What's a good online company to buy cruises from. I see there are so many and I'm not sure if I should just go with the cheapest one because I don't know anything about them. Which one would you recommend as being dependable?
We have always purchased our cruises through online agencies. We have used vacationstogo.com several times, Expedia, and adventuretravel.com, I have no complaints on any of them. Don't hesitate to try it, in most cases you will save your self a lot of money.
I highly recommend that you do not buy a cruise online. I would always use a travel agent. They know which ships are good and have a lot of feedback which cruise would suit you best. I have had a number of people who have booked online, and it was nothing but a disaster. If anything goes wrong you have absolutely no one that you can talk to and get things straigtened out. And why wouldn't you use an expert ,after checking around from the prices that my ta gave me I found no lower prices. Often the same price if not cheaper. Bigger companies such as CAA have special groups rate that you could never get if you just went directly to the cruise line or other travel agencies.
Like anything else, it pays to compare. Recently Travelocity was offering a $100 onboard credit for cruises booked online but Expedia was not -- yet the prices were exactly the same. Also, if your time is flexible, and you watch the prices you can see them go up and down. We were able to secure a mini-suite for the price of a balcony cabin by picking a less-popular time to sail.
I have used on line travel agents three times - first time was Expedia - my problem with them was you never got the same agent twice if you called about your cruise. Then I went with Vacationstogo.com. They are fine if you book the whole package including air through them. But if you try to handle part of the travel yourself and need to coordinate, it is difficult as they are just a cruise agency - don't deal with airlines, etc., separately. I am booked on the Norwegian Dream out of Boston on 10/12 and did my own air, and it worked out fine. But I am also booked on the Norwegian crown out of Valpraiso on 2/8/04, and had a devil of a time getting a decent air fare and still don't have the shuttles worked out between the airport/hotel and dock. Yuck. But if the cruiseline is handling everything for you, they are a nice, inexpensive way to book.
Cruise Value Center and Best Price Cruises have the best online prices that I have found. With either you can elect to call them and use an agent. At Best Price I have called Connie Stevens, ext 22 and also booked online. Later if I wanted to change something I called Connie. Some people say Cruisequick.com is cheaper, it's not. At least when I recently compared a Dawn sailing to what Cruise Value was offering, their rate was higher. I don't like having to email and then await their reply. Immediate gratification, that's for me. I wnat to see the rate and not have to bother someone.
Travelocity and Expedia are AWFUL. If you do get a rebate situation at Travelocity they make you work mighty hard to get it. Instead of cash they send these gift cards that you use like a credit card. A real pain in the butt. Expedia has so many #'s and agents you never know what is going on. I will never use either AGAIN. If you are suppossed to get a OBC and you don't, well, guess you're outta luck. I don't have enough confidence in them to fall for that trick.
Just my humble opinion.....