Learn how to work the system, and
you can save a bundle on your next cruise. We've hunted down the best discount
and bargain resources on the web. Plus some great tips on how to book and board
your next cruise, avoid scams and protect yourself.
you're willing to learn the the ins-and-outs of online travel bargain hunting,
you can save as much as 70% off published rates^ and 10-25% more
from cruise brokers, consolidators and group movers.
cover comparison shopping, clearance, last minute deals, cruise line sites,
auctions and travel classifieds. We also searched for the best prices on our
favorite cruise ships and destinations and found thousands of dollars in
can do the same, simply by visiting the highlighted sites noted here. You can
even find last minute cruise deals, that the cruise lines are dying to sell you,
as an empty cabin generates no income.
you can find similar bargains at sites run by the cruise lines themselves, often
they are not as good as those on offer from a cruise broker or consolidator*.
We'll show you where to look.
most, internet bargain shopping is a bit of a hassle. Going from one site to the
next, looking for the cheapest price. Well, we've done the work for you.
you enjoy the thrill of the chase, you can find a real vacation bargain. A great
cruise vacation....all the while spending less, and enjoy it more.
Start By Looking In The Right
So many so called travel-help sites do nothing but point you to
bargains available from other sites that advertise on their web site. Not
very independent. If you see a bunch of ads all over their home page, take the
hint; that's a site you should think twice about how impartial they are.
Look for web sites that feature cruise-sellers whose only
business is selling cruises. Chances are they have the experience, knowledge and
know-how necessary to help you migrate all that's on offer. They also are best
prepared to answer you most detailed questions. You see in most cases, they've
been there, done that. Stay away from firms that have large telemarketing
staffs. You know the popular ones, that sell airfare, hotel rooms and car
rentals. They just do cruises on the side. Chances are they don't have many
experienced cruise agents.
web sites that use their own
searchable database, places
Cruise Direct Online. At these
and other similar web sites you can comparison-shop instantly, pricing
staterooms at dozens of cruise lines with just the click of a mouse. At sites
like Last Minute Deals, Cruise Brokers ,
Cruise Search Express,
and Alaska Cruises Direct, you can browse
for limited- time offers or scoop up clearance and last minute special offers.
Read The Reviews
Cruise Reports lets you
sort cruises by traveler ratings quickly, and it provides easy ways to view the
popularity of various cruise lines and ships. It also has some of the best in
depth reviews we saw. You can find their reviews and more at
Cruise Reviews Online, These
user reviews are from professional travel writers and consumers alike. It’s
not uncommon to find dozens of in-depth user write-ups for your favorite cruise.
Comparison Shopping Tips
Comparison shopping online for a cruise makes a lot of sense,
whether you’re ready to reserve or just want to find the lowest prices.
• Most sites make it very easy to identify the most popular cruises for any
available stateroom category and you can read user reviews. We don’t always
recommend going with a web site that is highly visited, but popularity can be a
signal of good price, quality service, and more.
• Price is often paramount among online shoppers, so learn to make use of the
special offers that many sites offer, sign up for an e-mail alert when the price
or cruise you want becomes available.
• Note how the site you use handles special rates, such as senior discounts,
resident specials, upgrades, onboard credit, and price-off offers.
Some incentives on particular cruises are nice, but they might not give you the
best price. For example, a AAA or AARP discount may not get the best deal,
especially if you live in State that offers a resident special for your cruise.
• Use several travel-comparison sites at once. Better yet visit sites that let
you view all the cruise lines offers and compare lines, ships and prices and
itineraries. These sites work best when you know exactly what you’re looking for
and have a good idea of what your cruise should cost. Then you can see quickly
find out whether the cruise is available—and whether you’re really getting a
Online shopping for a cruise is big business.
Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline sites
that primarily sell airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals are now in the
cruise business. One of the drivers for its continuing growth is increased
sophistication in online comparison-shopping travel-related Web sites, which can
not only help you find bargains but also reveal remarkable choices when you’re
looking for a cruise. In fact, many consumers use online travel sites just to
research vacation options, then brow-beat their local travel agent to match the
Over 12,000 Cruise Deals
Special Savings, Discounts and More:
Find it all here...
cruise clearance or last minute travel sites requires patience and good eyesight
to read the "Fine Print".
