Cruise lines understand the importance of matching people with the perfect cruise. Because of this, each cruise line features a team of cruise planners to help walk you through planning your cruise, from beginning to end. If you have a specific cruise line in mind, all it takes is to log onto your favorite cruise lines website and connect to an online cruise planner or travel specialist. Cruise planners are available via online chat, email or by phone. In some cases, you may be able to chat with an online cruise expert 24/7, so inquire within.
If you are a first-time cruiser and you are unsure about which cruise line to choose, you may need to locate an independent cruise planner or expert. Luckily for you, there are plenty to choose from.
There are more than 33 major cruise lines around the world, and literally thousands of cruise planners and experts serving millions of cruise passengers each year. Not only do cruise planners specialize in cruises, they can also help you book everything from hotel and airfare to car rentals.
Cruise planners are not just there to make reservations for you. Cruise experts can give you advice on destinations, and they can also inform you about weather conditions, suggest certain cruises to suit your taste, style and budget, and they can also find the best deals. In some cases travel agents are the only ones with access to special travel packages, discounts, and deals. In a nutshell, a cruise expert can help you sort out travel options and help you weed through all of the travel information that’s out there today.
While most cruise planners will be able to help you find the perfect cruise, if you have no idea which type of cruise you want to take — there are some cruise planners that specialize in specific types of cruises. For example, you will find cruise planners that specialize in Alaska Adventure cruises or cruise experts that specialize in luxury cruises. Some may specialize in family cruises, wedding cruises, exotic cruises, or any number of theme cruises.
To find a cruise expert in your area, there are several ways to go about it. You can flip through your local yellow pages, you can locate a cruise planner through referral, or you can search for a cruise planner online through a popular sites such as TravelSense.org. Finding a cruise expert through referral (word of mouth) or through a site like TravelSense.org is highly recommended.
In addition to cruise planners, you can also opt for an online cruise travel agent. An online cruise travel agent is not a specific person or agent, so to speak, but rather a system that allows you, the potential cruiser, to shop and compare the prices of different cruise lines, search activities and destinations, take virtual tours, browse recommendations and reviews, checkout Top Ten lists, and in some cases chat online with an agent. Once you have completed the exciting process of selecting your perfect cruise, the system allows the user to book online. The only time you will speak with an actual agent is when a travel agent calls to confirm the details of your trip. 99% of the browsing and booking process typically takes place online and through email correspondence.
The vast majority of Internet users opt for online cruise travel agents for 24/7 access to the online cruise travel agent site, the cost to use the site — zero, and the incredible savings that can be enjoyed by booking online, and the amazing time-saving benefits.
With an online cruise travel agent, everything you need is right at your fingertips and most agent sites are so easy to navigate, a child could do it. While it is recommended that potential passengers use an online travel agent that specializes in cruises, there are a few top-notch online travel agents that are excellent at helping users find the perfect (and least expensive) cruises.
Below is a list of some of the top online cruise travel agents available today.
*Cruisedirectonline.com: Cruise Direct Online has been recommended by Frommer’s, Budget MSNBC, CNBC, MSN Money and Travel Magazine.
*Cruisespecialists.com: Specializing in luxury travel.
*Cruisecompete.com: Find the best deals and sites for cruise travel.
*Cruisequick.com: 100% Internet based, quick quotes.
*Cruise411.com: Great at sniffing out special rates, last minute cruises, best sales.
*Cruisebrothers.com: Since 1972, MSNBC ranks cruisebrothers.com in the top 15.
*Moments-notice.com: Offers best buys, deals of the week and killer Internet specials.
*Cruisesonly.com: Last minute cruises, reviews, the skinny on blowout sales.
*Cruisebrokers.com: Covers all cruise lines and destinations, luxury cruise line specialists, recommended in AOL Cruise Critic.
*Expedia.com: Flawless search function, endless amounts of information and deals.
*Travelocity.com: Great for shopping and comparing, quick and easy.