Where to purchase a cruise?

Old Jan 12th, 2001, 11:24 AM
  #1  
Chris
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Where to purchase a cruise?

Can anyone offer suggestions for where they have found the best cruise values? I want to travel on Celebrity cruise line about 3 or 4 months from now. I am hesitant to give my personal information to a web site without knowing if there are significant values to be found out there. Any suggestions?
 
Old Jan 14th, 2001, 10:16 AM
  #2  
Ann
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Hi Chris

When my husband and I decided we wanted to cruise this year - I did a lot of homework. I checked sites like this, cruisereviews.com, cruiseopinion.com, cruise lines own sites and finally we narrowed it down to 2 ships.

Next I went to byebyenow.com, travelco.com, my local TA, expedia and several other sites. I also subscribe to Fodor's Budget Travel Magazine and called several of the companies they recommend.

The last 2 times we have cruised we used The Cruise Line Inc. Again, this time, their prices were the lowest for the exact same cruise, exact category. Their number is 800 777 0707. They belong to CLIA, etc.

I don't work for them -- I'm just someone who doesn't like to pay more than I have to. By doing my homework ahead -- I knew the prices out there and felt like I was getting a good deal and good service.

Good luck
 
Old Jan 16th, 2001, 10:35 AM
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Amelia
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Aren't mytravleco.com and The Cruise Line (800-777-0707) one in the same?
 
Old Jan 16th, 2001, 12:18 PM
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Chris
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Thanks Ann for the suggestion. And to Amelia, I don't know if they are one and the same but I can tell you this from my research: mytravelco.com, The Cruise Line Inc., my local travel agent, and the Celebrity web site all quote the same prices to the penny for identical cruises and identical cabin categories. So, if anyone knows of any other places to grab a real bargain I sure would like to hear about it. I know that Fodor's featured an article about mytravelco.com and their low price guarantee. However, I guess the low price guarantee only goes so far as to match what everyone else charges!
 
Old Jan 22nd, 2001, 06:04 AM
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Chris
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I've done it. I have found the travel agent to use for booking a cruise. The only agency who actually had a lower up-front price was Cruise and Vacation Depot, Inc. They are online at cruisedepotinc.com. They were recommended to me by a colleague so I decided to give them a try, even after the disappointment I experienced with other agencies. The agent who helped me (Andy Perdomo) was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. He also thoroughly researched pricing to find the best cabin on the sailing I wanted. He was extremely helpful and I would not hesitate to book another cruise with this agency again!
 
Old Jan 22nd, 2001, 08:58 AM
  #6  
cathy
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purchased mine through uniglobe.com.
I found that mytravelco.com and uniglobe had similar and the best prices of all I visited - I went to about 25 different sites!!

 
Old Jan 22nd, 2001, 09:29 AM
  #7  
Chris
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You're right Cathy, uniglobe.com and mytravelco.com have the same price to the penny for the sailing I booked. But, they are both about $50.00 more than what I paid. I know that's not a ton of money but I got a great value considering I was able to speak with an agent who was very knowledgeable about the cruise I was taking. In fact, depending on your departure point and airfare he had deals that were at substantial savings compared to these sites. I was not fortunate enough to be departing from one of the sale cities.
 
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 09:48 AM
  #8  
Elaine
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I've gotten the best prices and great service from Guy Theodoro at Southbeach Cruises. You can reach Guy at 1-800-650-7245, ex115. I still call lots of other agents for quotes, then I call Guy last. His quotes blow the others out of the water.
 
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #9  
Chris
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Nope. It looks like another one bit the dust. I simply find it strange that every travel agency recommended that I have contacted offers the exact same price for a cruise that you can buy directly from the cruise line.

Paul Therault, why don't you answer this puzzle? I understand that a travel agent can be invaluable for recommending cruise lines, ships, and itineraries/excursions, but it appears that travel agents have become obsolete in pricing vacations. I have found this to be the case for everything from airline tickets to hotels and car rentals. The internet appears to now be the price leader.
 
Old Jan 27th, 2001, 04:47 PM
  #10  
Theresa
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I think most travel agents go with the standard price the cruise line gives out. I didn't realize this until a couple of years ago. I found an online travel agent on a cruise board who is wonderful and she discounts that price a couple of percentage points more. For example - I am looking at a brand new ship during one of the first sailings - he category cabin is $1100 from several online sites I have looked at (uniglobe, my travel co) - this ta quoted me $900 with $100 shipboard credit per person.

