Before You Pay for Your Cruise

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By Nadia Jastrjembskaia, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas Expert Plus

I was at networking event and had a ground-level conversation with a woman right at the beginning your cruise vacation planning on Oasis of the Seas.  As we talked, I realized she was struggling with three vital questions she had to answer before she could get into the final stage of her vacation planning. I told her to think hard about the following before going further.

1. What does your best vacation look like?
This is by far the most important question that almost nobody takes it seriously. I think most of us naturally assume that best vacation is measured in making the best deal, or, at the very least, not to be bored. But, in contrast to that standard assumption, if you look around, I bet you’ll see people who care about a lot of other things, besides just saving cash.

For example, I know people who built their cruise vacation around strengthening relationships between family members. So, they did things together, get fun and returned back very satisfied.

2. Do you want to book it yourself or hire a professional advisor?
This question has a lot to do with personal style, inclination and preference. Some people naturally want to do it themselves, own their vacation entirely, make all the key decisions, and win or lose by themselves. Others prefer to work with a travel professional, discuss option, and carefully select activities and dining venues. They enjoy the process by exploring Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas under the direction of the cruise expert. They are excited about their cruise and we talk a lot about every detail and how it fit the needs of each family member.

The woman at the networking event could easily decide to focus on what she can do by herself, and keep full control, even though that might mean not be perfect vacation for her. On the other hand, her vacation would be much more successful if she had a person who can give her professional advice.

I ended up suggesting she had to decide that one for herself before she could develop a more detailed vision of her cruise vacation plan. Additionally, I told her that hiring a professional cruise consultant doesn’t cost her a penny.

3. What is your budget?
Establishing realistic budget is a tricky job. People inclined think that we still in 2008 when cruises were around $350 for 7 days itinerary. I had a client who asked me to check prices daily to make sure that I can catch the lowest one. Truth is that Oasis class ships are flagman ships for Royal Caribbean and it is not realistic to expect to cruise below $800 per person in the lowest cabin category.

Also, there are a lot of paid options on the board. So, I suggest thinking about 25% of your cruise fare to spend on the board for specialty restaurants, excursions, purchases (Starbucks coffee is not free there!) as well as something as spa treatment to treat yourself.

Answering these questions usually comes before you pay for the cruise fare. It’s hard to generate the basic numbers without first deciding what you want to do on your vacation. You can contact me by calling 772 240-09797 or by dropping email by clicking here.

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