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Do You Accept a Cruise Package As Is?

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    The only time we took a cruise line package was with Celebrity to the Galápagos Islands. That worked really well, but didn’t encourage us to take packages to more accessible destinations. I book cruise only and select flights, hotels and other land transportation myself. Husband just pays when I tell him how much. He enjoys travel but doesn’t want to be involved in the details.
    We went on a South America cruise with a large group, all the others took the full package, but we wanted to spend more time before and after the cruise, since we didn’t anticipate being in that area again. We booked into the package hotel in Buenos Aires for five days and our own hotel in Santiago for four days and the cost was marginally less than the package cost for two days in BA and one in Santiago, mainly because we paid per room and the package was priced per person.
    Since then I have arranged cruises and stays in Japan, Singapore and Cambodia as well as many in Europe. Over here do not have any benefit for booking package deals, but we have excellent insurance coverage through my retired teachers’ plan and have never had a problem.


      The common hurdle I experience when trying to hand over my 'bespoke' package to an agent is.......I am sorry that 'hotel' is not on our supply list. So sometimes I have to omit that part from the agent and self book.
      A couple of prime examples, I have a preferred B&B hotel in Venice not on agents list of approved hotels and also once I wanted to book a day room in Civitavecchia before a late flight back - again the agent could not handle this as the hotel whilst on their supply list 'didnt do' day rooms, but not a problem for me I made a direct booking including an airport transfer.
      So a mix and match of self booking and agent.
      Fortunately I have a very good agent - who will tell me if I can probably 'book the flights cheaper myself too'.


        Originally posted by Topdeck, London View Post

        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.
        Is it ABTA means they are a reputable agent , but ATOL protects your money?


          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

          Certainly does with Lake Garda especially if you want to see Milan or Verona which are so easy to do by train from Desenzano in the south of the lake.

          Wish they offered the option for train travel to Venice with a stopover in Turin. Lovely! Was going to organise it myself this year to pick up a ship in Venice but not to be!


            Originally posted by Bradbury, Coventry View Post

            Is it ABTA means they are a reputable agent , but ATOL protects your money?
            You would hope so but plenty of ABTA TAs have lived off client money while going down and ABTA bail outs.

            For cruises a lot of TA act as agent only so it is the cruise line ABTA you are hoping protects you when they go bust.
            (Most cruise lines take their an honour bookings)

            ATOL gets you home if it's a flight package.

            ABTA abandoned its own code of conduct to support the package holiday regs on 14day refunds on cancellation.


              I've done both package and DIY but I prefer DIY as we like to travel a few days early and maybe stay post cruise for a few days too, (if abroad) so we can spend the few days getting to know the city.

              We were very lucky when we had a few DIY cruises/hotels/flights cancelled due to covid, one leaving from Miami and the other 2 from Barcelona. The hotels refunded our money within a week and the airline too longer to pay us back and the cruiseline even longer.

              I do like picking my own flight times and hotels but if a package gave me a better deal then I’m happy to go with the deal.
              don't want to work, just want to cruise.


                I’ve done a fly cruise package only once but it came in handy as Rhapsody was still at sea and everyone was delayed due to fog. We were very well looked after when we arrived at the airport? However, I prefer to book my own flights and always travel at least 3 days before the cruise (transatlantic) to avoid any potential delays with the airline and to unwind from jet lag. European itineraries usually 2 days.


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