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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 27th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Default Singles cruise

I am planning on booking my first singles cruise and would like advice on which company is best VTG or singlescruise.com. I am in my early 30's.
Not only in respect to age but also group activities, price etc.

Thanks.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 12:35 AM
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From talking to people on these boards and others, VTG would be a better way to go. A lot of "regulars" have told me that they are leaving SC because of the lack of customer service, their attitude, and general lack of caring about anything other than the bottom line.

That being said, you should look at the Open Bar cruise that a couple of us are on and join us. The thread is near the top.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 12:37 AM
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I just got off a ship today that had a large VTG group on it. I wasn't impressed with their activities or the quality of people they seemed to attract. There were notable exceptions to that of course, as some of their denizens were wonderful, but about 65% of them were simply scarey/terrifying!!

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...07calendar.cfm

Check out the above webpage and see if anything strikes your fancy.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 02:33 AM
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I am already booked with VTG Singles on the Carnival Triump, Carribean cruise on March 24th. This is going to be a fun group of all ages and there are already 653 messages on their message board discussing the plans for the cruise. I know I will have more fun on that cruise because it will include all ages.
I plan to keep on cruising with vacationstogo.com hosted singles.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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VTG provides three one hour cocktail parties with open bar. And they are exactly one hour, no longer. The same with SC. The last cruise I was on with VTG the party was so crowded it took 20 minutes just to get a drink!!! 200 people and 2 bartenders!!!
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Old January 28th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Hi Jenny, I've went on a VTG singles cruise to the mexican riviera from LA last spring and I had a great time. We had 140 singles of all ages represented in our group and we had many special activites every day just for our group. I liked it so much and as a result, I booked the 5/13 one on the Carnival Valor from Miami. I personally too prefer those singles group cruises that cater to singles of all ages (even though I'm 40!). Check out those upcoming cruises on the VTG.com singles cruise website and give them a try!
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Old January 28th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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I was planning to cruise with Singlescruise.com for April 1, 2007, BUT..... after I asked about their fees for making some changes before the cruise the agent quoted me all kinds of fees for making some changes. It scared me away from that cruise because if I should want to make some changes I don't want to have to pay the fees.
Vacations to go.com will make any changes I want without charging an extra fee.
I am not really familier with Singlescruise.com policies and fees.... but if I really want to cruise with them I will in the future if they have a cruise that I am truly interested. I don't want to slam them because they are a ligitimate travel agency. I prefer to cruise only with established travel agencies. I will not cruise with a" fly- by- night travel agent" because they can close down their travel business because of money problems or flakey accounting.

My advise is to choose whomever you like best as far as the ship, date, and ports chosen for the singles group cruise. Angel gal
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Old January 28th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Thanks to everyone for replying so promptly. I will take all advice then make a descision. I am leanig toward VTG May 13th. This is my first time travelling alone, so I am a bit sceptical.

Thank you
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I was planning to cruise with Singlescruise.com for April 1, 2007, BUT..... after I asked about their fees for making some changes before the cruise the agent quoted me all kinds of fees for making some changes. It scared me away from that cruise because if I should want to make some changes I don't want to have to pay the fees.
Yes, SC also charges you $15 just for the privilege of booking a cruise with them. It's ridiculous that these large companies charge a fee to book a cruise! Also, they charge you $50 for EVERY charge you make with room charges, etc. And if you cancel the cruise, it's at least $65!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I prefer to cruise only with established travel agencies. I will not cruise with a" fly- by- night travel agent" because they can close down their travel business because of money problems or flakey accounting.
All travel agencies, even VTG and SC, started out as a nobody. In fact, every company in the world once had no customers at one time. VTG didn't even do singles cruises until 2 years ago. The one important thing to check out with a new travel agency is the reputation of their "host" agency and also where the money goes to when you pay. A lot of travel agents don't even take credit cards and pay the cruise company directly. If that's the case, even if the agency went out of business, you would get your cruise.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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Hey July 4th, I have heard of people losing thousands of dollars because they booked with a travel agency that wouldn't accept AMERICAN EXPRESS CREDIT CARDS. When an agency doesn't accept American Express cards you better RUN AWAY because American Express will get your money back if their travel agency goes broke or scams you and doesn't provide the service. I always pay for everything with an American Express credit card in case I am being scammed by a company. I have the cash to pay for a cruise but I like to play it safe in case something goes wrong and I don't get what I paid for....so I pay with American Express. All companies know the rules of American Express. This is why the scammers don't accept American Express cards.

