PDA

View Full Version : Who do u Book your CRUISES with?


lisaross
01-22-2012, 09:02 AM
Last time we cruised we booked thru cruise.com! We were very happy with them.

We are now looking into a cruise for the summer of 2013 - most itiniraries are not even out yet - but for summer 2011 we book in April of 2010 - so i know its just a matter of a few months!

Anyway i just want to have a few choices where to book from - so can u tell me your favorite place to book through.

Again it will be for the summer of 2013 - leaving out of the NYC area - would drive to baltimore if a better itinirary/price - no specific cruise line - last time we went on RCCL -

THANK U

lucigo
01-22-2012, 09:45 AM
I find it easiest to deal directly with the cruise line. I have booked several times through travel agents and have found that if you know what you want/need its harder to make it happen through a TA. If you book through a cruise line you can call 24/7 and always speak with someone. If you need special accommodations you can call the special needs department yourself and make sure it gets done (which it never seems to be done through a TA).

gracie1
01-22-2012, 10:27 AM
I book directly with RCCL. They do run specials where you get an onboard credit and the deposit is half of the normal deposit. I have a cruise booked out of NJ to Bermuda this October, and am waiting on them to put out their 2013 schedule! I've been tossing the idea of whether to do another cruise in 2013 or go to Niagara Falls.

TravelingJen24
01-22-2012, 10:40 AM
When we book Disney we usually go through the cruise line. However, we sail other lines we go through americandiscountcruises.com. We did our research before and they seemed to be relatively positive. We just booked a princess cruise and saved about $400.00 from the cruise line price and also received an onboard credit. I checked yesterday and we are all registered on the princess site with all our information. Hope that helps.

Them!
01-22-2012, 10:45 AM
I booked mine directly with RC and then transferred it to Costco travel for on board credit. ($190) I did this because Costco charges a $25 change fee to changes in price etc. You get 60 days from when you create the booking to transfer it. That way I can watch rooms/prices and make changes via Royal for as long as possible.

In the past I booked with Vacations to Go and they were fine.

Just remember that once a travel agency gets your ressie, you can't do anything via customer service at the cruise line. You will have to call the agency for any/everything. They basically "own" your reservation. Booking directly gives you total control.

GreatDaneMom
01-22-2012, 11:59 AM
I book all of mine directly with the cruise lines. I've found that gives me better control over cabin choices, etc. My first cruise was booked through a TA and my cabin was directly across from the hot and noisy passenger laundry room. Never again....

BubMunkeyBles
01-22-2012, 01:30 PM
We cruise Carnival and book through them.

wovenwonder
01-22-2012, 01:53 PM
I have a great TA that I use. They are always on top of all of the best deals and keep an eye out for price drops for me too. Plus it helps to know they are always on top of any new regulations and such. So while it is perfectly fine to book on your own - just be sure you feel comfortable that you know all the ins and outs that a good TA would know.:thumbsup2

antmaril
01-22-2012, 01:56 PM
I book through the cruise line because I like having control of the reservation.

findmewdw
01-22-2012, 02:01 PM
We used cruisecompete. Different agencies compete for the lowest bid. We got a great deal through them for our Hawaii cruise. Much better deal than I was able to get directly with the cruiseline. I did tons of research however. Cruise critic is a great forum board to check out if you haven't. Good luck!

Darcy03231
01-22-2012, 06:09 PM
After a bad experience with an on-line travel agency (they took our money, never paid the cruise line and then closed up shop), I now only book directly through the cruise lines themselves. I like being in charge of my own reservation.

tinatark
01-22-2012, 11:33 PM
crucon.com - Wendy.

You can choose the cabin you want when you use an agent, the rates are the same or less than if you book through the cruise line, but usually agencies offer cruise credit.

For our upcoming Princess cruise we are getting the same rates as Princess is offering but getting an additional $250 cabin credit from crucon.

DisneyAndRedSox
01-23-2012, 07:08 AM
My mother goes on 2-3 RCCL cruises a year, she uses Cruise Brothers (her agent is a husband & wife team) and has always been happy. Plus she always gets a bottle of wine in her cabin and most of the time they get her an on-board credit or free specialty dining, etc... The agents keep an eye out for price drops, makes sure she gets first seating for dinner, etc...