• If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll find yourself wading
through offers with second-rate cabin availability. Cabins near elevators,
service doors, under the disco or next door to the children's activity room.
(There’s often a reason certain cabins get relegated to the clearance list.)
• Read the fine print carefully. Clearance and last minute cruises items often
• If the travel site offers a price-matching policy, read that closely, too,
It’s tempting to think that you’re getting a great deal, but you may find a
better price later. Price-matching particulars vary among providers.
buying; you’ve got to research every offer.
• Cruise Deals can
disappear as quickly as they appear. The better sites—e-mail updated offers that
keep you up to speed without requiring you to revisit a site every couple of
days. Sign up for them.
• Check the discussion forums that appear on many of these sites. The
contributors are usually super-savvy about cruising, and you’ll get great tips,
like which cruise lines and ships are the most popular and which ones aren’t.
These forums can also tell you which deals really are too good to be true.
• Know what you’re after. These sites are best if you already know what you’re
looking for. Like stores themselves, travel sites can be dangerous if you’re
just browsing. Inevitably you’ll see a vacation deal you’d be crazy not to jump
at—and you’ll wind up spending more money that you should.
cruise lines now forbid travel agents from discounting cruises to the public.
Now, that doesn't mean the cruise isn't discounted. It most likely is, but only
by the cruise line themselves. So, if you see a travel agent offering a much
lower price than most anyone else...look out. That agent may be violating his
agreement and is subject to sanctions by the cruise line, such as being removed
from the cruise line's authorized seller list and loosing the right to sell
cruises for that carrier.
How To Book And Board
Every year more and more people discover why cruises are the ideal vacation. A
cruise ship is basically your giant buffet of wonderful experiences, with a wide
selection of cuisines and cultures, activities in the sun and spas to pamper
your every indulgence, destinations to exotic locales and a million ways to
relax. You can do it all or do absolutely nothing—the choice is yours!
To book the perfect cruise for you and your
family, simply follow these helpful guidelines compiled by the American Society
of Travel Agents (ASTA).
Chart Your Course! Pick the Cruise That’s Right for You
Your first choice is the most enjoyable, for it allows your mind to wander
around the globe and back again, revisiting every destination your dreams have
ever taken you to. Where in the world do you want to go and for how long?
The length of your trip largely depends on how much you can afford. Cruises
offer everything from one or two-night excursions out to sea and back to
journeys that take you around the world in 100 days. Three-day weekend, four-day
midweek, week and two-week cruises are the most popular.
With 70 percent of the planet covered in water, the next question should not be
where to go to but where to go to first. Cruise ships visit more than 1,800
ports around the world, providing you with rare glimpses into many cultures all
in one eye-popping vacation.
Many first-time cruisers choose the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, where you
pleasantly float from one island paradise to the next. Soak up the sun, learn a
water sport or discover a new flavor of margarita-the tropics never disappoint.
For a local alternative try Alaska, where you’ll experience calving glaciers and
curious whales while following either the Inside Passage or the Gulf of Alaska
route. Or, take a fall cruise to New England and Canada, where you’ll be
introduced to our neighbors of the north while watching the leaves turn on
Aim for Europe with cross-Atlantic trips to Paris or Rome, Mediterranean cruises
to the likes of Italy, Greece and the French Riviera, or tour the Scandinavian
capitals from the sea, where historic cities like Copenhagen and Helsinki reign
with centuries of heritage.
Finding a Good Rate and the Right Cabin
Paying the brochure rate for a cruise is like paying full sticker price for a
car. To lessen the sticker shock, book early—generally 120 days prior to the
sail date—and be flexible about your travel plans, for just like the rest of the
travel industry, off-season cruises are typically cheaper.
