Locating a Specialized River Cruise TA
Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
There shall be no third-party recommendation (whether positive or negative in content) of travel agencies on any forums within Cruise Critic. General discussions regarding the TYPE of AGENCY to be used to purchase a cruise will be allowed, as long as no recommendations for any source of purchase are posted.
Touting of your personal cruise agent or cruise line "personal cruise consultant" (or any other venue by which you purchase a cruise) is not allowed on our message boards. Postings that contain "tell them John sent you" will be removed without notice.
This means you should not ask about someone's travel agent, nor should you respond in kind. Offering to email someone your travel agent's name or info is also not allowed, nor is asking members to email you for the information.
Cruise Critic will remove violations of the "third-party recommendation" guideline without warning. Additional posts may result in permanent suspension of your posting privileges.
Perhaps the Cruise Critic article titled Finding a Cruise Travel Agent at http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=62 will be helpful. Yes I know the information is for non-river cruises, but the basic information is the same for river cruises too.
Thanking you in advance for future cooperation,
Being happy does not mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
1988 Commodore Caribe I, 1996 Commodore Enchanted Isle, 1998 Carnival Sensation, 2000 Celebrity Century, 2001 Carnival Celebration, 2002 Carnival Jubilee, 2004 Carnival Glory, 2005 Royal Caribbean International Rhapsody of The Seas, 2007 Carnival Conquest, 2010 Celebrity Infinity, 2011 Carnival Conquest, 2011 Celebrity Summit, 2014 Carnival Sensation, 2015 Carnival Triumph, 2016 Carnival Liberty, 2017 Carnival Valor
My husband & I are planning our first river cruise on the Danube for summer 2014. All that I've read on this site so far seems to suggest that using a TA with experience in European river cruises is preferable to DIY booking. I'd love to have more tips on locating a good TA & how to determine which cruise line to select for the Prague to Budapest route.HI -
Welcome to Cruise Critic!! We are a small but loyal group over here....
I book all travel through a TA - but use a generalist. When we booked our 1st river cruise (booked in 2007 for 2008) we were the 1st river cruise she had booked... so we learned together. We are leaving for #6 next month, with #7 and #8 booked for later this year and next.
It sounds like you already know what itinerary you want... so that is a great first step!! And - you know when you want to travel... Another great step!!
I don't think you can make a "bad" choice here.. and the differences are subtle. My suggestion for the next step is to narrow down your choices. If you are pretty firm with your dates, then I suggest looking for cruise lines that offer sailings that fit within your time frame. If you have some flexibility, then look at all of the major players.
If you already have a TA, ask him/her to get you brochures for 2014 --> or go on line and request them for yourself. You can also view them on line for that "immediate" result.
The, sit down and review all of the offerings. You and your DH should spend a bit of time talking about what is really important for you to see. Do you like classical music? If so, do you want to attend a concert in Vienna? Do you have an interest in WWII history? If so, are the included excursions giving you what you want? Or, are there optionals available that are important to you?
Are you the DIY types? If so, then perhaps you don't need a cruise with everything arranged. If you want the "pampering" that is available on some cruises - then look for a line that is all inclusive.
If a large stateroom is important to you, look closely at the brochures to see how large the cabins actually are. If a balcony is important, decide if you need a "real" balcony, or if the French balcony will do.
Look closely at the stops once you short list the options. Is there something on one that is missing on the other? For example, it was important for my DH to see Bratislava as his grandparents were Slovak. We ruled out any of the cruises that did NOT stop there.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to post --> but many things are quite subjective. Food is probably the biggest "subjective" on any river cruise, and you do not have any control over the chef or the galley crew. I am not a "foodie" - nor a wine connoisseur - so I am not the best person to ask about that. I know I have never starved on a river cruise...
Not sure if this has been of any help. Good luck with your planning!!
My husband & I are planning our first river cruise on the Danube for summer 2014. All that I've read on this site so far seems to suggest that using a TA with experience in European river cruises is preferable to DIY booking. I'd love to have more tips on locating a good TA & how to determine which cruise line to select for the Prague to Budapest route.Hi
There are 2 US companies, Vantage and Grand Circle, that have many river cruises. They also prefer you to book direct. As you can see from my signature, we like Vantage. They only allow smoking on the outside top deck, if that is an issue for you.