Tips for saving money on booked cruises…More Kruger National Park photos…

Two giraffes at the Vurhami Dam.

We are shocked and surprised by how many of our readers continue to read our daily posts, especially when they’ve been so mundane and often dull over the past few years. First off, thank you for staying with us, and secondly, the photos and excitement should ramp up soon.

Yesterday, it was one month until we board the transatlantic cruise, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale. Today, it is two weeks until we fly away from Nelspruit to Tampa, arriving on March 24th. It’s hard to believe we are leaving here when we enjoy it so much.

Impalas were sheltering under a bush to stay out of the hot sun.

A comfortable, easy routine can also become a vise grip preventing adventure and challenges which we both feel are vital to good health and longevity. But, we don’t want to become complacent, letting these precious remaining years of our lives fade away into a routine from which we’d have trouble extricating ourselves. I don’t want to risk becoming complacent with my dangerous cardiovascular disease. Time slips away too quickly.

Two nights ago, we were on hold with Costco Travel once again for almost an hour and then on the phone with a representative for nearly 45 minutes, many of which we spent on hold. Since we’re not using our phones for calling right now, due to the suspension Google Fi imposed on us due to excessive roaming outside the US, we had to use Skype to make the call.

Rapids near the bridge at the Sabie River.

If both parties have Skype, the call is free. But the cost for calls outside the US is under three cents a minute. (When using Skype, we must have “credit” in our Skype account since the call recipient isn’t using Skype. It was not a significant expense).

Why were we calling Costco Travel about our upcoming cruise again? Since the pandemic and cruise lines’ desire to keep passengers, they have lifted restrictions. Before the pandemic, once passengers made the final payment, no further credits or promotions would be applicable. Now everything has changed. Most, not all, new promotions offered that impact your particular cruise will benefit the passenger. But, it’s entirely up to the passenger to know about this and have their cruise representative arrange the credits.

A hippo at the Sunset Dam.

Here’s how to do this in these easy steps:

  1.  Log on to your cruise line’s website and check for promotions for your cruise, even those you’ve already paid in full, making a concise note of what is included in the promo and your cruise confirmation number. (You may have to check this daily since some promotions time out in a few days).
  2. Contact your cruise booking representative. If you call the cruise line, they will tell you to go through your booking agent. If you booked directly through the cruise line, they will assist you with crediting the promotion to your cruise(s).
A croc in search of an opportunity.

The trick is to check daily, which Tom does for our upcoming cruises.

An alternate means of becoming informed as to promotions is as follows;

  1. Sign up free to become a member of Cruise Critic here. Click on the login and select, “Not a member yet.” Following the few simple steps to create a free account.
  2. Once logged in, at the top right of the homepage, click on “Boards.”
  3. Then, click on “Find Your Roll-call.”
  4. A list of all cruise lines and ships will pop up alphabetically. Select your cruise and see what other users have commented on discounts they’ve received recently to confirm the discounts applied to your cruise. Most regular users will share their savings here.
  5. Then, proceed to contact your cruise representative as indicated to set up the discounts for you.

    A giraffe and an elephant at the Sabie River.

This works well for us. Tom handles all of these steps. So far, since February 2022, we have saved a total of US $5969, ZAR 90463, as mentioned in our post on February 1, 2022, which can be found at this link here. Sure on Monday night, we were on the phone close to midnight (due to the time difference between South Africa and Costco Travel in the US), but it was well worth it.

We saved the additional US $409, ZAR 6198. Still, this time the promo was applied to our cabin credit, giving us additional funds to use for purchases, shore excursions, WiFi, drinks, specialty restaurants, or whatever we choose to purchase while aboard the ship. We already had a US $300, ZAR 4547 cabin credit but now have a cabin credit of $709, ZAR 1074.

Elephants seeking shelter from the hot sun under a sparse tree.

If you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to post them in the comments section or email either of us.

We are experiencing a lot of load shedding right now, which is particularly annoying at night when it’s hot. However, we have an inverter provided by Danie and Louise, enabling us to have WiFi and use one fan and one lamp in our bedroom. Daytime is less of an issue.

Have a healthy and happy day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, March 9, 2021:

Last night’s sunset from the deck at the Amazing Kruger View Restaurant, we dined with Linda and Ken, who left today to return to Johannesburg. For more photos, please click here.

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