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Old 09-08-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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I have been on three cruises and have always booked through Cruise Ship Centers. I live in Montreal Quebec.

I just wanted to know what other options I had when it came to booking. Using them has been help full, but I am wondering how much more I pay for using them over doing it for myself. And it takes quite some time for them to get back to me.

Is there other websites that I may not be aware of, or other agencies that may offer better prices.

Finally, is it always cheaper to book through the actual cruise line site?

thanks in advance.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:01 PM
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Finally, is it always cheaper to book through the actual cruise line site?
No. This is the big misconception many have. The cruise lines pay the travel agent or agency the commission, you don't. If you book direct with the cruise line you pay X dollars. If you book with an agent you still pay X dollars. The difference is the cruise line keeps more money if you book directly with them. In fact an agent or agency can sometimes be cheaper because they have blocked out group space where they have negotiated a lower price with the cruise line, a price lower than that for an individual booking.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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thanks Dave.

Any recommendations on other sites I could use to book a cruise besides Cruise Ship Centers. Once again I live in Canada. thanks
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:10 PM
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We don't recommend one agent or agency over another. It is against forum rules since it is considered soliciting or advertising.

Generally, prices are the same no matter who you book through, other than for the group space I mentioned. I prefer a cruise-only agent. I've had the same lady as my agent for over 12 years. Everything is handled promptly, we communicate often, and her personal service and expertise make it a simple choice for me.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:35 PM
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If you're happy with your current travel agent why change? You can always check with the cruise line you what to cruise with for prices - then compare them with the agency you're using; that may make you feel more comfortable. Knowing what the cruise line prices are helps when you're looking for the best price. Like Dave, I have my personal agent that specializes in cruises. I still do my homework and check out prices.

Sonny
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:50 AM
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I agree with Sonny that if you're happy with the service, there's no reason to switch agents.

But to answer your question as to how to find a cruise travel agent, I highly recommend seeking someone with certification from CLIA (Cruise Line International Association). Their Web site (http://cruising.org/index2.cfm) has a search function on the lower right to help you find agents in the US and Canada who have passed their intensive certification requirements. Enter your postal code (or part of it, for more results).
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:39 AM
 
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Thanks. That site is helpful!!
 
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