We went on our first cruise last July 1st - it was a 4 night cruise out of Jacksonville - we loved it- we are a family of four - our two children 11 & 15 were in the room next door to us - we booked in February....so I guess that was way ahead of time. We are wanting to go on another cruise -- but the prices are all so high - we would need to go in July again - on another 4 night cruise and would want to leave on a Thursday. I don't even object to going to the same places....I liked the ship itself much better than getting off at the destinations anyway. But I just can't find a reasonable price any where. Last time I booked directly through Carnival -- but when i called them the prices seemed high to me - they quoted me a price from Mobile, Alabama and from Jacksonville, Florida. Please tell me where the VERY best deals can be found.
I used a website cruisecompete.com. You put in what you're looking for and then travel agents contact you. Kinda like those loan things you see on TV. Since you already know what is a high number, that will give you some guidelines. I was almost immediately contacted by Online Vacation Center. I saved hundreds of dollars but it's not for everybody. Although I was fairly new to cruising, I travel alot and don't require a whole lot of handholding. I would definitely use them again. I'll be interested to see what/who others recommend. I've read that the worst prices are usually by going direct to the cruise line. Good luck.
Is the Celebration a bad ship? I haven't really read up on it. The Jubilee is the one we went on last year. We were on it in July and they sold it the last of August. It was an old ship but we enjoyed it - had nothing to compare it to anyway.
Cruisecompete is a good choice. I have gotten some good prices through them. But me best "deals" have come through Sams Club if you are a member. I typically cruise in September and January and usually get anywhere from 25-60% less than what I can get elsewhere. The only time I haven't used SAMS Club is once on NCL Sun. NCL was actually a little less going direct. I have a contact at SAMS if you need some help deciding.
go to the cruise shopping bar at the top of this page, post your request, you will get quotes from 2-3 different travel agents. All the agents that this site uses are very reputable. Summer is high travel season for cruising, deals are going to be hard to find and few and far between.
The Celebration is an older ship and one of the smallest. It's similar to the Jubilee and Holiday. I've been on the Holiday and didn't care for it as much as the larger Fantasy although I must also say it was a cruise and I had a good time.
If I was inclined to take a cruise on Celebration I would take the 5-day cruise which goes to Key West instead of Freeport and has 2 sea days. In my opinion if you want to cruise for the destinations take the Sovereign as Coco Cay is a better stop than Freeport or the Celebration to Key West. If you are cruising for relaxation and the ships amenities I'd take the Fantasy.
I'm assuming school is the reason you are limiting yourself to a summer cruise schedule. If you can be a little more flexible on the date, perhaps even taking your children out of school for a few days, you will find much better prices. The least expensive cruises with the most "at sea" days are going to be repositioning cruises, which normally happen in the fall and spring of the year. We always look for these, as we really love the ship experience more than where it's going too. We're older and don't have any kids at home, but you'd be amazed how many parents take their kids out of school for cruises. I've talked with some of them and most seem like responsible people, who value family vacation time and need to mind their wallets as well. On our last cruise, the family we sat with at dinner had prearranged with their child's teacher beforehand and the teacher gave the child assignments to complete while on the trip. Seemed to work out fine, and there have always been school aged children on every cruise we've ever taken.
i have been getting quotes from cruise compete and I checkdirectly with the cruise line and they beat cruisecompete's price. You can drive yourself nuts trying to save a few extra dollars. Cruise compete will sometimes throw in cruise ins. or on board credit to suck you in. good luck
We book a year in advance while on board. It might not be the cheapest, but we can see what we are getting and are guaranteed adjoining cabins (theres a much better selection this far out from the sail date too), etc. Plus we get added perks for booking on board (stateroom credits=discounts). We dont have to make a final payment until 90 days before sailing, so we can always back out with no penalty. As the other poster mentioned, also check out the hot deals RCI posts. I just noticed some in the new Crown and Anchor magazine that came yesterday.
I always use a local TA. Wehave an agreement, I find the cheapest fare and they beat it. This way i am assured i can talk to someone if i need to, Ihave done this for 16 cruises and have sailed on one for $299.00 pp for 7 days port included.
The localTA also saved me hundreds of dollars. We were booked on the Preimer Seabreeze the week after it went bsnkrupt. My TA called me about three weeks out and sid if he was us he would find another cruise. He had heard the company was going belly up. He got us off Preimer and onto RCI had a great time and wasn't hurt by bankrupcy.
