Poll Position: Online Bookings

April 8, 2013 | By | 10 Comments

When it comes to booking, you have a ton of flexibility: book in person, over the phone or online with a travel agent, through your cruise line of choice or via a third-party vendor like Expedia or Travelocity. With online commerce gaining more traction than ever, we wondered just how many cruisers make their travel arrangements in cyberspace.
What we asked: Would you book a cruise online?
What they said: A whopping 52 percent said they usually or always do. Another 19 percent said they haven’t yet, but they’d be willing to. A further 25 percent said they book elsewhere, and the remaining 4 percent weren’t sure.
What it all means: Given that Cruise Critic is an online-only medium, it stands to reason that many of the folks voting in the poll would be open to perusing online cruise deals and feel comfortable making cruise purchases on the Web. While some people on our Facebook page agree, there are lots of varying opinions floating around. The majority, however, say they prefer to book through agents.
“I just go through my TA,” says Stuart Twiddy. “Let her handle all the headache.”
Ed Slomka tells us he likes the personal touch provided by an agent. “We do not believe in checking boxes and filling in lines as booking a cruise. Talking about preferences and selecting choices seems more exciting.”
“If you book with an agent you have the back-up and support of the agent,” Lesley Taylor points out. “Best to find online and then get the agent to book it.”
Janet Hay says, “Most of the time I book through the cruiseline. I want to do my own research and watch for deals. Times I have used a TA they’ve never found it cheaper and I found it a hassle.”
“I booked online…much cheaper price than any other ways that I researched,” says Dawn Hopkins Panagos.
“I normally do not. That being said I recently did book my first cruise online,” adds Merri Matsil Nannarone. “I got a great price and I feel like I control my own destiny since I made the booking.”
What’s your preferred booking method? Be sure to share it in the comments below.
Vote in today’s daily poll here by scrolling to the bottom right.
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    10 Responses to “Poll Position: Online Bookings”

    1. bimmie girl
      April 10th, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

      I go for the cabin. Someday perhaps I will book a cruise for the price, but for now we find a date, then the cabin we want and so I call the cruise line to make sure the cabin we want is available. some cruise we want the spa experience and want the best cabin location to that. some cruises it has been with a group of friends or family and we want the aft wrap for sail away parties.

    2. Penny Aklinski
      April 10th, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

      I didn’t this last time and wish I had. I is much easier dealing with the cruise line when prices drop.

    3. David Kay
      April 10th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

      98% of my cruise bookings I have done online. I often make changes to my bookings and it’s far easier to do so directly with the cruise line. It takes two minutes to make the change and I get an immediate confirmation. Also, I can control my booking experience better than going through a middle person. I do my research first and then call up the cruise line and tell them exactly what I want which takes only a few minutes. Also, dealing with the cruise company allows me to make incremental payments up to the final due date.

    4. Barbara Johnson
      April 10th, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

      I usually decide what Cruise we will do, and then call the Cruise Line and book it, BUT then I go on line and shop prices and 99% of the time I transfer our Booking to a Agent.

    5. Don Radford
      April 10th, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

      First cruise – went on line to find what we wanted and then to TA. Second and third (for 11 of us) cruises – did it all on line. No problems whatsoever.

    6. karl Kassity
      April 10th, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

      IS it generally less expensive to book directly on line or through s travel agent or directly with the cruise line?

    7. karl Kassity
      April 10th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

      Which method is the least expensive to book a cruise?

    8. Tom from Maryland
      April 10th, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      I booked my first cruise online. While on that cruise I met a TA who was very personable. now I book through her and have someone to answer my questions.

    9. Ann B
      April 10th, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

      i have booked on-line for many years. Have even booked up to 16 cabins on-line for the same cruise and have never had an issue. Whether it is for one or multiple cabins, I always get a much cheaper price on-line. And each and every time I checked with a TA, the cruise line itself as well as the usual like Auto Club or Costco. My on-line guy beats them all and never once have I talked to him and never had any issues.

    10. Gay
      April 20th, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

      I’ve booked several cruises online. I always use my personal cruise person, Bryan, when booking with Carnival. He calls when the price drops on pending cruises. We’re booked on a European 12 day in Sept and it’s gone down $800 since we booked in July, 2012.

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