When we went on our Disney Dream cruise we had to book through Cruises Only since we were converting Marriott points- they handle all Marriott cruise bookings. Worst. Agency. Ever. They never returned calls (we are talking weeks would go by), had no clue when we could book specialty dining, etc... They were worthless to me, plus no perks when we got on board like with our regular "family" agent.

DisneyAndRedSox
01-23-2012, 07:11 AM
After a bad experience with an on-line travel agency (they took our money, never paid the cruise line and then closed up shop), I now only book directly through the cruise lines themselves. I like being in charge of my own reservation.

Here is how you get around the money thing... I booked a cruise on RCCL and got the RCCL credit card. The agent had to pay the cruise line directly with my card so I could get the double points- no money went to the agency.

girli565
01-23-2012, 08:48 AM
I always book directly with the cruise line. The only reason I'd book with a travel agent or site like cruise critic or cruise.com is because they offer on board credits when you book that the cruise line doesn't.

TifffanyD
01-23-2012, 08:51 AM
I used crucon once when I booked early saver rates on Carnival. Crucon has a cancellation charge but since I was booking a fare with a nonrefundable deposit I figured I wouldn't be changing. The agents are OK here but when you call you have to leave a msg and then they call you back. They didn't get me a better rate than what I could get online for a NCL cruise so I didn't end up using them again.

When I cruised on NCL I used crown cruise. I actually went to cruise compete and they were one of the better offers and had AWESOME reviews. Also no cancellation charges and the agents were SO friendly and helpful. I would definitely use them again.

neatokimmo
01-23-2012, 02:01 PM
I opened a TA so I could book my own. That is the only way I am sure I am getting the best deal.

LynnTH
01-23-2012, 02:08 PM
The last 2 cruises. I knew the cruise I wanted to go on and the dates (as we have to go over the kids spring break). Then I look at a bunch of online sites as well as the cruiselines site to get an idea of pricing for the cabin I want. Then I submit a request at cruisecompete.com. Within a day or 2 I usually have pricing from 6-8 different agencies. I then compare the rates along with OBC's some of them offer to get the best rate. Going on the Allure in March that I booked that way and saved over $400 over what everyone else was offering. The agency booked the cruise and the payment went directly to the cruiseline. I have spoken to the agent a few times and he is very nice. Just another option to try.

honeydiane1953
01-23-2012, 02:12 PM
Being only on my first cruise I booked it myself. We used Royal Carribean. Next time I WILL use an agent. When u r green u don't get it. :cutie:

stitchlovestink
01-23-2012, 02:55 PM
Unless things have changed recently, to the best of my knowledge there is only one cruise ship at the Port of Baltimore. It's a Carnival ship and it's an older one. I don't recall which ship. But I guess things could change between now and 2013. :)

T. Lynn
01-23-2012, 03:50 PM
I am departing from Baltimore traveling Royal Caribbean and booked through BJ's Travel

mrsklamc
01-23-2012, 04:01 PM
We used cruisecompete. Different agencies compete for the lowest bid. We got a great deal through them for our Hawaii cruise. Much better deal than I was able to get directly with the cruiseline. I did tons of research however.

Did you do the NCL RT Honolulu? If so I would be oh so grateful if you were willing to share any of the research you did on getting the best price!

Denise W
01-23-2012, 07:38 PM
We did the NCL Hawaiian cruise in 2008. We and several other families booked through All Seasons Travel. I highly recommend them.

Denise :)

Muushka
01-23-2012, 08:20 PM
I find if you are familiar with the cruise line and ships and can pretty much figure out what you want, I book with the cruise line first, while on a cruise (for the future cruise credit ($200 on this upcoming cruise and $300 on one in Dec)). Then I transfer it to an agency that gives OBC and/or free gratuities. Works out great. Ends up being about $600 savings on a 12 night cruise and $700 on a 2 week cruise.

findmewdw
01-24-2012, 08:59 PM
Did you do the NCL RT Honolulu? If so I would be oh so grateful if you were willing to share any of the research you did on getting the best price!

