Cruise Vacation Reservations
Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Cruise Vacation Reservations Upper Sandusky Reviews
Cruise Vacation Reservation Experiences May 01, 2008
Whether you are a first timer taking a cruise or a veteran, booking the reservation can be a pleasant or confusing process. I'm a frequent cruiser with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and I've booked many ways. I thought I would pass on my experiences for those of you looking to make a reservation.
Our first couple cruises were booked through our travel agent at the AAA. I can't say enough about the help and advise we received from June! Before our first cruise, June advised us from which cruise line to take that fit our travel habits to what to expect from check in at the pier to what to pack and expect from our cruise vacation. She was a huge help! We were well prepared for every aspect of the trip.
We then began making reservations on our own. Our next few cruises were booked on the phone with the reservations phone desk. Since we knew a little about the ships, air fare, ports of call, etc., we called for stateroom options and prices. I was pleased with the friendly people who recommended the best cabins available for the amount we wanted to spend. When choosing this option, you can request information be sent to your local travel agent who will then receive the cruise documents and go over the details with you, or receive the info in the mail for you to look over at your leisure before the trip.
Our last option was just to reserve online. By far, this option is the least contact with people. You can still select your stateroom from a list given according to the catagory you choose. If you have done your homework and are familiar with the ship's layout, then this isn't a hard experience. You can always call the reservations line to help you if you have questions.
Their airfare package or make you own? Good Question!!!! Again, we've done it both ways. The first few times we chose the cruise line package. This has some advantages if flights are cancelled or delayed. The cruise company will help you get from home to pier. If you go out on your own, you are responsible for making alternate plans, transfers from airport to pier, and other problems that may arise getting to the ship. We found the packages to be a little pricy, and were able to book flights cheaper and sometimes more direct by doing the reservations on our own. My advice would be to read all the selections and alternatives to decide for yourself.
One lesson we did learn almost the hard way - weather can play a big factor! We decided to fly from Ohio to Florida in January the day the ship left port. We awoke to a snowstorm in Ohio, and an ice storm in our connection city of Charlotte. Both flights, the one out of Columbus and the one out of Charlotte, had been cancelled. The cruise line and airline helped us to get on a flight which would get us to Miami with little time to spare to make the sailing. From that point on, we now book our flights for a day ahead arrival in the port city. This allows us plenty of time the next day to arrive at the port, get checked in, and explore the ship before set sail. You can choose day ahead packages from the cruise line or again, do it yourself!
Cabins - are you prone to motionsickness? Choose a cabin in the low deck middle section. These are the rooms that least feel the "motion of the ocean." Inside cabins have no windows and are the cheapest. Outside cabins can have portholes, windows, and sliding glass doors to a small balcony. The higher the deck you go, the more expensive. Also, more glass is more expensive. I tend to feel cramped in if choosing an inside cabin, but on short cruises, this makes the most sense to us. On longer cruises with new ports of call or great scenery, we like to choose the balcony rooms. These cabins seem so bright and airy, and offer a wonderful view of sunrises, sunsets, islands and other scenery. Again, these are personal preference choices.
You will find many, many choices for length of cruise, ports of call, ships, and ammendities. Decide on the destination, look at the ships and what activities are offered, consider the cabin possibilities, and the length of the cruise. Some people chose back to back sailings on the same ship. This way, they can see many ports of call without having to change staterooms or ships. Our favorite is the 7 night options. We only have a week on vacation, so this works best for us. Four and five night cruise are also great if you don't like to be gone for a whole week. Sometimes we just need a getaway, so booking a cruise of this length is great! Personal preference enters into this decision.
Now, we are getting ready to choose a cruise for 2009. My husband and I are doing our homework coming up with a sailing, and will be booking again soon. Probably, we will call the RCCL reservation desk. I've never come across a person who wasn't helpful and very friendly. I'm getting excited to "get out there." (For those of you who don't know, the phrase "get out there" is the Royal Caribbean slogan.)
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