You can enjoy a truly wonderful cruise experience, like you see above, or you can experience ocean bound hell by thinking you have an advantage by booking your own travel. Keep reading to learn more.
As a professional travel consultant and advisor to travelers who want the best vacations, for the best price, I often have to answer the question: "can't I wait until it is closer to departure time to book my cruise, because I have been told that it is cheaper then?" My answer to these travelers is a resounding, "no, it is not cheaper as you get closer."
There was a time that cruise lines would start to reduce their fares as the departure date got closer so that they could fill more of the cabins. However, this practice has pretty much been phased out and replaced with a more realistic, and efficient, pricing model that benefits everyone. The modern cruise fare model now is to present the lowest pricing that will be available when the sailings are first opened up to the public, and many cruise lines have now committed to opening new seasons on a 2 year planning schedule. As the departure date gets closer, the cruise fare increases, but the earlier a person wants to book their cruise, the more budget friendly it is going to be. Another benefit of being able to book so far in advance is being able to secure your booking with a minimum deposit, and then pay your booking off over time. This makes booking that higher category stateroom, and extra amenities and perks packages more accessible to more travelers because it all rolls into one price.
Another myth about booking a cruise vacation (or any type of travel experience) is that you can get it cheaper by booking it online with one of the major booking platforms like Expedia, Priceline, etc., and that is not the case at all. It is true that you might find a listed price during your search that is just too good to be true, and you would be correct, because those prices are meant to get you to click through and get caught in their funnel of questions, limited details, "don't forget this" pop-ups that keep you adding stuff that you don't even understand, until you get to the end of your journey where the real pricing starts to show up. Truth is, there are no cheap cabins at half the rate of what the other travelers have paid, and there is no such thing as the cheap airline seat either. And if you do actually get one of these cabins that has a drastically reduced price to it, it is because you just booked a broom closet that is located in the most undesireable location on the ship, which has no special offers, amenities, perks, or benefits, and is so loaded with restrictions (to include being fully non-refundable), that you didn't save a thing by booking it, and your experience will be the worst thing you have ever endured. I know this for a fact because I have seen people caught up in this practice every time I am onboard a ship and there is nothing that anyone can do for them. This is why you should never book your travel through an online booking platform such as these. They are not there for you, they have no actual knowledge or experience with travel, and they only want your money. It really is that simple.
Another great myth is that after you have booked your travel, on your own, the cruiseline or resort, is going to go out of their way to make everything that has gone wrong right for you. Now I can tell you that they will take care of the things that they can from a customer service point of view, but they are not obligated, nor will they in most cases, go beyond that basic line. The reason behind is that when you book with one of the online booking platforms, or even through a professional advisor like me, the primary responsibility for your booking is managed by the people that you booked it with, not the supplier. Their hands are tied in what they can do you because the issues are related to how it was booked and managed (or not managed at all in the case of an online platform), and your only recourse for corrections is through the agency or platform with whom you contracted. I can tell you from experience that the online platforms will not go out of their way to do anything for you, and will constantly refer you to the terms and conditons of your contract which will clearly spell out that they have no obligation to do anything for you aside from provide the booking services. You are on your own, and that is the cold hard truth. When you book your travel through a real professional who has first-hand experience with the type of travel that you are looking for, and has obtained specialized travel industry certifcations and credentials, you can rest assured that they will be there when you need them. In fact, a true travel professional, has made a commitment to the highest standards of customer service and ethics, and we have a legal obligation to ensure that your travel interests, and the money that you have invested in your travels, are our top priority.
You can continue to think that doing it yourself is cheaper, or that you know there are better deals out there than what you may find with a travel professional, but the reality is that you will continue to head down a path of confusion, deceipt, and lack of clarity, only to end up standing in the endless lines that form at the customer service desk because you didn't plan smart. I know this from personal experience because I have been there, once, and it wasn't a good thing. It is this very experience that lead me to becoming a certified professional travel consultant and a certified cruise specialist, and I did it so that other's would not have to fall prey to the same trap and discontent. You have a choice: keep thinking that you have it nailed down, and book on your own; or, use some common sense and take your travel desires and needs to a true professional who is going to ensure that your travel wants, desires, and needs are met, and are properly managed and monitored to ensure that your trip is truly memorable experience, in a positive way.
It all starts by making the smart decision, and then reaching out to us via our linked forms and contact methods. Ultimately, we save you money, because we make sure that your trip includes only the things that you need, and your personal requests, and not a list of things that you don't even know what they are. We spell it out in great detail for you and are with you every step of the way, from out initial interviews, to your return home, and we look forward to seeing you soon.