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-   -   first time..excited but feel very confused (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/first-time-cruisers/400687-first-time-excited-but-feel-very-confused.html)

beachlife January 19th, 2014 11:20 AM

first time..excited but feel very confused
 
hello, i'm planning a cruise (25th anniversary) for my husband and I. we have decided on a 9 days baltic cruise on norwegian star on july. I'm working on all the reservations for flight,cruise,ect. but it's a lot to consider. like for example what cabin to choose?..it's months away should i reserve flights now?? what if someone gets sick and we have to cancel everything? will i get my money back?
i want to reserve everything now so i have the cruise and flight done and maybe reserve hotels for the trip that have free cancelations.

what should i do?

Truck Cruiser January 19th, 2014 11:58 AM

Call a good travel agent who specializes in cruises. They can answer your questions, help you find the trip insurance you need and even counsel you on the room that fits you best for your cruise.

Moiraine January 19th, 2014 12:00 PM

Trip insurance is your best friend. I hope that you'll enjoy the cruise.

storybookcruises.com January 19th, 2014 03:58 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with both of the other two posters, but then again, I'm a bit prejudice on the matter.

A good cruise specialist can be worth their weight in gold as they can help answer all your questions and make your life alot easier with less hassle. Of course, it's always good to find one who's 'been there done that' so they can also help with questions about the ports of call.

And travel insurance, especially when traveling overseas, is a must and we would never think of going over there without it.

As for the Baltic cruise, my sentiment is longer is better! We did a 12-nighter on the Holland America Eurodam and it was awesome!! Then again, we also did a 2-1/2 week tour around Europe to go along with it, so we were gone for 32 days. But our cruise started and ended in Dover, so we were able to take the train to London and visit that wonderful city for 4 days.

We've been to all the ports you'll be visiting and I can say that Tallinn, Estonia was a very nice surprise. Great place to see.

Also, when visiting St. Petersburg, I highly suggest doing an independent tour with a good reputable company - there are several to choose from, but we used SPB Tours and they were wonderful. We paid roughly the same as what the cruise line offered, but we only had 10 people on a brand new Mercedes Benz van whereas the cruise line tours had 45 people on a big bus. Gee, guess who had more fun with that one! The smaller group is definitely alot more desirable, especially when visiting the museums. But we absolutely loved St. Petersburg - very steep in history and amazing places to visit. This is one place you do not want to scrimp on your shore excursion as you'll want to see it all.

Pete

Trip January 19th, 2014 05:52 PM

Congrats on your upcoming cruise,and, do book with a knowledgeable cruise travel agency, who can advise you along the way. Having been in a position of having to use our travel insurance, this is a must for any cruiser. Aside from the medical portion, you will have trip interruption and cancellation. This portion, read over carefully, so there will be no surprises if indeed you must cancel.....As an example, buying one that allows you to cancel for any reason, will cost you more.


If you ask 10 people on an airplane, you will get ten different prices for the cost of their airfair. I suggest you book the fare when you feel comfortable with the pricing, then forget about it...


As far as a hotel, unless you book through a Priceline type site, you can cancel, with no issue. Don't book through the cruise line, let the expertise of a ta, help you with making this process easier....:)

aspengal January 19th, 2014 06:16 PM

Congrats! I would consider a 12N, 9 awfully short for all the time, effort, $ necessary to get to Europe. *edited to remove commercial** You will find prices go down closer to sailing. You will be able to cancel(sometimes with a fee, sometimes no fee), prior to date of final payment, Ask. Buy any insurance NOT from cruiseline. Only buy cancel for any reason as prev. discussed here..Book an Inside or pay double for a balcony cabin.Same sq. footage. Just be sure cabin is not beneath PUBLIC spaces, which are noisy. Vacationstogo has large deck plans on its website... *edited*.Lots of cruise info from Fodors, Frommers, LOnelyPlanet; all write cruise travel books, have websites.Bon Voyage.

storybookcruises.com January 19th, 2014 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aspengal (Post 1493456)
You will find prices go down closer to sailing. You will be able to cancel(sometimes with a fee, sometimes no fee), prior to date of final payment, Ask.

Definitely not necessarily true about prices going down closer to sailing.

It's always best to book as early as possible because that could very well be the best price available and prices could go up. If a ship is selling well, prices will go up and if you wait, you could end up paying more money. Plus, if you book early and then the prices go down before final payment is due, most of the time your agent will be able to get the reduced rates. And if you cancel prior to final payment due date, unless you booked a non-refundable deposit rate, you can get 100% of your deposit refunded. After final payment due date, it depends on the cruise line as to whether they allow a reduction or not if the price goes down. But sometimes your agent can work with the cruise line to get upgrades or onboard credit, which is why it's always best to work with a cruise specialist.

Pete

beachlife January 20th, 2014 02:11 PM

thanks for all the advise.i made the reservation as i wanted to make sure we get a balcony and only had to make a down payment for now. got a very nice cruise expert thru expedia and she sent me travel insurance info. the flight i will wait a little longer because i don't think air canada would let me cancel a flight. how long before a cruise should we book the tours? we only have time for the 9 day cruise but i'm so excited!! i will be a welcome change from the tropics

daniel.stock2013 January 21st, 2014 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Truck Cruiser (Post 1493427)
Call a good travel agent who specializes in cruises. They can answer your questions, help you find the trip insurance you need and even counsel you on the room that fits you best for your cruise.

I agree with you. You can deal with the right agency that can definitely help you with your question. They will absolutely explain it to you well. Before dealing with agencies try to do some background research. This can help you as well. Good luck.

rollerdonna January 21st, 2014 08:57 AM

Congratulations first timer! My advice is book early to avoid disappointment, book a balcony because you chose a lovely itinerary, and don't forget to get travel insurance! You will be covered for medical problems (and believe me, you don't want to be without it!), and flight delays and cancelations. So much to consider, but with a good agent, and lots of questions directed to us here, you will be fine. Don't be a stranger, feel free to ask anything!


donna


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