A great tip: aim for a four-day cruise in the middle of the week instead of the
popular three-day weekend cruise. You might get that extra day at a great rate!
The most significant factor in determining the
price of your ticket will be the size and location of your cabin. Depending on
the ship, cabins range from cozy closets to spacious suites with a hot tub. And
they are priced accordingly.
If you plan to spend significant time in your cabin, choose the biggest room you
can afford. Standard cabins have twin beds, which can usually be converted into
a queen-sized bed, while bunk beds in other rooms cannot be converted.
The most-expensive and least-expensive cabins are likely to sell out first, so
book early if you have set your sights on either. Cabins are listed as inside
(no windows) or outside (with windows), with outside cabins naturally higher
priced. If you are booking a cabin with windows, check with your travel agent to
ensure that your view is not obstructed by equipment such as a lifeboat.
Cruise Specialists—Your New Best Friend
For the most thorough advice and the best deals, find a cruise specialist.
Travel agents are often certified cruise specialists, and they know which low
Internet offers to avoid and which ports of call can make a great cruise
A good cruise specialist may offer you group rates, free upgrades, shipboard
credits and other amenities or discounts. They will clarify the need for
passports and visas, explain your dining choices and advise the cruise line of
any special dietary requests, check periodically to see if the price of the
cruise has dropped, book your air and hotel, and review your documents and
reservations to make sure that everything is in order.
One if by Air, Two if by Sea – Are Air/Sea Packages Worth It?
Offered by many airlines, air/sea packages include a flight from your home to
the ship’s port and back again in the price of ticket. While this option does
relieve the hassle of purchasing your own ticket, be aware of both the pros and
If you purchase the air/sea package, your transfers between the airport and the
ship will be included in the price. The cruise line will claim your luggage for
you and carry it to the ship, and all you’ll have to do is board the bus. If
your flight is delayed, the cruise line will be aware of your delay and may be
able to hold the ship for a few hours. If not, they will make every effort to
get you to the first port to board the ship.
If you make your own flight arrangements, you might be able to find a better
deal, flying nonstop with an airline you prefer while earning frequent flyer
miles. You will have to find your own transportation to the cruise terminal from
the airport and claim your luggage and carry it with you, so plan to arrive a
day early and purchase optional travel insurance that covers trip delays, missed
cruise connections and lost or delayed baggage.
Hurricanes—Will They Blow Your Vacation Off Course?
Hurricane season lasts from June through November throughout the Caribbean.
Prices tend to drop during this time, attracting new and seasoned cruisers with
great deals, especially in late August to mid December. And while the chances
are very slim that a hurricane will affect your plans, the best advice is to
step on board with the right attitude.
Cruise ships are exceptionally safe, they possess sophisticated weather-tracking
systems to steer clear of danger and stay in calm waters. If you plan a cruise
during hurricane season, keep track of the weather in the area you are planning
to sail. If it begins to turn nasty, keep in touch with your travel agent for
updates and advice.
If a strong weather pattern does wander into your vicinity, your ship will
simply change course. If your itinerary is set for the eastern Caribbean, then
your captain will switch over to the western Caribbean port schedule, remain a
few days longer at sea enjoying the calm waters or simply change the order in
which the ports are visited. You will not get a refund for missed ports, but you
may find a new adventure waiting for you wherever you dock.
Travel Insurance – Better Safe Than Sorry
Travel insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind. A policy is not only
for trip cancellations but also can cover missed connections, lost or delayed
baggage, emergency medical and dental expenses and emergency legal assistance.
Some cruise lines offer cancellation waiver insurance, which is different than
trip cancellation or interruption insurance. Waivers apply to cancellations made
several days prior to the scheduled start of the trip. Trip cancellation and
interruption insurance will cover you from the time that you purchase your
cruise until you return from the trip.
Types of Travel Insurance Coverage
There are several general types of consumer travel insurance available. The
coverage and limitations of each will vary depending on the insurance company
issuing the policy. The following is a brief description of some of the general
types of travel insurance.
