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Review of Pacific Sun cruise 18 April 2009 (N914) 7 days, Noumea, Lifou, Port Vila


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Thank you for your review, I enjoyed it immensley. We have not been on the Sun before only the Star so I am really excited and devouring all the information I can get.

 

Cheers

Ellen

Thanks. I love the planning part of any trip. Usually I collect far too much information..

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Have to say, with travel in general, typically I love the advance planning almost as much as the actual trip..

 

I agree - the anticipation is wonderful. The research and decision making is half the fun. We only get the time to do one cruise a year because of that nasty word work that gets in the way of our fun.

 

30 days Emma - I am envious!

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I agree - the anticipation is wonderful. The research and decision making is half the fun. We only get the time to do one cruise a year because of that nasty word work that gets in the way of our fun.

 

30 days Emma - I am envious!

We are retired' date=' so are free to travel more often than we do; but apart from that other nasty word, money :(, we find we are really busy with our non-travel life. It is amusing how busy retirement is. We do one US trip every year as our son and his family are there, and we incorporate other travel with it. Last year we did a river cruise Amsterdam to Istanbul (which was wonderful) after visiting the family. This year we saw a [i']really[/i] good deal on the cruise San Francisco to Sydney and thought it would be a great alternative to flying. We haven't cruised very much, it is a recent thing for us, but we like it a lot. Lots of ports on this next cruise, so lots of potential for research pre-cruise.:)

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We are retired, so are free to travel more often than we do; but apart from that other nasty word, money :(, we find we are really busy with our non-travel life. It is amusing how busy retirement is. We do one US trip every year as our son and his family are there, and we incorporate other travel with it. Last year we did a river cruise Amsterdam to Istanbul (which was wonderful) after visiting the family. This year we saw a really good deal on the cruise San Francisco to Sydney and thought it would be a great alternative to flying. We haven't cruised very much, it is a recent thing for us, but we like it a lot. Lots of ports on this next cruise, so lots of potential for research pre-cruise.:)

 

I try not to say that revolting, nasty word "money", second only to "work".

 

Lucky you going to San Francisco. We will be in LA for a week after our cruise and were considering going up to SF for a few days then. But when we did the logistics etc we would have been really rushed and we want to see so many things in LA that a week would be minimum. Maybe next time.

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Emma: By the way: Did you book with an Australian TA or did you book online. Some really good deals on the American Websites' date=' even with lousy exchange rates. Was wondering if we could book with an American online TA and if you know of anyone who has done so.[/quote']

We booked with an Australian TA (one of the big ones), but I do know people who have booked with one of the major US online agents and have been happy with that experience. My concern (maybe unreasonable) is that if there is a problem, in these uncertain economic times, you have more legal protection with an Australian agent. Plus it is good to be able to call your TA if you have a query. Or go visit them. (Not totally afraid of taking a chance - last year we did an independent tour of Turkey after our river cruise finished, booked it all through a previously unknown Turkish travel agent online, and all went well.)

 

So I would not rule out booking through an overseas agent in the future. However, the deal was so good on our next trip that we didn't see the need to go beyond the Oz agent. It didn't seem to be any better a deal with the US online agencies for that cruise. We are probably travelling in a lifeboat though.:D I haven't completely made the comparisons, but I think we are stuck with non-refundable deposits when booking a cruise in Oz, whereas the lucky Americans can get their deposit back if they cancel, and some cruise lines will also refund them the difference if the cruise price drops. Have seen some discussion of this on the Princess boards, but don't have all the facts about how it works.

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We booked with an Australian TA (one of the big ones), but I do know people who have booked with one of the major US online agents and have been happy with that experience. My concern (maybe unreasonable) is that if there is a problem, in these uncertain economic times, you have more legal protection with an Australian agent. Plus it is good to be able to call your TA if you have a query. Or go visit them. (Not totally afraid of taking a chance - last year we did an independent tour of Turkey after our river cruise finished, booked it all through a previously unknown Turkish travel agent online, and all went well.)

 

So I would not rule out booking through an overseas agent in the future. However, the deal was so good on our next trip that we didn't see the need to go beyond the Oz agent. It didn't seem to be any better a deal with the US online agencies for that cruise. We are probably travelling in a lifeboat though.:D I haven't completely made the comparisons, but I think we are stuck with non-refundable deposits when booking a cruise in Oz, whereas the lucky Americans can get their deposit back if they cancel, and some cruise lines will also refund them the difference if the cruise price drops. Have seen some discussion of this on the Princess boards, but don't have all the facts about how it works.

 

I did reply earlier, but as it was 6.02pm the dreaded shutdown was happening and it was lost in cyberspace.

 

I often wonder if I am game to book with an online TA from America. They have such wonderful specials and even factoring in the airfares it is still a bargain. The problem lies in the timing. We have to book so far ahead because we still work, however, if we were able to drop everything and just go on the spur of the moment I think I would go for it.

 

I wonder if there is anyone out there that has actually booked with an online American TA and can tell us how it went.

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I wonder if there is anyone out there that has actually booked with an online American TA and can tell us how it went.

 

Maybe we need to start a thread....

Trouble is, can't name names of agents. It would be great, as you say, to be able to do the last minute cruises that Americans can do. Unfortunately, since we also have an overseas airfare involved, it isn't usually an option. People who live in Ft Lauderdale go on last-minute cruises all the time, lucky things.

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Maybe we need to start a thread....

Trouble is, can't name names of agents. It would be great, as you say, to be able to do the last minute cruises that Americans can do. Unfortunately, since we also have an overseas airfare involved, it isn't usually an option. People who live in Ft Lauderdale go on last-minute cruises all the time, lucky things.

