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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:18 AM
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Default New cruise planner dilemmas!

Hi all,

I'm a first-time cruise planner who, like those who have gone before me, feel a bit overtaxed and reaching the boiling point. I'm trying to find good deals for my family (1 senior, 3 adults, 1 child) for August 2008 out of NYC. I have been through no less than 20 different websites offering cruise deals, and the more options one is given, the more headache it causes.

I came across CruiseCompete.com, which I have heard good things about, but wonder if the website keeps tabs on the integrity of their TAs? I received a quote from eCruiseStore.com for a 9 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Princess Cruises out of NYC for $4,830 - when every other quote I received was in the $7000s. Is this deal too good to be true? For a first-timer, I am very skeptical, but also quite gullible. I'll appreciate any and all input.

- Katie
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Old April 28th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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Default Likewise - a first cruiser

Don't know if this is relevant for you, but we picked our cruise from a travel agent brochure - let's say $6,000, then checked on line - the price became $3,500, then checked with our travel agent and the price became $3,200. And this was for the same cabin on the same deck. Seems to me that cruise pricing is a minefield dependant on many factors (including the phases of the moon!) All I can say is shop around all available outlets, then pick the best. This is what we do. At around $260 a day we found it a pretty good deal eventually.

So how far would you want to push it? As sure as eggs, there will be better last-minute fill-up deals. so this depends on your gambling skills.
Good luck, Nev
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Old April 28th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: Likewise - a first cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevl
Don't know if this is relevant for you, but we picked our cruise from a travel agent brochure - let's say $6,000, then checked on line - the price became $3,500, then checked with our travel agent and the price became $3,200. And this was for the same cabin on the same deck. Seems to me that cruise pricing is a minefield dependant on many factors (including the phases of the moon!) All I can say is shop around all available outlets, then pick the best. This is what we do. At around $260 a day we found it a pretty good deal eventually.

Did you try Costco Travel? The Major Cruise lines have contracts Agent/carrier agreements. Costco tends to offer competitive pricing and perks that are well worth investigating.
Note: Costco now charges a $25 cancelation fee after 7-days.

Wholsale Pricing in the premium market (Major Lines) 1600 plus passenger is even accross the board in most cases. The agency/carrier passage contracts have included cancelation fees and now included (change fees). In short correcting your name or changing names on a reservation is identified as a cancelation on the current PASSAGE CONTRACT with Princess. Owned by Carnival. This subjects the consumer to loss of cabin, cancelation fees, new fuel surcharges. Note: Princess has charged a $5 per person per day early in 2007 and has increased the fuel surcharge again.
You will soon observe that the ultra luxury cruise lines operate on capacity and demand. Your ability to obtain a lower perdium will improve as the final departure date arrives. Remember the ship must operate on a positive cash flow. The fuel surcharge may be the factor that affects your final cost on ships with 300 or less cabins.

So how far would you want to push it? As sure as eggs, there will be better last-minute fill-up deals. so this depends on your gambling skills.
Good luck, Nev
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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smartcruiser.com. Not friendly and you can't changed if the cruise price goes down, but if you know what you want try there. There the cheapest I found. But just don't expect good customer service. Its the worst I ever delt with. But definatley cheapest website.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 02:57 AM
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Katie - first of all, ask the agency that sent you the $4,830 quote if that includes all taxes and port charges and fees. If it does, then grab it. They may have group space booked on that ship and can get you the lower price.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 08:55 AM
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read the fine print to find out EXACTLY what that price does and does not include, find out all fees that are and aren't included, any restritions, penalties etc, etc --call them and talk to an actual agent, get your questions answered, a big thing i would ask is if you are getting an assigned cabin or a guarantee, not to confuse you but if this deal is on a guarantee find out what cabin class the guarantee is in, what that means is that you will definately get a cabin in that cabin class, but you could wind up with the worst cabin in that class - location wise
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Old April 29th, 2008, 02:53 PM
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I have found that bestpricecruises.com has the best rates and are easy to deal with.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Price includes $50.00 free shipboard credit and a free bottle of wine. Price includes all port charges and taxes for an inside cabin. Other categories, balconies, oceanviews, and specials are available. Prices are subject to change by the cruise line until booked and subject to availability. PAST PASSENGERS!! We cannot access past passenger fares and promotions without your valid past passenger number. Princess REQUIRES at least one person in the cabin be a US or Canadian Citizen in order to use a US or Canadian based travel agent.

Rates from: $1,170


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Old April 29th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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Can you tell us exactly which cruise you are looking at and the date and what type of cabin
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