At SmarterTravel.com, we like to investigate the truth behind travel providers’ advertising claims. Recently, I received an email from easyCruise about its one-week-only sale. The line is offering 50 percent off its Holland and Belgium river cruises and French and Italian Riviera cruises through September 18. But is it too good to be true?
I decided to find out for myself. When I priced out a river cruise from October 11 to 17, I found prices ranging from $50.40 to $93.60 per cabin. I’ve definitely seen easyCruise prices lower than that, and the no-frills line says that its lowest rate is approximately [% 1296834 | | $26 per cabin %].
The easyCruise booking form shows prices for sail dates a week before and after your desired dates. I noticed that the week before looked cheaper than my chosen-at-random week. Nightly rates were mostly $24 or $48 per night. But when I returned to the booking page and plugged in the new dates, the new prices were the same as the original prices, not the lower ones.
What’s going on here? Not only do the easyCruise prices not seem to reflect the 50-percent-off savings, but the line shows lower prices that you can’t actually book. For not much more than $94 per cabin per night, you could book a trip on a mainstream cruise line, such as Carnival or Norwegian, and get a nicer cabin, food and some beverages, and entertainment included in your rate. Where are the big savings on easyCruise?
As you can only book an easyCruise sailing through the line’s website, rather than with a travel agent, I’m not sure how to access the elusive low fares—that is, if they even exist. My recommendation would be to choose your travel dates and then see what the total cost is. If it’s a reasonable price, feel free to book. If it seems too high, look for a better rate on a mainstream line.