Category Archives: Deals

Do Loyalty Clubs Matter?

In the last couple months, we have heard about changes to the repeat cruiser programs on a number of  cruise lines, the most recent rumor is for Carnival Cruise Line.  It seems as though there are more people cruising again and again that the cruise lines are actually reducing what it is offering to repeat cruisers or making you cruise even more to get the same things you got before. Some are adding classifications and counting your credits a different way.

I have heard that a lot of people are up in arms about these changes.  On Cruise Critic, some of the changes to be proposed by Carnival Cruise Line has resulted in some angry people.

My question is does this really affect who you are going to cruise with next?  Do you look for the best loyalty program or the best cruise line?  Will you have a tendency to not remain loyal to just one cruise line and start cruising many others as a result?  Does this matter to you?

Basically, I’m wondering is it more important to get free perks or more important to have a great experience, great service, a great cruise?  Personally, I don’t like seeing the changes that reduce the benefits unless they are coupled with reduced fares as well.  Will that change my loyalty?  Possibly, but not because of the reduction of perks.  The reduction of perks will make me look at other cruise lines and see why I am not cruising them.  I have been on five different cruise lines, soon to be six.  That is what has changed my mind about which cruise line is the best, not the perks offered to me.  I always look for the best value for my dollar – not necessarily the best price.  Price is important, but if I’m getting a cheap cruise that I’m not happy with, it is a waste of my money, time, vacation…  I would rather spend a little more (or get a little less) if I’m going to have the best experience possible.

Where do you stand on this?

Cruise Over the Holidays with MSC Cruises for Less

Right now you can get a balcony on a holiday sailing on MSC Poesia to the Caribbean for the price of an oceanview stateroom. You can also book a superior balcony for the standard balcony rate. Prices for these cruises start at $649 per person plus taxes and fees. Additionally, deposits for these cruises (and all MSC cruises) are now just $100 per person! Here is a listing of the cruises with these special promotions:

7 nights – MSC Poesia

Thanksgiving Cruise

  • November 19
  • Starting at $649 per person
  • Western Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Cozumel, Isla de Roatan, Montego Bay

Christmas Cruise

  • December 23
  • Starting at $799 per person
  • Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassau

New Years Cruise

  • December 30
  • Starting at $949 per person
  • Western Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Cozumel, Isla de Roatan, Montego Bay

President’s Day Cruise

  • February 18
  • Starting at $699 per person
  • Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call:  Fort Lauderdale, St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassau

In addition to these promotions, you will also qualify for Travel On A Dream’s onboard credit promotion when you book your MSC Cruise with us.  Contact us today!

Late Summer Disney World Promotion Released

The Late Summer Offer has been released by Disney World for dates between August 14 and October 1, 2011. Rates start at $69 plus tax, per night in a standard room at Disney Value Resorts for most stays Sunday through Thursday. Other great rates are also available. You can add tickets and dining to these rates if you’d like.

Weekday rates in standard rooms start as follows:

  • $69 for Value Resorts
  • $129 for Moderate Resorts
  • $189 for Animal Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge Resorts
  • $209 for Saratoga Springs and Old Key West Resorts

Rooms are limited and rates are for up to two adults on weekdays only.  Other rates will apply on Friday and Saturday nights.  This promotion excludes suites and 3 bedroom villas.  Contact us for more information and to get your quote today!

What’s Hot? All-Inclusives

Did you think we were all about cruising?  While cruising is a big portion of what I do, our agency also does offer a wide variety of travel destinations, including hotels and all-inclusive packages.

Whether you are looking to go to Antigua for your honeymoon or a trip to the Mexican Riviera just to get away, there are many offers and promotions available right now for your all-inclusive vacation.

All-inclusive resorts are not created equal however.  You will want to let your travel planner know what you are looking for in a resort and area.  Also, all-inclusive doesn’t mean that everything the resort offers is included.

While I was working on a honeymoon for my niece, the base prices were for the most basic room at the resort and sometimes did not include the all inclusive options. The resorts did offer all inclusive stays, but they defaulted to showing you the non-all inclusive ones to make them look lower cost and more attractive. I have found that many people will look at the first option and decide if it is something they would like. If so, they then customize it and select the flights and room type they are looking for. By doing it this way, they may be overlooking a different all inclusive option which has more to offer or is a lower cost. It’s best to always compare apples to apples from the start.

I use a number of booking engines for all inclusive resorts and I always make sure when comparing them, I am selecting every option the same. It’s amazing how a different sites can be with the same search criteria.

