Bottom line, re-positioning cruises are a great value. Cruise fares are lower because there are fewer ports of call, thus fewer port charges. Cruise lines don't want empty cabins and thus offer great pricing. Cruise lines also offer specials, for example, discounted specialty restaurants or spa passes. At $100 per day or lower per person, it makes for a wonderful and very affordable vacation. You can expect the same level of service, great dining and on-board activities as you would see on any other cruise.
Sea days are the best. In fact, sea days are one of the main reasons people take re-positioning cruises. So relaxing, with no reason to be anywhere at a specific time unless you choose to. And forget about being bored. There are so many activities to partake in, watch or stay away from. All your choice. Get in a good workout, take a spa day, listen to music, catch up with new friends, learn how to make sushi, a concoction of drinks or simply stare out into the ocean. Sea days for me are days I do things I normally don't have time for, like watching several movies at a time or getting totally engrossed in a novel. I'm not a napper, but that seems to be quite popular as well. Only downside - sea days go by way too fast!
On this trip we were entertained by a "visit" from King Neptune. He wasn't too happy that the ship was in his territory, so a few crew members and guests "paid the price". My new friends Maria and Kim were among the "self chosen". Highly entertaining event!
Re-positioning cruises are very popular with well-traveled guests, especially older guests who dislike lengthy international flights. It is much easier on the body to gain or lose an hour over a day or two than to change multiple time zones all at once. Re-positioning cruises are quite often combined with other cruises (back to back cruising), providing a longer, more relaxed cruise vacation. I met a number of passengers who had completed the Baltic and Norway cruise just prior to the transatlantic. 30+ days of cruising - nice!
As said, these cruises are popular with well-traveled guests who are well aware of the value, fun and relaxation offered. The understated value is the opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded folks who love to travel, share their stories and learn alike. AND you never know who you might meet!
Most re-positioning cruises have few ports of call, but not all re-positioning cruises are the same, and some, like this one, offer spectacular places to visit. We even crossed the Arctic circle four times! Transpacific re-positioning cruises often stop in multiple South Pacific island chains, including Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii - how bad is that? And remember, some of the ports are only visited on re-positioning cruises.
End of season sales have never been my calling, but I will say that there were awesome sales on board (and in the ports). Shops on board as well as in the ports want to get rid of inventory as they transition into a new season or new destination (Baltic jackets don't sell well on Caribbean itineraries!), and thus the sales abound. Don't count on them at the beginning of the season, but they will be plenty at the end of season. On this cruise, I saw several people walking away with stacks of t-shirts! And the 75% off on the jackets and fleece sweaters came in handy for those who didn't bring enough layers.
Of course one can always count on plenty of other items being on sale as well, including watches, accessories and branded items like coffee mugs and handy water bottles.