Costco member? Save money on cruises.

Recently, we were booking our Panama Canal Cruise on Holland America, and we had the idea of checking out the Costco Travel website  costcotravel.com. To our surprise, Costco offers very generous onboard credit amounts in several featured cruiselines. They also have “special member pricing” for some sailings in which the price would be lower than booking through the cruiseline itself.  We booked our 10-day Panama Canal Cruise departing from Fort Lauderdale for $899 per person, and received $120 onboard credit by Costco, plus $75 onboard credit by Holland America. Comparing to the Holland America website, which did not offer any onboard credit for the same sailing, this was an extra $195 that we can use on the ship to buy drinks, shore excursions, etc. Other well known travel sites offer onboard credits to some extent, but they ranged from $25-75 per cabin only, compared to the $195 we received from Costco. Later on we called Costco to change our dining preferences and to upgrade to an oceanview since we noticed a price drop prior to our final payment, and we were very pleased with their professional and courteous customer service. So now we know to always compare cruise prices at www.costcotravel.com prior to booking cruises. It seems that they do not support Carnival bookings, but do most other major cruiselines.

What if you are a Costco member but you need to book a cabin for other family members who are not members?  We called and asked a rep and was informed that you are able to book for other family members, as long as the credit card that is used for payment is under the Costco member’s name. We made a reservation for our parents using this method and it worked just fine and they were able to get the better price. Any onboard credit helps when you’re traveling on a budget.

According to their page:

Why Cruise with Costco Travel? 

We offer all ships and sailing dates for any of our featured cruise lines.

Our goal is to offer Costco members the highest quality cruises at the best possible value.

We often include value-added extras, such as pre- or post-cruise stays with complimentary breakfast, ground transportation and shore excursions.

Many of our cruises include special benefits for Costco Executive Members, such as shipboard credits or stateroom gifts.

Throughout the year we offer special Kirkland Signature™ and Buyer’s Choice departures. These can be cruises or cruise tours, and always offer exceptional value and exclusive features.  These are limited events, sometimes offered one time only.  Watch closely for them and grab them when you see them; like all of Costco’s specialty products, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Have you used Costco Travel before? What has been your experience with the site so far?

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