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Old February 25th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Cheapest Cruise Prices

Just looking for a little second clarification before i look for my cruise. WHat is the cheapest way of booking a cruise. So far the cheapest site is cruisecompete.com but im sure that all you proffesionals have to have some kind of cheaper site.
Thanks you so much.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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I'm certainly NOT a professional, but we typically go either directly through the cruise line or with a local travel agent, after researching what BARGAINS are available. Once you've cruised with a company they (sometimes) give past customers first shot at the good deals. We try to keep the daily cost WELL below $100/person/day.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:32 PM
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I believe in having a relationship with a ta, to work for me, to my benefit..sometimes finding the absolute rock bottom price, and having an agency, that has not dealt with you on a personal level, can be detremental, if you find yourself in a pickle...
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Old February 25th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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A good TA is the best way to go.

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Old February 26th, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Hi, I have used cruise.compete twice, and had great luck. I have also used cruiseshopping.com 3 times. I just booked this week with cruiseshopping.com, because with cruiscompete.com this time was NOT cheaper.(The one I just booked works out to be $67 a night for 12 days to Mediterranean for 5 of us, and thats a balcony, and a inside cabin You really have to shop around, and figure out the best price including on board credits, category, past pass. discount,etc.
ALL the best!! 8)
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Old February 26th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Isn't the Internet grand.. You can shop around many, many different travel sellers sites and hunt diligently for the lowest price! And guess what, you will find one! But bear in mind, many of these sites are just what I said. . . travel sellers, not Travel Agents. Check out some recent blogs here at Cruisemates if you are wondering what the differences may be! So if cheap - by which you mean rock bottom price alone - is your guideline, keep hitting those URLS. If, however, you value customer service and the ability to talk with someone who will listen and understand your needs and offer one or more cruises that will come close to filling them, find a good TA. And it doesn't have to be a "brick and mortar" TA, either. And if a "hiccup comes pre, during or post sailing a good TA is invaluable! I am not bashing the Internet agencies, I'm just reinforcing the concept that a good TA is worth his or her weight in gold for guidance and services.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Sometimes when you buy the cheapest cruise you can find. you are getting what you paid for.

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Old March 2nd, 2009, 09:23 AM
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For our upcoming cruise I had picked out a different ship and tour but DH investigated further and found a 14 day cruise that had unbelievable prices with a company I hadn't heard of so I was skeptical. I called them and they were for real but I really like my TA so I called her and told her what he found and she matched the price. She said she wasn't going to lose a sale because of price.

With today's economy every penny counts.

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Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Travel agents are worth every penny the cruise lines pay them in commissions. In other words - you don't pay them, the curise lines do, and they are worth using.

I always suggest looking for the most experienced agent you can find. If you go with a small company you find on the Internet - be sure to do all you can to verify who they are.

I personally recommend agents who hav been in business for many years and have sailed on many cruises. They know all of the pitfalls and have the experience to know to make sure you know them as well.

For example - the recent Carnival Splendor cruise where so many people were caught trying to board the ship without a visa to enter Brazil. You cannot board a ship set to dock in Brazil because it is illegal to even enter the dock area without a visa.

A good travel agent would have made sure each of those clients knew they needed a visa. I sincerely have to wonder what happened with the people who were not informed. Either they were DYI and they missed the pertinent information, or else they had a travel agent who failed to inform them.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:32 AM
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I would have been on the phone with the ta, from the port, or the minute I got back home..That's inexcusable that a ta, would not have given the client, the most up to date, pertinant info, to make their cruise the best it could be!
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:28 AM
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Default $50 discount with Princess

If you have never sailed on princess, I can get you a $50 discount on there referral program.
You will be required to sign up on there Free Captains Circle program.
You must receive a confirmation before booking to obtain the discount and be a first time cruiser with Princess.
You can use any travel agency or book direct and receive the $50 off, based on two adults per cabin and first time with Princess.
E-mail me, I will send you the link.

Happy Sailing
Danny
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Old March 8th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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I booked my last one with Cruisedealership.com. I saved $60pp over Carnivals price and got a 5 cat upgrade!
Funny, I checked back this week and the price off is not there not the upgrade! Other websites are charging 1399 for what I got for 869.00
I'm happy.. just gotta look around..
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Old March 24th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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I'm happy to offer up my travel agency (www.monarchagent.webs.com). They're based in my hometown of Westfield, MA. They don't always offer the lowest price on everything, but cruises tend to be what they're good at. They consistently run a 2 for 1 promotion and on my last cruise to the Caribbean I saved almost $600 off anything I was able to find on travel search engines (cruise.com, expedia, travelocity, etc.).

Best of luck!!
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Old March 24th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Just be sure to compare apples to apples. Does the price per person include taxes and port fees. If one site shows the prices without the taxes and port fees and another site shows the price with. The one without could appear to be the best price, but actually isn't.

I look at the price per person, the taxes/port fees, and the $10 per day per person for tips. Because I sail Carnival and they auto charge tips to your sail and sign account. Which I prefer. Royal Carribean let's you tip at the end of the cruise. So always include at least $10 per day per person in tips to you expense for the cruise. Another "hidden" cost is transfers from the hotel/airport to the ship and back again. Any shore excursions you may want, these are basic costs. I add them in before booking so I know the "real" cost of the cruise. It's still a great deal and I love it, but surprise charges are never good.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:17 PM
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I've used Cruisecompete a number of times, and for those of you who don't know, Cruisecompete does indeed direct you to a T.A. As a matter of fact, the T.A. that I now use, and have used for several years now, I found by using Cruisecompete. She won the bid several times in a row, so now, I go directly to her. IMO, Cruisecompete is GREAT!

