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Travel agency questions - Direct Line Cruises

Travel agency questions - Direct Line Cruises

Sep 5th, 2010, 02:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Travel agency questions - Direct Line Cruises

I think it's time for a change - from making my own cruise reservations to working with an agency.

Fodor's website recommends Direct Line Cruises - anybody worked with them? They throw in free travel insurance with 100% coverage - fantastic! And their website looks so user-friendly!

Is it too good to be true? Somebody scream at me

Oh, and by the way, BBB has only 2 registered complains in like 10 years! A+ rating.

So... anybody?

(and to rub it in looking at a cruise from Venice to Greece)
Dayenu is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 12:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I checked their website but it seems they don't handle Princess or HAL as well as a few other lines so I don't think I would use them. Have you tried using cruise.com to check prices? With them you can actually go through the process including which cabins are available. Then I do book with my regular cruise agency but I have a good comparison price wise.
traveller69 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 06:38 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Try www.CuiseCompete.com

At this site you put in what cruise you are interested in and the type of cabin. Many companies respond to you and offer many nice deals. I have used them twice and found it great.
Patatbeach is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 08:35 AM
  #4  
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This is what I was afraid of - people telling me about CruiseCompete.

This is just a website for other travel agencies, once I signed up with them, sent a detailed e-mail, telling them even the date and cabin number (got it off Expedia) - in reply I was getting the same generic replies their inside cabins start from $, window from $$, balcony from $$$.

I didn't find CruiseCompete useful for me at all. My apologies to all their fans

Traveller, I find Expedia cruises much easier to use compare to Cruise.com - I like the map they offer that is easy to use if you want to see cruise schedules from a certain port. They have it from the US and Europe.

The cruise I'm looking for is Norwegian, so Direct may be useful. Searching the Net after I posted this question I found only one rant about Direct, so this is encouraging.

I posted the same question on Cruise Critic - got deleted, and a private message "this is against our policy to discuss travel agencies" - hey, if an agency can not be discussed on a cruise forum... oh, well, their rules.

I think I can call NCL and ask them if they work with Direct
Dayenu is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 11:29 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Faina I agree with you regarding cruisecompete - I really don't like that site. The reason I use cruise.com is that they have so many cruise lines to choose from compared to expedia. For instance we are going to do a British Isles cruise next summer on Fred Olsen which I found on cruise.com. It has the ports etc we want to see and no other cruise line seems to offer that cruise (we just want to see the British Isles on this trip and found cruising is a lot cheaper than land tours) Anyway - the ship is the one the old Royal Viking ships. They used to come into Vancouver every summer and are sort of the last of the old style smaller ships. They were at that time one of the higher end lines and have been refurbished so we thought why not give them a try!! Like you we are always looking forward to our next cruise and next destination. You will certainly enjoy your Venice to Greece cruise - we did a very similar itinerary a couple of years ago.
traveller69 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 05:51 PM
  #6  
 
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Sorry, you guys didn't like cruise compete. I asked what discounts might be offered to me. On my last booked cruise, I decided to book with the cruise line and then transfered my booking to an agency that offered me $175 shipboard credit. The prices were the same but I got the shipboard credit. Money talks with me.
Patatbeach is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 10:06 PM
  #7  
 
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Pat - money talks with me too and although I use cruise.com to check on price and availabilty I still go back to my agency who usually beat the price quoted and a shipboard credit as well.
traveller69 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2010, 01:22 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I have used tripharbor and they are fine. I have also use the local AAA travel agents. You should find someone local, not on the internet.
Eschew is offline  
Sep 8th, 2010, 12:06 PM
  #9  
 
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Alex from cruise.com is the best. E-mail [email protected].
spurs is offline  
Sep 8th, 2010, 12:19 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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As for local vs. internet agent: I have never seen my agent and barely talked even though he lives in the same city. There is no need to drive to their office and waste time & gas, when everything can be done by e-mail and a lot faster than in person. So IMHO it makes no difference whatsoever.
spurs is offline  
Sep 9th, 2010, 08:56 AM
  #11  
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I have to put this on hold for a while. We are reviewing all cruises starting from the beginning. May, June, September, Venice, Greece are our key words, not excluding anything else.

