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      July 16, 2020

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Cruise Vacations

  1. Expedia
  2. Orbitz
  3. Travelocity
  4. Priceline
  5. Last Minute Travel
  6. Cruises Only
  7. Vacation Outlet

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Book Your Next Cruise With Cruise Direct Today! What's the best way to plan and book a cruise vacation? Lots of travelers are turning to cruises for the best of all worlds: the excitement of exotic ports of call, the convenience of not having to change hotels with every new destination, and the delight of world-class dining and entertainment day and night.

In fact, cruising isn't limited to a particular group when it comes to popularity. Parents with young children may gravitate towards cruise lines that are known for their top-notch onboard clubs for kids, and young singles tend to choose sailings with tropical destinations - and unlimited drink packages! From casinos to spas and so much more, a cruise vacation has something for everyone.

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Best Reviews


2020

Cruise Vacation Reviews

5 stars
Cruise Direct

CRUISE DIRECTTopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Cruise Direct has a long history of providing the best prices and perks on cruise vacations. With no processing fees, an easy-to-use website, and readily available help from knowledgeable vacation specialists, this company makes it fun and affordable to find the right cruise for your travel party. Cruise Direct continues to be our top pick among cruise vacation booking sites.

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4 stars
Expedia

EXPEDIA

If you want a one-stop online travel agency for booking your cruise, airfare, and hotel, Expedia should be your first choice. With rewards points, no booking fees, and some of the best perks and promotions, this well-established online cruise booking site is a fantastic choice for your next vacation.

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4 stars
Orbitz

ORBITZ

Orbitz is a sister site to Expedia, so you'll find almost identical results when shopping for a cruise vacation. You'll also get equally great customer service and promotions. Why choose Orbitz over Expedia? It's all about the rewards programs. If you've booked often with Orbitz, keep it up when booking your cruise vacation to rack up the rewards!

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3.5 stars
Travelocity

TRAVELOCITY

Where can the Travelocity gnome take you? This sister site to Orbitz and Expedia has some advantages, like a Price Match Guarantee, and some drawbacks (like no rewards program). Otherwise, you'll find the same pricing and promotions as the other two sites, making Travelocity a trustworthy cruise booking site.

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2.5 stars
Priceline

PRICELINE

Priceline is owned by the same company as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity, and so your cruise booking experience will be mostly the same. But, this company tacks on the $24.99 processing fee and doesn't offer as many promotions as their competitors. We recommend choosing a different service for your cruise vacation.

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2.5 stars
Last Minute Travel

LAST MINUTE TRAVEL

Last Minute Travel came in with some of the lowest rates available on cruise vacations - although their discounts were more competitive on their advance reservations and not on the truly last-minute sailings. But, across a variety of travel situations (hotel, airfare, etc.), we found more than a few complaints that this company botched the reservations, leaving customers in the lurch. Worth it to save a few dollars? That's up to you.

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2 stars
Cruises Only

CRUISES ONLY

Cruises Only offers a wide range of cruise lines to choose from, including budget and luxury options. Unfortunately, the booking process and perks can't compete with our higher-ranked companies, and many customers have been frustrated when dealing with Cruise Only representatives.

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2 stars
Vacation Outlet

VACATION OUTLET

Vacation Outlet claims to have cruises at "outlet prices". But, with very few promotions and pricing exactly the same as their competition, this cruise booking site doesn't seem to deliver what it advertises. Plus, extra fees like a $24.99 booking charge make it more expensive to use Vacation Outlet for reserving a cruise vacation. You'll probably have a better experience with a higher-ranked cruise booking site in our review.

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Continued from above

While you might think that the best deal on a cruise is found by booking directly with the cruise line, you're more likely to get extra incentives if you purchase your cruise through an online partner company. The agents working for these companies know all of the most current incentives, like onboard credits or discounted shore excursions, and it doesn't cost you extra to get the help of an agent. The internet makes it especially easy to price the destinations and dates that interest you, get a ballpark amount, and then request a detailed quote - or even book your cruise right away! - with just a few clicks of the mouse.

If you're new to cruise vacations, you should be aware that there are costs to expect beyond the price of the actual sailing. Most initial price quotes don't factor in taxes and port fees, for example. Also, you're generally expected to pay a certain amount in gratuities - to the stateroom attendant who makes your bed and often leaves you with towels shaped into cute animals each night, and your wait staff in the dining room. Some cruise lines have suggested amounts, while others automatically charge your credit card on file for the gratuities they require from each guest.

Onboard, while many things are part of your all-in-one vacation experience, you should anticipate paying extra for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, though some cruise lines have packages you can buy that include them. And, of course, if you want to take advantage of your ports of call for shopping, excursions like swimming with dolphins or taking a guided tour, you'll want to budget for that as well.

When deciding which site to use when booking your next cruise vacation, how can you tell which company offers the best service? Here are several criteria to keep in mind as you make your choice:

TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best cruise vacation booking sites available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect sailing for your travel party. All aboard!

  • Site Navigation. How easy is it to find the cruises you want? Are you provided with enough information to make your decision?
  • Selection. Does the cruise booking site offer a wide range of cruise lines? Do they offer options for the dates and destinations you want?
  • Pricing. Are the price quotes consistently lower than what you'd get when booking directly? If the site promises good deals, does the company deliver?
  • Full-Service Options. If you appreciate the convenience of one-stop shopping for your cruise along with any necessary airfare, car rentals, and so on, look for a cruise vacation site that lets you book those at the same time. You may even get extra savings for doing it.

The world's cruise ships can't sail. Now, what to do with them?

From mechanical issues to hurricane risks to regulatory hurdles that can constitute criminal offenses, it's a quagmire that the industry has never faced on this scale before.

Published:  Sun, 12 Jul 2020 06:01:00 GMT



The post-pandemic hotel looks a lot like a cruise ship

If you've ever sailed aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, a song lurks deep within your subconscious: a kiddie-style earworm about washing your hands that loops endlessly in the buffet entrance and on in ...

Published:  Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:23:00 GMT



Carnival Corporation's AIDA Cruises to Restart Sailing Vacations in August

AIDA Cruises, Germany's leading cruise line and a part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise company - today announced it will resume sailing operations ...

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:58:00 GMT



Why Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line Stocks All Dropped Today

Cruise line stocks are dropping across the board in Thursday-afternoon trading -- and that just isn't fair. As of 12:35 p.m. EDT, shares of Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) have tumbled 5.2%, Norwegian ...

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 15:06:00 GMT



Health Expert Says Cruise Ships Could Be Safer Travel Destination Than a Major City

In an interview with Travel Weekly, Healthy Sail Panel co-chair Dr. Scott Gottlieb said cruise ships provide the ability to control an entire environment and implement enhanced health and safety ...

Published:  Tue, 07 Jul 2020 09:40:00 GMT



Carnival cancels at least 30 cruises from November to January, Princess announces ship schedule shift

Carnival said its newest ship will not sail until Feb. 6. Renovations on a second ship have also been delayed, resulting in cancellations and changes.

Published:  Tue, 07 Jul 2020 08:19:00 GMT



AIDA Cruises to resume operations in August, with new health protocols - but no port calls

German line AIDA Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., announced Thursday that it would resume operations in August after idling since March.

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:37:00 GMT



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