Best Place To Book

Hi. I am planning to beook a Bermuda cruise. Really undecided as to how to go about it. Could use my local travel agency. Could book directly with NCL, or could use one of the huge online agencies. It is my understanding that if you book directly with the cruise line you can't get the deals you can get elsewhere. What about discounts? I know they would give me the past-passenger discount, but what about the union discount or a resident discount? Also, I don't know if my local agency can get me the same deals as the online agencies can.

Please give me your opinions/advice on this. Norwegian is raising their rates on April 1. I'd like to do something before then. Also, does anyone know if you have to actually be booked before April 1, or would talking/planning with an agent be good enough to get the old prices?


Active Member
just to clarify one thing, NCL has a policy which we used to refer to as Fair Market, it means no one can undersell the product. Whether you go through an on line agency, NCL directly of a local agent your price will be identical. That being said, there are pros and cons regardless of what method you use.

Booking direct: you control your booking.

Local agent: you will have the knowledge of a professional and someone to do the work for you, plus if something does go wrong, they have more clout as an agency than you might have as an individual. Plus, often they offer persks you will not get via the cruise company.

Online agency: here you are most likely to get the best perks, like OBC, insurance paid, etc, but you will not get the same service you get from the local agent or the cruise line directly.

I was working with a cruise consultant at NCL then noticed that American Express was giving me the exact same price and perks, however AMEX was offering double points. Spoke with NCL and told them - they did not offer me any incentive to book with them so I went with AMEX.


Active Member
This is often the case. Rates now are identical regardless of who you book with and often the cruise line (regardless of the line) will not or can not offer the same perks. You did the right thing and you didn't cause any problems for NCL: you are still sailing with them.



Active Member
When I asked NCL why they wouldn't match the deal I got via vacationstogo, they said they couldn't for reasons I didn't understand %#$@!?
I have an NCL rep who rarely answers email.
On the other hand, my vacationstogo rep responds within 24 hours.

Guess who I use?


Well-Known Member
I guess it is a personal choice. I prefer a TA but have book on my own, just had to do all the legwork myself.
I used to use a travel agency but I find now by calling NCL directly & talking to a agent you can get the best deal as they know all the specials that are not advertised. I set up a trip on-line & got my price with cabin number then called them. I got the exact trip/cabin over $300 cheaper with the deals & $125 credit toward my room as a bonus. I will never book again online. Good Luck!
Thank you for the information. Interesting how everyone has different experiences with this. I have ended up going through a one-woman cruise agency in Florida that my sister-in-law had used before. She was very good in some ways, but was not able to give us any special deals of any sort. I suppose there is no way she can offer what the huge online agencies can.
For those who book from outside the US I prefer direct. The biggest motivation for this is the local Travel Agents ask for larger deposits than the cruise lines and these are also non refundable in allot of cases. Booking direct allows me to book years ahead, taking advantage of cheaper prices in some cases, without the fear of a lost deposit should my situation change and I have to cancel.
My dealings with the International desks of the main stream cruise lines I have sailed with have always been polite and efficient.


Active Member
wow, that is interesting, your local agents ask for a larger deposit: here the agents only ask for wht the cruise lines require. Some agentcies do charge a small fee but even that is pretty rare.

For my latest booking on the Dawn I went to an agent for the first time for a quote and was told,

1. My Future Cruise Certificate was not considered a full deposit by NCL for the cruise.
2. "NCL" required a NON REFUNDABLE deposit of AU$1000. (US$1080)

The deposit when I booked on line was one future cruise certificate, US$250 and nothing more. The agent even produced an email they claimed was sent from NCL that stated Future Cruise Certificates have never been accepted as full deposit on any cruise. As we all know NCLs normal deposit in this situation was one certificate or US$800 for 2 and was fully refundable up to 90 days before hand, or there abouts.

I'm afraid I don't trust agents.
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