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Do You Accept a Cruise Package As Is?

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    Do You Accept a Cruise Package As Is?

    Following on from the Venice Thread regarding hotels being out of town from the focal points of interest, do you just accept a cruise package as per the agent or cruise line promotion?

    As an example, after regrettably accepting pre cruise hotels whereby I had to take a taxi or bus to get the main attractions of a town or city, I started tailoring my cruise packages by booking every single aspect of the holiday to suit my own needs.

    Yes, I have been aware of the risks, which I later changed to packaging every single detail of my typical cruise & stay venture, and then presented the package to two or three agents for the best price and a little more security. A pre cruise hotel for me must be in the heart of the action, such as bars and restaurants, a Chinatown or its historical past.

    Some years ago I recall one multi faceted package offered by a well known agent which caught my eye because of content and price.

    Las Vegas, Alaskan cruise, Amtrak overnight to San Francisco, and hotel stay.

    I changed every aspect of that offer with flights from and to my local airport, BHX instead of LHR, better hotel in Vegas, change of cabin on ship, different accommodation on the Amtrak, different hotel in Frisco.

    This was one of the biggest haggles I had encountered, paying only for the upgrade from inside to balcony on the ship, and upgraded coach seating to roomette on the Amtrak. The hardest haggle were the flights.

    Do you just accept what’s on offer then possibly later regret it?..............Wilba


    Wilba

    #2
    Hi Wilba,

    We have been very lucky, we had a beautiful hotel and room overlooking Niagra falls and a free upgrade when we arrived, couldn't have done better my self. A lovely hotel in the middle of everywhere in Iceland, a Holiday Inn in Sydney which although not amazing was in a fantastic location with very friendly and helpful staff.

    The only time we dipped out was in New York, we had the Pennsylvania, but it was only for one night so we grinned and bared it!! Again though the location was brilliant.

    So at the moment I'm more than happy to go along with the cruise package .................................................. ................Carol

    Comment


      #3
      We always tailor any fly cruise to our own specifications. That means choosing airline [plus flight times/scheduling] and hotels. We let Cunard take over the flights in case the whole holiday goes whatsist up, but book our own hotels.

      Putting our flights through Cunard, costs, but we think it's worth it.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Wilba.
        As I only cruise in Europe putting my own package together isn’t a problem.
        Flights,Hotel and sailing from say Barcelona is no problem.

        On a long haul to pick up a cruise or do the itinerary you describe for the first time I would definitely do a package.
        Second time after experiencing hotels,flights,transfers the first time around I would look to put my own slant on it.

        If it was simply a land trip to somewhere like Australia I would do it myself,,,,probably do like my daughter and her husband did,,,book flights and hotel for first couple of nights then play it by ear when there.

        I think getting older changes the way we do things,,problems? Let someone else sort them out.
        But then again what says the Travel Agent is better than yourself.

        JC
        C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
        "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Wilba, With your previous extensive flight and travel experience, you have the knowledge to tailor make your holidays to your exact specification. Personally I tweak my holidays and cruises to suit myself and not the travel company.

          Before I retired I worked for ten years in a well respected, award winning, independent travel agency. We specialised in tailor made holidays to suit the client’s requirements. I am confident in booking my own holidays and those of friends and family. I can honestly say we never had a dissatisfied client.

          For those inexperienced holidaymakers who do not feel confident in planning their own holidays, I would suggest doing lots of research, or you could be disappointed with the holiday and destination you find yourself in. If you choose to package your own trip, always ensure you have a back up plan in place, should there be any flight delays. Not forgetting adequate insurance to cover most eventualities and a credit card or two with decent spending limits.

          Comment


            #6
            Early on in my cruising 'life' I did look into doing everything myself, without success. It took such a lot of effort and frequently ended up more expensive than the package, so I eventually just accepted the deal offered, with only occasionally changing a pre- or post-hotel stay. I must have a charmed life because I was rarely disappointed.

            Comment


              #7
              For a few of the major lines they have made it very easy to play around with the connections, allowing flight and hotel changes.

              Also you can mix in booking the cruise on the international sites where sometime the prices are cheaper.

              Had some good deals through US agents and direct(they don't always make that easy)

              some you can check the flight options without a booking they have an airfare portal.


              Princess allows you to add stopovers as well


              We have flown into Florida for a cruise and back from Boston 2 weeks after the cruise(own internal flight) using cruise air.
              you can build some quite good combinations.


