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Old 08-10-2004, 04:11 PM
Maurita's Avatar
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We are attempting to book our own cruise for this trip and are wondering about Cruise.com. I've read a few reviews about "bait and switch" but only found 3 bad and no good whatsoever. Their prices are so much cheaper. As a grad student I have to watch my money and am afraid of losing money but at same time want good value. Help!

Lynn
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:11 PM
Maurita's Avatar
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We are attempting to book our own cruise for this trip and are wondering about Cruise.com. I've read a few reviews about "bait and switch" but only found 3 bad and no good whatsoever. Their prices are so much cheaper. As a grad student I have to watch my money and am afraid of losing money but at same time want good value. Help!

Lynn
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:19 PM
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Hi Lynn,

from my experience many local specialized travel agents offer competitive prices to what some of the big agencies offer - plus you get personal service which will likely result in finding the ship and itinerary which fits your needs and expectations best.

Just my humble opinion.
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Raoul Fiebig

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Old 08-10-2004, 06:52 PM
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Both Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean/Celebrity recently announced that they are cracking down on Internet rebaters. I suspect that they are concerned about the growing confusion about pricing and feel that rebaters are undercutting thier price point and perceived image.

I would lean toward your local travel agent as the resource that is the most valuable.

I have a good friend that is one of the largest travel agents in San Diego and does tens of millions with the cruise lines. I also have a good friend who's son is getting married next year and wanted cruise information for their honeymoon. When it came time to book a cruise, I suggested my travel agent friend.

She called him and decided to research some more and then hit a website where an aggressive sales person sold her on a ship that I know wasn't the best choice (possibly the worse). Of course she got a great deal, but the young couple's honeymoon has been compromised by the decision she made.

At some point you have to deal with the fact that you get what you pay for and a bargain sometimes isn't a bargain.

Just my opinion.

Tom
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:54 AM
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Hello, I have been on 3 cruises (last one 7/11/04 and next 11/15/04) and have only booked them online. NEVER a problem & the last 2 were booked at cruisecompete.com. Lots cheaper, you can book the cabin you want or a gurantee. It is very simple. Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:01 AM
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Hello,

if you know exactly what you want, okay. But if you need advice, make sure to find a travel agent who knows what he's talking about.

Plus, as Tom wrote, more and more cruise lines now prohibit "commission sharing", which some might see as a disadvantage from a customer's side, but which many actually consider a good move.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:33 PM
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Has anyone used CruiseVacationOutlet.com? I researched the RCCL web and found what I wanted at a certain price and then went to www.cruisevacationoutlet.com they had the SAME exact price for what I wanted. They had a live person answering all of my questions and handled the booking good. I will let ya'll know when I actually sail (Sept. 2005) if it was worth it. I am a little scared. They are out of Florida and I am in Denver?
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:17 PM
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To All,
As a vacation agent I have had many customers who thought they were getting a good deal from an online site but in the end most of them came back to me saying they wished they used me to take "care of" their vacation. Recently a woman my wife works with contacted me daily about a cruise on Norwegian that they wanted in Hawaii for 10 days in Septemeber 2004...(actually right now) I did the leg work and got the same rate as everyone else. However there was an internet site that was selling the same cruise for about $200.00 less. When she came to me with that price of course I couldn't match that. With that I refused to answer her questions that the internet site couldn't or wouldn't answer. Well guess what? Last week she called and said that she hadn't recieved her tickets and wanted to know what to do? I told bluntly the only thing I could tell her to do was call her agent...she said she had and didn't get a reply....I told her to call NCL directly. She did and they did do much. Apparently the internet site had not sent in her money until the 10th of Septemeber and it was paid in full...and the cruise was this week. I asked her if she got good customer service and if she felt ripped off and the answer was of course. She never did recieve her cruise or airline tickets. Luckily the air tickets were e tickets and NCL did finally tell her that she could pick the tickets up at the pier. She called before they left and asked if I thought the ship was good...the Windward...I said yes the ship is ok...but just OK...then she asked if I would have sold her that exact cruise with the same accomodations...and I said only if you insisted on it...lets see....the couple is in the late 20's...a 10 day cruise in Hawaii in an inside cabin..with all the scenary...I said no way....for a few extra dollars I could have put you on either RCCL or Celebrity in an outside stateroom....I also mentioned that they will be at sea for 4 days from Hawaii to Ensanada...on a small ship...with no window or balcony....doesn't sound like a good time to me. Then she asked me to book a trip for them in April to Vegas...I said of course...but since you pulled a stunt and had me do all the leg work for you for the cruise I will charge you a service fee of $50.00 per person non refundable unless you book with me and then I will deduct that from you rate. The service fee is cash only. She balked at it a bit but I asked her if she works for free and she said no....and I replied neither do I. I will do just about anything for a loyal customer but a game player...your gonna pay me for my time. So the best thing that you can do is to find a good local agent and work with them....there are many rewards in doing so....one major adavantage...NO Headaches!
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:48 AM
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Cruznman - I generally agree with you about the internet only sites, if email is the only way you can communicate. Most reputable travel agents also have websites, so I don't consider one that has real live travel agents you can converse with on the phone, an "internet only" type of agency.

There are agents who specialize in one kind of travel, such as cruises, and agents who specialize in luxury cruiselines, for example. There is an agency in Dallas with agents who only handle Radisson and Silver Sea. The owner there has traveled every ship in the Rad. fleet many times, knows the cruiseline staff, and I believe she can get the best rates. As far as I am concerned, that is the type of agent you want - someone who does lots of business with the line, someone who can intercede for you if there are problems, and who can get you the best possible fare and perks.

If someone does not know which TA to contact, often the website of the cruiseline will list travel agents who do a lot of business with them, by region of the Country. In my opinion, it doesn't matter where a TA is located, as you handle things mostly through email and snail mail, and telephone, anyway. With the cruiselines cracking down on TAs offering discounted fares, the only thing a TA can do is offer shipboard credits from their own profit, promote credit card companies that offer shipboard credits, and offer great service and keep on top of any possible upgrades or changes that may affect the traveler's itinerary.

For example, for an upcoming trip on SilverSea, some of us in our group of 8 are receiving a $200 credit for paying with Amex. I received a $150 credit for using Visa, in addition to a credit provided by the TA.

I have read posters who say they feel they get just as good a deal on the fare by dealing with the cruise line directly. You certainly would not have received the credits I just mentioned dealing directly with the cruise line.

Just my observations.......

Glenda
 
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