Cruises are not only the easiest way to see the world but they also offer more value for the dollar than any other international vacation option.
After all, where else can you unpack once and wake up every morning in a fascinating new destination? And where else can you spend as little as $50 per person, per day, and receive comfortable, well-maintained accommodations with twice-daily maid service, 3+ meals, a full slate of shipboard activities and nightly entertainment?
For examples of the extraordinary values in the marketplace right now, please visit our 90-Day Ticker, where you'll find a multitude of last-minute discounts on cruises all over the world.
Cruise lines can provide such outstanding value because of the efficiency with which they deliver their service.
For example, the typical cruise ship has teams of room stewards, chefs and waiters working seven days a week to clean 1,000 or more cabins per day and prepare and serve three or four meals a day to upward of 2,000 passengers. When the ship sails from the port of departure, the hotel director knows exactly how many meals will be served for the entire cruise, and the vessel has been provisioned accordingly. Every cabin, table and employee is fully utilized, every day.
That's much more efficient and less wasteful than the system land-based hotels and restaurants must employ to serve a much smaller group of customers who vary in number daily.
As ships have gotten larger and cruise lines have grown into billion-dollar enterprises, the cruise lines' huge buying power has reduced their costs for everything consumed on the ship. Plus, larger ships and show lounges spread the cost of entertainers, the captain, officers and cruise director over more people.
And unlike airlines and hotels that accept empty seats and rooms during slow periods, cruise lines will do whatever it takes to sail full. On almost every ship except the six-star vessels, cruise lines will slash prices as low as they need to in order to fill every cabin. Even the six-star lines are now offering discounts that were once unheard of.
They do this for two reasons. First, on most lines, a significant percentage of the crews' compensation comes from gratuities -- and there are no gratuities from empty cabins.
Second, venues such as spas, boutiques, photography studios and excursion desks are completely dependent on onboard purchases, which of course are directly related to the number of people on the ship.
All of this has resulted in fantastic bargains for people cruising today, and Vacations To Go has become the biggest seller of cruises in the world by being the best at finding and negotiating the lowest discounts in the industry, frequently selling them out before other agencies are even aware they exist.
For a look at more of the incredible cruise deals departing in the next several weeks, check out our world-famous 90-Day Ticker now, the industry's only comprehensive list of last-minute markdowns.
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