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Priceline Cruise Discounts FAQ

Cruise topics covered –

  1. At 20 years old, what cruises for me?
  2. Priceline senior rates?
  3. Biggest bargains?
  4. Departure ports?
  5. Airfares to port?
  6. Good values or not?
  7. Single rates?
  8. What's not included?
  9. Need a passport?
  10. Formal clothing?
  11. Low price guarantee?
  12. Refundable?

1. I am 20 years old and want to be with young singles. What cruises are for me?

Generally, for Caribbean and Mexican cruises, the shorter the cruise, the more youthful the passengers, and the later most will want to stay up. During the spring break season—mid-February through Easter and Passover—expect especially young crowds on seven-day or less cruises.

Other factors relating to the age of the passengers are the “rating” and cost of a cruise. The more highly-rated and expensive cruises tend to attract older passengers. Priceline shows you typical ratings for the ships it sells.

However, most people, regardless of age, plan to have fun on cruises. They won’t care if you’re up all night dancing, as long as you don’t disturb them.

2. Has Priceline senior rates?

Yes, Priceline.com offers senior discounts.

Senior rates typically start at age 55, and as long as one person in the stateroom is 55, everyone gets that rate.

3a. What are the biggest Priceline bargains?

4. From what cities or ports do ships leave?

Some 25 U.S. ports, as well as ports in Europe, South America, Australia, and elsewhere.

Most ships still sail from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Juan, and the New York City area, although more ships now leave from “non-traditional” ports.

These include Galveston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Port Canaveral (near Orlando), Charleston, Houston, Boston, San Diego, and others.

These may save you travel time and money getting to port.

Keep in mind though that if your Caribbean cruise in January leaves from New York City, you will not be able to relax by the outdoor pool during your first and last several days on your ship!

5. What about airfare?

In some cases, Priceline will show you the cost both with and without airfare.

If you are traveling on a one-way cruise, check airlines like Icelandair and Norwegian (for Europe), JetBlue, and Southwest, which often feature lower one-way fares.

Some cruise lines offer negotiated discounted cruise fares.

IMPORTANT: If you book your own airfare, I urge you to arrive at the port at least the day before. This helps protect you. Call your relaxing by the hotel swimming pool a cheap insurance policy.

If your cruise ship leaves without you, you are faced with buying an often very expensive last-minute one-way ticket to the first port of call. If this comes on the third day, you will have missed two nights of your cruise by not allowing enough connecting time.

6. Are cruises good values?

A discounted Priceline cruise vacation offers tremendous value.

Why? Because you’ll know the cost of nearly everything in advance—transportation, stateroom, all-you-care-to-eat meals, a wide selection of entertainment, taxes, etc.—you will face few surprises compared to a land-based vacation.

Easily compare this cost to an "all-inclusive" land vacation package that does not give you the variety of ports to explore that a cruise does.

However, keep in mind that cruise companies work hard to entice you to spend more while on their ships by offering casinos, dining venues not included in the cruise price, bottled water and soft drinks by the pool, etc. Other than perhaps liquor, these temptations are typically easy to avoid.

Value comes from your safety, too. Although you hear of incidents otherwise, cruises isolate you from most crime especially if you participate in group activities while in port.

Priceline Last-Minute Cruises up to 75% off from $60/ night!

7. What about single rates?

Single rates vary wildly from departure to departure depending on how anxious a cruise line is to fill a ship. Comparing different companies and dates can save you serious money.

Although few cruise ships offer single staterooms (Norwegian does, for example), most put singles in cabins designed to occupy two or more people and of course they prefer the extra income.

For these, you typically pay 125% to 200% of the per person already discounted double rate.

You are doing well if you pay 150% or less of the person already discounted double rate. You are doing fantastically if you pay 125% of the already discounted per per person double rate. The holy grail was that Norwegian Epic repositioning cruise mentioned above where the per night difference dropped to $7 per night.

Beware of ships that have discounted per person double occupancy rates, but want to move you to the full per person retail rate if you want to book a stateroom alone.

Three companies that tend to offer excellent single rates are Celebrity, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Nevertheless even with these, you are still nearly always much better off seeking departures that are not so heavily booked.

8. What’s not included?

9. Will I need a passport?

Absolutely, if your cruise docks outside the United States. Or outside of Canada if you carry a Canadian passport.

10. Should I take formal clothing?

You will not need formal wear for typical warm weather cruises (seven-nights or less) departing from the U.S. In fact, these nearly always offer a buffet or other informal dining alternative, where you are able to wear a t-shirt and board shorts to meals, if you wish.

On the other hand, except for the very shortest and least expensive (based on the normal retail price, not your Priceline one) warm weather cruises out of U.S. ports, men may feel somewhat out of place if they do not wear at least a jacket and tie in indoor public areas on formal nights (one or two nights a week).

Many ships require at least a jacket and tie in the main dining room on formal nights.

Getting to know your table companions in a main dining room, if you ask to share a table as most of us do, instead of dining alone or as a couple in an impersonal buffet, is one of my favorite aspects of cruising.

Even on the most expensive cruises, men can easily get by with a conservative suit in the dining room and public areas on formal nights, not a tuxedo.

Nevertheless, if you plan a long cruise or a cruise of any length on a very expensive and luxe ship, especially one that attracts an international crowd—such as a trip across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary—you will probably want to take a formal evening gown or tux to get more fully into the spirit of things. At the minimum, men should pack a very dark suit.

11. Does Priceline have a low price guarantee?

Yes, and it covers all cruise lines.

Of course, all aspects of the other cruise must be exactly the same—date, ship, type of stateroom, etc. See the Priceline website for time limitations to claim, etc.

12. Are Priceline cruises refundable?

Cancellations result in a penalty. That’s the risk you take for these low prices. What cruise line you use and how close to departure you cancel determine how much money you lose.

Priceline Last-Minute Cruises up to 75% off from $60/ night!

May you always enjoy big discounts on your Priceline cruises!