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Old April 5th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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In my experience, a program like Carnival's Early Saver Fare. With their program you are guaranteed the lowest price up until 2 days before sailing. All you have to do is keep an eye out for lower carnival-advertised fares(available to the general public and not a travel agency special) for the same ship, sailing, occupancy, and stateroom category, and fill out the form if you booked directly or have the travel agent do it if you used an agent. I would suggest not booking through a mega-agency such as Travelocity or Expedia if you wish to do this as they will not bother to file the form. Best option here is to find a travel agent who will file the form or do all the work yourself.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 12:07 AM
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I just used cruisecompete.com and was very pleased with the returned quotes. Of all the offers, I found Gen X Cruises that had the lowest price. You can also logon directly on GenXCruises.com and book your cruise that way. If you prefer booking through phone,
***edted by moderator*** is very efficient. I did major, major research before I booked and I'm pleased with how things have gone so far. Good luck!
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Old May 8th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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I personally don't care for these so called online agencies. They raise people's expectations of a low price so high that smaller agencies have a difficult time competing.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I personally don't care for these so called online agencies. They raise people's expectations of a low price so high that smaller agencies have a difficult time competing.
Sorry Brad... I think that if an agency can't compete they probably shouldn't be in business. As a consumer I want competition.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:26 AM
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I get the consumer stand point, but these mega-agencies do everything they can to drive the little guys out of business. It is like pitting a local boutique and Wal-Mart against each other. Some competition is good for business, but mega-agencies are impersonal corporate entities.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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WHile I am a fan of smaller companies in general, when the product being offered is the same, I go with lowest price. I am not going to shell out extra dough to keep anyone in business. Not my job or my responsibility. I do love a good travel agent and have one, but if she can't be competitive price wise, I'll move on.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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But at the same time, you can understand that mega-agencies can kill the smaller locals, correct?
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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Yes, of course I understand that. But, it happens in every aspect of US business and it always will. The point I was trying to make is that if a small company's product is different from the bigger one's, and I prefer the smaller ones', I will spend more.
When the product is the same, I won't. And, yes, a good travel agent can smooth out any difficulties along the way, but I will only stretch my cruise budget a small bit to get that. I have had good and terrible travel agents. Sometimes you don't really know until something bad happens.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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I'm not a big fan of the abuse of capitalism. I am a big fan of great customer service.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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From reading other posts it seems like the large on-line outfits may be the best way to get the cheapest fair. But if you have a problem there is nothing like having a personal TA in your corner. MegaDynamicCruiseCorp doesn't care about you when you are stranded in ATL because of an ice storm.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:20 PM
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The best way to get the best of both worlds may be to go with a home based agent that is affiliated with a large reputable agency. They will be able to get you the same low prices and will be in your corner when you need them. Do not hesitate to ask a home based agent about what host agency they use(it is ok if they say they don't use one as some are ARC appointed agencies). If they are evasive about it walk away. Tell the agent you wish to research their host agency for your own piece of mind and if everything checks out you will call them back. If they say YTB, run the other way, like the Flash(comic book character). Go Warp 9(have to get my Star Trek on in celebration of the new movie) away from any travel agent that is affiliated with them. YTB is shunned even by the cruise lines.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Default "Cheapest Cruise"

You have seen the signs at Wal Mart about always the best price and the car dealer that guarantees the lowest price. What that really means at Wal Mart if the item is more than likely a penny or two below the competitor and the car dealer will have the lowest price when he lowers his price one dollar below competition. In reality we are paying the same at many of the places. What I have found to be different though is the service I get. Unfortunately not all cruise retailers are equal in their service. I can't tell you which ones are great and which ones are not so great. It's the relationship between you and that cruise retailer. We have used one travel agent more than any other as we use him especially from cruise. While he is OK on such things as hotels and ground trips, we use another agent that is far better. These relationships aren't built over night. Now who has the "cheaper" fares. To me it will be the one that offers the best service. The one that takes my phone calla when I call his/her extension. Our agent throughout the years has now booked well over 100 cruise for the family and he works to keep us happy with the lowest fares and best cabins he can locate. Good luck
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Old August 11th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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Speaking as a former travel agent, you can simply go to any travel agent to help you plan your trip. There is no charge for this at all. They have the expertise and will be able to give you the latest bargains, etc.
They make their income from the commission paid to them by the cruise lines. They pass no cost on to their clients. Ask around for a knowledgeable agent and go for it! The cruise companies that say they are the cheapest, are doing nothing more than posting incentives given to them from the cruise lines.

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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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I've yet to find a cheaper price at the websites mentioned in this thread than the ones I can see on the cruise ship lines websites. Am I missing something here?
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Old August 14th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigredchief
I've yet to find a cheaper price at the websites mentioned in this thread than the ones I can see on the cruise ship lines websites. Am I missing something here?
You're right. All prices are the same. Although you will find agents or websites that might give you some type of on board credit or other freebie.

If you know what you want, have investigated all possibilities thoroughly, and have the capability to book the cruise you want, I don't see any reason not to book directly through the cruiseline. Keep in mind it will be up to you to find a better fare, especially when the line runs a special after you booked. If you haven't already paid in full, you can cancel and rebook.

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