I have been a customer of VTG travel agency for 5 years and they always were there to help me out when I had a problem. They started their Hosted Singles a few years ago. They have 400 travel agents in their office. I have my favorite travel agents in that office. Send me a private message if you want to know some of the names of my favorite travel agents.

Yes, it is true that all travel agencies had to start at one time with just a few customers. BUT.... I don't want to be their first customer and have to face problems because the travel agent is not an expert yet. I prefer to book only with established travel agencies. My own sister is a FLAKY travel agent and has her license to book cruises but she doesn't bother to learn every thing there is to know about booking a great cruise. I never book with her because she also works for a Flaky travel agency too.

I once booked with a travel agency that had lousy service. I couldn't even talk to the manager to complain about the bad service. They would always give me the run around. I was lucky to finally complete the cruise but I vowed to never book with them. If you want to know the name of the agency send me a private message because that company is still around and gives great prices but lousy service and you waste a lot of your time trying to fix their mistakes. For example; they gave a wrong birthdate to the cruiseline. Plus, they bought travel insurance way in advance so I wasn't able to back out of the cruise because the insurance company would not refund my money. They wouldn't send me a confirmation letter or e-mail right away. Their customer service was bad because they already had my money. All those things you have to be on the look out for when planning a cruise. Angel gal
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Default Singlescruise.com

While I have never cruised with VTG I have heard wonderful things about their agency.

I have cruised with Singlescruise in the past (five times) and have had no problems with their agency but it's been over a year and management has changed and so has the people I used to deal with. I know many of my friends aren't happy with the agency but I am going to give them a chance this year. If I am not happy with their service I will go check out VTG.

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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
Hey July 4th, I have heard of people losing thousands of dollars because they booked with a travel agency that wouldn't accept AMERICAN EXPRESS CREDIT CARDS. When an agency doesn't accept American Express cards you better RUN AWAY because American Express will get your money back if their travel agency goes broke or scams you and doesn't provide the service. I always pay for everything with an American Express credit card in case I am being scammed by a company. I have the cash to pay for a cruise but I like to play it safe in case something goes wrong and I don't get what I paid for....so I pay with American Express. All companies know the rules of American Express. This is why the scammers don't accept American Express cards.
I'll just point out a couple of things here. One, A LOT of places won't accept American Express because they charge a VERY high surcharge to the vendor to use their services. AmEx charges up to 5% surcharge when their card is used and the vendor does NOT get that money back. They have to eat that cost. That is why you don't see the AmEx card accepted in as many places as you do with Visa and Mastercard. With Visa and Mastercard, you can pay as little as 1.64%. When you are talking about companies that run on a profit margin, 3% is a HUGE amount of money to lose.

The other thing is that both Visa and Mastercard offer this protection to ALL of their customers. It's standard practice in today's credit card world and both of these companies will get your money back with the same vigil that American Express will. Here's a link to Visa's policy. You can Google to find the one for Mastercard.

http://www.usa.visa.com/personal/security/visa_security_program/zero_liability.html?it=c|/personal/security/index.html|Zero%20Liability

One of the things that I suggest is that if they use a travel agent, make sure that the agent does NOT charge them but rather that the vendor does. This will guarantee you in every case and will also let you know that no extra fees are being added without your knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I have been a customer of VTG travel agency for 5 years and they always were there to help me out when I had a problem.
I love VTG, too, but I would be more than willing to give some of the other singles agencies out there a chance, too. There are many on the Cruise Mates Singles Calendar.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
Hey July 4th, I have heard of people losing thousands of dollars because they booked with a travel agency that wouldn't accept AMERICAN EXPRESS CREDIT CARDS. When an agency doesn't accept American Express cards you better RUN AWAY because American Express will get your money back if their travel agency goes broke or scams you and doesn't provide the service. I always pay for everything with an American Express credit card in case I am being scammed by a company. I have the cash to pay for a cruise but I like to play it safe in case something goes wrong and I don't get what I paid for....so I pay with American Express. All companies know the rules of American Express. This is why the scammers don't accept American Express cards.
I'll just point out a couple of things here. One, A LOT of places won't accept American Express because they charge a VERY high surcharge to the vendor to use their services. AmEx charges up to 5% surcharge when their card is used and the vendor does NOT get that money back. They have to eat that cost. That is why you don't see the AmEx card accepted in as many places as you do with Visa and Mastercard. With Visa and Mastercard, you can pay as little as 1.64%. When you are talking about companies that run on a profit margin, 3% is a HUGE amount of money to lose.

