Originally posted by lustforlife:
Try Vacationstogo.com they have AMAZING pricing!!! This is how I will search for cruise fares from now on. Cruisecompete.com seems to be a good one also!
I like Cruise Compete. Have used it to book the three cruises I have this year. As far as RCCL and Celebrity go most do not discount their cruises. However, if you use Cruise Compete you will see that there are a few that still find there way around that. I have to get back to work now but I'll write again about the Serenade.
Originally posted by Cruise Fanatic:
Yes, HAL is popular with young people too. The new Vista class ship are very popular. You will always have some cruises though where the mix may be older or younger. It depends on itinerary, time of year, cost of cruise etc. That's why using a Travel Agent certified as a cruise counselor is important. Too many people book on the internet and "Think" they are getting a good price. The truth is--if you book on price only, you may not be matched with the cruise and ship that is right for you. If you then don't enjoy the cruise, then it wasn't such a good price was it?
I would suggest a cruise counselor for novice cruisers. However, once you have sailed 10, 15+ times, your comments "It depends on itinerary, time of year, cost of cruise etc" are the some of the items that go into the decision making process. If you have the time to do the research then the internet sites offer the best pricing. The Zuiderdam was one of the most enjoyable cruises and for my 9 year old, Club HAL was his favorite. Michelle Davey ran a great Program and the personal touch these kids received were terrific!
The point I was trying to get across with cost of cruise, itinerary, etc. is,-- if someone booking on the internet looking at cost only, they may not realize that a 7day Southern Caribbean has a tendency to have an older adult mix over a Western Caribbean, or 3 & 4 day cruises. Longer cruises like Panama Canal, or Alaska has older adult mix. That is the point I was trying to say. Travel Agents can often match or beat online prices. They have alot of resources such as belonging to consortiums, group space etc. Plus they offer service to help you if something goes wrong before, during, or after the cruise. Many online companies do not give you the total price with taxes until you go through the whole procedure of putting names and information into the reservation. Often after the taxes are added the online price is the same as the Travel Agents.
I appreciate your thoughts however,everything you said is what an experienced cruiser already knows. Here is where I do agree with you. "Those who are not familiar with cruising would be well advised to seek out an opinion of a travel professional then do some comparison shoping to get the best price available". Why pay more for the same product? On Long Island, local travel agents will not touch the online prices as they have rent and utilities and simply do not have the volume of say Cruise Value Center, Cruise only, and/or Cruise Vacation outlet. These online retailers have one location that serves a large cyborworld. A local travel agent generally can only service a small geographic area. Once I research the cruise I am interested in I cruise compete it then take the price to the online retailer I usually use and give them my best price.
Many local travel agents, however, belong to a consortium that allows them access to more "volume" style pricing than you might expect. And a lot of agents have clients all over the country, even throughout the world. So don't discount your local TA as having too small a reach!
Are you guys all travel agents??? hahaha!
I always do a lot of research on the cruise lines' website, I look at the deck plans, checking the ship's amenities. Costa got me this year because I got a very good deal for it. I now realize that I should of paid $200 more to be on a RCI ship instead. When i read reviews about the Mediterranea, people either hated it to death or loved it. Costa is fairly new in the caribbean, so there is not a lot of posts on it. I decided to give it a shot, and I give it a neutral review. Now, I am planning a cruise to Alaska, anyone have a ship in mind that I should consider? I'd like to go in august or in september (rates are lower since the kids are back in school)
As you can see from my signature, we are booked on the Oosterdam on August 19 sailing from Seattle. We are Holland America fans and have had the best times on the Zuiderdam, which by the way will be doing Alaska from Vancouver. We choose the sister ship due to Airfare pricing. From NY, it is less expense to travel to Seattle. I had narrowed my search between the Vision of the seas, the Mecury and Oosterdam. The Oosterdam was the choice for a number of reasons starting with the fun we had on the Zuiderdam. In addition, the center pool has a roof that opens and closes. AS you know Alaska is not the Caribbean and my son loves to swim. Also, Cruise Value Center does wonders with Holland America pricing.
I have seen all 3 ships docked in Vancouver last summer. The Vision seems to be an older ship with less balconies, the Mercury looked nice, but there was a lot of older people on the cruise, and the Holland looked like an older mix too...
One may have said that about the Zuiderdam also. However, during the time we went there was approx 350 kids on board. We are 51 and 42 and our son is 9 and loves club HAL. I hope this trip pans out cause we have been so looking forward to this cruise!
To add another comment to this discussion, what about us poor travel agents?
Here in the UK we are very lowly paid (less than supermarket workers - no disrespect)It is very upsetting when people come in, you spend an absolute age with them giving all your expert opinions advice recommendations etc. THEN you contact them a couple of days later to find that they have booked on line. This happens to me about 75% of the time. People now just use travel agents as a reference place, to pick up brochures and obtain free advice and information!!