MisterCruise.com is all about keeping cruising travelers informed about the cruise topics of the day, showcasing special offers and discounts from cruise lines and cruise agencies and answering any and all cruise travel related questions from the traveling public.
I know that, for any type of travel to any destination, knowledge equals safety, and traveling safely truly makes one a Smart Traveler. With a lifetime of knowledge in the travel industry, and with a focus on the cruise segment of the travel industry, I am here to share my knowledge with you, and, hopefully, that will equal the guidance you seek to help you make decisions that will keep you safer when traveling, help you to pay the least possible for the cruise you want, and help YOU become a Smart Traveler!
Peter Coloyan Sr.
President, Smart Traveler
01/07/2022 - Yes, with all the pent up demand and the realization by every major cruise line that you MUST have a fully vaccinated ship to even think about setting sail, and with the fact that the Covid virus can be similar to a cold or flu for the fully vaccinated, cruising is coming back STRONG! It will not be long before vaccines are available for all ages, and large family cruises will be back in numbers beyond historical highs!
I mean, I'm a cruiser and I am also blessed with common sense, in that I trust science. I know I am safer on a ship where I know everybody is fully vaccinated and boosted, as I am, or they are an ineligible vaccine recipient who has tested negative before embarkation and will be tested during the cruise, than I am walking the streets of many American cities, where, in some places, as much as 50% of the population are unvaccinated. You may get 15 or 25 or even 50 people get Covid on a large cruise ship on ANY cruise. But, the reality is - thay are all protected by vaccination! As you are! The odds are very good that no-one will be very sick, the odds are exponentially better that no one will die. Oh yes, in just pure percentages, even 50 people testing positive on a large cruise ship is less than 1%.Testing sites in Florida have recently been recording as high as 30% or more positive.
I see the industry ramping up prices quickly as inventory begins to fill to pre-pandemic levels - and way beyond! I believe that 2022 will be a record year for bookings, and 2023 will be a record year for sailed passengers.
Take a breath! Having been around the industry for over 45 years, I would like to make an observation, and a prediction on the future of international travel, Covid, vaccines and the current abundance of misinformastion of all this that is dividing our country.<br/>
The innate desire to travel, to see 'far away places', to view firsthand the pages of our history books, to go where we have not been before, this desire will never subside! This desire will also help end the pandemic.<br/>
How? Well, in order to travel internationally, we MUST be vaccinated. That will be the norm, the requirement, from this point in time on. And, it should be! No one wants to go through this again, or even to prolong this pandemic any longer. Eventually, the desire to travel, or simply to be included in the ever growing number of life events that will require travel, will trump the objections of the ever-decreasing number of anti-vaxxers out there. Vaccines have been proven effective and safe for decades. The current vaccines have been vetted and proven safe by billions of human beings. For those who remain unvaccinated but eligible, and who want to travel - I implore you, get vaccinated now! If you haven't got Covid yet, you will, and when you do, you could die. Really, please, take whatever reason you have for not getting vaccinated and put together a coherent, thoughful, and thought-through argument to defend your position, noting as support the facts and reports that convinced you why you are correct in your thinking. Then, look at that information against the facts that are put out by national and international medical and scientific groups that are, by nature of their makeup, non-partisan, and which have been the guiding voices of global medical and heath technology over the past century. Then, if you are still not convinced, consider this: If I am wrong, you may get a headache or, at worst, flu like symptons for a couple days, like my son's reaction which is the worst I have seen.. If you are wrong, you could die.
Back to the deals! Booking in the next few months will save you hundreds to thousands per person versus waiting. The reason - cancellations have become much easier, and less costly to the consumer, and no-risk bookings are an avid cruiser's best friend!
I would book and deposit NOW for as far out as the cruise lines will let you! For luxury cruisers. this is one time when you can get great roi on your cruise deposit. Here's why:
Let's say that today you book a $25K cruise for May 2024 with a $1000 deposit. I expect cruises will go up about 20% during the course of this year and another 20-30% next year. In 2024 this cruise will cost an estimated $36K.
