Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages and World Cruises are their longest and most popular cruises each year. The upcoming 2020 and 2021 voyages will be no different. Cruise Specialists has hosted groups aboard these memorable voyages for more than 30 years. In addition to traveling to dozens of destinations and relishing pampering treatment from the crew, Cruise Specialists clients have an added advantage of our warm and welcoming group, a close relationship with our experienced, longtime hosts, special onboard events and other benefits – including the expertise of our Cruise Consultants, who are always just a phone call or email away. Because of the limited capacity and number of repeat guests that flock to these cruises, it’s important to book as soon as the cruises open for reservations. Whether you are a current World Cruise or Grand Voyage client, or just thinking about it, there are steps you can follow to ensure you have the best chance possible to secure one of these coveted staterooms.
How do I receive priority in reserving a World Cruise or Grand Voyage?
The guests cruising on one World Cruise or Grand Voyage will often be the first to hear of the cruise line’s next to-be-announced major cruises. For example, on the Holland America Line 2019 World Cruise and Grand South America & Antarctica Voyages that sailed earlier this year, guests learned directly from the cruise staff on board about these upcoming Grand Voyages and World Cruises:
- 2020 Grand Africa Voyage – departing October 2020, on board Amsterdam – Holland America Line’s first Grand Africa Voyage since 2014!
- 2021 Grand South America & Antarctica – departing January 2021, onboard Volendam
- 2021 Grand World Voyage – not yet announced, but preliminary information expected soon
Those guests will receive priority booking, directly with the future cruise counselor on board, if they purchased a Future Cruise Request (more on that in a moment). This has the potential to sell out the ship upon initial announcement.
What is a Future Cruise Request and how does it work on the ship?
Even though the World Cruise or Grand Voyage may not officially be open for booking, clients aboard the ship can purchase a Future Cruise Request, sometimes for as low as $100. As soon those guests decide they would like to use their Future Cruise Request towards a World or Grand Voyage, they simply inform the onboard Future Cruise Consultant to apply the Future Cruise Deposit accordingly. When the reservations open for that sailing, they have priority based on the preferences noted on the request.
What if I’m not on a World Cruise or Grand Voyage? Can I still obtain a Future Cruise Request?
With Holland America Line, the answer is yes. You can purchase a Future Cruise Request directly from Cruise Specialists at any time. In many cases, we have enough notice about the upcoming World Cruise or Grand Voyage that we can take your information, apply your Future Cruise Request to your desired voyage, and it puts you in line for priority booking, only behind those who were on the ship who also made a Future Cruise Request. With World Cruises and Grand Voyages being a greater time commitment and typically booking further in advance, we do see cancellations. So, even if the cruise was initially sold out, having the Future Cruise Request is an excellent way to give yourself a better chance at cruising the globe on a World Cruise.
How is this different from an advance deposit and what are the benefits of that?
Once the World Cruise opens for reservations, the Future Cruise Request holders for that sailing are notified and you have a certain number of days to make an advanced deposit. Not only are you more likely to secure a reservation, you have the best selection of staterooms and suites. If you’re already sailing on the current World Cruise, you can request the same cabin that you’re currently in and request your preferred dining arrangements. Considering you’re going to be sailing for 100+ days and will be making many friends along the way, it’s great to know you’ll have priority for these important components of your cruise. An advanced deposit is also 100% refundable. Within a week of making your deposit, you approve the pricing, itinerary and other program details. If for any reason it’s not acceptable to you within that week, you can cancel the reservation and receive a full refund.
What if I’m not ready to commit but would like to remain in the loop?
We can also pre-register you. This is a benefit offered by Cruise Specialists and strictly for informational purposes. It is far more convenient than you needing to check every day if a certain cruise is open for reservations. By pre-registering with Cruise Specialists, we take your name and key contact information and, when specific voyages open for sale, we notify you about the itinerary and pricing options via email. It is then up to you to take the next step, such as reviewing the information, making an advance deposit and so on. It’s an extremely low commitment way to be “in the know” about the most significant cruise events on the horizon.
Our World Cruise experience matters.
Keep in mind, Cruise Specialists has been in business for more than 30 years and our specialty is longer voyages and World Cruises. Many of our cruise consultants have worked aboard ships and several have sailed on World Cruises, so they thoroughly know the ins and outs. We keep in constant communication with our guests and have picked up so much knowledge along the way about guest preferences, the do’s and don’ts of booking, and it’s our pleasure to answer whatever questions you may have. All without a single extra fee.
Future Cruise Consultants and Cruise Specialists – a way to enhance your World Cruise and Grand Voyage benefits
Cruise passengers who booked their current travel with a cruise consultant can make the future cruise reservation on board and be assured that the cruise line will honor the relationship between the traveler and their agent. In other words, the cruise line informs the agency that a booking has been made so if you have a relationship with a cruise consultant, it remains intact. This is extremely important to clients of Cruise Specialists because we provide benefits above and beyond what the cruise line or other agencies offer – ranging from commemorative logo gifts to shipboard credit and even the aforementioned hosted program, depending on the World Cruise.
As mentioned previously, Holland America Line is on the verge of announcing three major Grand Voyages, including a World Cruise. Contact us today and we can help you obtain your Future Cruise Request for these can’t-miss voyages.