To book or not to book! What should I do?

About Before your trip
This is easily the most common question I receive lately. You have been in lock down for almost a year now and cannot wait to “get out”! But still, you are unsure. You are being told not travel right now. But I don’t know if I should book something. I get that! Here is my recommendation for you.

First of all, I do not recommend travelling anywhere right now. Personally, I feel that it is just not a safe thing to do given the current climate. We are still not in a safe position to do so and the risks are just too great, not only for yourself but for all of those around you. Therefore, as hard as it may be, I recommend staying home and moving out of our house as little as possible. Unfortunately, this restriction includes the upcoming Spring Break.

Depending on how things evolve over the next few months with infection rates and the vaccine rollout, I do hope that we will see some localized destinations opening for us towards the of June and the summer vacation months. If this is possible, at this point I would encourage you to look towards destinations within Canada, and even more localized, within your own home province or city. There are just so many great adventures that are within easy reach of your hometown. Let’s consider supporting local businesses, hotels, ski hills, restaurants, etc. that have suffered financially due to this pandemic. They need all the support they can get from us in order to survive.

If you are like me and cannot wait to get your next “cruise fix”, I recommend looking at cruising in 2022. ( Late 2021 may be a possibility depending on how the vaccination plan develops). If this is you, again I suggest that you book your 2022 cruise right away, with a refundable deposit option.

I think that the following will happen with cruise vacations for 2022:

  • Supply will become an issue. With all the talk of cruising resuming with less than 100% capacity, there will be fewer cabins available to choose from. In addition, people have had to cancel bookings in both 2020 and 2021, and these bookings have been moved to 2022 sailings. I am sure you will see ships filling up fast. There are already some sailings that no longer have any further available inventory.
  • If you wait too long, you may also not get your desired choice of cabin and location. We see a definitive shift to balcony and suites as people do not want to be “stuck” in an inside or ocean view cabin should it become necessary.
  • Prices will go up. It goes hand in hand with the age-old concept of supply and demand. The different cruise lines also want to sell their product at the highest price they can get for it.
  • Your money is (relatively) safe. All the major cruise lines have secured enough capital to see them through the pandemic, and I am not aware of anyone that is in financial distress. Therefore, if you book your cruise with a refundable deposit, you can cancel your cruise at any time and receive a full refund if the situation changes, before penalties kick in.

Hopefully, this helps. My crystal ball is murky right now (I have been wrong a couple of times already this past year), but I believe this is how things will pan out with the information currently at hand.

I also realize that everyone is different and sees things differently. You may be “Daring Dan”, who will be on the first plane that departs or the first ship that sails, or you may be “Safe Sally” who will not set foot out of the house until the whole world has been vaccinated, I just want to let you know that we at Expedia Cruises in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows respect your opinion. Rest assured that we are here, willing and able to assist you, whenever you need us. Give us the opportunity to create that spectacular vacation experience for you when the time is right.

Louis Venter