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As gas prices rise, cruise prices can go down

DES MOINES, lowa, October 5, 2005 - With the average price of gasoline steady at nearly $3 per gallon and little long-term relief in site, cruise vacations have become an even greater value for consumers. Increasing energy prices can even cause cruise prices to go down.

"Cruise lines don't make money unless their ships are essentially full," said Bob Levinstein, CEO of "If more consumers are planning to stay home because gas prices are squeezing their budgets and particular sailings aren't filling, then the cruise lines will cut prices to entice them back."

Cruise fares are just one portion of the revenue that the cruise lines derive from each sailing. Passengers also have the opportunity to buy drinks, shore excursions, shop and gamble while on board and an empty cabin can't spend money on any of these things.

Furthermore, while fuel makes up a significant percentage of the cost of an airline ticket or driving a car, it is just one component of the cost of operating a cruise liner and catering to every need of thousands of guests. Even large fluctuations in energy prices have comparatively little effect on overall costs. helps consumers find the best cruise deal, but allowing them to compare competing offers from competing travel agencies.

We have seen a noticeable increase in people looking to secure the best deal on cruises through our Web site, including those during the popular driving-vacation months, Levinstein said. Higher gas prices may be here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate your vacation. The typical cruise remains a tremendous value, often well under $100 per person per day including accommodations, unlimited food, cabin service, entertainment and many other interesting amenities.

People living on coasts near the home ports of many cruise lines ports can drive to their point of departure, also saving on airfares.

Another way people can stretch their vacation budgets further on a cruise is to limit out-of-pocket expenses such as port-of-call excursions (just depart the ship and take a walk to the city, there is usually plenty to do for free), spa treatments, shopping, gambling and alcoholic beverages. Guests can still enjoy a wide array of activities on-board their ships, including pools and waterslides, evening shows, gourmet dining, relaxation, organized kids activities and more.

The nice thing about a cruise vacation is that you can structure it to fit a variety of tastes and budgets, Levinstein said. You can spend as lavishly as you want, or still have a great time spending wisely. That is why cruises are so attractive to people of all ages, including families and retirees. saves consumers time and money by enabling them to secure quotes for cruise deals from multiple travel agencies without having to contact each one separately. To date, more than 250,000 customers have accessed to request cruise prices from more than 150 member travel agencies around the country. Cruise Compete, LLC, is an independent company not owned by or affiliated with any travel agency.

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