sales, the low prices, the deals, the suites, the alternate cruise, whatever will truly make you disembark feeling like you had the vacation of a lifetime (and want to do it all over again)!