|Wave season, when cruise lines run their best deals, is upon us again. The period typically stretches from January through March. This year’s top cruising trends show that travelers are tailoring their experiences to meet their unique wants and needs, according to AAA Texas. AAA travel advisors say smaller ships, solo trips, and splurge-worthy suites are some of the biggest trends for 2024.
Expedition cruises are growing in popularity with more travelers looking to get up-close and personal with nature. Top destinations include the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, the Galápagos, and the Northwest Passage.
More travelers are booking cruise vacations just for themselves. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), cruise line companies are taking notice and increasing the number of single cabins in new ships and retrofitting some of their existing ships to better accommodate solo passengers.
Higher-priced cabins are selling out fast. AAA Travel has seen a spike in early bookings of balcony cabins and luxury suites. These prime categories are selling out faster than before, so travelers looking to splurge on their next cruise vacation should book well in advance.
Another significant recent trend is that more travelers are booking cruises earlier, in some cases more than a year in advance. AAA Texas travel advisors are seeing that savvy travelers are wasting no time getting their cruise vacations on the books to ensure they get the itineraries, cabins, and shore excursions they want. Because inventory is limited with increased cruising interest, a travel advisor can provide valuable insight and value when booking.
AAA Texas Mega Travel Show
To assist those who want to take a cruise or other vacation this year, AAA Texas is hosting a Mega Travel Show this Saturday, January 27, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at AAA Texas Headquarters at 1225 Freeport Pkwy, Coppell, TX 75019.
The event will feature dozens of the top domestic and international travel providers, free passport photos, and raffle prizes.
Members and non-members can attend the show, learn more about destinations of interest, and receive special AAA member benefits and discounts for those who book travel at the show.
To RSVP to attend the AAA Texas Mega Travel Show, you can register at AAA.com.
AAA Texas offers these tips for first-time cruisers:
· Use a reputable travel advisor. A good travel agent can save you time and money booking the right cruise for you, your family, and friends. Travel advisors can also be an advocate for you while you’re away if something goes wrong.
· Plan your excursions. As soon as your cruise is booked, start reserving your shore excursions. Popular activities sell out quickly.
· Pack smart. Unlike airlines, there’s no limit on cruises to what you can bring and no luggage fees. Rejoice, but remember to pack wisely.
· Arrive a day early. If flying to the cruise port, you will want to arrive early to avoid travel complications such as delayed or missed flights.
· Protect belongings. Use the password-protected safe in your stateroom to store valuables such as your passport, jewelry, wallet, and electronics.
· Ask about additional fees and costs. You’ll find a lot is free, but not everything. Specialty restaurants and some events, such as a sushi cooking class or an escape room puzzle, could carry an additional fee.
· Keep the ship’s contact information with you. If something goes wrong while you’re away from the ship, you’ll be able to contact the cruise line.
· Consider travel insurance. Be sure you know what is covered and what is not before you purchase the coverage.
Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 64 million members across North America, including 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.