Just curious as to how reliable online bookings for cruises are. Are they about as equal, in terms of quality and thoroughness, as booking with a travel agent? I found some great prices at www.vacationstogo.com and www.icruise.com, and am wondering if I should call my travel agent to see if she can get the same prices or just go ahead and book online. Any suggestions or information on past experiences booking online would help. Thanks.
I booked on-line directly with Carnival. I got a pretty good deal when I gave them my past-cruiser number. Category 6C 7 day cruise for $1316 total for 2 people. I spent a lot of time beforehand searching the web so I had a pretty good idea what everyone else was offering. Carnival was very friendly and easy to deal with. Also booked my airfare on line directly with Southwest. So far so good; got all my confirmations on line and hard copies mailed. Just be careful and read the fine print before you make that final "click". I almost booked a non-refundable hotel, and the rate wasn't any better than other hotels.
I've always liked booking hotels, air, ect. myself but this past March I booked our cruise and air fare directly with Carnival for a cruise in May. I'll never do that again. Carnival changed the itinerary for the cruise three days prior to the cruise and did not notify anyone but travel agents. Travel agents were notified via fax that if their clients did not wish to take the cruise they would receive a full refund. The rest of the passengers were notified when they arrived at the port via a letter that was handed out. The letter did not mention a refund of any kind and we were informed that any refund would have to be taken up with Carnival. I know this sounds unbelieveable but it did happen. I have a copy of the letter faxed to travel agents and I also still have the letter we received at the port. The Federal Trade Commission has opened a file pertaining to Carnival's practices, based on these two letters. I guess what I'm trying to say is think twice before you book anything if you aren't using a travel agent. It seems they are more important than the actual client! Hope you have a nice cruise.
I've booked 2 cruises online recently through www.bestcruiseprices.com. They were the cheapest. I tried ICruise.com but their customer service sucked and they never returned my calls or email. Check around the various websites to find the best deal. Cruise.com is a good site as well.
Traci.... I am a huge proponent of online travel BUT after I found the best possible price, I call the cruise line directly to see if they have had any complaints about the company and THEN I book the cruise. One of the best companies I have dealt with -- and unbeatable pricewise -- has been icruise.com. As with any travel I do, I always check online and with travel agencies and with airline company's travel packages before I make a final decision. Must say, however, that the best deals I have gotten for my last 6 travels have been online.