Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

If you're cruising, catch 'wave' of perks

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Wave season is the time -- from January to March -- when the people running the analytics departments for cruise lines dig through reams of data and determine sale prices for the year.

This year, they have gone beyond the traditional wave season.

More perks than "sale prices," these deals are designed to entice you to cruise in 2013. Some offerings are for particular destinations; some stretch into 2014.

For instance, Windstar is offering two-for-one cruises and two complimentary hotel nights with each cruise on a sale that ends April 27.

Azamara Club Cruises has an April sale for cruises from Aug. 1 to July 2014, a double-category upgrade and a Choice Air cruise credit of $1,000 per stateroom or 25 per cent off shore excursions, with some qualification.

Oceania will give you (on select sailings) a $140 shipboard credit and 50 per cent-reduced deposits, plus free airfare, gratuities and free Internet.

Rather than send you to the cruise lines' websites, I suggest you contact a travel agent who specializes in cruises because, as with every sale, there is some all-important small print.

If you're wondering about river-cruising sales, there is not much at this point.

Funny cruiser complaints

Hopefully, I'm going to put a smile on your face this week. This comes your way courtesy of Bonvoyage.co.uk, a British online travel agency. It is a sample of some of the complaints from passengers and -- would you believe it? -- no references to missing ports, ship delays or emergencies.

-- A lady on a Mediterranean cruise was unhappy with the sound of the sea, claiming it was too loud and kept her from having a good night's sleep. She wanted her cabin to be "better soundproofed against the sounds of the sea."

-- Two people on a Mediterranean cruise complained the captain was "rude" by failing to comply with the couple's plans. Before going ashore, they left him a note advising they would return to the ship two hours later than the posted departure time, due to having "too much to do in port." When the captain left on time without them, the couple had to catch the ship at another port the next day and wanted to be compensated for the costs of getting there.

-- A woman on a Celebrity ship demanded a full refund simply because she didn't see any "celebrities" on board. According to her, the company was guilty of "false advertising" because there were none on the ship.

-- Finally, a woman expressed her disappointment that her inside cabin did not have a window facing the sea. Furthermore, she claimed nobody on board was able to install a window for her so she could enjoy the view, and she expected "better service next time."

Phil's pick of the week

This cruise is leaving next month, and remember, the price shown was available at the time of writing and is based on per-person double occupancy and does not include fees and taxes.

The cruise leaves May 28, sailing from Venice to Barcelona over 12 days on the Carnival Legend. Ports are Venice for an overnight, Dubrovnik, Messina, Naples, Rome, Florence, Palma de Mallorca, then into Barcelona.

Starting price is $699 (see Carnival.com or your agent).

-- Postmedia News

Visit portsandbows.com for daily updates on the latest cruise news, best deals and behind-the-scenes stories from the industry. You can also sign up for an email newsletter on the site for even more cruise information. Phil can be contacted directly at portsandbows

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 D7

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