Originally Posted by Gerhardt
We are planning a Caribbean cruise on the Westerdaam next February. I'm a neophyte at doing this on the internet by myself, and I would appreciate any help you could give me.
The best help I can give you is to strongly advise you NOT to do this by yourself unless you are really an experienced cruiser. Use a TA who is not just internet-based, but has a phone number you can call to speak with a real live person. Not all internet agencies provide that service.
Vacations-to-Go is one internet agency who will assign you a travel agent. He/she will be a real live person you can deal with on the telephone. You can tell them specifically what you are looking for in a cabin because cabin categories may seem alike, but they are not necessarily so. For example, you may think you are booking a suite, when in actuality what you are actually booking is a veranda stateroom. HAL's suite categories are very confusing. Only two or three categories are truly suites, complete with all the suite ammenties, while the others are what many other cruise lines would call "mini" suites that do not come with any of the true suite perks such as Neptune Lounge access, etc.
It's fine to book your cabin on your own when you are really experienced at it. You know all the categories and you know how to read deck plans so that you can determine EXACTLY what is above and below you. For example, you may think you booked the perfect cabin only to find out once onboard that the galley is located directly above you ... a place where there is work going on all the time ... all hours of the night ... that will possibly impact your ability to sleep.
Use a travel agent you can speak to by phone. Have him/her do the research for you. That's what they are getting paid for. And if they want your repeat business, they'll be only too glad to.
Blue skies ...