Trip Cancellation: The most important and common type of travel
insurance. Generally covers non-refundable payments or deposits if a trip is
canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
Trip Delay: Provides reimbursement for expenses incurred when a trip
Accident/Sickness Medical Expenses: Covers costs incurred due to
injury or illness that occur while on a trip.
Medical Evacuation/Emergency Transportation: Covers transportation
when a medical emergency while traveling requires transportation to a hospital
or other medical facility.
Supplier Default: Covers deposits or payments lost due to the
financial default of a travel supplier.
Baggage/Personal Effects Loss or Delay: Covers losses due to items
lost, damaged or delayed during a trip.
Cruise Line Coverage -vs- Third Party Insurance
Many cruise lines offer their own protection plans and these plans may provide
very different coverage than offered through third party insurance companies. In
most cases, supplier-provided coverage won’t cover you in the event they go
bankrupt. When considering a supplier protection plan, you should carefully
compare the coverage with third-party travel insurance products.
Who should buy travel insurance?
Travelers who want to protect their travel investment should consider purchasing
travel insurance. If an illness, accident or sudden change in plans forces you
to cancel or interrupt travel plans, you face two major financial losses - money
you've invested in nonrefundable prepayments, and medical expenses that aren't
covered by your health insurance.
How does trip cancellation coverage work?
It is designed to reimburse you for forfeited, nonrefundable, unused payments or
deposits if you have to cancel your interrupt your trip due to a variety of
situations, including but not limited to inclement weather, illness or another
Depending on your policy, it may also cover:
› Emergency medical expenses
› Transportation ordered by a doctor to the nearest adequate
› Reasonable accommodations and travel expenses for travel delays
› Essential items you purchase if your baggage is delayed
› Lost or stolen luggage
How much does travel insurance cost?
The cost of travel insurance varies from company and policy to policy. The more
you have invested in your trip, the more you need to protect it. Travel
insurance covers you for losses caused by trip cancellation and interruption,
medical expenses, baggage, trip and baggage delay. When you consider all the
protection you get, travel insurance is actually a great value.
Where do you buy it?
You can purchase travel insurance through your travel agent, the cruise line, or
through an insurance
provider. If you’re not sure if travel insurance is right for you, please
consult your travel agent for advice.
Passports and Documents
Your ticket packet information will give you specific instructions regarding the
necessary forms of identification or other travel documents for your voyage.
Most cruise lines require you to bring a passport or a birth certificate with a
raised seal and a government issued I.D. such as a driver’s license.
As of December, 2006 U.S.
Citizens will need a valid passport to cruise anywhere.
So, if you don't have one, get it
now before the rush.
What’s Free and What Costs Money?
The price of your ticket will include your cabin, on-board entertainment and
food. Other items to consider when budgeting your trip include:
› Taxes, surcharges, and fees, including airport fees, handling fees, departure
taxes and port charges. You should verify which fees and port taxes are included
in your cruise rate.
› Alcoholic beverages, bottled water and occasionally soft drinks. Some ships
offer "soda packages" that feature unlimited sodas during the cruise for about
› Cost of reaching the ship, airline tickets not booked as part of the package,
shuttle service or in-port parking fees, if not included.
› Cost of staying at port before or after the cruise, such as hotel,
transportation and meals.
› Shopping purchases made both on and off the ship.
› On board extras, such as gambling, spas, massages and ship-to-shore calls.
Most cruise lines use a billing system for your convenience. They will take an
imprint of your credit card and set up a tab for the cruise, presenting you with
the total bill at the end. Keep all the little receipts you sign to verify the
No Belly-flops Into the Jacuzzi—Proper Cruising Etiquette
Even though your cruise ship may be bigger than your hometown, it’s still one
place where many people must coexist harmoniously. Be courteous and respectful
of others by following these guidelines.
Dress Properly – Even if you’re allergic to dress codes, do not show up to a
formal dinner in jeans and flip-flops. The ship will have a code for each day,
so learn it.
Keep Your Children Close – Kids, we all love them, except when they’re someone
else’s. If you travel with your little ones please keep them under control,
especially around pools and while passing through more adult-centered areas such
as the casino.
