Barb1234
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

What's #1 most frustrating part of planning a cruise online?

 I want to hear about your pain points in planning cruising online.

1) What happened
2) Last time this happened
3) What do you currently do about it? ( If anything)

Tags:

14 Answers

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

Great question and great discussion points.

I use the online sites for information only. On my three cruises and the next one in 2015, the itineraries are important, but not the only thing I use.

I have resources, such as this site, to get as much useful information as needed . Travel sites, news reports, critics and supporters are all used.

However, nothing beats the information provided by a professional and qualified travel agent or consultant.

Online services are great, but they don't replace human experience, and a strong personal commitment to customer service.

CrusinTim
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

When we first started cruising back in 1990, we used to just go with what the agent offered that was within our price range. Then, over time and with the explosion of the internet, we started to find that there were other cruise lines that were doing the same itinerary like the one we were looking at online and various prices. So what we started doing was researching one itinerary that we liked, then call our cruise agent for him to make the price comparison between the lines. We start the search and our agent does the leg work. That's what they get paid for.

JusMe
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I have used travel agents before and have used online web sites. I have found that Vacationstogo.com has the best of both worlds. I can look on line for itinerary and price and then call the consultant that I use there. I have had great luck this way with no issues, but after over 20 Cruises I know what I want. I want different things on different trips. I also use Ship Mate app to look up the cruise and the excursions and other peoples reviews of places and things do do in each port. I did have one travel professional that kept trying to up sell me on cabins and cruise lines. I just changed the person I work with. Sometimes I like to slum it on Carnival other times I like to

GTVCRUISER
Contributor Level: Captain

I have used travel agents , booked with cruise lines and I have booked online.My best deals have been online

CruiselineQ
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

Great question and comments. I wanted to see what you all thought of a new "compare cruises" feature we are about to launch that helps the planning process. 

Let's say you are planning on doing an Alaska cruise next May and you have narrowed down to 3 options - Coral Princess, HAL Oosterdam and and Royal Caribbean's Radiance. They are all similar (7 nights), but prices, ports and other items are different. There should be an easy way to 'compare' these 3 options.

Well, that's the new feature. You can see each of these options side by side and evaluate them. Take a look at the 3 Alaska cruises I chose here: http://cruiseline.com/cruise/compare/39038-2015-05-20/38489-2015-05-17/39190-2015-05-22

Here is a pic of what it looks like. What do you think? Is this a helpful feature to help plan a cruise?

 

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

Very good tool. I know I will use it to research cruises for myself and others who ask me about cruising.

Question,

Is it worth discussing with the agents on the ship you are cruising on in choosing the next cruise? I wonder as we are on a cruise with NCL next year and may want to book another while we are cruising.

is there an advantage to this ---cost saving wise?

thanks

 

 

WeCruiseToo
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

Hi John.  We almost always “book on board” for our next cruise.  (Actually it’s usually two or three cruises down the line rather than our very next one, but we’re really addicted…)  There should be a nice incentive of onboard credit for the cruise you’re booking or for the one you’re on.  If you used a travel agent for the cruise you’re currently on, they should automatically be notified that you booked on board; they’ll get credit for the booking and be able to take care of you just like they always do.  (It doesn’t hurt to let your agent know when you get home though, just to make sure the cruise line notified them properly.)  We always make sure that what we book on board is changeable though.  More than once we’ve just quickly booked a cruise on board that we know we won’t be taking so we don’t waste time deciding while we’re on vacation.  Then, when we’re back home, we’ll take the time to plan the cruise we really want, our travel agent will make all the changes and we still get any perks from booking on board!

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

You answered my biggest questions.

I want my TA to get the credit, but I want the perks as well from booking on board.

I will ask my guy about it before I leave on the next holiday. My cell plan allows me to text from any area with a wifi zone, so I can transmit a text to his cell phone from anywhere.

Thanks for the heads up.

GTVCRUISER
Contributor Level: Captain

Checking the price of a cruise , is a good thing to do online, I do it all the time :)

MrChocoholic
Contributor Level: Captain

Since I'm relatively inexperienced with this cruising thing, I've tried only two ways to book a cruise: a regular travel agent and online directly with the cruise line. Each cruise line assigns a sales rep to answer questions, take your money and do everything a travel agent would for that particular line. The full-service travel agent of course represents him/herself first while re-selling cruises bought in bulk from numerous lines. I suppose it's easier to deal with only one person as opposed to say, reps from your favorite five cruise lines. I like doing all the research and finding out if the big cruise packagers' rates are the same as what the lines offer if you purchase from them directly. By the time I'm ready to buy, I enjoy the personal service I get from having my own personal "cruise consultant" from the cruise company walk me through the process, which can vary from line to line. I guess the most frustrating thing is how completely artificial and arbitrary the pricing is. One example: cruise lines can add a fuel surcharge when prices for crude oil go above a certain level, yet you sure don't seem them reducing prices at anything like the same rate oil prices have dropped. 

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*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

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