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Old August 9th, 2004, 12:42 PM
bravado15
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Default help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

Hello, all.

Just need some advice from some experienced cruisers.

As a general rule, is it better to book thru a travel agent and tell them that we want: Carnival Valor 02/06/05, flight on 02/04/05, and 2 nights hotel - and let them to the dirty work and come up with something

OR

go thru expedia.com to book the valor and seperately book the flight. And then go to priceline and book the hotel...

Just curious how you guys think this will pan out. I have looked up prices on my own and think I've got the best deals I can find, but I am having a travel agent look into it as well, so I'll find out on my own soon enough, but just want any suggestions from others for $$ saving tips that I'm not thinking about. Thanks.

Jason
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Old August 9th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

Be sure to research as much as possible so you know what's out there. If you don't have a TA, get recommendations from friends who were happy with theirs. I love our TA. We have always had her book the cruises, give us recommendations for hotels but we do our own air, car and hotel. I can get better deals online. I have never used Priceline but use Entertainment or AAA discounts.

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Old August 9th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

Give the CruiseMates Bargain Finder a try http://www.cruisemates.com/CF/bargfind/index.cfm

Post the cruise you're interested in, and agents will send you their bids. At the very least it'll give you a good cross section of pricing available out there.

I'd certainly book air, hotels etc seperately.... unless you need an open jaw air ticket... where the airport you're returning from is different than the airport you flew into.

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Old August 10th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

I would book the cruise by itself and then use one of the major online travel sites to book the hotel and the air as a package. Some of them allow you to only have the hotel for a portion of your trip, but you need to stay at least 2 nights. You usually save tons o' money doing it this way, and sometimes end up getting your hotel for next to nothing.

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Old August 10th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

Why do you say that Kelly? Have you had a bad experience with them? Please let us know when you get the chance thanks.

Cathy

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Old August 10th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

I hope Kelly does reply but her original post was deleted as it was defamatory and without substance. We do encourage people to express opinions be they good or bad but there needs to be some justification as well.
Jim

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Old August 10th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

Now, as to the original post. You are in almost all cases better off going through a travel agent in booking a cruise. Sometimes they also do better in allowing the cruiseline to handle the air as well but you may be able to get it cheaper on your own independant of the cruiseline. It is pretty much a case by case basis. As for the hotel, we have found that by checking with the hotels in the area through a consolidator that you can locate by doing a Internet search for hotels usually is the best way and if you call them directly you may even get a better price by asking for the "managers Special" or what the absolutre lowest rate they accept is.
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Old August 11th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: help booking cruise, flight, and hotel

I have to apologize. The deleted post was sent as a joke by my (obviously childish) girlfriend who seems to think we'll get 'screwed' if we use Priceline. Sorry for all the hoopla.
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