The other thing is that both Visa and Mastercard offer this protection to ALL of their customers. It's standard practice in today's credit card world and both of these companies will get your money back with the same vigil that American Express will. Here's a link to Visa's policy. You can Google to find the one for Mastercard.

http://www.usa.visa.com/personal/security/visa_security_program/zero_liability.html?it=c|/personal/security/index.html|Zero%20Liability

One of the things that I suggest is that if they use a travel agent, make sure that the agent does NOT charge them but rather that the vendor does. This will guarantee you in every case and will also let you know that no extra fees are being added without your knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I have been a customer of VTG travel agency for 5 years and they always were there to help me out when I had a problem.
I love VTG, too, but I would be more than willing to give some of the other singles agencies out there a chance, too. There are many on the Cruise Mates Singles Calendar.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Angelgal wrote:
I have been a customer of VTG travel agency for 5 years and they always were there to help me out when I had a problem.



What AngelGal has failed to disclose here is that she has managed to circumvent the VTG groups extra fees by booking herself onto the very same cruises they are on and then just attending their events as an unpaid "tag-along". This was widely frowned upon throughout the entire trip.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I would go with VTG I just booked my 4th cruise with them. Singles cruise charges booking fee's and much more money for their cruise insurance so I've never booked with them. As far as what singles show up that is luck of the draw, I've cruised with another singles company also Crusing for Love. I've never been impressed by the romatic possibilities (Im very picky) but I will say the people have for the most part been fun.

I find the one's I've made some lasting friendships, and future travel partners. I always find like minds attract so the drinkers hang out with the drinkers, the gamblers in the casino with the other gamblers, and so forth. THe social butterflys like Angelgirl and I always find the fun, or we bring it ourselves! There will always be some people you won't click with but you can go your own way it is after all your vacation!

I think the singles activitys are fun. I've won the Movie trivia game twice, and the door decorating contest, I enjoyed the Halloween trivia, and even the cabin crawl though Im not much of a drinker I went to see what a suite looked like and we took some funny photos. During the day I miss a lot of the singles activities cause Im pool side soaking up the rays.

I've gotten great service from my travel agents, and one of our singles hosts helped me to organize my own private shore excursion which ended up with 12 ladies most of whom I never met before. You can see my photos on this site search Carnival Pride singles cruise 10/29/06 Showcat.
Don't go just to try to meet the opposite sex if you go for the love of travel, and to make new friends you won't be dissapointed! Hope this helps.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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This was the only time I didn't book with VTG because I cruised with my cousin who has a girlfriend and I thought I would be hanging out with Cruise-Critics and Cruise-Mates but it didn't work out that way for me.
I didn't attend the private major events of VTG singles. I did eat with them during the end of the week because table hopping doesn't cost anything to eat with anybody I pleased. The VTG leaders have a list of names of who is part of their group. I think they let me stay with the vtg group because they are aware that I am a top customer of their travel agency. I made the mistake in thinking that I was going to have fun with other singles on the ship but it didn't work out that way for me.
I have decided that it is better to pay the extra money so I can attend all of the VTG Activities. I realized that I made a serious mistake of not being part of vtg singles but I still had friends from past passenger singles to hang out with. I have already paid for VTG Singles cruise for March 24th and I am part of their message board presently.
Not booking with the singles group was a serious mistake so I plan to keep on booking with them because now I know that I can't depend on other singles outside of the hosted singles to keep me company. I have learned my lesson. Angel Gal
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showcat
I would go with VTG I just booked my 4th cruise with them. Singles cruise charges booking fee's and much more money for their cruise insurance so I've never booked with them.
Showcat, since you cruise so much, you should look into a yearly travel policy. It would be SOOOO much cheaper for you in the long run than getting the individual policy for each trip. They start at around $89 for a yearly package, which is about what most individual trips run.

