The low base fares promoted by some budget and mid-level cruise lines rarely indicate what the actual cost of a sailing will be. Travel advisors are stepping in to advise clients about onboard charges and, in some cases, showing that a higher-end cruise with all-inclusive pricing is actually a better value.
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If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That certainly can be the case with cruises, where low base fares and promotional offers often don’t come close to reflecting what the actual cost of the cruise will be. When passengers get on board, they may be shocked to find how little is actually included in the fare as they face charges at every turn for cocktails, coffee drinks, fitness classes, Wi-Fi, and a whole lot more. Gratuities are often automatically added to the tab as well.
For travel advisors, helping clients understand what to expect in the way of automatic tipping and other onboard charges is a way they are demonstrating the value they bring to the table. In some cases, travel advisors can do a cost comparison for clients showing that a luxury cruise with all-inclusive pricing may actually be a better value than a lower-level cruise with a tempting base fare.
Of course, the fact that all-inclusive pricing translates to higher commissions for travel advisors is a motivating factor too.
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— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor
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Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.
Photo credit: A guest wears a Carnival Corp. Ocean Medallion wristband. Travel advisors and their customers have to grapple with a bevy of cruise fees that are added to the fare. Carnival Corp.