Online questionniare for Cruise Decision Making??

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#1
Hawaii
8 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Is there an online tool or questionnaire that will help me narrow down what type of cruise I should take? All these options can be overwhelming and I would love it if something could help me narrow down the choices.
#3
Greenville, SC, USA
51,736 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I have never seen a questionaire for picking a cruise. Best bet is to find a TA specializing in cruises.
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#4
Nova Scotia Canada
4,656 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Some people do not have access to such a specialized TA so I think this is a fair role for CC.

Why not start a new thread and ask What type of cruise or cruiseline would be good for me.

List your age (approximate), interests, where you would like to go. Are you on the ship mainly to enjoy life on the ship with all its amenities or are you mainly interested in the travel and the ports?

Is price a factor? How long can you be away? Are you taking children? Who will you be with?

I did some research, but was very lucky with my first cruise choice. I do not want all the hoopla of a big ship. I do not want tons of children and partying. I chose to cruise for the experience and as a comfortable way to get to out of the way places. I also love good food and wine.

Small, quieter ships work for me. They may be all wrong for you.
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#5
Fredericksburg, va. USA
82,996 Posts
Joined May 2001
Actually, there used to be a spot on this site to help you choose the cruiseline that best suits you....I don't know if it's still there, as I haven't gone to the main informational pages on Cruise Critic for a LONG time!

But, a TA will help you by giving you many brochures and info. You can look through the brochures and see which line feels 'right' to you!
#6
Brooksville FL
3,489 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
A good Cruise Specialist TA's will ask you some qualifing questions to narrow your search from the mind bogeling choices out there.
Look for a Cruise Specialist TA that has CLIA Certification as an ACC or better yet MCC or ECC. Cost you "$0".
#7
81,748 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I agree.
A cruise specialist TA would be helpful for OP.
When you need that sort of guidance, it's good to get it from a 'professional' who is looking out for your interests.

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#8
Hawaii
8 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
It seems like I have to talk to a person in order to narrow down my choices. Only thing is I hate talking to agents because I feel like they are always trying to push me to buy. I would rather have narrowed down my choices somewhat and really investigated what I want before talking to an agent. Hard to believe there is no online tool out there for this. #frustrated
#9
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,917 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by sakamine
It seems like I have to talk to a person in order to narrow down my choices. Only thing is I hate talking to agents because I feel like they are always trying to push me to buy. I would rather have narrowed down my choices somewhat and really investigated what I want before talking to an agent. Hard to believe there is no online tool out there for this. #frustrated
Maybe you can make a list of things you want in a cruise, the age range of your family, the ports you may want to visit then go from there

There are lots of online booking sites where you can narrow down the choices by area, prices & size of ship but I have not seen any that can ask you what you prefer to do on your cruise
In the top menu on cruise critic there is a link "find a cruise" maybe start with that

Good luck
#11
In the Valley, CA
22,961 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by LHT28
How about a TA that specializes in cruises??
Maybe you have one locally
Originally posted by maryann ns
Some people do not have access to such a specialized TA so I think this is a fair role for CC.

Why not start a new thread and ask What type of cruise or cruiseline would be good for me.

List your age (approximate), interests, where you would like to go. Are you on the ship mainly to enjoy life on the ship with all its amenities or are you mainly interested in the travel and the ports?

Is price a factor? How long can you be away? Are you taking children? Who will you be with?

I did some research, but was very lucky with my first cruise choice. I do not want all the hoopla of a big ship. I do not want tons of children and partying. I chose to cruise for the experience and as a comfortable way to get to out of the way places. I also love good food and wine.

Small, quieter ships work for me. They may be all wrong for you.

I agree with most of the posters -- if you don't have a recommendation for a "cruise specialist" from a family member or friend, look in your yellow pages under travel agents and look for one with that phrase in their heading or ad. You'll get some ideas of possible ships, cruiselines, itineraries from members here, but most will give you their preferences, which will often be based on limited experience (for example, I can only tell you about two cruiselines). But a good cruise specialist will have been on several different cruiselines, ships, etc., and hopefully can steer you to the right decisions. Do go in with an idea of budget (unless it's a luxury line that includes tips, be sure to figure in about $11-12/person/day for tips, which won't be in the fare total), idea of about when you can go, which destinations interest you, idea of what kind of cruise (quiet, active, gourmet food, etc.).
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#12
6,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Although my first cruise was many years ago, I made the choice after reading brochures from as many cruise lines as I could find. Got the brochures from a local TA. At that time there was no internet to help. But I don't think it would have made a big difference which cruise I took. I was addicted from day one. Pick one that suits your budget and then sit back and enjoy.