Learn the Ship’s Language – Your vessel is a ship and never a boat, and the ship
is always a she or her. Left is port, right is starboard. Aft means rear or
stern, while the bow is the front of the ship. The bridge is where the Captain
and his crew control the ship, and only some ships have open bridge policies.
Save One Seat, Not All - While it's okay to save a seat for your companion, it’s
poor form to save a row of seats for your entire table. The same goes for deck
Follow Jogging Rules – Most ships post hours when running is allowed because
passenger cabins are often located under the jogging deck and some people prefer
to sleep at 6 a.m. than listen to your footfalls.
Land, Ho! Discovering New Worlds During Shore Excursions
Whenever your ship stops at an exciting port of call, you have three options:
stay on board, explore by yourself or take a ship excursion. But once you
glimpse out your porthole and see the tropical island, feel the vibrations of
the bustling cities and sense the intoxication of the exotic countries, staying
on board will quickly dissolve as an option.
Ship-sponsored shore excursions are valuable if you want to visit the
attractions far from the pier, have easy access to historic monuments, forts,
and castles and simply learn about the country. They also provide the best ways
to experience a metropolitan city port like Barcelona or Rome, and the safest
way to visit a third-world country where language and customs may prove too
daunting a barrier.
However, if all you want to do is walk around a city or town, shop or go to a
beach, then grab a map, secure your money and hike it on your own. Wandering a
port on your own can be a great way to get away from the crowd and immerse
yourself in a new culture, but it can also be challenging.
For miles around, everyone just noticed the big white ship full of wealthy
tourists coming in, so your chances of blending are nil.
Don’t draw attention to yourself with flashy jewelry and large amounts of cash.
Don’t walk down narrow alleys or poorly lit streets, and avoid being surrounded
by large crowds if possible. Carry a fake wallet and put your money in your
front pocket, or place a rubber band around your wallet to make it more
difficult to remove from your pocket without you feeling it.
Overall, cruising is a very safe way to travel, as ships must follow an
extraordinary number of rules and regulations and are subject to rigorous
quarterly inspection. Ships operate under international rules known as Safety of
Life at Sea (SOLAS), requiring them to utilize smoke detectors, sprinklers and
low-level emergency lighting for escape routes.
Safety drills are practiced within the first 24 hours of sailing, where you’ll
learn how to put on your life jacket and locate your assigned lifeboat.
Seasickness is less common nowadays as the ship’s immense size and
state-of-the-art motion stabilizers control gentle rocking. Once on board, spend
some time on deck and focus on a fixed point of the horizon to help you adjust
and get your sea legs quickly.
Be sure to pack a your complete health information with you on your trip, with
your medical history, your insurance information, contact person in case of
emergency, blood type and list of allergies, medications and immunizations.
Tipping – Know Which Price Is Right
Tipping is a traditional part of cruising and an important part of the income of
those who help make your cruise enjoyable. Each cruise line will provide its own
guide to tipping, with some providing envelopes for you to pass them out in. Or,
in some cases the cruise line automatically puts the cost of tips on your
onboard account to paid at the end of the cruise. Here are some general
› Airport skycaps generally – $1.00 for each bag.
› Porters at the loading area of the ship – $1.00 for each bag.
› Cabin Stewards and Waiters – $3.00/$3.50 each, per passenger per day.
› Servers or Busboys – $1.50/$2.50 per passenger, per day.
› Maitre d’– $2.00 to $10.00 per passenger for the entire cruise depending on
how helpful they have been.
› Many bar and lounge tips are included on your bill at a standard 15 percent
which you can generally adjust for poor or excellent service. Check your
individual bills to see if a tip has already been included.
