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Do You Accept a Cruise Package As Is?

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  • Wilba
    started a topic Do You Accept a Cruise Package As Is?

    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



  • mike, lanarkshire
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Issyalex, Glasgow
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Topdeck, London
    replied
    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.







    Leave a comment:


  • Fred Bloggs, Tyne and Wear
    replied
    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
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bradbury, Coventry
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bradbury, Coventry
    replied
    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'.

    Leave a comment:


  • smtcan, Scarborough
    replied
    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.
    Sheila

    Leave a comment:


  • Garfield, Waterlooville
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:


  • Topdeck, London
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wilba
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs M
    replied
    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'.

    Leave a comment:


  • annie, Glasgow
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • All at sea, Yorks
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yogini, Waterlooville
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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