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Prices

W

Waterdancer

Guest
#1
Does anyone have any recommendations on the most cost effective way of booking a cruise - travel agent, internet such as Travelocity, through the cruise line, etc? Any hints would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
B

BruinSteve

Guest
#2
Find a good travel agent who DISCOUNTS...

Generally, going through the cruise line itself will get you the FULL current fare (not to be confused with the usually high "brochure rate")...This fare contains a full commission even though no commissioned agent is involved...

Most travel agents will charge you the same full rate...
The AAA doesn't discount...
Costco doesn't give much of a discount...

Some travel agents will discount the fare by slicing into their own commission...ususally a discount of 5 to 10%, sometimes a little more...

They can do this largely because...
1) They do high volumes with the cruise line--the lines do a graduated commission structure and high volume TAs get a higher %, so they have more room to deal
2) They have a lower overhead--the TAs who discount generally aren't the ones who have fancy offices in expensive office buildings, shopping centers or in glitzy Beverly Hills addresses...those guys need most of the commisssion schedule just to pay the rent...

The other way they can offer you a better rate is if they've booked a "group rate", usually on a cruise outside of peak season or on a lower-demand cruise...No, you don't have to belong to any group...

I'd give you my TA's phone #...but it sort of goes against board policy to do that...so, if you want it, E-Mail me...
 
W

Waterdancer

Guest
#3
I do have a travel agent so I'll give her a call. Just thought with all the Internet sites, it might be a viable alternative. thanks.
 
B

BP

Guest
#4
We use an agent who advertises on this board and I have not found any agent to beat their prices.
 
T

trailhiker

Guest
#5
In the past we have gone through the internet to get "best prices" from the agents on line. Then we go to our agent (AAA) and ask if they can beat the price. They always do, and we have been dealing with them so long they always treat us well. The last two cruises we've taken have been "President's Cruises" and I can't say enough about them! They have been great and the price, especially on the last one to Hawaii, was great.
 
N

newmexicoNita

Guest
#6
i think the internet prices are as good as you will get, but if you have a TA you have faith in sometimes a few extra dollars spent is worth it. As for Steve and agents cutting commission, I was an agent for many years. Never did we or we asked to cut commission. the cruise lines did pay us larger commissions if we booked x number of cruises per year. They also would often gives us slightly better pricing, but cutting commissions, not on your life. Maybe Steve's agent does, I don't know.

Nita
 
B

BP

Guest
#7
The few extra dollars can be as much as two to three hundred dollars on a seven day cruise . Shop till you drop to fine the best prices , It can really pay off.
 
N

newmexicoNita

Guest
#8
BP, you may be right about the difference, but most of the time it isn't that much plus spending hours on the computer converts to money as well. When our cruise on the ended abruptly both my daughter and I spent literally hours researching and calling serveral agents. I would find one better than she would find via the web. To make a long story short the very best deal we saw ended up to be our old agent who I did work for. I also would feel better if I wasn't an experienced cruiser to know I had someone to stand up for me if problems arose which can happen from time to time. Sometimes saving a few or even a few hundred bucks can back fire. For you going through the web sites might work as it might for me as I am a seasoned traveller and retired from the industry. This is not true for everyone.

Nita
 
T

triathlete

Guest
#9
There is another option.

CruiseCompete.com is not a travel agency web site, but a service to help you find the travel agency that has the best price for your cruise. Just select the ship and sail date, then get competitive quotes from multiple, competing agencies.
 
1

1stimecrzr333

Guest
#10
Hi,
We surfed the net and found the exact cruise we wanted to do--Celebrity Zenith from NYC to Bermuda and then I called Celebrity and booked directly with them. The good thing about that is that we added a bus trip on to take us from Baltimore up to NYC and it went directly to the pier. All the people on our bus were on our cruise. I found out after I booked that this was the exact cruise my brother & his wife did 2 yrs ago. This gave us the most amount of days in Bermuda (nearly 4) vs. one out of Baltimore that gave us 2 days in Bermuda. I talked to Celebrity agents who told me exactly what I wanted to know about the cabin, the cruise,etc. The website for Celebrity showed me where the cabin was located and it gave me the shore excursions, etc. So calling the cruiseline direct should be the cheapest way to go--no middleman.
--Jo
Celebrity Zenith 10/11/03
 
R

ROSS

Guest
#11
HI FIRSTTIME!!

Sorry to poke a hole in your balloon but what you have said is totally incorrect. The cruise line (Celebrity in this case) charges quite a bit more than a qualified agent.

A qualified agent does a lot of business with RCI and receives a substantial discount...15% plus in some cases. The agent then is able to offer you the customer a price that can be substantially less than the quote you get from Celebrity. !0% off of $5000 is $500 which will go to pay for a lot of things: air, tips, drinks, etc.

A qualified agent must do at least $650,000 in business in order to receive the better discounts. Also; a really good agent will give you the $$ off when the company cuts the price of the cruise.

I will give you a real example: On our last cruise 10 nights onboard SUMMIT we had a Concierge Cabin that originally listed with Celebrity for $1675pp (which is the price that you would have paid) plus $230 pp Port Charges. We were able to get that same cruise for $1595pp with Port Charges included. Then Celebrity dropped the price and we ended up getting the who cruise for $1250pp. Some people actually paid more than $1900pp for the same exact cabin on that cruise. We saved $1500 for 2 people because we had a super agent who watched out for us!!!

Do Your Homework!!! (And get an agent who gets the big discounts and gives the price reductions!!!)

Oh BTW, you will see even bigger discounts when the qualified agent has a group cruise!!!

ROSS
 
J

jcb-mommy

Guest
#13
I looked at the cruise complete website earlier today. It has a check box that says that you 'Agree' tht you are booking a cruise within two weeks, among several other I Agree buttons.

I can't guarantee I'll book in two weeks, I might not book for several months when I am looking around into the future.

Renee
 
T

triathlete

Guest
#14
Actually, the check box says you "plan" to book within 2 weeks--not that you guarantee you will. The site (CruiseCompete) isn't for browsing, it's a place to go after you know what you want and are ready to buy.
 
C

cfprunner

Guest
#15
I've had good luck getting paying 20% to 30% less than the cruise line's website.

Can I name my agent? She's with a .com that features both great seach and price info for shopping for your cruise and personal service so you can book it over the phone and go over every detail, plus an agent can hold space for a few days on a sailing you are considering.
 
I

idssms

Guest
#16
There is only so much profit in a cruise. I would stick with one agent and build up a relationship and overtime you will get loyalty and good prices.
 
V

vblcrazed1

Guest
#17
"cpfrunner", would you mind giving me your travel agent's name? Thank you!



Post Edited (02-25-04 03:20)
 
C

cfprunner

Guest
#20
Diane Redmond is at x268.

Her number is (888) 333-3116. She is with Cruise.com, a major supporter of this site.

You can tell her Jay said to call.