In 2016, ASTA research confirmed that travelers who book with travel agents save both time and money as well as enjoy a higher level of satisfaction..
Being one of the pioneers who introduced cruising to the Arabian gulf, I have been marketing cruise vacations for over 20 years and things have changed so much during this time. There’s a bewildering variety of options available to the cruise consumer and it’s not easy to select your dream vacation. Professional agents who have cruised on different ships know the advantages of each cruise line & can find the most suitable cruise line and ship to match your desires.
Agents are also familiar with the multitude of special promotions offered by the different cruise lines. Therefore, they are able to guide consumers as to how to get the most value -not just dollar value, but also to optimize their enjoyment of the cruise experience.
For sure, the cruise line, ship, itinerary and the package you book will determine the quality of your cruise vacation. I always suggest that you book your cruise vacation through a cruise specialist who has an excellent understanding and knowledge of the strengths and drawbacks of the individual cruise lines & the different cruise ships’ “unique features” and benefits. For example, whether you want to sail the scenic “Inside Passage to Alaska” or explore more on land, a professional will help you pick the right Alaskan cruise.
Now, here are some tips to save you money, as well as ensure smooth sailing..
- Your travel agent may have group space on a cruise which means there could be a substantial price reduction compared to the cruise line’s current rates. Or, there might be an added amenity such as onboard credit for the group. Perhaps there could be a price reduction, an onboard credit and a bottle of wine all provided for the same group! These extras add up to hundreds of dollars.
- Ask your agent for Travel insurance to cover emergency medical evacuation, expensive onboard medical treatment, missed connections, flight cancellations, unexpected death of a family member, lost baggage, stolen passports & more.
- Don’t take the cruiselines’ pricey Shore Excursions. Your professional travel agent can find you a reputable shore excursion company that will offer similar excursions for much less.
- Transatlantic cruises & repositioning cruises are sold pretty cheap- check with your travel agent for details of these routings.
- You could cruise for FREE- If you get together your own Group through your travel agent, your basic cruise fare will be covered!!
- Don’t use the Mini-Bar in your cabin- mini bar rates could be double the prices of beverages purchased in the ship’s bar.
- Try not to use your Cell Phone or Computer on the Ship- Instead send e-mails and make phone calls when you’re in port.