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snorkler8 11-10-2006 03:48 PM

I posted earlier about cruise w/wo I was looking into all the details and comparing prices the boat and date I was working on sold out! (We're talking in a few hours) So what are the tricks and where is the best place to "buy" your cruise from??

Cruise Fanatic 11-10-2006 05:26 PM

You can always call a Travel Agency. They may have some specials and perks on sailings. Many have space blocked on sailings. You get the same rate with a Travel Agent as you do calling a cruise line direct. The big difference is you will get unbiased opinions from a Travel Agent and better service.

snorkler8 11-10-2006 05:34 PM

Thanks! What about those web To Go etc. that advertise 75% off prices or RCI (time share trading company)

Karen Knowlton 11-10-2006 06:48 PM

There is a difference between price and value. If you want to pay the lowest possible price, remember - you get what you pay for.

Particularly if you are a first-time cruiser, your best bet is to work with a good cruise-oriented travel agent, who can use his/her knowledge to find the cruise line & itinerary best for you & your family. The advertised discounts you see are often available through travel agents as well.

dixiejen111 11-10-2006 06:56 PM

not sure how much different it is for 'last minute cruises', (vacations to go sure shows super prices for those!) but the prices i saw on vac. to go,, and a couple other "discount" cruise sites were exactly the same as the celebrity website when we booked our cruise for april. really surprised me since those website advertise that they have such 'low, low prices'! i ended up calling the 800 # for celebrity w/ lots of questions, and they were really helpful. recommended a completely different suite on a different deck than i had selected w/ a bigger veranda, etc. -- things i would never have known if i had tried to book online myself...of course, a travel agent may be able to do the same. good luck!

snorkler8 11-11-2006 04:03 PM

Thanks so much for the advice. I too checked the prices on Celebrity's site vs those discount ones. I too think it is a better option to book with them directly(Celebrity etc.)...but one more question...what about the port fees? Vacations To Go seems to include port fees with their prices. And are the port fees based on ports stopped at or the length of the cruise? Sounds like a "duh" question....but the cruise for our family has only one port even though its a 5 day cruise. So it should be quite a bit less (port fees)than the cruise my husband and I went on which had 5 ports...(we booked our cruise through the seminar my husband attended on the cruise)I'm thinking out loud now...any more words of wisdom for me?

Karen Knowlton 11-11-2006 05:21 PM

A lot of these questions could be answered by a decent travel agent. Just a suggestion.
Port charges are based on the docking fees and taxes charged to the cruise lines by the islands and other destinations they visit. Some longer cruises may have lower port charges than some short ones, just because the individual ports have lower fees.

dixiejen111 11-11-2006 07:08 PM

a travel agent is a great resource -- IF one is available. our town is so small, there's not a single travel agency! the closest one available is 45 minutes away. that's one reason this is such a great forum!

Cruise Fanatic 11-12-2006 06:22 AM

With todays technology much is done over the phone and through email. I'm sure even the Travel Agents 45 miles away would be happy to talk with you.

dixiejen111 11-12-2006 05:51 PM

absolutely...and i have used them in the past myself, because i know a lady who works there. having an agent handle all the little details is wonderful, so i'm not at all trying to take away from the great services a travel agent can provide. just noting that this forum is also a great place to get information. i would point out, however, that some people, especially this day and age, may be skeptical about dealing with -- and giving out credit card numbers to --out-of-town businesses of which they have no knowledge concerning reputation, track record, etc... easy enough to research, i suppose. of course, by the time you research two or three agencies, you could have called the cruiseline yourself and had the whole trip booked. but again -- people who use reputable travel agencies are certainly more likely to have an easier process than those who choose, for whatever reason, to go it on their own.

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