Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
loudsilence99

Booking through cruise line vs third party site?

Recommended Posts

This is my first post so I'm hoping y'all will be able to help me out here.

 

Hubby and I are looking at booking our first cruise for our anniversary this November. The plan is to sail on the Carnival Victory on Nov 7-11 to the Bahamas. I happened to see our sailing on several third party websites that are offering incentives like onboard credits and doubling cruise cash. Some are even very slightly cheaper than Carnival's website.

 

My question is this: are there any advantages of booking through Carnival themselves vs a third party site?

 

Note: I won't name websites but these are reputable sites that are Cruise Critic partners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are not allowed to name or discuss travel agents, on line or brick and mortar.

 

If you look around, you will see this is one of the top questions asked on Cruise Critic. The answer is simple. There are no advantages to booking with the cruise line if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. The only questions are whether you can know and trust an on line TA you haven't worked with before. And how the customer service is, as whatever TA you book with is the point of contact for you and the cruise line. You can't go direct to the cruise line with issues with your booking if you booked through a travel agent.

 

We regularly book with a TA and get a lower rate than the cruise line offers.

Edited by CruiserBruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can book excursions directly once your reservation number is issued.

 

Just a word of caution on 3rd party sites and travel agents. Be sure to check before you book whether or not they charge separate fees from the cruise line for making, modifying, or cancelling a booking initiated through them. Many do, but many also do not and I would avoid at all cost booking through one who does. They are compensated directly from the cruise lines for their bookings and IMO they should not assess extra fees from that which would be charged by the cruise lines.

 

That being said IMO TA's provide a valuable service to you in handling your booking and as acting as your advocate should any issue arise with the reservation. We have used the same TA for 20 years with excellent service and no separate fees whatsoever.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you able to use the cruise line's website to book excursions, etc or is all of that done through the TA?

 

You can book excursions directly with the cruise line site ( but why would you?)

even if you book with an online cruise operator or a TA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can book excursions directly with the cruise line site ( but why would you?)

even if you book with an online cruise operator or a TA.

This is our first cruise and the only excursion we are planning is Aquaventure. The price difference between Carnival and directly through Atlantis is small enough that I would just as soon pay for the convenience of having the cruise line ferry us back and forth to the ship.

 

TA seems like the way to go. I'll see if any of the local TAs regularly work with Carnival. I'm not opposed to booking through an online agency but several of the sites assess more in fees than we would receive in savings/perks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is our first cruise and the only excursion we are planning is Aquaventure. The price difference between Carnival and directly through Atlantis is small enough that I would just as soon pay for the convenience of having the cruise line ferry us back and forth to the ship.

 

TA seems like the way to go. I'll see if any of the local TAs regularly work with Carnival. I'm not opposed to booking through an online agency but several of the sites assess more in fees than we would receive in savings/perks.

 

I book all of my cruises through an online booking company. I always get a lower price and numerous benefits. The only charge I know of with the online sites I have used is they charge a cancellation fee.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I book all of my cruises through an online booking company. I always get a lower price and numerous benefits. The only charge I know of with the online sites I have used is they charge a cancellation fee.:)

I wish you could tell me which one :( One of ones I looked at had the same advertised price as Carnival but inexplicably had $200+ in extra fees?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I book all of my cruises through an online booking company. I always get a lower price and numerous benefits. The only charge I know of with the online sites I have used is they charge a cancellation fee.:)

 

I wish you could tell me which one :( One of ones I looked at had the same advertised price as Carnival but inexplicably had $200+ in extra fees?

 

As I posted earlier, that's the very reason why I would never book through one who charges - even with the benefits. We've had to change and cancel bookings (before final payment) several times and having to be penalized by a TA for that when the cruise line doesn't do so is just wrong IMO.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As I posted earlier, that's the very reason why I would never book through one who charges - even with the benefits. We've had to change and cancel bookings (before final payment) several times and having to be penalized by a TA for that when the cruise line doesn't do so is just wrong IMO.

 

The cancellation cost was very minimal. I can understand why since they are using their time and effort to secure you a cruise with a lower price and perks. But to each his or her own.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The cancellation cost was very minimal. I can understand why since they are using their time and effort to secure you a cruise with a lower price and perks. But to each his or her own.:)

 

Doesn't matter - an extra charge is still an extra charge. And to be clear, the extra perks generally come from their commissions at their choice. If the cruise line doesn't charge the customer a fee on their bookings the TA shouldn't either. We modify our bookings, change itineraries, and cancel cruises as circumstances dictate and have never been charged a separate fee by our TA - and we have always received excellent service from her. Why book with one that does?

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doesn't matter - an extra charge is still an extra charge. And to be clear, the extra perks generally come from their commissions at their choice. If the cruise line doesn't charge the customer a fee on their bookings the TA shouldn't either. We modify our bookings, change itineraries, and cancel cruises as circumstances dictate and have never been charged a separate fee by our TA - and we have always received excellent service from her. Why book with one that does?

 

As I said, to each his or her own. As long as we are happy, why do you care if we choose to book with an agency that has a cancellation fee?:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...