Okay, I've himmed and hawed for about three months now... I'm ready to book my first cruise.
Now.... I've checked Cruise411, Buycruises, expedia, ICruise and Royal Caribbean's websites... Buycruises is by far the best deal, but I'm a little leary about trading that kind of money with a dot com.
Is it a good thing? I have "talked" with a TA there on the phone, so I guess I do have a name, just not face.
By the way, I'm still waiting to hear back from local TA.
My husband and I had planned on a cruise to Alaska for 10yrs so last October when our local AAA (Triple A) hosted a "Cruise show" we thought we should check it out.
As It turned out, the deal they offered us, was indeed to go to turn down. We booked the night of the show and got extra shipboard credit. Not only that, but when I looked up the price of the cruise through the cruise line's website we found we saved over $3300. We didn't even have to have a AAA membership to get this deal. Our Travel Agent is the best too. We leave May 14th and I'm ssssooooo excited.
Best of Luck to You!
I would keep searching these postings. There have been lots of discussions about this. You may be able to find some feedback about specific web sites.
I remember reading some where people had trouble booking over the internet while some had trouble with agents, I think it was under the cruise-gripes section of this board, but I'm not certain.
My travel agent has been able to get the same price as www.cheap-cruises.com's the last 2 times and I felt the price was good, so I have no complaints. Just for the heck of it, I'm going to checkout Buycruises.com and see what price they come up for the cruise I just booked through my TA.
Your local travel agent usually can match any offer or "deal" that you find on the 'net, and a competent travel agent also will take the time to develop a personal relationship, to get to know your tastes and preferences, and to help you to find the itinerary that's right for you. My only recommendation is to find a travel agent who specializes in cruises, or at least a fairly seasoned agent who does enough cruise business to know what's going on in the industry.
I checked out Buycruises.com and the price they had was 10% cheaper ($200 for an 11 night cruise per person) than what my travel agent got for me. I checked the Celebrity website and the prices are still listing the price I paid. Since I have plenty of time to cancel and rebook, I'm going to try to get the price adjusted through my travel agent.
Someone posted 20 times on the Carnival message board a warning about Icruises so that's just an example of someone's bad experience. Apparently this paid for a cruise and then was denied boarding because Icruises screwed up his age. Take a look at it.
I found that bestpricecruises.com had the lowest advertised price for our caribbean cruise - and when I actually booked, Rita got me 2 upgrades, so we have a balcony cabin! It's gonna be great. Hope this helps.
I just booked online with cruisedealsforless.com . What I suggest doing is going to the bbb.org website and checking out any company's record with the Better Business Bureau. I'm sure the bbb.org doesn't give you the whole story, but at least it's a place to start. They even have where you can enter the e-mail address to look up a company. By the way, my TA couldn't match the price.
Just wanted to let you know that we recently booked our upcoming cruise with HAL, via Vacations to Go.com . They are great!! The price that we were first quoted dropped by $720.00 when the travel agent I spoke with at VTG, called it in the next morning. What a pleasant surprise, and we got an outside cabin to boot!! I don't think you can go wrong with this company. Our travel agent has been great too. Any ?s we have, we just email or call toll free, and she is real quick to respond, or if she has to, calls HAL to find the answer for us, and contacts us ASAP. Her name is Paige. Give them a try. We're very satisfied & can't wait until 6/16/02!!