Roads Traveled With Linda L. Osmundson
Ever wanted to cruise but found it too expensive? Try a repositioning trip. At season’s end in fall and spring, some ships reposition, from the Caribbean to Alaska or Mexico, from Canada/New England to the Caribbean, and/or from Europe to the States, or vice versa. If a line finds greater demand from another port, they may choose to reposition for economic reasons. For convenience of flights, regular cruises often begin and end in the same ports. Repositioning cruises depart and embark at different locations. Therefore,
the one-way rates are sold at a very large discount because of costly one-way flights to the passengers.
This year, my husband’s retirees committee decided to have a fun location for their annual meeting. They chose an inexpensive repositioning cruise from the winter headquarters in Los Angeles to the summer headquarters in Seattle, via Vancouver, British Columbia. We decided this three-day cruise met our needs to get away from the spring snows of Colorado. We spent three days at sea, no port stops. Rather than the normal 2800 capacity, only 1500 people took advantage of this low cost trip.
We could attend the retiree meetings or benefit from lectures, games, and/or classes provided by the line. For the three days, we paid $279 dollars, which included a room with a balcony, food, and entertainment. I later saw the same cruise advertised for an inside room at $199. A couple pays more than that if they go out for three dinners at home. We met two people who actually flew from Vancouver to Los Angeles to take advantage of a few days on relaxation in route back home at a very low cost. Some repositioning cruises still offered ports of call. Ours did not.
A cruise acts as a true vacation for a woman. She need not make a bed or cook a meal and she can partake of entertainment, classes, spa, and other amenities the ship offers or find a quiet space to read, knit, write, or perform any hobby she chooses. The Princess line still gained revenue from passengers. They shopped and drank on board. They purchased merchandise in specialty stores. Even at sale prices, the ship made money. In a room adjacent to where I sat to write, an art lecturer offered information to prospective art auction participants/buyers.
How do you find these repositioning cruises? Go online and Google “repositioning cruises.” Numerous trips include places like Bermuda, Alaska, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and Asia. All lines request proof of citizenship (a birth certificate, passport, and/or driver’s license). Check the guidelines to discover the requirements. Multiple stops may require visas and medical restrictions such as some form of preventative shots. Always keep a photocopy of your documents in case of loss.
Cruises offer a wide variety of entertainment for children such as sports, arts and crafts, or games. One cruise held a children’s scavenger hunt to discover the various jobs of crewmembers.
When making travel arrangements, plan to arrive a day or two early. Ships wait for no one. They leave promptly at designated times.
One advantage of short repositioning cruises is the dress code – country club casual with no formal nights. Longer cruises require formal attire on one or two evenings. Be sure to pack swimming suits, shorts for workouts, and good walking shoes.
Shipboard gratuities are most often automatically added to your bill daily, ranging from $10 to $15 per person. Still, be sure to carry plenty of small bills for other tipping. If ports of call in other countries require a change of currency, the ship provides that service before port disembarkation.
Another cost to consider is that of using your cell phone or Internet. On board Internet services cost extra, and phones require roaming charges or expensive ship to shore rates.
To experience a cruise, consider repositioning cruises. You receive all the tender loving care of a regular cruise, but pay less.
Check these sites for information or repositioning cruise specials: