Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > New Cruisers > First Time Cruisers
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

First Time Cruisers You May Also Want to Read: Over 4,000 Published Cruise Reviews by First Time Cruisers

Best advice for first-time cruisers; learn how to pick a cabin, find the best cruise bargain, tips on what to pack.

Browse Cruise Critic's First Time Cruiser Resources (articles)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 6th, 2012, 07:32 PM
grandma3girls grandma3girls is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3
Default Travel Agency versus cruise deals

We are starting to research an Alaskan Cruise and tour. I already went to a well know travel agency. I thought the prices seemed high. I now see much lower prices with some of the cruise deal sites. I especially like Norwegian and Princess. It seems easier with the agency doing it all, but we are seniors and on a budget and don't want to pay more than we need. I have gotten some good suggestions, on this site, but haven't touched this area.
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old May 6th, 2012, 07:48 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Moon Township, Pa
Posts: 22,024
Default

Be careful of some of those online sites (we can't mention names of agencies or agents) because there are some things that you'll find with them that you won't with other agencies. For example, it's against the policy of most cruise lines to allow travel agents to discount cruises. Their policy states that they must sell their cruises for the same price that the cruise line itself sells it for. So, if you're seeing a really big discount for the exact cruise in the exact cabin, it's probably that the agency is giving up their commission. But read the fine print from those agencies. Many times they have big cancellation fees or big fees for changing anything about the cruise. I'm not saying those online agencies are bad, but you have to know exactly what you're getting from them.
__________________
Darcie
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old May 6th, 2012, 08:30 PM
Cruising Golfer's Avatar
Cruising Golfer Cruising Golfer is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 1,022
Default

Go straight to the cruise line site. They will give you the best deal!!!
You don't have to book on-line, just give them a call and they will help you with the best price and all the discounts they have.
Ask a lot of questions, they have the answers... Good Luck C.G.
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old May 6th, 2012, 08:59 PM
SadieN SadieN is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
Posts: 11,540
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty9 View Post
Be careful of some of those online sites (we can't mention names of agencies or agents) because there are some things that you'll find with them that you won't with other agencies. For example, it's against the policy of most cruise lines to allow travel agents to discount cruises. Their policy states that they must sell their cruises for the same price that the cruise line itself sells it for. So, if you're seeing a really big discount for the exact cruise in the exact cabin, it's probably that the agency is giving up their commission. But read the fine print from those agencies. Many times they have big cancellation fees or big fees for changing anything about the cruise. I'm not saying those online agencies are bad, but you have to know exactly what you're getting from them.
Just adding on--

If everything is exactly the same as kitty9 said then another reason why the fare is lower can be because the TA or TA's consortium has group space booked on a particular cruise.

For example I was at a trade show yesterday. A group was advertising a group cruise. Right now their fare is better than what I can get thru the cruiseline because they were able to lock in a price a while ago.

Always compare apples to apples-- What is included in each quote: exact cabin category, taxes & fees, gratuities etc. A guarantee balcony rate will not be the same as a rate where you can choose your specific cabin.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old May 7th, 2012, 07:23 AM
sparky-elpaso's Avatar
sparky-elpaso sparky-elpaso is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,255
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruising Golfer View Post
Go straight to the cruise line site. They will give you the best deal!!!
You don't have to book on-line, just give them a call and they will help you with the best price and all the discounts they have.
Ask a lot of questions, they have the answers... Good Luck C.G.
Agree with this. Also keep checking after you make your reservation. We ended up getting a huge discount on our last cruise because we are over 55.

You're going to LOVE Alaska. Some of my pics are in the link in my signature if you would like a peek at what you're in for. We went with Royal Caribbean so I can recommend them - 5 days on land and a 7 day cruise. Incredible trip.
__________________
Alaska & Caribbean photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparky46/page1/

Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old May 7th, 2012, 10:08 AM
jennmaybe jennmaybe is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,493
Default

I just booked our upcoming RC cruise over the weekend on a very popular travel website. The price was the same as RC; however, we got a $100 onboard credit, which RC is not offering.

I have used this site before for other travel, so I feel very comfortable booking with them. Also, our deposit is fully refundable until 9/8/12. (Not that we want that to happen)
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old May 7th, 2012, 11:30 AM
MCC retired's Avatar
MCC retired MCC retired is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brooksville FL
Posts: 2,094
Default

You should always do a bit better booking with a TA than direct with a cruise line. OBC , gift , discount (if allowed) ,group rate , ect..
More expensive booking should result in even better offers.

If TA is merely quoting the same offer as the cruise line , move on .
Always interview your TA before booking as to their experience, fees & penalty (if any).
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old May 7th, 2012, 02:52 PM
xcomet xcomet is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandma3girls View Post
We are starting to research an Alaskan Cruise and tour. I already went to a well know travel agency. I thought the prices seemed high. I now see much lower prices with some of the cruise deal sites. I especially like Norwegian and Princess. It seems easier with the agency doing it all, but we are seniors and on a budget and don't want to pay more than we need. I have gotten some good suggestions, on this site, but haven't touched this area.
Normally, I go thru a particular online booking site, and get lots of extras, on board credits, or free insurance, or free gratuities. We cant mention web sites here, but there is alot of places that will compete (hint) for you cruise (hint)
__________________
NCL Starward,Skyward,Epic
The Big Red Boat,Crown Cruises Royal Viking,
Carnival Ectasy,Fascination,Breeze 7/13
RCCL -Sovereign 11/04,Serenade 8/05,Grandeur 4/06,Freedom 4/07,Liberty 7/07,Voyager3/08,Freedom 6/08,Liberty 4/09,Adventure 7/09,Liberty 8/09,Oasis 4/10,Navigator med 7/10,NCCL Epic 4/11,RCL Freedom 7/11,Oasis 8/11,RCL Explorer 4/12,Liberty med 7/12,Allure 4/13,
Independence 4/14
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old May 8th, 2012, 10:00 AM
we're sailing away....'s Avatar
we're sailing away.... we're sailing away.... is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 15,307
Default

TA are the best ....
__________________
We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages; 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages; 24 days
Holland: 11 voyages 152 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages; 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages; 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages; 35 days
Vantage: River 2 voyage 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 66 Cruises 604 days

NOT YET SAILED
Holland Ryndam 1/15 -14 days
Holland Maasdam 3/15 - 14 days
Holland Rotterdam 4/15 - 18 days
Holland Veendam 6/15 - 14 days
Vantage River Cruise 8/15 - 21 days
Princess Emerald 8/15 -14 days
Holland Eurodam 9 /15 -17 days
Celeberity Xpedition 11/15 - 10 days
Holland Prinsendam 11/15 - 25 days
Holland Volendam 2/16 -28 days
Holland Volendam 3/16 - 30 days
Holland Volendam 3/16 - 35 days
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old May 15th, 2012, 04:23 PM
serene56's Avatar
serene56 serene56 is offline
Charter Member - 10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: phila, pa
Posts: 48,786
Default

Cruise prices should not be that far off from the cruiselines.

what you are seeing is probably cruise only price. now you have to add in the taxes/port charges.

Alasaka is a very expensive cruise to begin with. If its a once in a lifetime thing you really do not want to be scrimping for that vacation.

We use an agent-- because most times that agent will give us perks like free onboard credit or prepaid grats.

is there a reason you are not looking at the carnival cruise to alaska?
__________________
Next up-- Aruba July 27th
Disney World August 28th, 2014


. o ..
o . o o.o
...oo
__[]__
__|_o_o_o\__
""""""""""/
. .. . /
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old May 15th, 2012, 09:59 PM
Chelleum's Avatar
Chelleum Chelleum is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 488
Default

I used a cruise agent to book my first cruise from an online site. I used them because when I spoke to her she gave me so much information. After I started doing a lot more research I wish I had booked my cruise on my own. I found way more information on these boards, that wasnt told/explained to me by the agent.
__________________








CARNIVAL ECSTASY-11/2012
CARNIVAL VALOR- 10/2013
CARNIVAL ECSTASY-01/2014
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old May 16th, 2012, 02:49 PM
jennmaybe jennmaybe is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,493
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelleum View Post
I used a cruise agent to book my first cruise from an online site. I used them because when I spoke to her she gave me so much information. After I started doing a lot more research I wish I had booked my cruise on my own. I found way more information on these boards, that wasnt told/explained to me by the agent.
I wouldn't blame the agent from the online site. That happens to all 1st time cruisers. I have learned soooooooo much since my 1st cruise and I certainly didn't expect anyone to tell me everything I needed to know about cruising. That is just impossible. I still learn something new every week. If I didn't, I wouldn't need to cruise these boards every week.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old May 17th, 2012, 08:34 PM
Chelleum's Avatar
Chelleum Chelleum is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 488
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennmaybe View Post
I wouldn't blame the agent from the online site. That happens to all 1st time cruisers. I have learned soooooooo much since my 1st cruise and I certainly didn't expect anyone to tell me everything I needed to know about cruising. That is just impossible. I still learn something new every week. If I didn't, I wouldn't need to cruise these boards every week.

Yea, I keep cruising these boards, because they're so helpful.
__________________








CARNIVAL ECSTASY-11/2012
CARNIVAL VALOR- 10/2013
CARNIVAL ECSTASY-01/2014
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old May 18th, 2012, 12:29 PM
Not_Done_Living's Avatar
Not_Done_Living Not_Done_Living is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 565
Default

We just booked a 5 day out of Miami.
We first shopped the Online vacation sites, and thought we had a great deal (Suite, OBC, and a free excurion) when we priced the same trip on the Cruise site, it was $400 cheaper!!

So don't fall for the "exclusive specials" -- do your homework!
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:08 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.