The day before you have to make final payment, you can cancel without penalty - and you have lost 2 years interest on $1000 - nothing substantial these days - maybe $10. But, if you are able to take the cruise, you will have saved yourself $11,000.00. This may be a crude example, but I have seen this type of savings occur over and over and over!
Buying a cruise at the best price is not rocket science - book it as far ahead as possible EVEN IF YOU MAY CANCEL IT! You can book through an online agency, through a local agent, a home based agent, us, even direct (but, don't, you'll waste money) - just get it booked!
When prices are poised to go up this much (and it will be years before it levels off again) it is absolutely to your advantage to hold that space!! With some cruise lines accepting reduced deposits for many cruise dates, this is a no-brainer! They want you to book, so they can solidify their sales forecasts, and, of course, as you book, inventory i reduced - and prices go up!!! At each price increase, there will, undoubtedly, be some deals that come out, so, if you don't get in on the current super-deals (yes, they are!), then try to wait for the next "deals" period!
Oh yes, my annual travel stock picks (not done since 2019, for good reason): ALL TRAVEL STOCKS should rise significantly this year, especially ALL CRUISE STOCKS!
My personal pick is Carnival. They were the first cruise I ever booked in 1974, and I know their management well. At ~$21.00 a share or so today. I expect a rise to pre-pandemic prices this year!
Cruises, Covid-19 and Your Safety
- Posted 7/30/2021
If you want to cruise - get the vaccine. Period. Cruises will NOT be "back to normal" without required vaccination proof and pre-boarding rapid testing. Period. The majority of frequent cruisers will not accept less than a 100% vaccinated ship - employees and guests - and a 100% Covid-free ship at time of sailing. Common sense wins again! I have been saying this for over a year! Does anyone really want to sail on a ship with up to 8000 total people on board, often from over 50 countries with each country at varying stages of fighting Covid, and with new variants sure to continue to develop?
So, Is it Safe to Cruise?
In a word, still- NO! At least, not now! And, its the same politics (and the LACK of common sense) hurting our country that is hurting the cruise industry, delaying its full return. Unfortunately, right now, in Florida, we are saddled with an ultra-politiciced non-sensical Government and the worst Governor ever, who, because of his politics, and his desire to secure favor with his "base" - a small minority of people who are anti-mask, anti-vax, anti- anything that they perceive to be infringing on personal liberties - has made business so difficult for the cruise lines by not allowing them to require proof of vaccination if they sail from Florida. That's the Great State of Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, who, if allowed to impose his will, his ego, and his politicized "logic", will destroy Florida's cruise industry - and the tens of thousands of jobs, and billions in revenue it brings to the state - will go elsewhere. And, from a travel advisor's perspective - what about liability? Does any travel service really want to sell a product that they know could kill you? I certainly don't. I will not book myself, or any client, on any such "unsafe" ship. Until Covid is 100% defeated worldwide (it WILL be years, not months) the cruise industry MUST insist on proof of vaccination AND a negative pre-boarding test, to ensure its future.
But wait, there is an effective vaccine for Covid-19, so TAKE IT! Get the shot! It's safe, it's effective, and if you don't, you WILL, eventually, get Covid, and, unfortunately, many will die. That's right, you have a choice to make. Vaccinate or get Covid - a WORSE form of Covid than the original - and, possibly, get very sick, and DIE! It's common sense - DON'T BE STUPID! I, personally, have seen too many that have died from Covid that didn't have to. People that were otherwise living their best lives, and they're gone.
I certainly do not say all this lightly! I have made the majority of my income over the past 25 years selling cruises. Additional measures must be taken to avoid future onboard outbreaks, should a Covid-25 or Covid-48, or Covid-?? happen. Just as scientists had been warning that this Coronavirus pandemic was a matter of when, not if, that is the same guidance given for the next one - it is not "if", it is "when" will it occur. Cruise lines must be ready the next time!
