Cruise Booking via Airline Site:?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Blue Skye, Mar 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    I am tempted to book my next cruise via one of the airline's site for the bonus miles etc. Has anyone done this? Good experience or bad? Did miles post without incident or followup emails? How are they at applying your future cruise credit to your booking?

    Any other data points to share? Would love to hear your experiences.

    FWIW, I really like my travel agent and would hate to stop giving here my business. The bonus miles are just so tempting so I would have to have very good reasons to not try it. TIA
     
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  2. DanJ
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    DanJ Gold Member

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    I've compared our cruise prices to what Northwest (in the past), Delta and AA offered, and I usually got it cheaper from my travel agent. But if the prices you are seeing are competitive, I don't see a downside. Not sure how they handle the future booking certificates. I imagine you have to talk to someone there, which is a pain.
     
  3. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i find myself monitoring (planning fantasy trips) often, so i am quite in tune with the current pricing. what i worry about is hidden fees after the fact. and as you mentioned, not sure i want to deal with trying to talk to someone should something go wrong.

    i generally see similar pricing on the airline sites compared to directly on the Princess site. may have to go through to the end of the booking process to see how it turns out. or maybe just chat with the pop up CSR box on the site and ask questions.

    thanks for your input.
     
  4. DanJ
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    DanJ Gold Member

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    Princess is one of the few lines left where travel agents can charge less than what their advertised prices are, without it coming out of their commissions dollar for dollar, which is surprising since Carnival itself doesn't allow it. I would definitely get your TA to quote it to see what they come up with. Miles are nice, but I like dollars LOL. My TA is always cheaper than Princess.com but the same price as Carnival or Royal Caribbean, so she doesn't discount on her own.
     
  5. kellio
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    kellio Gold Member

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    I booked my upcoming Carnival cruise through US Airways vacations. They were offering triple miles. I did receive a cabin upgrade.

    Price was no different than Carnival direct or any other TA that I received quotes from. One TA was offering an OBC but refused to tell me how much it was and then didn't bother getting back to me.
     
  6. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i did not know that about Princess. sounds like a better business model for agents. i will have to give her a call tomorrow anyway so may as well ask about the cruise i am interested in. sometimes she manages to do better but other times i do better on the Princess site.
    will keep that in mind. thanks! didn't know that OBC was a secret. [​IMG] as for the agent that didn't get back to you, guess they didn't need the business. LOL
     
  7. kellio
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    kellio Gold Member

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    If one of the agencies would have offered a decent OBC I would have taken it but none did. I was offered a 25.00 obc, a picture frame, a fun ship freddy? Whatever that is. Anyway, best thing for me was the extra miles.
     
  8. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    seems decent OBC is hard to come by these days. i have to laugh when they offer one of the "coupon" books for discounts onboard and other nonsense like the picture frame etc. we want money back that can be used on stuff we want.

    from what i can tell, the only time you can get good OBC is if they agents have a largish group on the ship and/or the sailing is not filling up like they expected. if it weren't for mostly having to book two cabins each cruise i would wait until the last minute deals. OBC? we will take CHEAP any day. LOL
     
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  9. kellio
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    kellio Gold Member

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    Agree. I should get around 7500 or so miles for booking with them so best way to go this time.
     
  10. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I have booked three of our ten cruises using AACruises. All for Bonus Points. The first couple were 2 or 3 miles per dollar. The last was 2miles per dollar plus up to 15000 bonus points. (Got 14000 for the cabin we booked) Best thing was they also gave me about 10K additional Bonus Points that I didn't know about until checking my account with AA.

    Only problem was a $24.95 processing fee. But that is similar to what Brick and Mortar Travel Agencies are charging now.

    My overall cost was the same as my sister got for a cruise on a sister ship two weeks after mine. She used a Brick and Mortar Agent. The difference was simply I GOT MILES.
     
  11. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    any experience with when the cruise price drops? did you have to call to get it or did they do it automatically?

    yes that $24.95 fee is a bit annoying though my agent doesn't charge me. back a few years i could get NW miles booking with my agent but then the merger etc all changed that. so now i have to look for other ways to get miles from cruising.

    the other thing i noticed while doing some dummy bookings was there doesn't seem to be a way to remove the automatic port to ship transfer charge. i kept trying to figure out why the cost was coming in at so much more than on the cruiselines site. so i guess i would have to call after i booked via the airline site to get that removed, which is one step i wish i didn't have to do.

    thanks for you perspective, it helps with the decision making. [​IMG]
     
  12. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    tempted to book one through the new United Cruises. Prices seem competitive, and United is offering a ton of bonus miles because it is new.
     
  13. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Sorry for the delay in responding to the questions. I have no experience with price drops since I usually book about 75 days out and no cruise lines give credit for Price Drops after Final Payment days. I have also found that I usually have to manually remove Travel Insurance when making a payment on line. The Agencies seem to automatically add that to the price and you have to decline each time you make a payment. ( I always get the Insurance from Insure my Trip)

    For dummy bookings, the SW airlines vacations site seems to be the best to get a general price or cabin availability. I usually book with AACruises tho.
     
  14. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    On my last Cruise Booking (mentioned earlier) I got 14000 bonus miles. Double or triple miles for the cost of the cruise (2 or 3 miles per dollar spent on the Cruise) and $200 On Board Credit. You can also get $100 OBC on Carnival for owning 100 shares of Carnival Stock (no limit on the number of times you can use it, as long as you still own it!) Royal Caribbean has the same deal.
     
  15. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    no need to apologize. stuff happens. LOL

    that booking model makes sense. i just tend to plan too far in advance. usually booking about 90 days out or more. good to know you can remove the insurance at some point online. i haven't heard of Insure my Trip, i will have to look them up. i have had really good luck with TravelGuard.

    oh i have that part down. finally getting to use the benefit next weekend, when i sail. yay! i am hoping that RCL will come down in price again this year so i can purchase and use that benefit too. :D
     
  16. anng3
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    anng3 Silver Member

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    We did a TA cruise and used cruisecompete.com and went with the lowest bidder. No points but saved
    a few hundred dollars.
     

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