              Some like Marella you have no choice but package or cruise only(sometimes more expensive)


              Comment


                #8
                Regarding our stay near Venice before a cruise, it wasn't part of a package. We chose to stay in Mestre because OH is a public transport nut and wanted to experience the bus ride into Venice, as well as the Vaparetto, water taxis etc in the city.

                3 years ago, I had planned to go to Australia without OH because it was something I wanted to do and he didn't.

                I was going with 2 female friends, one of whom wanted to stay with her daughter in Perth. The other lady and I planned our own trip from Perth, to incorporate the places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to do. sadly, 6 months before we were due to go, the other lady pulled out because of health issues.

                I carried on regardless because I could do exactly what I wanted and I have no fear of travelling alone. I was so excited about the adventure but alas, it was not meant to be.

                A week before I was due to fly to Hong Kong on the first leg of my trip, I put my back out big time whilst lifting something heavy. At the time, I couldn't have even made it to airport, yet alone sit on a long flight. I was absolutely gutted because I had put so much into the planning of that trip and was looking forward to it immensely.

                I have now given up on long haul flights so unless I do a solo World Cruise, will probably never visit Australia/New Zealand.
                Jill

                Comment


                  #9
                  I use a specialist cruise agent for solos, so do mainly accept the packages. If it's a cruise that I have selected rather than a 'deal' I have made my own travel and hotel arrangements. I am slightly more nervous about that now, given the problems that people had getting home last March.
                  2018-
                  Queen Victoria - Mediterranean Explorer

                  2019 -
                  NCL Getaway - Norway and Iceland
                  Adventure of the Seas - Fall Foliage

                  2020 -
                  Jewel of the Seas - Abu Dhabi & Dubai
                  Magellan - Panama Canal

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It’s been some years since we did a cruise package, as cruise only now suits us better.

                    But we once booked a package of Caribbean cruise followed by a 3 night stay in New York. All arrangements made by our very good travel agent.

                    Just one element concerned me, the reviews I had read about their choice of Sheraton hotel, centrally located. I rang the agent to discuss this and the ensuing chat ended up with us being upgraded to the Waldorf Astoria.

                    It was a very enjoyable visit to NYC.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I might use Air but never hotels.

                      I recall several TAs were offering a cruise package combined with a Lake Garda area hotel stay. Which end of the lake? It makes a massive difference to the Lake experience.

                      Location, Location etc

                      Annie

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by annie, Glasgow View Post
                        I might use Air but never hotels.

                        I recall several TAs were offering a cruise package combined with a Lake Garda area hotel stay. Which end of the lake? It makes a massive difference to the Lake experience.

                        Location, Location etc

                        Annie
                        The last time we picked up QV in San Francisco, our agent got us got a good Cunard price on their flights which suited us, but we had to take one of the hotels offered, price determined by whichever hotel we picked.

                        We picked the cheapest ( it was very cheap so goodness knows its location), booked into the hotel of our choice and ditched the one included with the 'package'.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          When it comes to hotels, it's Location, Location every time for me. I would even choose a lower grade hotel in a perfect position over an extra star a taxi or bus ride away.

                          As for self package bookings, I did it for many years with no problems, distance no object, and yes I did save money, although that was a bonus, not the objective.

                          Now I am older I still self package, but then put it through an agent to get the so called security of ABTA.

                          These days Marella is the only package I accept as written, knowing I can fly from a local airport, with a good choice of post cruise hotels should I need..............Wilba
                          Wilba

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Wilba View Post
                            When it comes to hotels, it's Location, Location every time for me. I would even choose a lower grade hotel in a perfect position over an extra star a taxi or bus ride away.

                            As for self package bookings, I did it for many years with no problems, distance no object, and yes I did save money, although that was a bonus, not the objective.

                            Now I am older I still self package, but then put it through an agent to get the so called security of ABTA.

                            These days Marella is the only package I accept as written, knowing I can fly from a local airport, with a good choice of post cruise hotels should I need..............Wilba

                            ABTA gets you very little its the ATOL cert that you need.

                            During Covid ABTA hung the customers out to dry their sole interest was the people that pay them the industry.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We always self package..not many cruise companies do train travel.
                              If it goes boobies up we only have ourself to blame although the floods in southern France threw us a curve ball a few years back.
                              But through my quick thinking and undoubted superior intelligence I got the problem solved..

                              Garf....

                              Comment


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