What is the best way to shop for cruise?

Feb 3rd, 2008, 07:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
What is the best way to shop for cruise?

Planning a 4 night cruise from Galveston this summer for two on Carnival. We took a cruise a few years ago (family trip) but wasn't involved in the planning, so what is the best way to shop around....travel agent, directly with Carnival, etc. We are flexible but will be traveling during the summer because it is easy to drop the kids and dog with grandparents on the way to Galveston. Thanks for the help
smom is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
You'll get the best deal through http://www.CruiseCompete.com

You pick the cruise and agents compete to offer you deals. You can also see consumer reviews of the agencies so you can be comfortable with who you're booking with.

Good luck!
triathlete is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 371
While triathletes advice is good, I've found that on short cruises you're likely to get the same price from everyone who responds unless you're booking a higher category cabin.

What you can get however is some extra bonuses from those who respond thru cruisecompete.com even on these shorter cruises such as ship board credits, pre-paid tips, etc.

So check them out, the service is free and no-one will call you. They all just send you email quotes and you can call them if you see something you like. Its a good system.
Hold is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,358
Have used cruisecompete twice. First for Celebrity cruise. Received only a few quotes and they were identical when one fished thru additional taxes, fees, etc.

This summer for Alaska Princess cruise. Received about 5 quotes, all different. Selected lowest, called agency, booked on-line - have contacted agency once again with a question (by email) which was answered promptly. Very simple.
gail is offline  
Feb 6th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2
I love: cruisecompete.com Saves you a lot of time.....and money. Happy Trails.
norminaz is offline  
Feb 6th, 2008, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,929
Used them for the first time very recently & totally concur that
a) you get alot of bids
b) they are usually pretty close in price
c) all offer incentives for the passenger.

of the 8 bids, found 1 I liked, w/3
comps and have had good phone & e-mail feedback as needed.
Rhea58 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,664
smom, try to narrow down your cabin category before going for those cruisecompete quotes. It helps so that you're comparing "apples to apples".

You can go on travelocity.com or many other sites to get an idea of the different cabins, then choose based on price range and amenities you'd like.

Have a great cruise
joan is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 227
I use Cruise Compete, but also look at Vacations To Go http://www.vacationstogo.com/
You can look at past guest, military, 55+, police/firefighter rates, etc.

When I find the cruise/price I like, I call the cruise line directly and they match it...and I keep an eye on it the rates in case they go down, so I can call back and get onboard credit for the difference.
suzski is offline  
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