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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2004, 06:09 PM
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Tom
Thanks for the insite on cruise pricing. What I have seen is that cheap cruises are just that. As to is it better to use online or TA and which TA? My comment is go with what you are comfortable with. A friend of mine uses the internet for just about all his travel but he likes being on the computer. I like no muss, no fuss. To me that's what a cruise is about RELAXATION.

I guess there is no right or wrong answer as I see it

Harry
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2004, 06:51 PM
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I agree with you. I think the point the cruise lines want to make is that if a passenger wants to buy from a travel agent, on line, directly from the cruise line, through their travel club, or even at their local grocery store, they should be able to access the same pricing.

Everyone has their own preferred way to make purchases and they shouldn't be penalized by selecting a channel that doesn't offer preferential pricing advantages.

Tom
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2004, 06:58 AM
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Tom

What we has happened in the cruise industry has also happened in the gaming industry. Vegas used to have reasonable rates for rooms, shows, and food. Many faimlies and non gamblers started to use Vegas as a cheap vacation and the casinos were not getting the gambling revenue so they had to raise the prices. They still reward the gamlers thru their card clubs that keep track of gambling activitiy.

What you pointed out about passengers only spending for the lowest room and not on anything else is also represented on this forum. Look at the questions being asked, lowest way to book, taking your own drinks on board, cheapest way to book tours, not wanting to TIP the employess and etc. I know everyone wants to save a dollar or two and I am one of them but I still realize that the cruise lines have to make a profit and don't begrudge them on their prices. The way things are going pretty soon it will be like going to the supermarket. Get your own cart from the parking lot (some places have a cart rental) do it your self checkout, packing and suppling your own bags, then pump your own gas. I guess this is what people want because they will keep supporting the places with lower prices even though there is less service. The cruise lines may heading the way of the airlines because of what people think they want.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2004, 11:13 AM
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Hi Ridged,
Sometimes people have to ask questions about pricing because some are on a limited income.I am sure you would agree that these people deserve to have a nice vacation even if they are not able to spend extra money on other things such as excursions.
And then you have people who are not able to take the excursions due to health or physical limitations.
If you know in advance what extra money you need then you have a chance to save a little more to do the things you would like.
My very first post here in this forum was a question about extra fees for some of the shows on board the Mariner of the Sea. This upcoming voyage is my first on this ship and I understand it is a great ship. I would understand if certain things such as the Ice Show had a seperate fee for admission,however, I would rather know now than wait till I am on the ship and discover I didn't allow enough funds to let me enjoy the activities that I am looking forward to.
Having said that, I must also say that the cruise lines are in the business of making money just like any business.They have payrolls to meet,supplies for the great meals that are prepared,fuel costs, and goodness knows what else,lol.
I do not mind paying what is charged me. And I do not mind the tips. If you don't get good service from someone then complain to the right people and I feel like the situation can be remedied.But people have to remember that other people are onboard and have a little patience.
Its a VACATION,chill out and have fun!!!!!!
Oh and about taking your own drinks on board,Never would I do that lol. I purchase a soda card as soon as I get onboard. I don't drink alcohol(doesn't mix well with meds!)but I can drink the ship out of sodas!I save alot of money by doing this.
I never take electrical stuff such as hairdryers either, I have found the ones that are supplied are just fine.My husband on the other hand takes his electrical razor,a nesessity as far as I am concerned.
I have only had positive experiances when I have cruised.With the exception of the smaller elevators on the Nordic Empress last Febuary.(I sound like a veteran lol ,this upcoming cruise will be only my 3rd). But in my opinion Cruising is the best vacation anyone can have.
Thanks for all the interesting insights!
Linda
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2004, 07:58 AM
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Cruisingalong

All I am trying to say is everyone is after the best "deal" and all industries are aware of this so they keep cutting prices to get your business. In the process to cuts costs they cut quality and services. The customers are driving them to do this because they are willing to accept less to save a dollar but in the long run I think we end up paying more because the prices eventually get back to the original without the services or quality.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2005, 02:11 PM
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True enough Rigid - a cruise should be luxurious, and one should expect to pay the price accordingly.

I do have to agree with cruisingalong though in that I personally did not know what to expect in terms of 'extra costs'. I was surprised to find myself spending hundreds of dollars on extras. Now that I am more experienced, I can plan for these expenses. When you add it all together, I don't think anyone would consider a cruise a bargain vacation, and they shouldn't expect it to be.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2005, 07:29 AM
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We booked our first two cruises through our local travel agent and paid nearly full fair. Since then we've been using a discount cruise source off the internet.

I have a little problem with the nature of "cheap" versus inexpensive. It makes no sense to pay more through your travel agent, as Tom points out, than through an on-line source. If you really like using a local agent (which may be good if you ever have to litigate any issue with the cruise line) then by all means you should pay the extra amount and book in that fashion.

In my view people who are regular cruisers do themselves a disservice by not using an on-line agency because (1) they know what they want, (2) they know what it should cost; and (3) they are not relying on the "expertise" of the travel agent to get these things for them. Thus the value the travel agent brings to the experienced cruiser is limited.

My wife hates being awakened by the sun. As a general rule, we book an inside cabin every time. This next time we have an oceanview only because there were no inside cabins left. I got it for an inside cabin price, so what do I care? We'll take along a clothespin and shut out the light.

If you book inside, you're not at the staff captain's table or captains table. Those are reserved for the people who shell out the big bucks for the suites. But how much time, REALLY, do you spend in your cabin on a cruise? For us, about 8 to 10 hours a day. The majority of that time our eyes are closed. Does it make sense to pay $1,300 more for a bigger room? We don't think so. This because (1) the food is no different; (2) the ports are no different; and (3) the general amenities are no different in an inside cabin as opposed to a suite. I say this with some experience because I've been in a suite for 14 days and in an inside cabin for 7, and I was just as happy in the inside cabin. The difference in real estate didn't much matter to me.

I guess I am what the cruise lines would call "value" conscious. I'm an attorney so I gamble all day on cases. The last thing I want to do is throw money away by buying additional dining or plunking down the hard-earned green at a blackjack table where the odds are, from the get-go, stacked against me. I don't buy booze (I don't drink) and we buy a soda card to fix our exposure on that score. We use the shipboard laundramat instead of the cleaners. And we have a whale of time.

Just one man's opinion, FWIW.

Tony DeWitt

Golden Princess
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-30-2005, 06:19 PM
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I agree with Tony - if you don't need the services of a TA, why use them? I just booked a mini-suite and inside (for the kids) for $300 less than our friends booked a balcony and inside (for their kids). In fact, on a website only agency, the mini-suite was selling for less than some categories of inside and oceanview cabins. Shop around!!!
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2005, 09:00 AM
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While it's not really a discount, we have found that when booking on-line direct with Princess we can pay by Credit Card with no surcharge, which saves the 2-3% surcharge that many TA's and on-line agents charge.

Saving a surcharge, well its almost as good as a discount, isn't it?
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2005, 07:03 PM
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Hi,
I have been using CruiseQuick.com and everything has been fantastic. Price can't be beat but the draw back is it is all internet and email-- no real person to talk to. If you are concerned about this try another site. My research finds that cruisequick is several hundred dollars less than expedia. I have booked three cruises using cruisequick and never had a problem. All issues were resolved quickly. Minor things like names mispelled. They even made sure there were birthday ballons for my mother-in-law. Remeber - no voice contact only email. Have fun and enjoy life.
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