Thought I was getting a bargin booking with an On-Line Agency. Found out I was charged 2 times for travel insurance. On-Line Agency: You must get refund from the cruise line, they made the mistake. Cruise Line: You must contact the On-Line agency, they made the mistake. I ended up paying more than if I had gone through a local agent. Credit Card Compeny: Both are valid charges by you and you must pay.
CONQUEST Feb 2003
Amsterdam Dec 2001
Westerdam Mar 1999
CONQUEST Feb 2003
Amsterdam Dec 2001
Norwegian Wind Dec 2002
Westerdam March 1999
Westerdam Mar 1999
I had a client that decided to do her cruise on line at a significantly redused rate. She was departing from Atlanta and the cruise originated in New York. When her documents came, her air was written from Chicago to New York. The air tickets were useless and at that late date, the cost or new airline tickets far exceeded the savings she had gotten on the cruise. Of course, she turned to me for assistance, but since I had nothing to do with the transaction, I could do nothing to help her other than write new air tickets. Unfortunately, when you have a problem with an internet booking, there is rarely anyone to turn to for help. I guess the lesson here is that you get what you pay for!
I had a client who decided to book his cruise honeymoon on line. He wanted to stay in Orlando two nights after the cruise. Unfortunately, he booked the nights pre-cruise not post-cruise.
When I spoke with him about the cruise I had priced for him, I asked to see the quote. He had no idea he had booked his package to begin BEFORE his wedding.
I got the booking straightened out and he had a great time.
A common mistake in booking on-line is not really understanding all the different options available. I had another fellow that booked the least expensive room for his honeymoon, not knowing it had upper/lower bunk beds. Again, I asked to see his quote and caught the error for him.
Knowing what you want and what you are going to get are two different things. Buyer beware. Let an experienced agent handle all the details.
i used travelocity for my last cruise because they had a much lower price than my TA i used before. However, i thought that they would be looking out for my best interest but they were not.
they were offering a $150 on board credit if i booked by a sepecific date so i did. however after 9/11 all of the cruise lines dropped their prices due to cancellations. Travelocity didnt automatically drop my price until i threatened to cancel my cruise and go somewhere else. when i got on board i never eceived my 150 credit. so when i got home i called and was given the run around and eventually gave up on the 150.
so i guess i would say that while you can get a food price from some of the onlilne sites you have to watch them to be sure they dont just forget about you once you make the booking.
You have gotten some pretty good advice so far. A good cruise agent will normally save you money and time, especailly if you are new to cruising.
The big sites don't have expereinced Cruise consultants, just order takers. As many people mentioned, when you have a problem, it is nice to have a real person that understands what you are looking for on your vacation to handle things.
If you want to verify you have a good rate, as your sailing gets closer...you might want to go to www.vacationandcruiseclub.com and register. You will get there weekly cruise specials from thier weekly two hour radio show in Miami. Some of these specials relect the lowering of prices, as the cruise gets closer. Not always as good a cabin, but same size and often on on the same deck.
If you would like the name of a good agent that is connected to the Vacation and Cruise Club, let me know.
its usually always better to go with a ta because they are there to answer whatever questions you have and do all the research for you. but it your confident enough then trying booking it directly with the cruise line see once you give your booking to a ta you have no control over it anymore you can only relay on what the ta is telling you which could be a good or a bad thing. i know with rcl and celebrity if prices go down nomatter if you've already made deposit or final payment you can have the rates lowered. say you do book directly through the cruise line you get your booking all set up and you find a ta who can give you a lower rate you can have your booking transfered to the travel agent as long as you haven't made final payment but then again its out of your hands after that.
If you let your travel agent get you prices you will probably pay way too much -- what I do is the research on line, then I can tell the travel agent where and what cruises and prices are available and they will match the pricing and I have gone through someone local who can fight for me if anything goes wrong. We have found two cruises this way and it worked out great.
Don't be confused by lower prices. I have heard many horror stories from people with on line booking. We are doing a European cruise with friends next July. He, out of curiosity, contacted online sites, "bulk TA's", a couple of regular TA's. The best price he got was $60 less than what we're paying, and that was for 1 grade stateroom lower than we have, and also didn't include taxes and port charges. 9-10 contacts of various locations were checked. We'll stick with our TA, as we know the service we get. Whatever appears too good to be true, more likely than not, is. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
Cruise pricing has become like the stock market. When there is strong dmand for a date/itinerary the price goes up towards the sailing date. When there is less demand, the price goes down.
The advantage the on-line cruise sites have is that once a person books their cruise they lock in a price for their cabin. Once done, if they start looking on the web (or elsewhere) they may find a lessor price as they cruise line may have started discounting. This gives folks the impression that they paid too much in the first place which is untrue. The price of the cruise has simply come down.
A professional cruise agent understandes this process and is usually able to gain satisfaction from the cruise line on the client's behalf by either negotiating an upgrade or getting the price reduced.
On the other hand the on line sources do not offer this service. Once you book, that is it.
[This message was edited by Tom Ogg on November 22, 2002 at 08:09 AM.]