Cruise Vacations Source

Written by Diane Sievert
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Tired of the same old routine? Ready to take a break and enjoy yourself? A cruise may be a great way to relax and unwind. Cruises are luxurious vacations that also allow opportunities for adventure and exploration.

The Basics of Planning a Cruise

If this is your first time planning a cruise, don't worry! A good guide can tell you all you need to know. Even the seasoned traveler can use a few pointers when traveling to a new destination.

Not Sure Where to Go? We Do!

Today you'll find a variety of cruises to every continent. While the multitude of options is great, how do you then pick the destination that's right for you?

The Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe -- all of these destinations offer cruise options. The most popular cruise destinations, however, will often offer more amenities and activities than those that are less traveled. The size of ship you want to be on may also determine your vacation locale.

Searching for Vacation Info?

In today's high tech environment, the web is generally the best place to start when researching any given topic. You'll find cruises are no exception. All the major cruise lines have their own websites and there are several independent websites that also offer cruise specials.

To ensure a good price, it is important to pick a cruise travel specialist/agency that tracks prices for you after you reserve a cabin and make your deposit. It is a little known fact that you may be able to save hundreds (or even thousands in some cases) when new specials come out after you reserve your cabin but before you make final payment. Your cruise agent should do this for you.

Have Your Prices Tracked for Savings

Many travel agencies will not track prices for you and let you know about lower prices because their commission goes down when they do so. Most hope you never find out about these great opportunities. Mega-travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity will not lower your price once you book, so many people wait until the last minute hoping to find a great deal. This often backfires since Expedia and Travelocity don't show all the specials travel agents see and the more desireable ships fill up before you can book.

Booking directly with a cruise line doesn't solve the problem because they will not notify you of lower prices and specials. They may post some specials on their website if you constantly watch for them, but only travel agents may know about some specials so you won't even know your price went down.

Sometimes a particular category is not selling well and you can upgrade to a higher category and pay less. Picking the right agency to handle your cruise is much more important than finding the lowest priced agency on the web. The lower priced agency may offer $10 less than anyone else but won't track prices for you later and make sure you are aware of all the opportunities that occur after you book. You could unknowingly overpay by a large amount.

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