I am a first time cruiser - and I am a stickler for trying to find the best deal out there. Thus far - it looks like this web site has the best deals. Has anyone booked thru them before? Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.
I used Carnival directly this time and used the Gauranteed lowest rate. If you find the cruise at a lower price they said they will give you onboard ship credit for the difference. I dont know if this is the best but it worked really well for me.
See ya on the High seas Mate
Carnival Liberty 2010
Carnival Liberty 2009
Carnival Fantasy 2008
Granduer of the seas 2005
I have to say they sure make it easy to find good last minute deals.
However, if you dig a little deeper, you'll find that for the most part most companies are advertising the same prices as the what the cruiselines are. The only difference is that some agencies will bundle certain spiffs for booking to entice you to book with them, such as OBC, prepaid tips, etc... Most cruiselines prohibit agencies from advertising rates below what the cruiseline is offering.
That is not to say that you can't get a better deal, but generally you will have to initiate contact with the agency to get a truly better deal than what is being advertised. You need to email or phone them to get the better pricing, as they are prohibited from advertising it online or elsewhere. Also what happens is the agent is actually rebating a portion of their commission to you to give you that discount.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity prohibit this, as a result you should find uniform pricing across the board on their product. However, Agencies do still offer certain spiffs for booking, but no discounts.
I have an agent that I work with on a consistent basis, she handles many of the CruiseMates Group Cruises and she gives me a great deal and terrific service. She works hard to ensure my issues are addressed and if I ask her to check on something, she gets it done and gets back to me. I booked an October '09 cruise (not on Carnival) several months ago. Over the past 4 months prices have dropped several times, due to some changes I made I was entitled to yet another discount. So each time she would call and see what she could do to lower my pricing. I went from a $5,400 price down to $3,186.00 and $300 OBC. If you can find someone who will actually work with you, it means a lot.
I have used Vacations To Go for several of my cruises, and always had good service. Usually these are last minute cruises, so there really much that I needed, once the cruise was booked. If they have the best deal, I wouldn't hesitate in booking it.
Another source I have used is Cruise Compete . com
It is a great way to compare the same cruise.
Good luck, and let us know if we can help you with anything else.
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas
HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
We've used VTG in the past and had excellent service after the sale. I also like their website which goes a long way with me. I love how you can sort by percentage discounts. They had a bottle of champagne in our cabin the second time we went through them. Nice touch!
I just wanted to thank all of ya'll for your advice!!
I think I will give them a ring and see what they have to offer. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't one of those - too good to be true - deals.
We are looking to leave from Jacksonville and sail on the Fascination boat. Any advice or info would be appreciated. Are any of the excursions in the bahama's worth the money? Esp the Sandals or Atlantis trips? ( It will be me and the hubby - we are mid 30's )
We've used Vacations to go a couple of times and each time was fine. No complaints. We got exactly what we wanted at what we thought was the best price available at the time. Just remember that not all agents at vacations to go are equal, some are great some are not so great. This is the same with PVPs at Carnival, some are awesome, some are average. Find your fit and stick with it. We tend to get the best service from someone we book with regularly, be it a PVP, a travel agent or an online company. If they know that if they do a good job, you'll be back they will work hard for it. I'm the type that always tells a new person ahead of time, if I'm happy I will be back and I will always bring new friends.