Never having booked a cruide online. I was wondering how reliable the sites are? If any one has booked online successfully please let me know. I see some great deals but wonder if they're too good to be true!
Just be sure to do your homework. You can always check the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed againt the company you are looking at. Also remember that a lot of the on-line agents are not strictly on-line.....they have an office and can deal face-to-face with people...the internet is just another avenue for them to do business. I've had some great luck booking on-line. But, each time I've booked on-line, I've also had personal contact with my agent via the telephone.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
We booked our upcoming cruise (Sunday) through Expedia. They were great! Had no problems what so ever. We even got upgraded to a balcony. Then when I saw the price drop they upgraded us to a higher deck. This happened twice. It seems that these sites are seriously trying to compete with booking with Carnival direct.
I have booked several cruises on line from those agency's that a prevelant in the cruise industry. No problems. Regarding the phenomenal pricing. Be sure to check out everything. A lot of times the pricing shown, does not include all the govt taxes, processing fees etc. Make sure you know what you are getting. Note: I noticed skyauction.com has a surcharge for certain sail dates.
All of the agencies that we allow to advertise on Cruisemates are established and reliable and meet certain qualifications. Prices vary from one cruise to another as well as one date to another so while agent A can give you a better price on one cruise, agent B may be cheaper on another cruise or date. You really just have to shop around. You must also weigh in who you feel most comfortable with and who offers better service to you so the absolute lowest price may not be the best price. This is the major reason I never personally recommend any one agency over another. Watch out for 'auctions' and others that provide super low prices as often they do not include port fees, non-commissionable fees, service charges, etc and what seems a bargain at first may not be later. Also I never personally deal with any agency that I cannot pick up the phone and call immediately. Case in point was on our cruise just last week there was a problem upon boarding. I was able to call my agent and they immediately started to get it straightened out, something you cannot do with an e-mail only agent or auction house. Buyer beware and do your research. One of the great things about Cruisemates is we have lots of information right here for the asking which can and does save hundreds of dollars for those that come here and ask.
We booked our last cruise (feb 2003) off orbitz.com and it worked out great....
Our next cruise (march 14th) we booked on bestpricecruises.com and they beat our local TA plus all the sites I looked at....Got our docs about 2 weeks ago (4 wks prior to sailing) and it went really smoothly. I will use them again definitely.
We cannot allow people to recommend travel agents on the message boards as there are those agents that will recommend themselves and pretend to be satisfied customers. To be fair we just do not allow advertisng at all in the message boards. I also find it hard to recommend one agency as there are so many that are perfectly fine and that would be doing them a disservice. All I can tell you that those agencies that we allow to advertise on this website pass our standards of being legit and with a low amount of complaints registered against them at most.
I just booked a cruise online today! I shopped around and by posting on this site I was contacted by a super agent and received a wonderful deal!! (100 less a person then the cheapest fair i had researched) I was a bit nervous at first- dealing just through E-Mail so I called him over the phone and also researched the company at the BBB and that helped me. I think if you are looking for an awesome deal you almost have to deal online nowadays.