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-   -   Travel agent or not for a first-time cruise couple on their honeymoon? (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/general-cruise-chat/6085-travel-agent-not-first-time-cruise-couple-their-honeymoon.html)

Mike - csscouter 08-19-2010 07:37 PM

Hello, all. I've been "cruising" the forums here for a bit, trying to figure out how to plan our honeymoon cruise. I'm more confused than enlightened at the moment, and I'm also a bit concerned about not finding a larger volume of information posts with recent dates, like 2010...

Our wedding is 9 October 2010, and we THINK we'd like to leave from San Diego for a shorter cruise. We've never even looked at cruises before. Lots of questions have been generated from these chat rooms...

What ship? (How could I possibly know?)
How long a cruise? (Cost is a factor...)
What is a good line or cruise for newlyweds?

So, I'm now considering having a travel agent help us answer some of these questions. How do I pick one? How much additional cost will one add to our total? How do we assess what's a reasonable amount to spend for their services? (I'm happy to pay a fair price for the service - I'm not thrilled about the prospect of overpaying due to my relative inexperience with the industry...)

Your advice and experiences are most welcome!

Thanks,
Mike

LHT28 08-19-2010 08:22 PM

Ask friends & family if they have a TA that they are happy with.
Most TA's do not charge for booking cruises but some do so be sure to ask upfront if they have a "fee for service"
If you are planning on cruising this Oct you may not find much to choose from at this late date.

good luck on your upcoming wedding

Cruise Fanatic 08-19-2010 09:10 PM

Mike,
You definitely should see a TA immediately. This is your honeymoon and you want it done right. You don't have a lot of choices of cruises out of San Diego. You may have to look at LAX. A TA can talk to you and answer all the questions and concerns you have. The TA will help match you up to the right cruise line and ship based on your age, income, lifestyle, expectations, etc. Don't hesitate any longer to get this started.

Mike - csscouter 08-19-2010 09:16 PM

Wow! We've expedited lots of things for this wedding date as our part of the country runs out of good weather pretty early. I had no idea, though, that we were already far behind in our cruise planning, even before I'd proposed to her!

Appreciate the advice here. I hope we can come up with something reasonable - with the assistance of a travel agent - without having to postpone the honeymoon... Gulp...

pink845 08-20-2010 10:02 AM

Mike,

Seems PRincess has 14 day out of LA to Hawaii but quite pricy at just under $2k per person. IF you are willing to fly to FLA, you will be able to definitely get a 7 day / 6 day / 5 day on most of the cruise lines still. But then, you are also in Hurricance Season.

Mike - csscouter 08-20-2010 02:56 PM

Thank you all for your feedback.

My gal got word of a "deal" on Carnival Spirit, leaving San Diego on 12 October and returning 5 days later. That pretty closely matches our needs, departure and return locations, and price estimates so we went ahead and committed to it.

We did this sort of "blind" as you're able to assess from the short amount of time since my first post here. I'm nervous that we did the right thing, but hopeful as well.

Next time - assuming this all works out as we're hoping - we'll plan further ahead.

Here's to hoping that our first time is charmed...

MCPayne 08-20-2010 03:16 PM

Hi Mike.

I think you'll be happy once the time comes for your cruise. For future reference, most good prices for cruises are 6 - 9 months from the time you are looking to sail. Example, January for a September sailing.

I think a 5 night cruise is perfect for a first cruise to see if you enjoy it.

Whether you book through a travel agent or through the cruise line, the prices are the same. The only difference is if you book through the cruise line, the cruise line pockets the commission they would have paid the travel agent.

Mike - csscouter 08-20-2010 03:37 PM

MCPayne,

Thanks for the little confidence-builder. I'm presuming that things will go just fine - maybe I just have first-time jitters (notwithstanding the fact that it's my honeymoon...!)

In the interest of advancing the cause of this forum and following a link in your tagline, is it expected that I post a review after the cruise? Happy to do so, but would like a bit of advice on protocol here.

How else might I pay back the advice I've received here?

LisaP 08-20-2010 04:21 PM

Hi Mike, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

The best way to thank everyone for the advice you received is to return to the forum and post often, sharing what you've learned with others and helping to answer their questions. I enjoy hearing of others' cruise experiences. If you wish to post a review, you can do so on our associated site, http://www.cruisereviews.com/. Our lead Administrator, Dave, can walk you through the process.

Congratulations again!

MCPayne 08-20-2010 06:18 PM

Mike

It is not expected that you post a review, but if you would like to, do so at the link that Lisa provided, as that is the review site associated with this forum. The link in my profile signature comes up automatically when I created my countdown. That goes to a different cruise reviews website, not associated with this one.


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