Savings Month is always a good reminder of the importance of saving up for those little extras, and often prompts us to think about what we want to put our hard-earned money aside for. A holiday is likely to be on this list, as everyone wants to take time out to relax and recharge with their loved ones.
One example of a very affordable holiday option is a local cruise, yet many people are unaware of the great value for money cruises offer. Here are seven reasons to start saving up for a cruise holiday now*.
1. So much is included in your cruise fare
One of the most alluring aspects of cruising is that almost everything is included. For the cost of your cruise fare you can get:
- A choice of comfortable accommodation options, such as family rooms and balcony suites.
- Mouth-watering cuisine, from all-you-can-eat buffets to a-la-carte experiences
- First-class entertainment, including theatre shows and live music
- The opportunity to visit another country.
Although your drinks are not included, you do have the option of buying a drinks package before you cruise – there is a wide range to choose from – which allows you to put a cap on your spending.
2. A deposit secures your booking
With local cruises, you only need a R3,000 deposit to secure your cabin, regardless of the number of passengers you’ve booked for. The full amount is due 75 days (about 2 ½ months) before your holiday, which allows you to plan properly and save, especially if you book well in advance.
3. Children under 18 years old cruise for free
For local cruises, children under the age of 18 years old cruise for free when sharing a four-berth cabin with two adults. Parents only need to pay for mandatory port charges for their children. In the case of single parents travelling with children, they are only required to pay 60% of the full fare for one child, while the others cruise for free. This applies to a parent cruising with up to three children under the age of 18 years old.
Another great money saver for parents is that all of the kids’ onboard facilities are free, with the high-tech gaming attractions at a minimal additional cost. There are full itineraries of diverse activities for all age groups, from babies to older teens.
4. Better prices and choices for Early Bookings Special Offers
Everyone loves a good deal. Booking your cruise early means getting discounts of up to 50%. Another bonus to booking early is that you’ll also get better availability and cabin choice.
5. Limiting your travel costs
Travel costs can really add up, particularly if your holiday involves visiting a number of different places. But if you’re going on a local cruise, the only transport cost you have to think about is getting to and from the port in Durban or Cape Town. If you do decide to spend a little extra and go on an international cruise, then cruising definitely offers you the best value for money, as travel costs are very limited. You only have to pay for your overseas flights and costs to get to and from the relevant ports. You get the opportunity to see different countries but only have to unpack once, as you can settle into your luxury suite for your whole trip.
6. Special rates for senior citizens
Passengers over the age of 60 receive a discount of 10% when booking a local cruise. For those booking either a balcony or suite cabin, this discount increases to 15%.
7. Honeymoon savings
Everyone knows that weddings can be expensive, so it’s great to be able to save on honeymoon costs. Couples on their honeymoon get a 10% discount on local cruises, and 15% if they book either a balcony or suite cabin, meaning they can travel in style while saving on their honeymoon.
*All prices and special offers mentioned in this article are only applicable to MSC Cruises. For more information on MSC Cruises’ affordable local and international cruises, be sure to check out www.msccruises.co.za