Yes, it was through NCL. We went last October and loved it. It was our first trip to Hawaii and we took our kids with us. We used the ship as our floating hotel and was able to experience the different islands. Once you decide on your date, go to cruisecompete. Then several agencies will bid on a price. I remember doing this a couple of times. I think the bids do expire and perhaps, that is why. . . Can't remember for sure now. I spoke to several agencies and the one that we went with was Cruise Vacation Outlet. There were a couple of others that had close prices and seemed fine, too. Don't remember their names. I was a bit hesitant booking myself, but I checked the agency with BBB and through forum boards. It worked out fine for us and we saved money. I know there was a thread on cruise critic I believe about what to ask for to be sure that you don't get scammed. Read through those boards. Be sure your deposit goes directly through to the cruiseline. I remember calling the ship and verifying.
I saw another post on All Seas Travel. We have booked through them, too. They are very nice and very informative. Not sure if the price was any better than going directly with cruiseline, however.
Good luck!

mrsklamc
01-24-2012, 09:29 PM
Yes, it was through NCL. We went last October and loved it. It was our first trip to Hawaii and we took our kids with us. We used the ship as our floating hotel and was able to experience the different islands. Once you decide on your date, go to cruisecompete. Then several agencies will bid on a price. I remember doing this a couple of times. I think the bids do expire and perhaps, that is why. . . Can't remember for sure now. I spoke to several agencies and the one that we went with was Cruise Vacation Outlet. There were a couple of others that had close prices and seemed fine, too. Don't remember their names. I was a bit hesitant booking myself, but I checked the agency with BBB and through forum boards. It worked out fine for us and we saved money. I know there was a thread on cruise critic I believe about what to ask for to be sure that you don't get scammed. Read through those boards. Be sure your deposit goes directly through to the cruiseline. I remember calling the ship and verifying.
I saw another post on All Seas Travel. We have booked through them, too. They are very nice and very informative. Not sure if the price was any better than going directly with cruiseline, however.
Good luck!

Thanks! This is my dream cruise...did you find October to be the cheapest time of year to go?

AllesonWonderland
01-24-2012, 10:02 PM
I've done it both ways. Our last two cruises I booked direct, watched for price drops up until final payment, then transferred them right before to get the perks from our TA. We use cruise vacation outlet, our gal has been very helpful. Looking to book a cruise on Royal Caribbean next year, and I just hear about their policy where you only have 60 days to transfer, so I think we'll book direct with the agency this time. I'll still watch for price drops, though it's a spring break cruise and I rarely see drops on them. I use cruisecompete as well.

I, too, am looking at doing the Hawaii NCL sailing for DH and my anniversary. Glad to hear others enjoyed it!

findmewdw
01-25-2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks! This is my dream cruise...did you find October to be the cheapest time of year to go?
Our schools have a fall break. My kids play sports and it is so hard to find a time that we can have family vacations with everyone's schedule. My DD is 17 and DS is 13. October is normally our family vacation time for this reason. We loved the cruise and Hawaii. It gave us a taste of the islands. Hopefully, my hubby and I will be able to visit again someday. There were some negative reviews on NCL's ship, but we loved it and didn't have any problems. Again, we didn't spend too much time on the ship, who would when you are in Hawaii!
I would recommend staying a couple days before and after the cruise if you could. We only stayed one day before the cruise and we needed more time for jet lag. We live in Kentucky. The time change really bothered us. Good luck with airfare, too. We spent a fortune on airfare!
Aloha!

TifffanyD
01-25-2012, 06:58 PM
We are doing the NCL Hawaii cruise next summer! We used a former DU agent who started her own agency

DVCMAUREEN
01-27-2012, 06:52 PM
A few posters have mentioned booking direct and then transferring to a TA. How do you do that?

Muushka
01-27-2012, 07:50 PM
A few posters have mentioned booking direct and then transferring to a TA. How do you do that?

For Celebrity and RCI it is a matter of downloading their transfer form on the internet, filling it in and faxing it. Easy!