It’s true! You can cruise for FREE on many cruise lines...
Cruise lines provide travel incentives for booking group tavel. Once of the incentives is called a "tour conductor", commonly referred to as a TC! A tour conductor is essentially a credit for the Group Leader or Pied Piper, to cruise for free with a group of friends, relatives, or colleagues that you have brought to the cruise line. Keep in mind though, the group will have to pay for all port charges, government taxes and fees and airfare to the port of departure if needed.
The group size needed to gain a free berth (bed) on a cruise varies by cruise line and their promotions. A rule of thumb for mass market lines (Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean etc) is a minimum of 16 passengers occupying 8 cabins or staterooms (third and fourth passengers in a cabin do not count toward the total). The 16th passenger is awarded TC or Tour Conductor status and sails for free. Some lines refer to their TC policy as "1 for 15" which essentially says the same as the 16th in the group is free.
One last point on free cabins or berths - many cruise lines offer a free fare for less than 16 people. For example, ultra-luxury line, The Yachts of Seabourn, offers one free berth for every ten sold. You may also find cruise liness offering even more attractive terms with off season sailings.
Sail with friends and family and cruise for free...
The place to start is to consider how you will form your group. Simply identify a groupp of like minded people who want to cruise together:
One you have identified the "who" is going you want to work with a good cruise travel agent. The cruise agent can walk you through itineraries you may be interested in, guide you to the types of cruises, and inform you of the group policies of the various cruise lines you are interested in.
If you are the group leader you probably will work hard to cruise for free. You will be promoting the group, coordinating with group members, record keeping and facilitating communication between your group members and your cruise agent. Your cruise/travel agent will work directly with the cruise line to make things happen (making the bookings, air arrangements, cabin assignments, dining times and onboard events etc.) but your friends will look to you if anything goes wrong, so be prepared! A small price to pay to cruise for free, don't you think?
What if I can't find enough friends or family to get the group benefits?
If you can't fill a group on your own, look for travel agencies who are members of travel consortiums or national accounts (CruiseShpCenters, Ensemble, Virtuoso, AAA etc). Travel agencies are often given incentives by the cruise line to block significant amounts of space well in advance of the sailing dates. The incentives may be in the form of added amenities, better pricing or both. Consortium and National Accounts of the cruise line will have very good opportunities for you and your group to save significant money.
That's Great For Me! But What About My Friends?
Yes, as group leader/promoter, you earn the right to cruise for free if you make your group size committment. But not to worry, your friends get benefits too! As a starter, group rates are often lower than individual rates or you can have the free cruise TC sold and the money divided among your group members, saving everyone money.
As well, there is usually no limit to the number of free beds you can have. It is in direct proportion to the number of folks who join your group. So, based on the above 1 for 8 cabins (16 passengers) yielding 1 free bed, 16 cabins (32 guests) would give you 2 free beds or 1 free cabin and so on. If your group greww to 100 cabins you would end up with 6 free cabins or 12 free beds! You can sell the extra beds and spread the money received across the group members or hand them out for rewards to others who have helped you build your group.
The award from the cruise line is limited to the value of the cruise itself. Governments fees, Port charges and taxes are not included and must be paid by the guest. Policies vary by cruise line so as Group Leader you need to make yourself familiar with the cruise line offers BEFORE you start booking!
You will need to do your homework. The details of group offerings vary widely by cruise line, itinerary, time of year, type of group and sometimes by ship. Find a knowledgeable cruise travel agent that specializes in group travel and he/she will help you find the right itineray, right, ship and negotiate the best possible deal for you. If you are having trouble finding one, use our contact us form and we will try give you some help!
Trade Your Talent or Passion and Cruise For Free!
You can trade your talents for free
(or substantially discounted) luxury cruises.
Cruise line management is very interested in
keeping their passengers happy at all times. This
goal is a bit more challenging on days when the
ship’s at sea. To address this issue the cruise
lines offer all manner of onboard activity. Many
of these activities are staffed by outside people
who typically cruise free or at discounted fees
paid to booking agencies. One key advantage is
the time commitment, which is generally minimal
for those who are contracted (usually an hour per
day on days when the ship’s at sea). Also, most
outside contractors get to bring along a traveling
companion who also cruises free.
The list does not end here. Many cruise lines will consider any kind of tasteful and interesting activity. In any event, trading your talents to cruise for free, is worth investigating further!
This information comes from Daniel Hall, who has cruised the world as an onboard speaker and is teaching others how to cruise for free. You can download a free copy of Daniel's The Top 5 Cruise Lines Enrichment Programs and How You Can Exploit Them To Get Free Cruises here.
You can also checkout his new e-book Speak on Cruise Ships: Eight Easy Steps to a Lifetime of Free Luxury Cruises
You coud always WIN a cruise...
Well if all of the above sounds too difficult or time consuming, you could always trying winning a cruise!
Did You Know?.According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) cruise lines are expected to carry an estimated 21.7 million passengers in 2014.
Top 2014 Cruise Trends (CLIA)
Rebound in luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) based on an improving economy and increased consumer confidence
Multigenerational and celebration travel increase for all passenger source markets with larger sized family as well as social/ affinity groups traveling together
Continued development and availability of technology to facilitate and lower the cost of onboard communications as well as to provide more efficient passenger servicing
Expectation of first-time passenger growth driven by the 95 million Millennial generation based on population size and positive experiences cruising with their parents
Cruise lines offering more all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities for increased ease in booking and ship enjoyment
Cruises increasingly attracting consumers seeking active vacations with extreme excursions, longer stays in ports for sightseeing and high-energy onboard facilities
Seeing the world in comfort and ease, especially exotic locations, will continue to drive new itinerary creation and cruise ship deployment
Hot destinations for 2014 according to CLIA cruise line members include: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers