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See What Ship Fits

Written by: Kuki

It’s likely that you’ve never tried on the underwear of a neighbor or friend (unless you’re a 12 or 13 year old girl). It’s also unlikely that you would think your friend’s favorite outfit would be perfect for you.

But, it’s surprising just how many people will choose to cruise on a cruise line, or particular ship, based soley on someone else’s choice of underwear or outfits. Well, not quite.

But many will book a cruise based almost entirely on that little amount of information.

The thing is, the most important decision you will make, which will have the ultimate affect on your enjoyment of your cruise vacation, is your choice of which ship to sail on. Just like underwear and outfits, you really want to find one that fits you, and your personality.

The cruise lines have done quite a stellar job during the last decade of identifying their ship’s personalities, and effectively making those personalities differentiate themselves from their fellow industry competitors.

Even ships within a cruise lines own fleet may be operationally very similar, yet, many of them do standout with their own personal idiosyncrasies; some of which you might love, and some less so.

If you’re investing your money and your time in your vacation, I think it’s of utmost importance to also invest in finding the cruise that is best equipped to supply you with the most satisfaction.

Admittedly there is plenty of misinformation out there that you have to sift through, and that is why a site like CruiseMates is invaluable.

The forums, where people post up to date information about their recent cruises, and respond quickly to questions asked, are a great tool. And, if by chance misinformation is posted, other members of the community respond pretty quickly to point out inaccuracies.

Professional, trained travel agents, who are cruise specialists, are another excellent tool, who’s advice and services are available free of charge (in most cases). They work and ard are compensated by the cruise lines based on commissions.

Unlike many consumer products, cruises are not something I believe is in your best interests to buy direct from the suppliers. The reason is simple; unlike travel agents, the cruise lines sales teams purpose is to sell you a cruise on their particular cruise line. They have no interest in finding one that fits you.  When you “step out of the dressing room”, whatever ship you are “wearing”, they are going to tell you it looks great. The cruise line sales teams know little if any real detail of their competitors.

Everyone has to find a cruise that meets the parameters of what comfortably fits in their budget. But, the cheapest isn’t always the best for you; nor necessarily is the most expensive.

Going to either extreme may leave you feeling like you are wearing your neighbor’s underwear… and stuff may pop out.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

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Comments

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time August 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

People that go commando probably don’t take cruises?

What ships appeals to the thong crowd?

We KNOW what the “Depends” wearers go on .

Do the panty people sail differently than the undies people?

Do Spanx count as underwear?

Comment from Mike M
Time August 14, 2014 at 5:35 am

There was a time in the early part of the century where you could book on just about any mainstream cruise line and end up with basically the same type of ship and same type of cruise. Except for Carnival. You always knew when you were on a Carnival ship.

In the last ten years the lines have done a great job of creating their own identities and it is the cruisers job to pair themselves with the right “identity”. The problem is that pairing is hard and it takes some time and a few mismatches to get it right. I’m now at the stage where I know that each cruise line and ship is different and if I am somewhat flexible I will enjoy myself on just about any ship. However, I prefer to choose what I feel is best for me. Sometimes, I want a more lively cruise. Other times I want more elegance and other times, I want a mixture of both. After many cruises I can make that choice. This took many years and over six figures to get into this position and one that a new cruiser is going to be in, or may never be in. That is when the good, independent agent comes into play. They can be a great asset in choosing a cruise and ship that it is a reasonably good fit for the new cruiser.

Now the hard part. That “good independent agent” is becoming harder to find. There are many bad independent agents that have drove cruisers to the cruise lines to book their cruise. The good thing is that you don’t have to spend six figures in order to find one. But you must put in the time and effort to do so. I think you’ve done an article on finding a good agent. I think it’s time for an update of that article and put it on the blog.

Take care and find the cruise that’s right for you.

Mike

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time August 15, 2014 at 5:53 am

Yes, the “GOOD AGENT” is certainly correct when booking a cruise, even for veteran cruisers, we know that, Kuki has done a superb job getting that message out. Thanks Mike for the reprieve. Kuki should run it again.

A cruise is booked, the “GOOD AGENT” feels comfortable in knowing they did their best to insure a good cruise for the client. By that, best product and price for the client.

BOOM That LOUSY STEAK, too many people at the pool, bad tour guide on a tour bus, one lonely pubic hair found in the bathroom, sewage smell in the hall, coffee to weak/strong……,the list can go on forever. That is far beyond the “GOOD AGENTS” job. Yet, these carps may cause a negative rush with a passenger. Me, not so, I have endured a lot of bad, let it pass incidents on even the best of ships.

However, even the most seasoned cruiser may play in to some of these failures. Hopefully, not.
We in all of our many many cruises, have always used a “GOOD AGENT”. For various reasons, we had to find a new one, and have always been happy with the ones we have booked with.

However, here is the rub on our last cruise. We booked one while aboard ship during the cruise, excellent deal, got the confirmation, and were satisfied. We heard nothing from our “GOOD AGENT” about this future booking, even though TA name and address was on the confirmation presented to us while we were on the cruise.

LONG SHORT OF IT – this highly regarded cruise line tried to scoop the cruise from the agent, to avoid paying the commission. SHORT and SIMPLE> bottom line, even the “GOOD AGENT” may not be in control.

END of story? I called said “GOOD AGENT” and now all is well, “sort of”, with this booking. Seems cruise line now wants to change some of the perks we reserved due to TA not transferring the booking in the first place.

Now, do I blame this cruise line exclusively? Heck yes, and no. “GOOD AGENT” should have called, asked how our cruise was, and then I would have alerted the TA of the new booking. SO, not everyone is doing their job here. As with all transaction, the consumer, AKA passenger, must be alert at all time. I assumed, as I always have in the past, that the cruise line had the ethics to alert my trusted travel agent.

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