Just looking for a perfect combination of ports, prices, dates and days off work. The usual pre-vacations labor pains
Dayenu is offline  
Sep 9th, 2010, 03:15 PM
  #12  
 
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no pain, no gain
Eschew is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 08:00 PM
  #13  
 
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I have put my trust in Direct line from the other side of the world, I was apprehensive about online bookings but direct line appear AOK to me and any monies paid,including deposits are charged by the cruise line,which in my case happens to be Norwegian, we are sailing aboard "Nowegian Pearl" April2011 and we are already checked in online with NCL, I hope I have been of some help, smooth sailing.!
aussiecruze is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 07:38 AM
  #14  
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Aussie, did you get free insurance they offer? If yes, I want to know more - is the cruise only insured, or were you able to add flights and pre- or post-cruise hotel(s) - and if you made those reservations by yourself or you had to go through the travel agency?

Also, if you can tell more about insurance, what's included, like flight delays covered, or medical evacuation home or only to the nearest hospital?
Dayenu is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 01:55 PM
  #15  
 
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Dayenu -- you e-mailed CruiseCompete? That's not actually how the site works. You have to set up an account, and select your sailing, etc. inside the system to get competing quotes. Quotes aren't e-mailed--they are posted to your account.

What you're talking about receiving ("rates from", etc.) sounds like their specials newsletter. Quotes do not have "rates from"--they include the actual pricing.

I'd suggest you give the site another try and see what happens. Would be interested in your take.
triathlete is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 03:42 PM
  #16  
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Triathlete, I did not e-mail CC.

I've registered with CC asking for quotes for exact cabin type, let's say "window H" - after that I started to get quotes for all types, the same as I'd look them up on Expedia before clicking on the cabin types.

Those e-mails were coming from different travel agencies, not from CC. Once I've stopped CC account, they stopped coming.

I think the idea was for me to choose one agency, and work with them. Thank you, I didn't like it.
Dayenu is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 03:46 PM
  #17  
 
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I really prefer dealing with a local agent. Someone that I can reach out and touch and I can rely on 24/7 if I get stuck somewhere at an akward time. When I cruise I am spending a good bit of money and I really oppose taking risks to save a few bucks or get a few dollars of on board credit. Maybe that's the game for some, but not me. So much about cruising is out of your control once the contract is signed. So why not get a good agent to do the tedious part for you.
Aristotle is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Hi dayenyu, yes ,I received the free travel insurance, I assumed that it covered cruise only,asI made all other travel arrangements myself,flights hotels etc.The policy is Access America and is provided by acompany associated with Mondial who I have had previous dealings with satisfactorily.Perhaps if you book a package you will be covered all round,I am sure Direct Line will be happy to answer any such questions.This cruise is part of an extensive vaction,our first visit to East coast USA,although we have visited West coast several times including Canada and Alaska.Although we travel a lot I am not amember of any loyalty "rewards" programs as I believe the old saying "there is no free lunch" I prefer to shop around for the best deals to suit our equirements and over the years I think we have done quite well. Best wishes from Down Under.
aussiecruze is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 07:47 PM
  #19  
 
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Dayenu: I've never received an e-mail from any CruiseCompete agency that I didn't contact first (CC does not give out e-mail addresses to agencies--only you can do that).

Very strange. Sorry you had a bad experience; hope you've found something that works for you.
triathlete is offline  
Oct 28th, 2010, 05:53 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I worked with Direct Line Cruises in the past and their agents were helpful and efficient. There service was very professional. I trust their longevity in the business; especially having been burnt by Cruise Value Center. When they abruptly closed their doors 2 years ago a fews days after taking my groups final payments for a Royal Caribbbean cruise. It was only salvaged by the fact that most of us had paid by credit card. We met many people on that sailing who were out the money because they had paid by check. CVC offered the best incentive deals and was one of the largest online agencies nationwide. So I learned going with the agency that offers the most perks in order to do volume business could be a crapshoot, since it may not be around to pay off.
carolandbob is offline  

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