Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sign up a friend, win a shipboard credit

In case you missed the New York Times' cruise travel section this past Sunday, here's an interesting -- and potentially beneficial -- strategy some cruise lines are using to sign up new passengers: offering shipboard credits to passengers who persuade newbies to book their first cruise.

For instance, members of the Crystal Society, Crystal Cruises' past-passenger rewards program, can win a $100 shipboard credit by talking a non-Crystal-cruising friend into booking a Crystal cruise (officially known as "Share the Experience"). Keep in mind, though, that Crystal is a highly upscale luxury line, so that $100 will only make a small dent in overall expenses.

Better yet, Regent Seven Seas Cruises (another luxury line) dangles the prospect of a $400 shipboard credit for passengers (called Regent Ambassadors) who recruit new passengers to cruise on its ship Paul Gauguin, which sails the waters around Tahiti. (The new recruits, meanwhile, receive $200 credits themselves.)

If you decide to book one of these cruises yourself, tell them Clark sent you!

For a wealth of tips on how to save money on cruises, visit www.smartercruising.com.

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