Indeed the Internet can be a wonderful source of information to help you plan an exciting holiday, obtaining ship and stateroom descriptions, itineraries, tips on sites to see, passport and visa requirements, shore excursion, shopping, weather and local interest information,but is it the right place to book your dream vacation?
Cruise lines are investing over US$15 billion to build at least 50 new ships in the first half of this decade in addition to the over 300 vessels already in service. Each of these ships offer different amenities with unique ambiance and often this kind of information can only be understood and communicated by face to face discussions with a cruise expert to avoid turning a terrific vacation into a mediocre experience.
There is a common misconception that because something is offered for sale on the Internet, it will be an exceptional or a major saving for the consumer. More often than not however it is the ease of completing a transaction that is the major benefit for certain types of travel.
Do not assume that pricing on the Internet will automatically be the lowest. Often local agencies will have agreements with the cruiselines that allow them to offer exceptional “not to be advertised” specials.
Sometimes there are “residents specials” which are applicable only to residents of a particular country, state or province. Most cruise lines offer price protection to the consumer should the fare for your category of stateroom be reduced. A good agent will watch for reductions and ensure you receive the adjustment. Using an electronic service may not provide the same protection or make available specific specials applicable to your requirements.
Arrangements unique to your vacation such as special dietary requirements, handling disabilities, and providing meet and greet services, may be overlooked booking on-line and there may be no way to get answers your very specific questions.
On the other hand booking your frequent flyer points travel directly with the airlines or even obtaining a air ticket can be a simple process with little risk if you are dealing directly with the airline’s booking engine. Above all make sure about who you are giving your credit card to.