One of the most common questions that we are asked is, “Where should I book my cruise?”. While there are many different ways you can book a vacation on a cruise ship, here are the four best ways to book a cruise.
The following is listed in no particular order. We have listed the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself which way is best. Yes, what is best for one person may not necessarily be best for another.
Directly Through the Cruise Line – When you book directly through a cruise line, a PVP (Personal Vacation Planner) will handle your reservation. Since they work directly for the cruise line, they have excellent knowledge about each cruise ship and itinerary. Also since they aren’t constantly booking cruises on different cruise lines, they know the ins and outs better than anyone since they have a focus on just one line.
Many PVPs now have their own Facebook group, so getting in contact with them is super easy. The one downside is that many of them are super busy. So while you will get good service, it won’t match what a local travel agent can do for you.
Book Yourself – Booking a cruise yourself is perfect for those who are control freaks. While you are still booking directly through the cruise line, you can literally do 100% of everything online. If you hate talking on the phone and like to do everything yourself, then this is the way to go.
Through a Local Travel Agent – If you have been a reader of Cruise Fever for any amount of time, you have most likely seen us talk about the importance of booking through a local travel agent. If not, you can read our post Reasons to Use a Travel Agent here.
A good experienced travel agent can make booking your next cruise a total breeze. You get their experience and knowledge at no extra cost making it a no-brainer to use one. There’s also something to be said about supporting local businesses.
However, I will say this. If you are a control freak, then using a travel agent may not be the best way to go. You can not call the cruise line and ask about your reservation. Everything has to go through the agent. The cruise line won’t even talk to you, only to the agent. But why wouldn’t you have an agent handle everything? Let them wait on hold listening to elevator music so you don’t have to.
Online Travel Site – There are many online discount travel sites including Direct Line Cruises (877-654-8605), the Official Booking Partner of Cruise Fever. These online travel agencies will often reserve large groups of cabins on hundreds of cruises locking in not only great rates, but also extra perks as well that include onboard credit or free gratuities.
Many of them also work out exclusive offers with cruise lines that aren’t available anywhere else. You can instantly view prices across different online travel discount sites here.
However, it’s not all sunshine and roses with online discount travel sites. While you will often save money and get extra perks, you won’t get the same personalized service and attention that come with working with a travel agent or PVP.
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