I have only booked Disney Cruise line so I don't know which TA would be best for booking a RC cruise. Thanks! Also, do the prices go up as the cruise date gets closer or can you get some great last minute deals?
I use cruisequick.com My last three cruises I saved hundreds of dollars and they are very efficient. Go to their website and submit a quote request for the sailing you want and you will probably get an answer within the hour.
You can also check out the agents that are located in the links section. Those agents were added by users of the board. There are just so many online TA's out there with so many different prices.
As far as the pricing the closer you get to the cruise, if you aren't particular about your cabin you can sometimes get a better rate by waiting..other times the sailings do so well that the rates are alot higher and sometimes they will sell out if you wait.
You can also go to CruiseCompete.com and get quotes from several different TA's. Never tried it myself but it sounds interesting. Here's a link that I found:
<a href= "http://www.cruisecompete.com/?source=13">cruisecompete.com<a/>
I have sailed close to ten cruises and have been using Costco or Sam's Club travel services the last few. Always beat the competitor price (all TA's). If you don't have memberships to them, it is worth the $40 membership to save the average couple hundred dollars. Include them in your price comparison and see what I mean.
I've checked with Costco in looking into a couple of cruises, but they never can match cruisequick.com. (One thing to remember is that a cruisequick quote includes tax and port fees, whereas typical TA quotes do not.)
Still, others claim they have gotten Costco to meet or beat a better online agency price, but that was not the case when I called. They told me their quote was the best they could do.
My current booking is also through CruiseQuick.com but they are not for the inexperienced cruiser. They offer no telephone service, so you kinda have to know what you are doing when you use them. Im quite happy with my price and pleased with them as my agent. However, for those needing more personal service from their agent, I suggest using a different agency. There are many reputable ones here, including Lori from SkyScraper Tours. I have not used Cruisequeen who posted above me, but I have checked out her site which is great. I think Ship Maven is also a TA. Shop around and good luck!
I use Lori at Skyscrapper Criuses I shop the various sites with prices then talk with her. If the price does go down after I book she monitors the prices and makes sure we get any breaks in prices. You have to watch some of those really low bids as when you get final price they will have forgotten to add in the taxes and port charges and you will end up with a bigger price than you thought.I have booked 3 with Lori and have 3 coming up.
The last nine cruises that I have been on we used RCI website or telephone 10 years ago. For the cruise I am going on in May we used a TA and she was great. Her name was Prudence out of Miami. But if it hadn't been for the 100 off special for booking before December 31st then it would have been about the same to do either way. I like using RCI they are really nice and they are great when it comes to booking a cruise and helping choose the right cabin.
I agree with MAW. Lori at www.skyscrapertours.com is the best bet. I have gone online and checked all websites to find cheapest rate, then I email her and ask for a quote, and always get a lower price. The fact that she will monitor your price is a bonus. I got an upgrade from her I never expected and didn't have to pay for booking less than 30 days till sailing! Good Luck!
We have used CruiseQuick for our last fice cruises. No agent mentioned on this post has beat their price when we have contacted them for a quote. We did find CruiseQuick on this site a few years ago and their service has been great.
We booked with cruisevaluecenter.com. We went to cruisecompete.com and got bids for our May 16th Jewel of the Sea cruise in the Baltic. Prices for the same D1 (Balcony) were varied by $1800 per person. Before booking with them, I suggest that you know somthing about cruising. They seemed to be a little inexperienced, but since we have done several cruises we knew what to ask. Good luck