Since writing the above, NCL has boldly taken the first REAL step to getting the cruise industry back to normal.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES IS THE ONLY MAJOR CRUISE LINE CURRENTLY REQUIRING PROOF OF VACCINATION. EVERY CRUISE LINE, EVERY CRUISE SHIP SHOULD FOLLOW THEIR LEAD. NCL IS THE ONLY CRUISE LINE I CAN RECOMMEND TO MY CLIENTS AT THIS TIME!
The following is Norwegian Cruise Lines' "Sail Safe" Program, and should be the industry-wide standard & model! It's just so simple - IF everyone is vaccinated, each cruise WILL be back to "normal", the cruise industry will be back to "normal, and, I suspect, and predict, that, if the entire cruise industry does adopt a zero tolerance mandate for the unvaccinated, that the industry will see a huge uptick in first time cruisers - and many more smart travelers, because I see many more people opting for a cruise vacation - where they KNOW everyone IS vaccinated and Covid-free, over a land based game of virus Russian Roulette, where they know that at least 40% are NOT vaccinated (yes, that's today, 7/30/21, and that number will go down, but never to zero).
You want to cruise. We want to keep you safe. With Norwegian, our leading Health & Safety Program allows you and your loved ones to cruise with the ultimate freedom and confidence. All guests and crew are required to be 100% fully vaccinated so you can safely do what you've always wanted to do on a cruise - EVERYTHING. Let's get back to living life to the fullest, together. Sail Safe. Feel Free.
Q? - I prefer just walking off my cruise ship and exploring on my own to taking bus tours, I have been on several ocean cruises, and it has been a great money saver, but next year, I am doing a Europe river cruise, and I was curious as to how it would be there? Thank you, Jean Impellitier, Fort Lauderdale, FL
A! - Most river cruise excursions in Europe are walking tours since many attractions are very close to the river, which was, and is, the lifeline of any European city. Walking tours will require varying levels of fitness as defined by each river cruise line for their excursions, and in many historic European towns there are cobblstone streets. For those with mobility issues, slower paced tours are usually available.
Thank you, Jean, for your great question!
Mister Cruise - Peter E Coloyan, Sr.
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BONUS INFO FOR ALL -
Mobility issues and river cruises: For river cruise excursions that involve bus travel, you will be required to store mobility aids beneath the bus in the luggage hold, and climb the steps onto the coach. In Europe, excursions are often included in the price of a river cruise, and, if included, you’ll be wasting money if you can’t join them due to an inability to climb the stairs of a coach..
One of the best things about a European river cruise, regardless of whether it's on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, or any other river, is the scenery continually passing by as seen from the ship. Historic castles, vineyards, and beautiful vistas often fill both banks of the river as your ship cruises by!
Accessible, or not?: There is a river cruise somewhere in the world for those with most any disability or mobility issue. Plus, new river cruise ships are launched every year, with more, and better, accessibility. So, don't think you can't go just because today there may not be exactly what you want where you want it. It may be coming next month, or next year! As river cruising grows in popularity, the options for accessible river cruising will expand - and we will help you every step of the way!
With so many river cruise options, it's impossible to know which is truly the best, and truly the most accessible, for YOUR particular needs! Without years of experience and the knowledge and access to information that those years bring, consumers run the risk of paying more than they need to, or getting less than they expected to! Just talk to an expert - cruising is NOT something that you want to, or can, in most cases, book online. Especially if accessibility is an issue - please.don't try to do it yourself!
That is where we come in! A service of Smart Traveler, we put you in touch with the best cruise counselors for your lifestyle and budget, and with your particular needs in mind- and our service is FREE. -yes, it costs nothing to utilize the services of a Cruise Expert.
In fact, we guarantee that, at the time of your initial cruise reservation, you will never pay more than if you booked it yourself directly! In addition to absolutely NOT paying more using our services, for over 80% of our reservations, our customers pay less, sometimes MUCH less, than if they booked it themselves and you have an Expert on your side!
So, please, look around, get some ideas, and whenever you feel ready for some assistance, simply fill out the Quote Request Form.