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Look for Cruise Promotions During "Wave Season"

Look for Cruise Promotions During ‘Wave Season’

If you’re thinking about taking a cruise in 2018, it’s time to get ready for wave season.

Right around the time people in many parts of the country are coping with ice, snow, and freezing temperatures, cruise lines are rolling out deals to entice travelers dreaming of a warm-weather getaway. This period, known as “wave season,” lasts from January 1 to March 31, and it’s the biggest time of the year for cruise bookings. In fact, some cruise lines even start offering perks in December so they can fill up their cabins as early as possible. 

While there may be some fare discounts, it’s the extras that make wave season such a great time to book a trip. Cruise lines will usually sweeten the pot by offering amenities such as a cabin upgrade, prepaid gratuities or onboard credit. There may even be deals on extras such as specialty dining, beverage and spa packages, shore excursions, or Internet access.

Of course, before you decide among the deals, you’ll have to think about the type of cruise that best fits your interests, style, and budget. Large oceangoing vessels that travel to Alaska and throughout the Caribbean are like floating cities, with a wealth of options for dining and entertainment, as well as children’s activities. River cruises, like the ones that travel Europe’s waterways, use smaller boats and provide a more intimate experience. Luxury travelers and more mature passengers tend to find river cruises more attractive. River cruises are more likely to offer onboard activities that focus on the food and culture of the places you’ll be visiting. Since these ships travel close to city centers and historic sites there is an emphasis on intimate excursions. 

Whichever type of cruise you pick, a few tips can go a long way toward enhancing your experience. 

First, think about arriving at your departure point the night before the cruise begins. You’ll be able to do some sightseeing and start your trip relaxed, without the stress of a long travel day and worrying about delayed flights or missed connections. 

If you’ve got your heart set on a specialty onboard restaurant, consider making a reservation early in your cruise. On the first night, it can be easier to get a table for popular dining options and you may even receive a discount for booking the first night of your voyage. 

There’s a lot to do on a cruise ship, especially on huge oceangoing vessels. Take the opportunity to try something new, but don’t try to do everything. It’s okay to pass up a shore excursion and spend a day exploring the ship at a time when it’s likely to be less crowded. 

Of course there’ll be days when you want to go sightseeing. To make the most of your limited time, do research beforehand and figure out a plan for port days. Pick a few attractions as your top priorities.

Travel Leaders COS has the expertise to help you wade through all the wave season specials and pick the cruise and excursion itinerary that’s right for you. Give us a call at 800-273-0793, locally 719-597-0004, or send us an email at

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