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Wilba - Answered a Question by Dar (14 Jan 09 20:02)

The best advice is to take advice. There are many tales of woe from 1st timers who have booked with the wrong travel agent/cabin/cruise line/ship/flight times etc. If you put all your prices on to paper, talk to a cruise specialist like the freephone number above & get them to price match or better your findings. Don't go down the High St would be my next piece of advice. Good Luck....Wilba.

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Ashby Taylor - Answered a Question by Dar (15 Jan 09 08:57)

Hi, I am also looking at a Royal Caribbean cruise from Miami in April. The last two, I booked with US agents but the dollar rate is lower now and not such a good deal. www.CRUISE.co.uk have some good cruise only deals out of Miami. in fact the one I am looking at is almost half the price quoted in the US. At the moment, American Airlines have non stop flights for under £290 midweek or £320 weekend. I do usually book independently and generally save several hundred pounds each trip. Hotel chains like choice hotels and hilton are reasonably priced for the stay prior to the cruise and some offer courtesy transport to and from the airport and cruise port. Good luck.

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Buckley - Answered a Question by Dar (15 Jan 09 10:27)

Go to the RCI web site and price the holiday you want including flights the hotel comes with the flight and all your transfers,then try the free phone numbers and web sites for prices just google cruises? Competition for your business is keen so you can try and bargain even the high street ones can offer to price match. If saving cash is your main aim then doing it yourself may well save you money for your first cruise I would think very carefully Best of luck.

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Wilba - replied to Buckley (15 Jan 09 12:17)

I know I go on about not using a High St TA for reasons that could fill a page, particularly for first time cruisers. Yes they will probably price match but what the majority WON’T DO is honour the RCI/Celebrity/Azamara PRICE PROMISE. In this economic climate where prices are likely to change/drop, particularly as a last minute sell off, the RCI group will reduce your invoice to the new low price. If this occurs after full payment has been made, up to the day of sailing, the differential will be given as on board credit (OBC). This is not automatic & it’s up to you to monitor the prices & stake your claim. Most reputable Cruise Specialists will honour this agreement & should be one of your first questions asked when booking a RCI/Celeb/Aza cruise. It’s been well reported that most of the High St crowd will not play ball on this, & the most that vociferous complainers have received, is a bit of OBC as recompense. That is just one of the many reasons I constantly nag on this subject Regards…..Wilba.

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Bradbury - Answered a Question by Dar (15 Jan 09 14:50)

Just to clariy: To put this together yourself, what you need to do, is book your cruise with a cruise specialist (Not high street T/A) I know they all have a so called cruise specialist but trust me most of them havent got a clue! A specialist cruise club/agent such as the one on this site will have far more knowledge and get you the best rates. Then look at your flights independantly (you dont have to book these with the same agent). Only word of advice is book your flight to go out at least a day before cruise is due to depart and have a back up plan if there is a flight delay. Booking it as seperate DIY means its your responsiblity to get to the ship. If your flight is late and you miss your ship its down to you. Booking it as a total package via an agent with RCI to include flights, transfers and cruise means its RCI responsibility to get you there.

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STREETS - Answered a Question by Dar (18 Jan 09 19:14)

Hi, i work as travel agent, i know it can be cheaper to book your cruise and flights seperate but peace of mind is priceless . . .

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Gray - Answered a Question by Dar (19 Jul 09 08:53)

If you do anything DONT BOOK VIRGIN HOLIDAYS - they are the worst i have ever experienced and i do all my own bookings normally and i reckon i could have done a better job and saved a lot of time energy and money.

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