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-   -   10 Money-Saving Tips For Booking a Cruise (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/first-time-cruisers/396397-10-money-saving-tips-booking-cruise.html)

storybookcruises.com May 28th, 2013 06:29 PM

10 Money-Saving Tips For Booking a Cruise
 
While all cruisers can learn from this, it's especially useful for first-time cruisers as there is alot of great information in here. And of course, I'm especially fond of #1 on the list; Always book with an agent.

10 Money Saving Tips for Booking a Cruise - Cruise Radio

Pete

Trip May 28th, 2013 07:01 PM

An educated cruise has the best time, with few surprises...thanks for the list, a must read for 1st timers.

mikejohnson June 18th, 2013 03:29 AM

great advice and i like the article may be it will help me planning my first trip.

_________

Lakers Fan June 18th, 2013 10:20 AM

Research ,research
 
Do as much online research as possible.

storybookcruises.com June 18th, 2013 01:58 PM

I agree, Trip!!

I think one of the best compliments I ever got from a client was when he said, "There were no surprises. With all the information you gave us, we felt thoroughly prepared."

And as Lakers Fan said, do as much online research as you can.

You can never have enough information. Unfortunately, when booking directly through the cruise lines or these large online sites, they're in a hurry to sell you something and don't want to spend the time answering any of your questions. (Besides, most don't have the knowledge to answer questions anyway.)

But there's alot of great information to be learned by reading on the internet and asking questions on such great forums as Cruise Mates!!

Pete

Lakers Fan June 18th, 2013 04:29 PM

My first cruise was 40 years ago.There was no such thing as the internet .I went to my local library and took out every book I could find about cruising .

wanttocruisesomeday September 16th, 2013 08:58 PM

how much do you typically save when you book through a travel agent?

storybookcruises.com September 16th, 2013 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanttocruisesomeday (Post 1484709)
how much do you typically save when you book through a travel agent?

Most of the time the rate a travel agent charges is exactly the same as what the cruise line charge because the cruise lines require us to advertise the same rate. Sometimes you'll find some discounters who have a lesser rate, but you have to be careful as it may be putting them in danger of loosing their credentials, so they're not someone you may wish to take a chance with. Other times, an agent may have a group rate that they booked many months ago when the rates were lower, so you may be able to get space in their group.

But the best reason to use an agent is that you have someone on your side should you need anything or have any problems. They'll work hard to keep you happy as they want your repeat business. If you book with the cruise line and have a problem, who do you think they represent?

If you're considering more than one cruise line, then you have to contact each one individually whereas an agent can give you information about all of them with one phone call.

Sort of like working on your car - if you know what you're doing and have all the parts, then you can do it yourself. Otherwise, it pays to have a good mechanic on your side.

Pete

rafaek067 March 26th, 2014 05:40 AM

Lately i am planning to book in a cruise however my budget is still not fit and good to see some money saving tips here cause my friend in Helsinki where she is an accountant in ***Edited to remove commercial reference*** she told me to change my plan and for sure i will be broke after experiencing a luxury trip.

TimmyK March 26th, 2014 06:50 AM

Thanks for the good info. I read it and it makes sense.

BernieG March 26th, 2014 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise planner (Post 1484710)
Most of the time the rate a travel agent charges is exactly the same as what the cruise line charge because the cruise lines require us to advertise the same rate. Sometimes you'll find some discounters who have a lesser rate, but you have to be careful as it may be putting them in danger of loosing their credentials, so they're not someone you may wish to take a chance with. Other times, an agent may have a group rate that they booked many months ago when the rates were lower, so you may be able to get space in their group.

But the best reason to use an agent is that you have someone on your side should you need anything or have any problems. They'll work hard to keep you happy as they want your repeat business. If you book with the cruise line and have a problem, who do you think they represent?

If you're considering more than one cruise line, then you have to contact each one individually whereas an agent can give you information about all of them with one phone call.

