Royal Caribbean hosts what it calls a "WOW Sale" usually once per quarter to attract new cruise bookings and if you're considering booking a cruise during one of these sales, here are some things to keep in mind.
What is a WOW Sale?
WOW Sales are promotions Royal Caribbean runs to attract new cruise bookings. Wow Sales are more targeted at people who have never cruised with Royal Caribbean before than veteran Royal Caribbean fans, although there's absolutely no reason someone who has sailed with Royal Caribbean before cannot take advantage of the sale.
What does the WOW Sale offer?
There are two basic components to a typical WOW Sale. The first is reduced deposits on new bookings. Usually that means you only need to put down 50% of the normal deposit amount for your cabin. This greatly reduces the amount of money you need to put up to hold a cabin for a booking. It's a great benefit if you're looking at a longer cruise and/or a bigger cabin. As an example, a 7-night balcony may usually require around $700 for a deposit but with the WOW Sale, that would be cut in half to $350.
In addition to the reduced deposits, Royal Caribbean offers onboard credit depending on your cabin. This can be up to $200 of onboard credit per cabin and the amount varies depending on how long your cruise is. Typically the onboard credit offered is as much as you can usually get for a cruise.
Do cruise prices go down as well?
During a WOW Sale, the actual cruise fares do not usually change. The sale is mainly about offering booking incentives rather than a reduction in the price of the cruise.
What are the drawbacks of a WOW Sale?
The chief drawback to booking a WOW Sale is for those that have sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past and have other discounts. WOW Sales prohibit combining the sale offer with other discounts including Next Cruise Credits, balcony discounts from Crown and Anchor Society status or Crown and Anchor Society saving certificates.
If you have access to one or more of these discounts, a WOW Sale usually doesn't make financial sense. Keep in mind, WOW Sales are targeted at people that have never sailed with Royal Caribbean before since it offers them the best booking incentives a first timer can expect to see.
How can I book a WOW Sale?
You can book a WOW Sale either by booking through Royal Caribbean directly or through your preferred travel agent.