Cruise Lines Jump In with Cyber Monday Promotions
By Theresa Norton Masek
November 28, 2011 5:16 PM
A number of cruise lines are tapping into the Cyber Monday shopping craze by offering deeply discounted deals that must be booked quickly by Nov. 28 or Nov. 29. Rick Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises U.S., said such promotions generate incremental business from people who might not otherwise take a cruise.
“All these kind of promotions seem to work,” Sasso said. “We need to stay with the times. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing, and now it seems to be the wave of the future. People want a Groupon or Cyber Monday. It’s definitely a necessity for any product to have some attention-grabbing offer. In our case, we picked a couple of cruises that still need some action, so we’re happy with results of it.”
Sasso doesn’t think these limited-time offers train cruisers to hold off booking to wait for the next deep discount. “In our industry, this is a useful tool to get people into cruising for the first time. It stimulates thought processes for people to finally get off the fence,” he said.
Camille Olivere, vice president of sales for Norwegian Cruise Line, also said the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale was successful. “I think it’s for people looking for a deal,” she said. “Some people just like the thrill of shopping on Black Friday or online on Cyber Monday. Our offer started Wednesday and goes through tomorrow (Nov. 29), so the idea is to capture Black Friday shoppers, those who shop through the weekend, and Cyber Monday all at the same time. Plus, over the long weekend, people are with their families and they start talking about travel plans.”
Among the offerings:
? MSC Cruises is offering seven-night cruises at fares as low as $399 when booked by midnight today, Nov. 28. That price is good on the Jan. 14 departure of the MSC Poesia from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Cozumel, Roatan and Montego Bay. Other fares on close-in dates are $469 for the Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 departures. A seven-day Eastern Caribbean roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, San Juan and Nassau is priced from $469 on Feb. 4 and $429 on Feb. 18. For more information, call 800-666-9333 or visit http://view.exacttarget.com/?j=fe6a15737d66047e7716&m=fef61177776102&ls=fdfd11717665077a75127273&l=fea416727467067d74&s=fe28107677660d7e741375&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe3215737065047b7d1170.
? Norwegian Cruise Line’s offer gives onboard credits, upgrades and reduced deposits on select sailings booked by Nov. 29. The credit is up to $250 per stateroom, based on cruise length and stateroom category. The line was promoting sailings as low as $129 for an inside stateroom on a three-night Norwegian Sky cruise departing Miami Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. For more information, call 888-NCL-CRUISE or visit www2.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/thanksgiving-sale.
? Royal Caribbean International is offering savings on select cruises booked by Nov. 29. Among the offers: $149 for an inside stateroom on the Dec. 5 four-night Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral on Monarch of the Seas. For specifics, visit www.royalcaribbean.com/dealsandmore/featuredCruises/selectLandingPromo.do?promoCode=130239&hasHappyHour=Y
? Princess Cruises’ After Thanksgiving Alaska Sale expires at 11:59 p.m. PT Nov. 29. The sale offers up to $1,000 in savings and up to $50 onboard credit on cruise-tours. For cruise-only bookings, the sale provides a free balcony upgrade and up to $100 onboard credit. A non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, call 800-PRINCESS or visit www.princess.com/alaskasale.page.