Which is the best way to book a cruise? Be it a short break or a dream holiday; booking a cruise is a hugely exciting experience – but who knew there are so many ways to go about it?
It’s often asked ‘Which is the best way to book a cruise’ and we’ll be honest here – we don’t know!
On the bombshell, we ask you not to leave just yet! Stick with us as we are going to go through some of the ways so that you can then then decide for yourself which is best for you.
High Street Travel Agent
Since the beginning of time… well at least before the Teletext and then the Internet, high street travel agents have been the people you go to when you want to go on holiday.
Some people love the personal touch of a travel agent – the fact you can see and touch them (probably best you don’t do more than shake hands or you may find having a holiday courtesy or Her Majesty) ask them questions and pop in when you are passing.
High street travel agents will be able to offer you all the deals you would get by booking with them online, sometimes they may be able to organise other extras or even throw in some additional discounts such as parking and etc.
One thing to keep in mind when booking via a general high street travel agent – they may sell all types of holiday and may not have in-depth knowledge about cruising, the ports of call and the ship you are booking. Take a look at the tweet below as an example…
Specialist Cruise Agent
Booking with a specialist, you can be confident they have the in-depth knowledge as this is their bread and butter. Selling cruises day in day out, they will know in detail what each cruise line has to offer, what ship will be best for you and give you advise on the ports of call.
The great thing about going via a specialist agent is that usually you can get a good deal as usually they are based in one location without the overheads of many shops. Some will also be able to offer you other incentives such as their own loyalty programs and special dals.
We caught up with Richard Cross from Vision Cruise / Holiday and Cruise TV to ask him why booking via an agent specialising in cruises is a good idea:
It’s always best to book your cruise holiday with a specialist cruise agency like Vision Cruise. Cruise agencies will go out of their way to help you find the right cruise line and even the right ship for you as they will offer unbiased impartial information. Certainly with Vision Cruise in addition to selling all cruise lines, we also package up cruise & stay holidays around the world which really offer exception value, sometimes you can combine two ships in the one holiday!
Richard also had some other exciting news to share…
Vision Cruise also offer the opportunity to cruise for FREE with a cruise giveaway every month for those who have booked during the previous month!
Now who wouldn’t like some of that?!
Direct with the cruise line
This is a popular one and people often think it guarantees them the best price or the best chance of an upgrade but this isn’t always the case.
Booking direct you are cutting out the middle man but you are also limiting access to deals and offers agents may get. One thing you guarantee booking direct is that the agent should know everything inside out, after all they are only selling cruises from that cruise line.
We will also touch on booking on board here – this can be a great way to get some additional discounts or on board credit and there is also another trick here. Check with your cruise line if you can then transfer your booking back to your travel agent, you may well then get their discounts too!
A side note…
We have booked several cruises online as it is really convenient, but some agents don’t always allow the cruise to be booked online. Don’t be put off if your agent doesn’t take internet bookings, give them a ring and you may be save yourself some money!
Another thing worth checking out is cashback sites – we have written a post about this here. These give you a small amount back when clicking on their referral link. If you have never used a cashback site, check them out as they are great for anyone buying over the internet.
We hope this has given you some food for thought, we weren’t looking to answer the original question as we think you will agree that the best way to book the cruise is the way that suits you!