~Doris~
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~Doris~
#13
Virginia Beach, VA
4,722 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
You could always pick a spot that is really only accessible by cruise, like the Inside Passage of Alaska. It goes in summer months May-Sept, usually a week long. You'll get to see a part of the world that is gorgeous, but must be seen from the water. The water is completely calm and the chance of getting seasick is extremely low, IMO.

Alaska itineraries usually have a naturalist at least once during the sailing. You have a very good chance of seeing whales, bears, eagles, seals, etc.

We had been on cruises before our Alaska cruise, but that one really got us hooked! We were on Coral Princess, which is a mid-sized ship with Horizon Court buffet area in the bow, so you get a great view while having your breakfast or lunch.
#14
south Georgia
1,290 Posts
Joined May 2007
I don't know of an online tool but I created a cruise spreadsheet and it helped me narrow down and make a decision. In addition, I used Wikipedia and printed off the page for each of the cruiselines I was considering. That helped me to be able to quickly look at a ship and get more info on it.
On my spreadsheet, I included all of the information that I wanted to consider. Each row held different information. Mileage to drive to ports, amount of time in each port, port parking fees, stateroom info, dates available, service charges or auto-gratuity rates, activities offered on the ships, restaurants (included info on cover charge for specialty restaurants). This may be overkill to some people, but I must admit.. I'm a spreadsheet-aholic. I like having everything right in front of me in one place. Hubby laughed because I had the cruises color-coded by cruise line and then in order of price. lol
It did take some time, but honestly, I love this part of cruising. I feel we made the best decision possible and couldn't argue once we had it all down on paper in front of us.
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#15
Orlando FL
137 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Here is my 2 cents on the subject. Go to the cruise line websites and narrow the search to ports where you would prefer to embark from. If you have a specific time that you would like to or need to travel during. Browse the results and do a little research on the ports to see what looks interesting to you. If you narrow it down to a few itineraries and ships consult a local cruise TA or as I did for the last one I book I posted the planned ships/itineraries here and got some wonderful feedback.
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#17
Hawaii
8 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Wow! Great suggestions. Keep them coming. @meggie711 would you be willing to share the spreadsheet with me? If so, please send me a private message and I will send you my e-mail address. Thanks everyone!
#18
south Georgia
1,290 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by sakamine
Wow! Great suggestions. Keep them coming. @meggie711 would you be willing to share the spreadsheet with me? If so, please send me a private message and I will send you my e-mail address. Thanks everyone!
I would be glad to share it but I deleted it after we finally booked our cruise. It was an awesome spreadsheet... lol
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May 2001 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas
August 2003 Carnival Fascination
December 2005 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas
September 2008 RCCL Mariner of the Seas
December 2010 RCCL Monarch of the Seas
March 2013 NCL Epic
March 2015 NCL Sky
November 2015 NCL Sky
November 2016 NCL Epic
#19
south Georgia
1,290 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by meggie711
I would be glad to share it but I deleted it after we finally booked our cruise. It was an awesome spreadsheet... lol
I will give you a basic rundown though. I listed the names of the ships down the side, grouped by cruiseline (with each line having their own color). Then I created columns left to right that included: date, days (Sat-Sat, Sun-Sun, etc.), type of room (different ships may offer different staterooms - for example, I wouldn't want an aft-balcony on one cruise, but would prefer aft-balcony on another), itinerary price of cruise (including taxes), service charges/auto gratuity amount, price to drive to port, port parking. I then had a comment area where I could list amenities and activities (Ice Bar, ziplines on board, etc.). Hope this helps!
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May 2001 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas
August 2003 Carnival Fascination
December 2005 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas
September 2008 RCCL Mariner of the Seas
December 2010 RCCL Monarch of the Seas
March 2013 NCL Epic
March 2015 NCL Sky
November 2015 NCL Sky
November 2016 NCL Epic
#20
106,587 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
You really need to sit down and talk with a TA.

Ask friends, family and co-workers who they use.

You may even have to visit a couple of TA's to compare notes.
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