Here's a quick URL for you.

http://www.insuremytrip.com/multitri...21-607488.html

Most Europeans do this kind of travel insurance. I don't know why it hasn't caught on in the States. Probably because of the good commission that is made selling insurance to travelers, especially cruisers!!!
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I have decided that it is better to pay the extra money so I can attend all of the VTG Activities. I realized that I made a serious mistake of not being part of vtg singles but I still had friends from past passenger singles to hang out with. I have already paid for VTG Singles cruise for March 24th and I am part of their message board presently.
Not booking with the singles group was a serious mistake so I plan to keep on booking with them because now I know that I can't depend on other singles outside of the hosted singles to keep me company. I have learned my lesson. Angel Gal
I agree with your there AngelGal. Having taken over 15 cruises so far, the cruises with other singles are definately the best. It just gives you so many more choices of people to hang out with and having people to do stuff with.

BTW, there are some agencies out there that don't charge extra to be part of their singles group. They don't add extra fees onto their cruise prices. You get the exact same price or better than what the cruise lines are charging.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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What agencys are you referring to? This year I don't know if I can afford to do 2 cruises. But it's good to know this is out there for multiple trips. Im sure Angelgal could use this, since she practically lives at sea! I can only dream
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Old January 30th, 2007, 02:25 AM
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Hi July 4th. Thank you for the info on the yearly insurance since I do travel often. I wrote down the website and plan to check it out. Angel gal
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
Hi July 4th. Thank you for the info on the yearly insurance since I do travel often. I wrote down the website and plan to check it out. Angel gal
You are welcome. I take anywhere from 6 - 10 vacations a year out of country and it's SOOO much cheaper when I do the yearly plan. Definately don't want to get stuck paying an airlift bill in the Caribbean or Mexico!!!
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:25 AM
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I always buy insurance in case I need to be air-lifted if I should become seriously ill. Two couples were left behind in Mexico on my last cruise because their partner had serious injuries in Mexico. One broke a hip and the other had a heart attack.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 10:38 PM
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You can read about my singles cruise with VTG on Crystal's Serenity in December on Cruisemates' home page.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:22 AM
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I can only speak for Singlescruise and I am scheduled for my sixth cruise with them in April. That should tell you something...I have been pleased with the agency.

I hear great things about VTG but I have never cruised with them; maybe one day I will.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:45 AM
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i have cruised ith singlescruise eleven times in the last four years and oce with vtg..that was this past august. I have booked to go on the may cruise with vtg.

In my opinon..I would say go with VTG. After the eleven cruises with singlescruies aim pretty much disgusted with them. The prices are really bad compared to vtg and thier customer service is pretty bad. i have called them for pricing and gotten two differnt answers in the same hour. thet wont give you a booking number until about three weeks before your cruise. as it was stated some posts above...alot of regulars have switched over to vtg.

as far as ages go..that depends on the cruise. ive seen ages from 20s to 70s. mostly i would say its 30s to 50s. age doesnt really matter..you will see the same types of people ending up hanging together anyway. the partiers hang out with the partiers etc. I happen to like all thepartying drinking etc..iam 41 and i end up hanging with all ages.

But as i stated ..i say go vtg..better prices..better service and bigger crowds. also if you cancel before the 70 days ..vtg doesnt charge you...singlescruise does. Things to do wise..pretty much the same as each other but vtg is more organized . Also if you read the article on the upscale singles..you will see that alot of other cruisers on vtg agree with me
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:32 PM
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I have also decided to stay with VTG because they work soooo hard to plan some great activities for us singles.
When Singlescruise.com told me about all of their fees for making changes it scared me away.
VTG is very prompt and efficient in helping you when you have a problem. If there is a weather problem that can stop you from attending a shore.com tour.... their main office will call the company and tell them not to charge the singles if the weather is too harsh to attend the tours. So they have the hosted singles and their main office keeping an eye on us and any problems we may run into as a group on the ship. I have seen them do that when a single has a problem too. Their managers are fantastic too. Angel gal
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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I have sailed with singlescruise several times and can tell you they are really great! I hear vtg does a good job and they are very new at singles. Singlescruise is the biggest and has been around since the early 1990's and has really fun hosts. I believe you are correct that they do charge a cancellation fee but when I asked them, they kindly gave me a credit on a future cruise that I switched to. I also had to cancel because of a conflict at work and luckly had purchased the travel insurance as their insurance covered me due to a "change of mind" clause in their policy. Most travel insurance will not cover you for anything except illness or death so make sure you compare the insurance coverage to make sure it is what you want and need. Singles cruises are the only thing that singlescruise.com does. I know they are also part of Carlson Travel which is a very large company so your money is always safe. VTG also offers regular cruises and their onboard groups have both singles and regular passengers. I recommend that you try them your self and compare.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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well you must hane gottem lucky with a credit. i know a person who cancelled a cruise and didnt recive a credit. they were told if they booked the same cruise they would get the credit back. but only for that cruise.