Good news is that I am not losing any service with this person. She returns all of my calls/emails immediately. She cruises reguarly and has been on most ships - she is definitely a cruise expert.

Theresa
 
Old Jan 28th, 2001, 12:25 AM
  #11  
Paul Therault
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Hi Chris,

Unless you are travel savey, I would not chance buying your first cruise from a web-site.

I know that this will not be peace-of-mind.

A travel agent should answer all of your questions. If not choose another. Make sure your travel agent has cruise experience - very important.

Travel agents earn very little if a customer sails a 3 or 4 day cruise therefore a commission cut is not likely.

You must find a travel agent that will shop around for the best price. We receive bonus commission certificates that we can pass along to our customers. We receive 10 or 15 faxes per day with cruise line promotions. Internet sites do not bother with these faxes.

This is important. Most of us belong to one or two consortiums that will give us better prices. Same as that on the internet. Mine is travelbyus.com.

When it comes to rental cars, airlines and hotels we use packagers such as Go-Go, Uniworld, Delta Vacations, Maupintour, Perrillo, etc.

How many of you know that where once Alamo was the most resonable in Florida is now expensive. This kind of information takes shopping time. Best now to go with Dollar or Enterprise.

We receive preferred hotel pricing, not rack-rates. If a travel agent tries to sell you rack rates (rates that you can get if you call the hotel) he/she is not doing the job for you.

How about insurance. There are other companies (small travel insurance companies) that will sell you insurance about $100 less than the cruise-line insurance. These days it should be of importance to stay away from cruise-line insurance anyway (why receive a credit when you can receive cash for a cruise cut short).

There are good travel agents and bad travel agents. This is why I say ask as many questions as possible. Find one that is open weekends when most ships sail. If you are not comfortable with your agent by all means find another. Example, little Jane, fresh out of high school goes to work for a travel agency. She takes a few courses and now she is an agent. What does she know about selling vacations is she has only traveled to Hartford. Talk to the owner - but then he may be too busy. find another agency. Same with the internet web sites. Are they going to answer your questions no matter how trivial??

Go with Expedia, go with Travelocity. Sure you can save say $100 but when you add everything up do you really save that $100?

What happens if your airline tickets have to be re-written (happening more and more lately with cancelled flights). Do you know how much it will cost you to overnight them back to the internet company - or will they care to do this for you?

How about the new Electronic (E) Tickets that all airlines are now issuing. They are good for nothing and the airlines know this. You MUST have "paper" tickets. This is your contract with the airlines. How many people know this? The airlines can deny you boarding with these E tickets. If there is a strike or a walkout and there is a contingency with other airline companies - they will not honor E tickets.

I could go on and on. Maybe this will suffice.

For peace-of-mind find a good travel agent.

Happy planning,

Paul


 
Old Jan 28th, 2001, 05:36 AM
  #12  
Sam Friedman
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Uniglobe,Mytravelco,and Cruise Direct online have similar discount prices. Cruise Direct Online has a large database of cruises from 24 cruises lines and unlike some others you pay the cruise line direct.
 
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 10:34 AM
  #13  
Scott
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Gold coast cruises in Miami.

They're listed
 
Old Feb 2nd, 2001, 08:27 PM
  #14  
doityourself
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don't book with a small agency..go big traditional and play the prices you see on the net against them to see if they will match, or go net-based....just don't book with those self serving type agents who take advantage of consumer ignorance and pass it off as "safety, service and expertise"

cruise.com has had great prices and service for me in the past

 
Old Feb 8th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Get your best price qoute (evrything included) then call ecruises,com and see if they will bet the price you got. They usually will. If the price is very low, they will throw in the discount certificates that the other dot coms never look at, because they are also brick and mortar.
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 09:13 PM
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I'm 3 for 3.....(and I really searched for the best price) I've gotten far and away the best prices from cruisequick.com They're GREAT to work with! I can't imagine using anyone else after our last 3 cruises!
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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Patsy, I hate to tell you but quickcruise.com came in $450.00 higher than ecruises.com on my cruise(5/3/03 on the Norwegian Dawn). It seems that the cruise lines are giving better discounts on a rotating basis to some of the top dot coms and maybe even some brick and mortars. Always shop around because I have seen almost every dot com cheapest on one cruise or another. Just always make sure that you are comparing apples and apples.
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 03:05 PM
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For people in the SF bay area, or anywhere, monitor www.cruisewwt.com. I have used them twice so far and they seem to have the lowest prices. It is a website but you book directly with an agent.
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