Five Mistakes People Make When Booking a Cruise
Forgoing a travel agent and travel insurance
Travel agents are experts who can help you select the cruise line, ship, and itinerary that best fits your lifestyle, budget, and interests. They have access to the same pricing as booking through a cruise line directly but can provide additional savings, onboard credit, complimentary gratuities, and other amenities you won't get from booking on your own. Travel insurance gives you peace of mind if plans change. Without it, you could be on the hook for 100% of your trip if you must cancel unexpectedly. Insuring your trip allows you to breathe a little easier, knowing your travel investment is protected.
Delaying booking in hopes of getting a deal
Think you'll get a better deal at the last minute? Think again! Cruises can be booked as far as two years in advance. Waiting too long can result in the cruise or stateroom category you want being sold out. With lower stateroom inventory as the sailing date approaches, many cruise lines actually increase prices closer to the sailing date. Book early to get the specific cruise and stateroom you want.
Waiting to book shore excursions or onboard dining and shows
Putting off booking a shore excursion is risky because the most popular tours may be sold out by the time you're on board. The same goes for certain restaurants or shows. Often, cruise lines will offer lower prices for shore excursions booked in advance. That's another way travel agents can help. They can guide you through the pre-cruise process and assist with those types of reservations.
Flying in on the day of sailing
Weather delays or mechanical issues can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare if you are flying in on the day you are sailing. The stress of possibly missing your cruise is not the way to start a relaxing trip. Fly in a day early and enjoy an evening at your port of embarkation before setting sail.
Picking a cruise based solely on price
There are cruise lines for all types of budgets. A wise person once said a cheap vacation could be an expensive mistake. To save money, you might book a cruise that doesn't offer the onboard experience you hoped for. Travel agents can be invaluable in this area because they can match your interests with your budget while laying out exactly what you can expect at different price points.
Ready to book your next cruise? We can help. Our AAA Travel Agents are ready to help you plan the vacation of your dreams from start to finish – and beyond. Contact a AAA Travel Agent at 800-222-1469, go to AAA.com/Travel or stop by your local AAA office.