 

Thats a good idea. Maybe I could leave my email address and get people to email me the names of their online TA's. I might end up with 1000's of emails.....LOL

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There IS an Aussie cruising forum where you can discuss anything you like - including travel deals and travel agents. You will have to find it yourself

 

Barry

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I did reply earlier' date=' but as it was 6.02pm the dreaded shutdown was happening and it was lost in cyberspace.

 

I often wonder if I am game to book with an online TA from America. They have such wonderful specials and even factoring in the airfares it is still a bargain. The problem lies in the timing. We have to book so far ahead because we still work, however, if we were able to drop everything and just go on the spur of the moment I think I would go for it.

 

I wonder if there is anyone out there that has actually booked with an online American TA and can tell us how it went.[/quote']

 

 

Hi there

 

The problem with using the American travel agencies is that some cruise lines dont let you book through them if you are not a US resident. HAL, NCL are some of these just to name a few. It is on the fine print on the big sites. Apparantly it is a cruise line decission not a travel agents decision.

 

We have just booked a HAL cruise from Australia with an Australian agent and it is cheaper than any of the US on line agencies. However we are looking to back it up with an Alaskan cruise straight after and the Australian agents are all $500 dearer at the moment even with the exchange rate, so we might just bide our time on that one and book closer to the date.

 

There are so many cruise ships out there and so many trips to do it is hard to make a decision......:rolleyes:

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Hi there

 

The problem with using the American travel agencies is that some cruise lines dont let you book through them if you are not a US resident. HAL, NCL are some of these just to name a few. It is on the fine print on the big sites. Apparantly it is a cruise line decission not a travel agents decision.

 

We have just booked a HAL cruise from Australia with an Australian agent and it is cheaper than any of the US on line agencies. However we are looking to back it up with an Alaskan cruise straight after and the Australian agents are all $500 dearer at the moment even with the exchange rate, so we might just bide our time on that one and book closer to the date.

 

There are so many cruise ships out there and so many trips to do it is hard to make a decision......:rolleyes:

 

Agree about the last line of your post. :) Thanks so much for your feedback on your experiences with the online booking process. Good luck with getting a better deal with the Alaskan cruise, sounds like a good plan to wait a bit and see what happens.

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I often wonder if I am game to book with an online TA from America. They have such wonderful specials and even factoring in the airfares it is still a bargain. The problem lies in the timing. We have to book so far ahead because we still work' date=' however, if we were able to drop everything and just go on the spur of the moment I think I would go for it.

 

I wonder if there is anyone out there that has actually booked with an online American TA and can tell us how it went.[/quote']

We get a few regular emails from overseas TAs. Last year there was a 2 day sale for Celebrity cruises from one of them - we got a US$200 discount by booking through them.

 

I wasn't sure about it at first, not having dealt with an overseas TA before, but after dialling the toll free number (free from Australia using Skype) I spoke to a wonderful guy named Larry who was far better than any local agent I have ever dealt with and he helped us through the entire process and kept us up to date by email. I can give you his details and company if anyone is interested (email me at whitapi at gmail.com)

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We get a few regular emails from overseas TAs. Last year there was a 2 day sale for Celebrity cruises from one of them - we got a US$200 discount by booking through them.

 

I wasn't sure about it at first, not having dealt with an overseas TA before, but after dialling the toll free number (free from Australia using Skype) I spoke to a wonderful guy named Larry who was far better than any local agent I have ever dealt with and he helped us through the entire process and kept us up to date by email. I can give you his details and company if anyone is interested (email me at whitapi at gmail.com)

 

Hi there

 

Just went on to one site and have copied the names of the cruise companies that do not allow other than US residents to book.

 

This is what it said...

 

Note: Costa, Holland America, Oceania, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Star Clippers now prohibit U.S. travel agencies from selling cruises to customers who do not have a residence in the U.S. or Canada. P&O Cruises prohibits US travel agencies from selling its cruises to residents of the UK.

 

Celebrity are not listed on this list so they still may allow them to book you. I would be more than happy to use a US travel agent if it was allowed.

 

thanks

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Hi Emma,

Once again a very good review :-) Your next trip sounds wonderful as well. How long is the cruise for next time? I am planning something for next year but so far it is only my plans and the other half hasn't said yes or no....hehehe :) Takes him a few months of me waffling on before he says O.K....hehehe

Hope everything is fine with you both.

Sue

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Hi there

 

Just went on to one site and have copied the names of the cruise companies that do not allow other than US residents to book.

 

This is what it said...

 

Note: Costa, Holland America, Oceania, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Star Clippers now prohibit U.S. travel agencies from selling cruises to customers who do not have a residence in the U.S. or Canada. P&O Cruises prohibits US travel agencies from selling its cruises to residents of the UK.

 

Celebrity are not listed on this list so they still may allow them to book you. I would be more than happy to use a US travel agent if it was allowed.

 

thanks

That's really interesting information,thanks. Also good to hear the positive feedback from Merapi about dealing with a US agency. But where is Bazza with that useful website? And why are the cruiselines stopping us booking through US agencies? All very intriguing.

(Rushing to post before the CC slowdown at 6pm..)

Ps. Thanks, Sue, I had just emailed you..

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That's really interesting information,thanks. Also good to hear the positive feedback from Merapi about dealing with a US agency. But where is Bazza with that useful website? And why are the cruiselines stopping us booking through US agencies? All very intriguing.

(Rushing to post before the CC slowdown at 6pm..)

Ps. Thanks, Sue, I had just emailed you..

 

I just went on the Celebrity website and you can book with them and they give you the prices in AUD. Interesting exercise would be to compare the prices on the American website and convert the dollars. Check out the difference.

 

Where are you Bazza?

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