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Bokk direct with cruise line ( in this case, Carnival) or travel site (expedia, cruise critic, travelocity etc.)? Which is better and why?

Bokk direct with cruise line ( in this case, Carnival) or travel site (expedia, cruise critic, travelocity etc.)? Which is better and why?

Old Jul 10th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Bokk direct with cruise line ( in this case, Carnival) or travel site (expedia, cruise critic, travelocity etc.)? Which is better and why?

March 2005 we are going on cruise via Carnival. Due to credits we have, 2 of the tickets must to be booked direct with Carnival. But what about 3 others? Which way in general is best? And Why? Wait closer to date in March to get better deal? Could use sage opinions.
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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The last thing you want to do is to book with cruise line, for 2 reasons: you will pay the highest price and you'll get no service. Web sites and agents will compete for your business and give you discount. Given nowday situation, that prices are high and ships are getting booked early, your best bet is not to wait. Especially if you are not flexible. Especially that March is spring break time.
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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We used makingmemoriestravel to book an Oceania cruise, and they were $300 pp less than the cruise line.
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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Shop around. Try www.cruisecompete.com

Rather than a single agency, it allows you to select your cruise and get multiple, competing quotes.

If you get a great deal, you can talk to the agent before you book. If you don't, or if you just change your mind, there's no cost or obligation.

Cheers!
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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I've booked mostly with cruisequick.com. Then I tried cruisecompete, one time the quotes were 200 pp less than cruisequick - i was amazed. The second time(which I booked) was $50 HIGHER than cruisequick but I was able to secue a higher category with a better mid-ship location. But in general I stick with cruisequick because I am now familiar with their agents and very good customer service.
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Old Jul 14th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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In my opinion, you should stick with booking with an actual agent. A good agent will generally try to protect you and help you if there are problems. This is something that is less likely to happen if booking on the web. Also, I agree with people below who have indicated that booking with the cruiseline often costs more.
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Old Jul 14th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Hi Wilmitch: While I would usually agree with the other posters, I think your situation requires a unique answer.

I assume you're using something like a Credit Card Cruise rewards program credit(s) to get the cruise.

I've done this with Carnival several times and gotten the best deal by far booking directly with them...BUT HERE'S THE CATCH, do NOT book with the person who answers the phone, tell them you want to speak to the promotions department directly. Their specialty is dealing with past guests, and reward programs such as these. It's un-believable how low they can go on prices if you let them know what you're doing.

The regular reservations staff that work for Carnival will accept your credits, etc. but will treat you like anyone who calls the line.... no special prices, etc. whereas the promotions staff have a LOT of wiggle room on prices, free upgrades, etc.

Hope this helps, if not, and you have a more specific question, post it here and I'll try to help.
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