Q – We are seriously considering a cruise for our family sometime this year. We read what you had to say about school vacation time and the impact on cruise pricing so we were wondering when might be the best time to cruise in 2012. Simply put, when are the best prices? We’re not cheap but we may end up paying for as many as fourteen family members so cost is an issue. We are thinking about a ship that is large enough to have good facilities and small enough to evacuate in an emergency. Any guidance would be appreciated.

A – We are anticipating that you will see a general decline in cruise prices between the months of October through mid-December. This is not related to the Costa tragedy but is closely related to the fact that this is a Presidential Election year. History shows that people just do not like to travel during the two months leading up to a National Election and the month following the election. Travel executives chalk it up to a general malaise and feelings of  uncertainty. You are going to see some excellent pricing opportunities in November. Our view is somewhat contrary. We think that this election may get so repugnant that a significant number of potential cruisers will decide to leave the country for a short spell. Therre may be a mad scramble to get away from our TV’s by late October.