Ever wonder why most people use a travel agent to book a cruise? Well to put it simply, cruises are complicated travel arrangements. It’s not rocket science, but it surely is much more complicated than booking a simple airfare between two destinations or a simple hotel stay.
Choices & Voices
There are so many choices when it comes to cruises, and so many sources of information that it quickly becomes overwhelming. Some typical questions:
- Where should I cruise to?
- When should I cruise?
- What are the costs? Are there hidden costs?
- Will I enjoy this ship/itinerary/port?
- What’s the best cabin location for me?
- Will I get sea-sick on a cruise?
- What travel documents do I need?
- What is a “guaranteed” cabin?
- Should I get trip insurance?
- How do I learn about the ports of call?
- What is a french balcony? What is a cove balcony? Aren’t all balconies created equal!?
- Why, oh why do people start talking “aft” and “port” and “starboard” the minute the sea-spray hits their faces!?
Don’t Despair, Help is near
And this is just a sampler. As you can see, the questions beg more questions. Make no mistake about it, cruising IS a complicated affair, and unless you are a very seasoned cruise traveler and like spending time doing your own research and shopping around, it is a no-brainer that you should use a travel agent.
Note: in almost all cases, the costs for a travel agent is $0 or very small – the agent makes his/her commission from the cruise line.
I want instant gratification!
In my blog, I address topics like these questions from time to time, so be sure to read through my archives, or better yet, subscribe to my blog for updates. And, thanks!
In the meantime, here are some pointers to get you started.
- First, almost every cruise line have sophisticated web sites with tons of information on cruising, and special pages of information for first-time cruisers.
A good starting place: First Time Cruisers
- Alternatively, you can do a google search for your cruise line and their “newbie” pages. E.g. “Royal Caribbean All About Cruising“
- See my blog entry on Top 10 Useful Travel Sites
- See my blog entry on Why do I need a travel agent?
Please contact me with any questions or feedback... happy cruising! - Bill.