Your Final Port of Call—Home
A cruise ship is a luxury hotel with a different view every day. There really
are no limits to where you can cruise nowadays, as every ocean and river can be
explored in style and luxury. And when compared with the cost of a land-based
holiday, cruising offers excellent value with everything you need wrapped into
Auctions And Classifieds
Sometimes, the best online
travel deals can be found at auction sites like eBay
and classifieds pages like those at Cruisemates. If
you’re shrewd enough, you can reel cruises in for even less than you’ll pay
elsewhere on the Web. The downside is that this sort of shopping involves a bit
more work than other methods—and a bit more risk. With auction sites in
particular, you can spend days trying to find the right cruise, and sometimes
the cruise offer goes to someone else. Sometimes you pay too much for it.
Sometimes it’s not what you expected it to be. There’s even that small chance
you won't get what you paid for. Caution is the byword here.
When using an
Auction site to purchase a cruise vacation:
• Pay close
attention to user feedback. Make sure the seller has a long history of selling
and a long list of feedback. And take the time to
• Look for auctions with inconvenient closing times: If an auction ends in the
middle of the night or during a big sports event, fewer people will place
last-second bids, and you have a better chance at a bargain.
Before you bid,
pick a maximum price and stick to it. You’re looking for a bargain. Don’t get
caught up in the excitement of an auction. If you miss out on one auction,
chances are another one will soon pop up.
• Don’t bid right away. If you bid right away, others will know you’re
interested and can alter their strategy accordingly. In most cases, especially
if you want a cruise bargain, there’s no need to bid until the last few seconds
of an auction. And if too many bids start popping up, go elsewhere. The price
won’t stay low for long.
• Check how many people have
cruise on offer: It works both ways; other bidders are also waiting to lay down
a last-second bid. You can tell how popular an item is by checking how many
people have simply viewed it. If the number is too high, go elsewhere. The price
is likely to skyrocket.
How To Protect Yourself
- Be wary of "great deals" and low-priced offers.
Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real
value or substantially undercut other companies' prices.
- Don't be pressured into buying. Legitimate
businesses don't expect you to make snap decisions.
- Ask detailed questions. Find out exactly what
the cruise price covers and what it doesn't. Ask about additional charges. Get
all the details included in your package. Consider contacting the cruise line
directly to verify arrangements. Ask about cancellation policies and refunds.
If the company can't give you detailed answers, go
- Get all information in writing before you agree
to buy. Ask for a copy of the cruise line's own written confirmation. Once you
receive the written information, make sure it reflects what you were told over
the phone and the terms you agreed to. If the company offers you a great deal
but won't give you the details in writing until you have paid, it could be a
If the company can't give you a copy of the
cruise lines own
confirmation, go somewhere else.
- Don't buy part of the package - the air fare or
cruise - separately from the rest. If the deal is not what you expected, it may
be difficult to get your money back for the part of the package you purchased.
- Don't give your credit card number or bank
information over the internet or phone. One easy way for a scam operator to
close a deal is to get your credit card number and charge your account.
Sometimes fraudulent telemarketers say they need the number for verification
purposes only. Don't believe them.
If the company doesn't take steps to protect your
go somewhere else.
If in doubt, say "no." Trust your instincts.
It's less risky to turn
down the offer so hang up the phone.
- Does the cruise price seem too good to be true?
If so, it probably is.
Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services
of real value or substantially
Be wary of a salesperson who "pushes" one cruise line, cruise ship or
itinerary. That's not a good sign
that they are working in your best interest.
You may be asked after you book and place a deposit to pay more for
port charges, document
shipping costs, higher
than normal deposits upfront, unreasonable
cancellation fees or are offered a
bonus if you pay in-full upfront.
Fees that are charged,
in addition to any
by the cruise line.
Insurance Claim Assistance
That cut-rate cruise offer may not be a bargain after all, especially
when dealing with "Cheap" or "Deep
Discount" travel brokers who might use bait and switch tactics to get
you to buy something you
did not want.
sure that the company is registered with the State Attorney General's Office
where it does business if it sells, or arranges for, air or sea travel (either
separately or in conjunction with other services). Ask to see the company's
current registration certificate. The certificate has the company's registration
number, which must be included in all advertising.
Book Online or Not?