as far as the hosts? most of the hosts have come and gone. they pretty much have newer ones one. I like shelby..shes really good..but as far as the others..i would take the old people bak in a heart beat. I have had good times on all thier cruises but its not the same anymore. I went on a vtg cruise in august and ran into five people that used to cruise with singlescruise. they all had the same thoughts as i have.

now as far as vtg having singles and regular cruisers in the group? iam not sure how u mean that..the group i seen was all singles. they might have booked others on the cruise but it was only singles in our group.

i think they vtg and singlecruise are pretty much the same..but i still vote for vtg for the better product
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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hey single mingle...

heres a question for u?? do you work for singlescruise????? hummm i just noticed you on differnt posts..and in everyone ..you are saying go singlescruse. now why would you go on the clubgetaway cruise and say that they have only one cruise when singles cruise has them all year??? because that was not even being discussed. hummmm/??

now i know that singlescruise watches over what is said about them on a yahoo group site ...but it sure looks like that you are working for them to me.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:34 PM
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I agree with IndyColtfan's post... Some of SingleMingle's posts almost look like publicity for Singlescruise.com.....

At one point in time, Singlescruise.com was the best singles cruise company around. I have actually cruised with them on three separate occasions. However, I have noticed that they have started to become more expensive over the last year.

In addition, Singlescruise.com has come up with several policies over the last few years which have begun to irritate their regular customers. This includes a $15.00 processing fee when you sign up for one of their cruises, in addition to cancelation fees that are charged if you cancel at any time. (Most travel agents or direct bookings through the cruiseline allow for a cancelation at no charge up to 75 days out). I have also seen them charge change fees when someone attempted to upgrade their cabin from a 1A to a balcony.

In addition to the fees mentioned above, the agency has lost the personalized service that is normally seen in a travel agent/customer relationship. I have been told and seen statements posted on their message boards by representatives of the company at times that were obviously untrue. This includes answers to little questions like "Why don't they give out booking numbers until 30 days before sailing?" (Their answer was that they have not yet been supplied by the cruise line. Any travel agent can tell you that the booking number is available when you pay a deposit.) While the corporation has their reasons for this policy, I would rather be told the truth about their policy as opposed to being told a corporate lie.

On another sailing, the company was late getting documents out to the group that was cruising. The company blamed the delay on the cruiseline. Although most of us received our documents 6 days before sailing, I felt that the tone of the message regarding the delay was more or less an unprofessional blame the other guy attitude (in this case, the cruiseline), as opposed to what would have been a more professional response.....i.e. a sincere apology.

While the issues mentioned above will not necessarily make or break a cruise, there used to be a personalized touch of service that is now missing from the company. (Not to mention the fact that you sometimes feel that the company will not deal with you in a completely honest manner.

Part of the problem is that the agency used to be a sole proprietorship until Carson Wagonlit Travel bought the agency in the later part of 2004. All of the problems mentioned above have occurred after the corporate takeover.

While I would still cruise with Singlescruise.com if I saw an itinerary that I liked, I am much more hesitant to book with them well in advance. In addition, I am much more open to booking with other singles groups including the cruise I booked in November. On that particular cruise, I have already been able to select a specific cabin that I wanted and had immediate responses to any questions I had regarding booking. In addition, all paperwork for this cruise was emailed to me within a couple hours of booking as promised when I booked over the phone, and I feel like I have been treated in a professional manner.
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