I've gone on two cruises this way and just "won" my next cruise on the Sea (11/6). There's no catch. I believe it's a way for the ship to advertise and also get some last minute cabins filled. People I met onboard the last two cruises paid thousands of dollars more than me. If you can catch a bargain, it's most likely a great deal.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
About a month ago, I started bidding on SkyAuction.com on an upcoming NCL cruise. After reviewing several winning bids, I was able to snag the cruise I wanted for about $150 cheaper than the best pricing I found online. So far everything's gone smoothly and I've heard others say good things about them.
Make sure you factor in all fees (auction charge, taxes, port charges) which are in addition to your bid and understand all requirements BEFORE bidding. Good luck!!
I just won a 10-day Alaska Cruise on the Norwegain Dream in May for a great price on Skyauction. It was at least $200 less per person than any quotes I could get online from cruise agencies.
Skyauction is a great place to get bargains if you know what to look for. I have gone a 9-day African Safari with r/t air for $1,200; a 7-vacation to El Salvidor; a7-day vacation to Negril, Jamaica; and r/t air to Australia. I have not had any problems at all.
You have to do some homework to know the going price for wherever you want to go and do. Read everything thoroughly on the Skyauction posting. Take note of the extra service/tax. etc. listed at the end of the page that the listing agency will add and factor in the $15 flat fee that Skyauction will charge, then decide what is the bottom line total $$ that you want to pay altogether (which should be lower than the going market price). Bid up to your limit and stop.
Don't worry if you don't win. The same package usually goes back up for auction as soon as one finishes.
Start looking early. It may take several tries to hit one that is not bid up by a bunch of people.
I have won/done several skyauction cruises over the past several years (NCL Dream 9 day 2002,;Celebrity Alaska Murcury, 7 day;2003; carnival Victory, 3/04 spring break7day W. carribean) and been quite happy. This is not your local TA or even a good on-line TA. willing to take calls and answer a bunch of questions. Fotrget it!! You are TOTALLY on your own. use these boards. I have been cruising since 1969 w/ >10 cruises under my belt and am VERY willing and usually prefer to make all my own other arrangements (air, hotel, transfers, car, excursions). The cabins on the auction are generally the basic lowest grade inside. The skyauction uptick for an OV or balcony is often higher than the difference on line. Sky Auction also has a "hidden" fee in their port charges/taxes above what an on-line TA charges but if the bottom line total pp is better why not?
I too have won several items including cruises and all inclusive resorts/ AS stated above you have to know what you are doing and readd all the extra costs before you bid.I have never had any trouble with Skyauction at all and have another cruise on the Dream that I won for October and got a good price.
I have won a hotel stay so far, but as to cruises, haven't gotten any deals yet. By the time you add the bidprice, DATESURCHARGE, taxes, etc. it would cost me more. Another point: we are 3, and the 3rd person pays a reduced rate; but not on skyauction.
I've bid and won on land based stays but not on cruises. Most of the time I watch them and see others overbidding. There is a Travel Agency behind the cruise auctions - however, it's a clearing house where they buy up cabins in bulk. Somewhere I have the phone number saved as it was posted on one of the cruise boards a year ago or so. Most that win these auctions are very happy. Only auction I ever did was on UBid back in 2001. It was on NCL's Norway. $425 for 2 people total for 7 days outside cabin. They don't have them this good anymore.
If your cabin can accommodate a 3rd and/or 4th passenger, Skyauction will book it for you at a reduced rate, same as if you are booking with the cruiseline company or a TA. I have just asked about it at Skyauction, for my particular sailing, the 3rd and 4th are $299 plus thr normal port/tax charges of $551.
They have been very promtp in their responses to e-mails.
I`ve won several cruises,including an upcoming 11/06/05 sailing on the NCL Jewel.I`ve never had any trouble with them and have even upgraded my cabin without difficulty.For my latest win on the Jewel I`m paying half of what is on the internet for a comparable room so I`m really pleased!!
We've won a couple of hotel stays and just won our third cruise (Carnival, RCC, and now NCL Majesty 11/12) on Skyauction. The website is actually owned by a travel agency in Florida, and they use Skyauction to sell many of their vacations, but you can walk into their office just like any other travel agent. The only problem we ever had was once when the week we wanted wasn't available. They cancelled the transaction right away and we weren't charged.
Be aware. Cuaomer service has become MUCH worse on skyauction. in the last 12-18 months. I am taking my 5th cruise w/ them in Nov and the email response time has become abysmal (5+days) and is TOTALLY WRONG (NCL FLL to MIA transfers are $20 vas NCL web site of $15, upgrade to OV is $150+ vs on line brokers offering it for $50). The staff seems to be totally new and with limited training. As a veteran of 10+ cruises I know more than they do and it does not take much to find out stuff w/ the net.