Many consumers are unsure of whether to use the Internet for researching or
buying travel – and if so, when and how. The Internet can be a powerful tool for
researching travel. But when you’re ready to buy, the Internet can’t replace the
expertise of a trusted travel counselor. Ed Perkins, the consumer advocate for
the American Society of Travel Agents and former editor of Consumer Reports
Travel Letter, answers some of the more common questions about researching and
buying travel on- and offline. (excerpts related to cruises from article)
Q: Can I use the Internet to plan a trip?
A: Yes, at least partially. The Internet is great for facts and figures:
Thousands of destinations – regions, countries, states and provinces, cities,
and park systems – maintain websites. Those sites are great sources for
information you need: main features, activities, climate and weather, local
transportation, and much more. In fact, your problem is likely to be information
overload rather than too little.
But the Internet is seldom able to supply enough depth and detail to allow you
to prepare a complete travel plan. You will still probably need good guidebooks
and maps (which you can buy online). And you should always speak with a
professional travel agent before making a travel purchase.
Q: How about finding out what’s going on at my destination?
A: The Internet is a great resource. Most tourist attractions maintain Websites
with complete schedule and price information, as do sports teams, theaters and
arenas, cultural programs, and such. Newspaper sites let you access such local
details as movie schedules, restaurant reviews, church services times, and much
Q: Do the cruise lines discount on the Internet?
A:. Generally, no. Even though most of the big cruise lines maintain elaborate
websites, they typically don’t cut prices online and many don’t sell online at
Q: So where are the cruise discounts available?
A: Lots of agencies – online and off – provide discount cruise pricing. The
Internet is a great way to get an idea of what’s available and the price. But
offline sources can usually get the same discounts as you find online and may be
able to provide insights on the cruise company and its ships. Cruise specialists
can give you firsthand knowledge of the line and help you select cabins, dinner
seating and shore excursions.
Last minute deals and auctions
Q: Is the Internet a good source for last-minute bargains?
A: Yes, in many cases. The Internet provides an easy way for suppliers to unload
airline seats, cruise cabins, and hotel rooms that might otherwise go unsold, at
very attractive prices. The Internet is the only place you’ll see some of the
best last-minute deals, but others are available just about everywhere.
Q: Are there any potential pitfalls and traps in using the Internet for travel?
A: Yes, several:
1. Perhaps the most important is that the Internet can respond only to the
questions you ask. If you don’t know what to ask, the Internet can’t give a
2. A related problem is “Plan B deficit.” Except within very narrow limits, the
Internet can’t suggest an alternative if your first inquiry doesn’t turn up a
3. The Internet is a fertile field for deceptions and misleading information.
Just because a site labels a price as “discount” doesn’t mean it’s really
discounted. Ask 10 sites for the “lowest” price for an identical service and you
can get as many as 10 different answers.
4. The Internet is also full of misleading promotions.
5. Some sites can’t handle such routinely available deals as senior and AAA
6. If you run into difficulty, you could have a tough time trying to get an
online agency to straighten out your problem – in fact, you may not even know
If you’re accustomed to making all your own travel arrangements, the Internet
can be a powerful tool. It can increase the scope and reach of all your efforts,
and allow you to check hundreds of options. But to make the Internet work for
you effectively, you have to know what to ask and where to ask it. If you don’t,
you can spend endless fruitless hours that ultimately produce unsatisfactory
Even if you know what you want, Internet research can be time-consuming. But
just because you prefer some outside assistance and counsel with your travel
arrangements, you needn’t ignore the Internet. It can be a good place to do your
homework – along with the more traditional guidebooks and other references.
No matter how you buy travel, the more homework you do, the better consumer
you’ll be. And the Internet is a great place to start your homework.
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presentation is a cruise travel blog and online
magazine offering an unbiased cruise guide,
latest cruise news, cruise reviews, tips,
feature cruise articles, and need to know
information about cruising. Featuring community
member contributed content. Cruise Reviews.
Cruise Ship Ratings and Cruise Line Rankings.
Editorially independent of travel providers or
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