The next important thing to do is to compare the all inclusive packages. Some will include non-motorized water sports while others will not. Some will restrict which places at the resort you dine or what you are allowed to drink. Some will give you credit towards an upgraded meal or beverage, while others will not. Finally, check what the package is offering. Some search engines will automatically include travel insurance and transfers, while others may not. Again, compare the exact packages before making a decision.

Once you have an idea of where you want to go or what you want to do, be sure to check review sites for independent reviews of the resort. The booking engines are trying to sell you specific resorts and may not have accurate photos or reviews of them. You will want to try sites like Trip Advisor, but keep in mind that people have more of a tendency to report bad experiences than good. Also, we have heard stories of people making false bad reports to discredit a hotel or resort. Finally, feel free to contact the resort directly to clarify information on their web page. Recently we were looking at an airfare/hotel package in Hawaii. The different booking engines were saying different room descriptions with some sites indicating a breakfast buffet was include and others not mentioning this. Upon review at Trip Advisor, we found some recent guests who reported there wasn’t a breakfast buffet. The hotel’s website referred to this buffet as well. However, upon calling the resort, we found out the breakfast was not much more than cereal.

There are so many places to check for the best deal and the right package for you that this is where using a qualified travel agent really helps. In many cases, there is no fee to use the travel agent, but they can do the leg work and fall back on their experience with other clients to limit the work you have to do to be able to get down to planning the details of your all inclusive vacation.

National Plan a Vacation Week starts now!

Let us help you plan your next vacation during National Plan a Vacation Week!  During this event, there will be special offers from different travel suppliers, including Air New Zealand Vacations, Alaska Airlines Vacations, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Starwood Resorts.  Check out our micro-site http://www.planavacationweek.com/TravelOnADream.

New Zealand

Specials offered are from 7 to 11 nights and range from $999 per person to $2185 per person, double occupancy.  Here is one of the tours offered.

Rugged, Wild and Untamed West Coast

9 nights plus activities from only $1699 per person, twin share.

This itinerary showcases the rugged, wild and untamed beauty of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Begin your journey in Nelson and enjoy the splendour of the Abel Tasman National Park then journey south via Punakaiki and its stunning pancake rocks and blowholes to Greymouth. Board the TranzAlpine – one of the worlds best train journeys for a day return trip through spectacular landscapes to Christchurch and return. Then take in the sheer magnitude of glacier country. Traveling further south your journey ends in Queenstown where you have 3 nights to explore this unique alpine township known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand but with so much to offer every age and stage ! Includes 1 night FREE in Queenstown !

Hawaii

Four night stays for two adults in Hawaii range from $896 to $1180, some with kids free!

Hilton Hawaiian Village – Oceanview Room

$1024 for four nights for two adults – children stay free.

Triple Value promotion includes reduced rate and upgrade to Oceanview room plus Paradise Pass – A value of over $100 per day!

Located on Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach this impressive property is nestled on 22 oceanfront acres, offering the best Waikiki resort experience. Lush tropical gardens, waterfalls, the most swimming pools and waterslides, and a Friday night fireworks show make the Hilton Hawaiian Village a premiere resort for families.

*Children under 19 stay free using existing bedding

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Free Upgrades for All

This week is another Freestyle Dash promotion with up to $250 onboard credits, 50% reduced deposits and Free Upgrades for All.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts

The perfect getaway awaits you at Starwood Resorts in the United States, Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas; and French Polynesia.

– Complimentary night
– Complimentary room upgrade
– Resort or Food and Beverage credit

Some restrictions apply so please contact us for details.

The Sale’s On (Almost)

Last month we brought you information on the NCL Freestyle Dash promotion.  Well Norwegian Cruise Line is doing it again!  From March 15 through March 18, 2011, NCL will again have a Freestyle Dash sales event.  You can get up to a $250 onboard credit, PLUS 50% reduced deposit, PLUS free upgrades for all!

This offer will give you up to a 4-category upgrade on nearly all sailings (excludes 1-2 night sailings).  In some cases, you can get a balcony stateroom for the price of an oceanview stateroom.  This is a great deal.

In addition to the promotions offered by Norwegian Cruise Lines, you can also take advantage of Travel On A Dream’s customer loyalty program, giving you even more onboard credit funds to spend on your sailing.  Take a look at what you can get!

Contact us regarding your NCL cruise today and get ready for the Freestyle Dash!  http://travelonadream.com/quote.html