Get Treated like VIPs on Cruises

An interesting thing about VIPs is that they rarely pay full price for anything, even though they can afford it. Quite often, they travel free. So to be treated like a VIP, remember the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Most VIPs take advantage of discounts available through: corporate incentives, bonuses, clubs, travel groups, cruise lines, credit card companies and travel reward programs. VIP service comes with upgraded packages and accommodations, such as first-class state rooms and luxury suites. There are many ways to obtain upgrades and cruise deals without paying a fortune, but it will take some time and a bit of research on your part.

Upgraded Cruise Package Deals
Research the websites of major cruise lines. Assuming you know where you want to go, check all cruise lines that offer a cruise to your destination. Click on the page that shows “Specials and Discounts,” “Special Offers,” or a similar title. You usually get lower prices for an off-season cruise. Check for deals which group travel, cruise, hotel and on-shore excursion fees into one package. Package deals often offer the best bargains, allowing you to afford upgrades. If you have traveled with a cruise line before, check for any programs that will reward your loyalty to the company. Early booking and last-minute booking may net additional discounts. Value-added programs give you upgrades and perks when you purchase certain packages. For example, you purchase Package A at regular price, but the cruise line gives you a bonus of upgraded room, chocolates and wine, etc.

Clubs & Groups
Many cruise lines offer discounts for military, seniors, teachers, certain groups and clubs (such as AARP and AAA), and citizens of certain areas. Do you belong to any clubs or groups? Check if they offer any cruise packages or discounts. Consider joining a group that does. You may recoup the cost of joining with discounts on cruises or other programs. Check each of your credit card companies for any special travel discounts or reward programs.

Travel Agencies
Travel agencies are privy to special promotions that are not public knowledge. It may be worth your time and effort to see what a travel agency has available. Visit a local agency approved by the Better Business Bureau.

Multiple Booking Discounts
Group discounts are another way to get VIP treatment. As a group organizer, you may either get free passage or a free room upgrade. Check into what group programs are offered at each major cruise line.

Online Travel Discount Companies
Research deals at travel discount companies. These online companies are another great way to get upgrades and VIP treatment for discounted prices. One such company is CruiseMagic.com. They bill themselves as “the original discount cruise Internet super store.” Other companies specializing in discounted travel packages include: Expedia.com, Cruise.com, Travelocity.com and Smartcruiser.com.

Tips
Tipping generously almost always nets excellent service. Anyone can be treated like a VIP if he or she pays handsomely for the extra attention.

Resources:
Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Line