Best Place to Purchase Cruises

Old Aug 22nd, 2017, 12:05 PM
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Best Place to Purchase Cruises

I've never been on a cruise and am looking for a website to purchase one for my fiance's and mine honeymoon in December. We would like to go to the Bahamas and prefer a cruise that's 4 to 7 days long. I just need to know where to look. Thank you
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Old Aug 22nd, 2017, 02:48 PM
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As you have never cruised before I would recommend finding a travel agent who knows a lot about cruising especially as this is a HM cruise. I would think for a noob a little guidance would be in order.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2017, 03:21 AM
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you also might register for free at cruisecritic.com
No agents are allowed to advertise but it will give you
a great overview of the industry.

as for agents try vacationstogo.com
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Old Sep 12th, 2017, 06:36 PM
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We booked our Alaska cruise through vacations to go .com .

We were very happy with our agent. We received a $300 cabin credit. Will not hesitate to use them again.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 08:41 PM
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Good advice already.

Where to look to purchase may seem like the most important thing, but IMHO, that is not the first decision.

Picking the exact cruise and ship is first, even picking possible cabins so you have some idea of what you want when you go to book is good.

Another consideration is which port to depart from and which airports work for you.

Then you look at prices from the cruise line by actually calling them, on-line companies like vacationstogo.com and travel agents.

Start with vacationstogo because it is an easy website to use. Every cruise will not be listed in their 90 day sticker. Use the more specific form to plug in your dates and desired destination. Read reviews of the ship and the itinerary on cruisecritic.com.

Now, if you do not really want to do any research and knowing more options is not that important, then use an agent you trust let them plan it all.

Before actually booking, it is worth getting some opinions of the itinerary and ship from posters here. Many are experienced cruisers who can give lots of tips.

You will also want to keep in mind conditions on the islands after Irma.
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 09:56 PM
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We have booked direct with cruise lines, but have found Costco prices to be very competitive. In addition, Costco will give you additional credits to use on board. You might try pricing their cruises.

What I do is to go to the cruise line website and scan the cruises I'm interested in (dates and itinerary), then check with both the cruise line and with Costco to compare prices.
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Old Sep 25th, 2017, 02:36 PM
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If you are new at this, find a travel agent who knows you: you likes and dislike, your travel style, activities etc. Then they can find you the right ship, the right itinerary, getting you there, getting you back, preparing you for the trip, travel and health advisory etc.

I have done lots of cruises and I still have my travel agent book certain things for me. It is not about the money or savings. It's about traveling stress free.

Here is a simple example: I knew an Australia visa is needed to travel to Australia for my Australia/New Zealand cruise. And do you think I remember to do it? Nope. Showed up at the airport and no visa, can't travel. Got to Australia a day late, wasted a hotel night, feeling totally stupid and inadequate. Guess what, speaking to a handful of fellow travelers on board, there were a handful that did exactly what I did. Feeling better, but, if I had a travel agent, it would have been done.

And how many of you knew you need a visa to go to Australia holding a Canadian or US passport?
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Old Sep 26th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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I didn't until I read your post. We go to Oz in Dec. my TA got our visas too!

Yes get a good TA.
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Old Oct 29th, 2017, 09:33 AM
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Best to use a travel agent since you haven't been on one before.
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 09:35 AM
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I agree with using cruise compete once you have settled on a cruise.
I did that for a cruise that ended today. About 8 travel agents responded; we chose the one who offered a good price, free gratuities, and a sizeable onboard credit.
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Old Nov 16th, 2017, 11:54 AM
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First rule of cruising, never book with the cruise line. Do your research and research prices via Vacations toGo and then perhaps with an agent, whom I doubt would do better.
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Old Nov 16th, 2017, 04:38 PM
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There is nothing wrong with booking with the cruise line. As a matter of fact, I have gotten really good deals and some excellent advice from cruise line reps, who know their own brand well. One called me and asked why we had not sailed with their line for awhile. I said we could not afford the cabin we wanted in one of their new ships. She said they would fix that. They wanted us back as a customer. I ended up with a balcony at the price listed for inside on VTG. To top it off, when I called back, asking what they could do for family members who had decided to go, they gave me a great group price. When I had specific questions about kid's programs, the cruise rep, who had been on all the line's ships, was able to answer and give outstanding advice.

I have booked several times with vacationstogo and also got excellent service. I do think it helps to know pretty much what you want or to get guaranteed cabins through them. Some of their reps are more experienced than others and some have more specific experiences. Some have given great advice about different decks, and entertainment, but others did not know.

Cruisecompete has never beaten either VTG or the cruise line itself when I have used them, but they could.

Haven't used Costco, but it looks as if they have some great deals.

A good deal is important, but so is service.
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Old Nov 16th, 2017, 09:05 PM
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I agree with Sass. You can get a deal booking with the cruise line directly. Its acceptable if that is what you prefer and there is no harm asking for perks too.

I used nothing but Costco for land vacations and some of our early cruise experiences and yes we had some great deals. However as time wore on we found a great cruise TA and we have gotten some great deals from her like when at times she gets us in on group rates this reducing our cost. At other times we got some great deals thru her agency from it relationships with cruise lines offering special deals to them only. Perhaps Costco may have been as good or maybe better but its her level of service, the great rates and travel insurance and in one case a great deal on biz air to Japan that we benefit from. Also there are connection to hotel groups which we are using for OZ in a few weeks that are very good deals better that I found on my own. And then there is the great service that you can rely on. So maybe the OBC is less but its nice to know you seller is reliable.
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Old Nov 18th, 2017, 06:41 AM
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I've also found the agents at Vacations To Go to be good. Don't use Expedia! Nothing wrong with checking directly with the cruise line but use VTG for research.
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