I put a post out the other day concerning AAA group tours and had several responses saying that AAA is typically higher in price. I even had a response telling me that my booking price of 1599/ pp (8A out of NYC) was "outrageous". I keep checking travelocity, icruises and Carnival and they have been between 1850.00 and 1900.00 for the same category of cabin. My worry is that I am missing something and the price that I paid really IS higher. I am fully aware that I will be paying more because it is out of NYC and that is okay, because we have cut out airline travel which is important to us. Any suggestions or help to make sure I don't get screwed?
It depends on how long and where and with whom. I figure myself that anything around $100 per day per person for cruise only is about right. Of course you can still pay more on a really upscale cruise and still be a bargain. Would need more info to evaluate your decision.
AAA is 'typically' higher but nothing is true all the time and you may have gotten a great deal. What you do is correct, check some of the online websites that show you quotes and make sure it is for the same ship, sailing and cat cabin and includes all costs such as port and taxes and that is how to compare. I like to go the the cruiseline website and figure that I will usually get about 10% or maybe more off that price. Always remember that the absolute lowest price is not always the best price. You must consider all factors such as service, cancellation policies, reputation, etc
Okay, I have been to bestpricecruises, icruises, travelocity and expedia as well as checked with Carnival. Maybe I really AM missing something! The particulars are...9 day cruise (Aug 1-9 2003) on the Legend out of NYC. We booked a category 8A guarantee with AAA for $1599 per person (including taxes and port charges so it actually was $1400-something for just the cruise) I understand that out of Florida it would be MUCH cheaper, but is this going to be the best that I can get from NYC? As far as the research that I have done, it seems to be. Thanks for the input!
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Am I paying too much???
OK - 9 day cruise in a cat 8A guarantee (balcony cabin) for that price including port charges is pretty darn good, considering that these cruises on the Legend out of NYC are in very high demand and therefore Carnival can charge higher prices for them. I think you did relatively good there! I would not look for the price of this cruise to drop because of the popularity of these sailings out of NYC.
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
If you go to a site like an internet site for your cruise, you will not be upgraded like a travel agent will do, Like I have said in the past, I check on a weekly basis, and adjust accordinly, but the internet site, will make a booking and forget you.
This is not true. The Internet agencies ARE travel agencies. Of my 20+ cruises I have booked four through my local agent and all the rest through agents I located on the Internet through Cruisemates. We have been fortunate enough to have been upgraded almost 50% of the time and have also received reductions in price when the price dropped. We of course have also been protected with the lower price when the prices rose as well. <G> The best thing to remember is that the absolute lowest price is not always a good deal. You must always consider in the service factor and how they personally deal with you. Like any service industry, you will find some great, some good, and some that are very lazy and will probably be fired. You can find them in all agencies but fortunately there aren't that many but those that are around you hear lots about them.
You are one of the lucky ones, as we do get calls saying "I found it cheaper online", and yes they might have, BUT did they get the service they hoped for, or the attention that a travel agent can provide?
But I do have yet another example of this sort of thing: A client booked his own trip through the cruise line directly, then a problem occured, and he needed help, he then called me, the cruise line had to be informed by the client of his intent to let a travel agent take over the reservation, and then I could help him. I believe the cruise line can provide him with a code/password for that type of thing, and we can then take over the reservation.
Jim-you mentioned you found the other 16+ agents online through Cruisemates.com, are these travel sites (expedia, travelocity) or travel agencies? There is a difference. And although I prefer my site to be dealt with by email only, there are times when an email just is not fast enough, and the phone is faster, I pick up the phone.
All of those sites you named are in fact Travel Agencies in that they are licensed to sell travel. The amount of service you get depends mostly on the agent you are assigned or first speak with. I have a policy of not just publically naming the agencies I have booked with as that would indicate I 'recommend' them and that they are above some others. This would just be unfair as there are hundreds of great agencies out there that I have not used and I would not want to slight them of cause anyone to think they may not have gotten a great agent when they did. If someone asks me privately what I think of any certain agency I will tell them "my" opinion but again only in private and for that certain agency. PIcking an agent is rather like tipping, it is personal and a choice that one must live with, right or wrong. The idea is to research, research, research and find the one that best suits 'your' needs and not necessarily 'my' needs. I can say with pretty good feelings that no 'one' agency will 'always' be better than everyone else. Cost is a factor but you have to weigh in personal service as well.
I just checked the price for the cruise on a discount website called cruisevalue.com. From my experiences, they had the lowest prices a great majority of the time when I shopped around. Your price beats theirs by almost 4200 per person. It sounds to me like you got more than a fair deal. Have fun!
You'll find most of the people on these boards are "lucky ones". I think most of the people using their puters to access travel site message boards probably also, in no time, are hooked up with ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS.
I use several online sites and get great service and instant access to my agents with phone or e-mail. I've found some "storefront" TAs to be snobby, slow, overpriced
In the last 2 years a well-known national travel agency has cut their storefronts from 3 in my immediate area to just one and that storefront has 15 desks, manned by 3 inexperienced people, using slow puters. The manager sits in the back room and only comes out to chase off anyone who even mentions the word INTERNET!!
Best Price Cruises is a great site. We booked our cruise on the triumph through them last yearand this year's crusie with the LEgend out of NYC on June 24th and we have a travel agent we are able to call her when theres a problem or anything.
We got a fairly good rate on one cruise from AAA. It was booked late, so maybe that is why. I've seen another post that someone else got a good deal from them, so maybe they do sometimes beat other prices.