I would love to hear from users of booking cruise vacations online. I guess I am
just a naturally suspicuous person that I'm afraid of trying them out to save money!
How do I know about these companies' trustworthiness? What about
communications with the agent-- how responsive are they to your questions?
I just don't want to get taken! Currently I still go to a travel agent's office locally in
town and have been satisfied, but gee, some of the prices promoted by many of
these online companies are tempting! Any guidelines? Recommendations?
My last cruise (feb 2003) was booked via orbitz online and there were no problems whatsoever. I called them a couple times to ask questions and they were great!
My next cruise I used bestpricecruises online and I couldn't find anyone that could beat the price I got. I have been reading the cruising newsgroups too and alot of people on there used them and recommended them. So, I booked with them.
I think it comes down to what you feel more comfortable with. Use a credit card so if you have troubles you can dispute. Check around on these type of message boards and do your homework. I haven't used a local agent but for my very first cruise so I could get the personalized attention. Now that this is our 3rd cruise I pretty much know what to expect and can book my own.
Thanks for your remarks about online booking- just might consider this for next
By the way, we sailed on the Inspiration a couple of years ago, and after being on
Carnival's Sensation and Triumph, I really do think the Inspiration is Carnival's
prettiest ships. This ship has a beautiful boulevard-- lots of wood look and brass. I
would sail on her again! Great Romanian bar staff- very friendly and not pushy at
We booked through vacationstogo last year and didn't have a single problem. The TA there was so helpful and friendly. Any time we had a question we called and she helped us. We were very happy with the cruise and tried with them again this year, but did some searching and the NCL website had better pricing for the Norway then they did so we booked directly through NCL. Our cruise was in mid-May and once again nothing went wrong.
I just booked a cruise with "cruise vacation center" agency. I saw their ad on one of the cruise sites, probably this one. They quoted me the best price of any online, local as well as out-of-state (800 numbers) agencies. Called only 8 weeks before cruise date of 7-13-03 for Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Sea) on a week long western caribbean itenerary. The cost is $703.00 for first 2 passengers and $643.00 for the third passenger. Inside lower level cabin with 3 beds. This included all port fees and taxes. Also purchased trip insurance through them for $34.00 pp. This ship leaves out of Galveston. We will drive there from Oklahoma and chose this to save $$$.
Their phone number is 1-800-803-SAIL. I happened to get a very nice travel agent but she was not very informed about cruise details because I knew more than her and told her answers to questions that she should have asked (i.e. what dinner seating we wanted and she thought one of our stops was in Jamacia, but it is Grand Caymon). Bottom line, if you use them, don't use "Sybil", as there are other agents available who probably have a lot more experience. Don't get me wrong, she was very pleasant but obviously new to cruise details.
In the past, I've always shopped around the internet and local as well as out of state travel agents. Have used all three, as well as booking direct ly with the cruise line by myself. Always enjoy the trips. I always know the ship, itenarary and date of travel prior to getting quotes to find the best price.
I did extensive research before booking August crusie. Found Quickcruise.com and costco.com to be very competitive. Ended up booking with The Cruise Ltd -- - Kristi Bond, who gave numerous quotes - -email@example.com (email). They easily beat Travelocity, Orbitz.
I've booked numerous cruises online, and like appends like this, however I think they are forbidden by the topic guidelines.
BTW: Make sure you get the "final price" that includes any ports& taxes, handling & shipping charges, cancellation fees, etc. Sometimes the first price you see on a site isn't what you will wind up paying.
We also booked our next cruise with bestpricecruises.com and I even called them to speak to a person and she was very nice! Their prices beat any prices I could find on the internet and my TA even said he couldn't beat it!
You have a choice...pay deposit ONLY and have balance billed at due date or pay TOTAL of entire cruise upfront. I always pay the whole thing off anyways but I noticed the deposit was billed first and then they billed the difference like 2 days later.
I booked a cruise last month through expedia.com. We don't go until September, but so far so good. They have e-mailed me confirmations, and reminders that our final payment is due next week. Also, I actually called them (because I to was a bit concerned) since we needed 2 cabins near each other, and the rep I spoke with was very nice and provided very good/accurate info. I hesitate to book through sites that you cannot contact via phone! Another good one (although I have not booked through them yet) is i-cruise.com. I really like their searches. It is very easy to find the cruise you are looking for, and gives you options for lower pricing if some is available at a different time.