Top 5 Mistakes Made when booking a Cruise Online.
Top 5 mistakes to avoid when booking Cruises Online. You can find hundreds of websites that allow you to book cruises online. Here is a quick list of common mistakes to make it easier for you:
# 1 Booking a Category 1A cabin on a Carnival Cruise and not realizing that a Category 1A is one twin bed on the floor and a twin bed that comes out of the wall. Basically, it is bunk beds. The least expensive inside cabin on a Carnival Cruise is a Category 1A and when you see “rates starting at $199 on a Carnival Ship” it is for 1A.
# 2 Booking an Obstructed Ocean View Cabin thinking that they were getting a full view. The least expensive Ocean View Cabin on most ships with all of the cruise lines are obstructed by life boats. The cruise industry considers cabins on the outside of the ship to be Ocean View. First time cruisers get very upset when they book an Ocean View cabin online and then they get to the cruise ship there is a life boat in front of their window. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to printout a Deck Plan of the ship that you are booking onto and see where your cabin is located. There is usually a pretty steep jump in price from Obstructed Ocean View to the full Ocean View.
# 3 Not understanding Cruise Line Cancellation Penalties. If you book a cruise and the full payment is required at the time of booking, then you are already within the timeframe in which cancellations are penalized. When you book online, you are fully responsible for knowing the cancellation policy of the cruise line and of the agency you are booking through. Cruisedeals.com does not charge any admin fees for cancellations, but we required to follow the cruise lines policies. Some other agencies charge booking and cancellation fees on top of the cruise lines policies, so you need to be aware of those as well. Cruise line penalties usually start around 80 days prior to the sail date. Adding Travel Insurance is the best way to reduce the risk of being penalized for last minute cancellations.
#4 Not Understanding what it means to book a Guarantee. When people book a cruise online and do not get a cabin assignment at the time of booking or they book an Inside or Ocean View Guarantee they sometimes do not understand what they are booking. A Guarantee means that you are Guaranteed at least that category of cabin depending on availability. So it leaves you opened to getting upgraded, but because you are giving the cruise line the ability to assign your cabin that once it is assigned the cruise line will not move it for you. This is usually the way to get the best deal, but you give up control of location for the low price and the hopes for a “free” upgrade.
#5 Not giving themselves enough time to get to the pier when they book their flights. Every port and airport is different so you need to find out what are the recommended arrival and departure times for flights for that sailing prior to arranging your flights.
These are the top five mistakes or misunderstandings that I see with clients booking their own reservations online. It does not cost 1 dime extra to work with a knowledgeable agent, so I fully recommend for new cruisers to work with an agent. And you will find that most experienced cruisers have found an agent that they trust and use for all of their cruise bookings. I hope this helps ~ Happy Cruising[box type=”info”]Want access to real-time cruise advice? Follow @CruiseDeals on Twitter [/box]