Most people think that they get the best prices by bypassing the travel agent and booking directly with the cruise line. In fact, the opposite is true.
Most people think that cruises are more expensive than typical land-based vacations. But just like most types of vacations, you can spend a little or you can spend a lot. If you fly first-class it’ll cost you more than coach. If you stay in a five-star hotel you’ll spend more than if you stay in a three or four star. And if you eat in three-star Michelin restaurants you’ll spend more than eating at a nice Applebee’s or Chili’s. You get it, right?
Actually, it’s just the opposite. Since before the time of the Titanic and the Queen Mary (both the largest ships of their respective eras), cruise ships have been getting larger and larger. Today’s largest cruise ships dwarf those of the 20th century. The Oasis-class ships (Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and the soon-to-be-completed Symphony of the Seas, with one more un-named ship in the series to be launched in 2021), all owned by Royal Caribbean and each costing about one and a half billion dollars, are roughly five times larger than the Titanic. Each one can accommodate about 6,300 passengers plus another 2,100 crew and staff.
Not really. Both 'Travel Agents' and 'Travel Consultants' (also known as 'Specialists') are able to act on your behalf by booking travel (flights, trains, etc.) and/or travel related items (hotels, tours, etc.). However, by definition, a travel consultant is much more than just a travel agent. When you have a business trip that takes you from Denver to Paris, then from Paris to Berlin, and then back home to Denver (complicated), any travel agent can handle that for you. But when you and your spouse want to celebrate your twenty-fifth anniversary by finally taking that European dream cruise you’ve both been talking about since the kids were little, you’ll want a specialist.
A hundred years ago you might have been right to stay clear of cruise ships if you were prone to sea sickness. But technology has done wonders for passengers’ comfort and convenience. A ship’s size is a factor. The larger the ship, the less affect waves have on it. The invention and addition of Stabilizers was a big deal. These giant mechanisms engage themselves automatically to mitigate the ships movements through rough seas. Lastly, medical science brings us the Patch. Just attach this little band-aid-looking sticker, about as big as your thumbnail, and it will provide you with sea-sickness prevention medication for up to twenty-four hours. For those that feel that these advancements may not be sufficient to prevent the waves from affecting their enjoyment, there’s one more strategy to employ. Pick a cruise where there aren’t any waves.
This is a whopper of a myth. While it’s true that there are tons of travel agents out there that have never been on a cruise themselves, thus putting them (and their clients) at a disadvantage when their client wants to take a cruise. Sure the agent can book the cruise for you, but that agent can’t give you first hand advice and incredibly helpful tips like someone who’s actually taken a cruise.
Actually, when you tally the cost of hotel rooms, meals and entertainment, and perhaps even a catered venue for a family party, an equivalent family reunion held on a cruise can be far less expensive and even more enjoyable for the whole group. And if the get-together is large enough you can get group rates, making it an even better value. (Typically, you can get group rates by booking as few as eight staterooms.) Let’s compare.
When a cruise ship spends the day docked at one of its ports of call, this is an opportunity to go ashore and see the sights, explore the city, do some shopping, hit the beach, etc. The cruise line makes this very easy and convenient for you by arranging with local vendors and operators all sorts of activities. Of course, the types of activities will depend on the location but there’s always lots to choose from.