Sort of like working on your car - if you know what you're doing and have all the parts, then you can do it yourself. Otherwise, it pays to have a good mechanic on your side.

Pete

A titch misleading. While agents aren't allowed to "Advertise" different rates, they sure can give them. Princess still allows discounting to happen and we generally save 10 - 15% on all Princess's advertised fares. If I had an agent that quoted me the same as the cruise line, they wouldn't be getting my business. Even lines that don't allow discounting you can generally get 5 - 10% of the cruise fare in OBC.

storybookcruises.com March 26th, 2014 05:55 PM

As I stated; an agent may have a group rate that they booked many months ago when the rates were lower, so you may be able to get space in their group. For example, our company books over 50,000 cabins into group space and those prices or amenities will be different.

As for discounting or providing OBC outside of any group just for the sake of discounting is something to be very careful about. Keep in mind that when an agent does this, they're actually reducing their commission. So often they have to sell more to break even and thus they concentrate more on quantity than quality. Sometimes they may even have extra fees associated with bookings to help with the extra costs. And more than 95% of the time, as in the case of large online companies or the cruise lines, the people you talk to; 1) work in a call center, 2) are not certified travel agents, 3) have worked for the company for less than 6 months, and 4) have never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. Their job is to sell, not to provide service.

I always find it amazing that people think an agent should always give them something, yet they never ask their doctor, dentist, or auto mechanic to give them something. A small business person works hard for their income, just like you work hard for yours. Would you think it appropriate if someone was always asking you to give some of your income back to them if they do business with you?

Everyone thinks agents make alot of money and get alot of perks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Based on over 35 years of experience, I can honestly say that less than 10% of agents actually make enough money to count it as a full-time job, but they're still not up to the average middle-income salary.

Many agents are simple hard-working small business people who are trying to do a good job, build a reputable business, and provide for their families.

Pete

BernieG March 26th, 2014 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise planner (Post 1497573)
As I stated; an agent may have a group rate that they booked many months ago when the rates were lower, so you may be able to get space in their group. For example, our company books over 50,000 cabins into group space and those prices or amenities will be different.

As for discounting or providing OBC outside of any group just for the sake of discounting is something to be very careful about. Keep in mind that when an agent does this, they're actually reducing their commission. So often they have to sell more to break even and thus they concentrate more on quantity than quality. Sometimes they may even have extra fees associated with bookings to help with the extra costs. And more than 95% of the time, as in the case of large online companies or the cruise lines, the people you talk to; 1) work in a call center, 2) are not certified travel agents, 3) have worked for the company for less than 6 months, and 4) have never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. Their job is to sell, not to provide service.

I always find it amazing that people think an agent should always give them something, yet they never ask their doctor, dentist, or auto mechanic to give them something. A small business person works hard for their income, just like you work hard for yours. Would you think it appropriate if someone was always asking you to give some of your income back to them if they do business with you?

Everyone thinks agents make alot of money and get alot of perks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Based on over 35 years of experience, I can honestly say that less than 10% of agents actually make enough money to count it as a full-time job, but they're still not up to the average middle-income salary.

Many agents are simple hard-working small business people who are trying to do a good job, build a reputable business, and provide for their families.

Pete

Of course you find it amazing. You're a travel agent. And I would never ask you to reduce your commission, but I'd walk away when you don't. I use one of the top agents in the country on volume and she's well established here at CruiseMates so I know what I'm getting. No cancellation fees and she's always available. There are a ton of great agents out there that because of their volume they offer larger discounts.

I'm sure for a lot of new cruisers they need their hand held but for those with experience, we go elsewhere.

storybookcruises.com March 26th, 2014 08:00 PM

It's always good when you find an reputable agent that you like. They'll work hard for you, look after your best interest, and offer you discounts and amenities not given to everyone. Most important, they're always there when you need them, spend as much time as you need answering all your questions, do lots of research for you so they can offer you many options, and will return your emails quickly. And they do all these things personally and not rely on others to do them.

Pete


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