Cruise industry in 'wave season,' time when prices are best

February 7, 2013 8:28:29 PM PST
Summer may seem a long way off, but now is the time to book for that cruise vacation. It's "wave season" right now, and taking advantage of it can save you money.

Think of it as the Black Friday of the cruise industry. After a sluggish 2012, cruise lines are offering deals. And while you don't have to travel right now, you do have to book it.

When it comes to getting deals on travel, Helen Oswalt says it is a must.

"I live on a fixed income and I get online and find the best deals," Oswalt said.

Now you also can find great deals on cruise's during what the industry calls wave season.

"Go ahead and book something now because we are trying to fill up ships in the future," said Joe Menendez with Travel Leaders.

Menendez says if you book now, you can score a 50 percent discount on cruises. Some are leaving in six months, some are leaving now. Case in point: Carnival cruises, which Menendez says is offering a $240/person deal for a seven-day cruise.

Other deals? You can get a weeklong Disney cruise from Galveston for four people for $2,400 if you book now. And Royal Caribbean is offering a seven-day cruise for $440 per person, with kids costing just $125.

"The actual cost savings come with a third or fourth person in the cabin -- where you actually get up to 75 percent off the base price," Menendez said.

While the cruise industry had a difficult 2012, officials in Galveston say they had a big year.

"We had a little over 604,000 people embark out of cruises from Galveston on 173 cruises. That is the most we have had since 2006," Port of Galveston Executive Director Mike Mierzwa said.

To score the deals call a travel agent or check the cruise web sites directly, all the prices we quoted were for Galveston cruises. And because we mentioned Disney cruises, we also should tell you that KTRK-TV is owned by the Walt Disney Company.

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