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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2002, 06:43 AM
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Has anyone booked a cruise online through any of these sites, and what have your experiences been? I'm planning to book on the Explorer or Navigator for Feb, and would like to see about a last-minute deal.

Thank you for any information.
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Old 09-12-2002, 06:43 AM
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Has anyone booked a cruise online through any of these sites, and what have your experiences been? I'm planning to book on the Explorer or Navigator for Feb, and would like to see about a last-minute deal.

Thank you for any information.
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November 2, 2002
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Old 09-12-2002, 12:58 PM
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It is ironic that you posted the questioin so close to 9/11. Ask any cruiser that was affected by the events only one year ago and they will tell you to book your cruise with a travel professional every time.

The three companies you mentioned are all handled by NLG so while you think they are competitive with one another you might be talking to the same res agent at each company.

Find a good cruise professional and then stick with them if you want the best service and values.

Just my opinion.

Tom
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Old 09-12-2002, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for your opinion. I seem to hear the pitch for travel agents a lot these days. If they could come down closer to the prices offered online, I would use one. I might still use an agent if I hear a bunch of horror stories about the online providers.

I realize that you're paying for the agent's diligence in getting everything coordinated and getting you a good deal when/if prices drop, etc. But I'm willing to educate myself and try booking online in order to get a better value... that is why I asked for opinions about these resellers.

I'm sure there's someone out there who has used one of these services... anyone? Good experience, bad experience, indifferent? I do plan to purchase travel insurance too.
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Old 09-12-2002, 03:05 PM
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Just remember, you get what you pay for.
Karen [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 09-12-2002, 10:16 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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Sounds like you had a bad experience with a travel agent. I've been on 8 cruises, and have 2 more planned within the next few months, ALL with travel agents. They get the best deals possible, and have saved us literally thousands of dollars along the way. OK to book airlines online, but cetainly not cruises. Cheaper is not better, and agree with Karen, you get what you pay for.
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:59 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sue:
Sounds like you had a bad experience with a travel agent. I've been on 8 cruises, and have 2 more planned within the next few months, ALL with travel agents. They get the best deals possible, and have saved us literally thousands of dollars along the way. OK to book airlines online, but cetainly not cruises. Cheaper is not better, and agree with Karen, you get what you pay for.


I have not had any really bad experiences with travel agents, in fact I've never booked through one, but have visited several for information as of late. Those I have visited have quoted me barely lower than brochure prices for Feb. sailings. I thought the travel agents were able to get some better prices. Perhaps I have not found the right agent!

If I book now through an agent for Feb., should I expect rates to go down between now and then? How much calling to check for lower rates should I expect from my agent?

Again, thanks for all your advice, I appreciate it. I know I must sound like the cheapest person in the world, but I just want to explore my options. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:29 AM
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Re: lower rates and where they're available. Right now there are not a whole lot of "special" rates for Feb as that is in the cruise high season. Lots of heavy discounting going on for sailings in Oct/Nov/Dec of this year. You mentioned earlier you were looking for a last-minute deal - for Feb. that would mean looking (and booking) in Dec. or Jan. No guarantees last-minute deals will be available - it all depends on how well that particular cruise is selling.
Ask around for recommendations on travel agents, look in your yellow pages and other local sources for agents who specialize in cruising, etc. (Their ads would mention it, perhaps the agency name will include the word "cruises" in it, and they might be members of CLIA.) You should ask any agent you talk to, to keep checking for lower rates after you book (do this before you book!) - most will keep checking, especially if they know you are really interested. Not all cruise lines will let you change to a lower rate once you have booked a cruise, especially not after you have made final payment (which is due 60 days prior to sailing, generally.) Some do, some don't. If you book online, you can bet that website isn't going to keep checking for you to see if rates have gone down!!
Also, be sure that you are comparing apples and oranges - if rates seem lower on the websites, it is possible they are not quoting you the entire up-front cost. Does the fare quote include all taxes, port charges, transfers to/from the airport, service fees, etc.?
Karen
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Old 09-13-2002, 03:01 PM
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I must say that I will never again book a cruise online. First time I tried it, I thought I had a great deal (such a bargain), then after I did all the searching and entered all the information, including my credit card information, it gives me a revised total and charges my card.

The online booking price did not include port charges and taxes, so bottom line I spent about 4 hours to get my cruise at $8.00 less than what a travel agent offered it to me at.

Then when I got my tickets, I had no idea of what I was looking at or looking for. I found out at the pier that there were some forms missing from my package, a travel agent would have reviewed my tickets before I saw them.

For the few dollars I saved, I will gladly pay an agent to do this for me in the future. Time is money.
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Old 09-13-2002, 07:34 PM
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I have always went thru a local travel agent. They have never done much for me. I was usually the one that came up with the "good deal". The travel agent would always ask me where did I find such a good price? For my next cruise I searched the internet and found Sedona Travel. E-Mail Sedonatravel@bmol.com or 1-877-282-7979. This is the first time I have received an upgrade, a good price and a room credit. My wife and I travel 4 times per year. We go every three months to help break up the stress of working. We do not always go on a cruise. We may go to an all inclusive or just off on a tour. It really helps to make the year go by. For all the business we give to the travel agents they have never got us a good deal or treated us like good customers. They know we travel a lot but never gave us the kind of sevice I expected. Donald Lloyd did not know us from Adam but he knows the cruise business. Granted he is a travel agent but we did find his company thru the web.
 
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