I used cruisecompete to get quotes for our next cruise.I received a great quote from them and then they wouldn't honor it. So that was the first and last time I will use them.Ended up booking a 13 night for 704 total per person on skyauction. I would recommend if a person is wanting to use skyauction, however, that they research and know for sure what they are wanting and how much they ar willing to pay. This is the second cruise I have booked on skyauction and have got really good deals both times.
Where did you cruise from for $299 for 7 days including port charges, which cruise line and how can this be obtained again?. Ive occassionally seen fares that inexpensive but the embarkation and debarkation ports are far away making airfare bring the cost up higher than many cruises.
I've compared Orbitz, Sam's Club and RCCL.com and they all are showing the exact same pricing. Guess I'll give cruisevalue or cruisecomplete or cruiseshopping a look, can't believe they aren't more competetive than that?!?!?!?!!?!??
when bidding on skyauction it is per person. scroll down the page and you will find the info about port charges and taxes and fees. as i said earlier a person needs to know exactly what they are bidding on and how much they are willing to spend. last year i won a 7 day on the norwegian dream for 2 people for a total of 920 and this week i won a 13 night on the norwegian crown for 704 total per person.
You can make yourself crazy - I know - I'm in the process of doing it to myself right now. If you get a really good price then you wonder if the agent is reputable. I have also used cruisecompete and they are the best prices. My advice is to make sure you have an assigned cabin and be sure to check it out yourself - I always wonder if the cheapest means the worst cabins. And be sure to ask about the agent's penalties for cancellation and get it in writing - they are all different. That is, the agent, not the cruise line. If they have no penalties, you can hold your room and keep shopping but be prepared for a wait on that refund.
You aren't going to find any differences in RCCL cruise prices no matter where you look (with the possible exception of a special group cruise sanctioned by RCCL). You might get a free bottle of wine or some cabin credit from a few TA's, but the basic price has to be the same. Probably just as well off booking direct, as you will then be in absolute control of your vacation (they can't talk with you directly if you book thru a TA).
We used cruisecompete.com and got a really great price so called the travel agency and booked. It is also online and if you need their name/information just email me. We also like they don't charge a cancellation penalty and they beat Carnival by like 500.00!
I've also used CruiseCompete for booking a cruise (on NCL). I got several quotes from various online TAs that ranged in price rather significantly. The TA i eventually went with was from Cruise411.com. I saved about $300 over what my local TA had quoted me. The TA I worked with at Cruise411 helped me pick my cabin, answered questions, and has even helped me since I booked the cruise (and paid) with questions -- something a lot of people think they won't do. The TA is only reachable by email but I can call their company anytime and talk to a CS rep if I need to.
Hope you find something that you are comfortable with & have a great cruise!
We have been booking with Vacations to Go. We have done a 4 day Mexican for
$199. They usually have some really good deals- especially if you can be
flexible on the date. Also, the RCCL website hot deals are very good. Also, register with whatever loyalty program each cruise line has. They often offer discounts to past guests.
No TA can give you the 'lowest' price all the time. You have to shop around and find the one that has a good price and that you trust through working with them in the past of that you have heard are reliable. Even then, you need to choose the one tht 'you' feel best with. There are many good ones and some that I consider great but that is just my opinion and may not be someone elses. Also I do not recommend any one agent here as it is against the rules concerning advertising. I do recommend that you use something like CruiseCompete to obtain offers and then pick the one that you wish. Remember that the lowest price is not always the best price. In addition on some cruiselines like RCI the prices are set but the cruiseline and cannot be discounted unless they have an approved group. On some other they cannot advertise lower prices but if you speak with them they can offer you a lower price like CCL. Good luckl.
I searched web site after wet site after I determined what cruise I wanted to go on. Search by last minute deals. I found vacationstogo.com to be a great place to start as they list all the last minute deals. Click on any offer and it will bring up a side bar and you can search for special rates for different categories such as over 55, military, previous cruise members, fireman, policeman etc. But they won't let you book it online. Then I searched the actual cruise line's web site. I found that NCL's prices were cheaper than the other sites because you didn't have to pay them a $19 service fee. I also called BJs Vacations (like Sam's Club) and spent time talking to the NCL people to get information on the cabins since this will be my first cruise. I finally settled on Travelocity but when I called them to verify I qualified for the $150 cruise deposit to my onboard account, they actually quoted me a higher price. So I said thank you and booked it online and so I saved $150 from my already low price.
One thing I discovered is all the web sites access the same cruise system asking the same questions etc. Some quote you with port charges and some without. Read the fine print.
I tried to use cruisecompete. I was quoted a great price. When I tried to book the cruise, the agency said the price was no longer available and would not honor the quoted price. I was irritated because I had emailed the company within 30 minutes of their quote. I will not use that website again.