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      January 18, 2020

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Orbitz vs Travelocity

To help you find the Best Cruise Vacations, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Orbitz and Travelocity.

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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

4 stars
Orbitz

ORBITZ

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Orbitz is an online travel agency that is one of five - Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels and Hotwire, to name the other four - owned by the same company. Although there used to be significant price differences between Orbitz and, say, Expedia, for most travel purposes including cruises, you'll see the same quotes.

For example, when we tried to book our sample Royal Caribbean sailing, Orbitz didn't offer us any interior staterooms, not even with a guarantee. Given that Orbitz is an Expedia-owned company, it should come as no surprise when your browsing and cruise booking experience is exactly the same on both sites. We had the same navigational challenges, got the same offers, and saw the same options. Ditto for our sample Disney Cruise Line itinerary.

So, why book with Orbitz and not Expedia? We've had equally solid experiences with customer service, travel reservations, and such between the two sites. Ultimately, it all comes to the rewards program. If you've already booked a lot of travel with Orbitz, book your cruise through them so you can keep racking them up in the same place. Everything else is essentially the same - one-stop shopping for flights and hotels, etc. - so the rewards program is really the only consideration.

Orbitz also makes it a little easier to see "extras" on their site - look at the top and you'll find Event Tickets and Activities. You can probably hunt those up on the Expedia site too, but you'll have to look a little harder (mostly under the Things to Do tab).

Orbitz vs. Expedia? It's just a matter of personal preference, which is why the two cruise booking sites are tied for our second-highest ranking among the online travel agencies in our review.

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3.5 stars
Travelocity

TRAVELOCITY

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If you've read through all of the reviews in the Cruise Vacations category, you'll already know what we're about to say: Travelocity is one of four companies in our review (including Priceline, Orbitz, and Expedia) that are all owned by the same company.

What does that mean for you? Essentially, the customer experience across the sites is almost identical. When we searched for our Disney and Royal Caribbean sample itineraries, the pricing and the promotions were exactly the same.

The one thing we found on the Travelocity site that wasn't included on Orbitz and Expedia was a Price Match Guarantee - or, at least if they do offer it, it's not as prominently featured as it is on the Travelocity platform. According to the fine print, if you book your cruise vacation through Travelocity and find a lower fare within 24 hours, they'll refund the difference. Of course, the travel dates, cruise line, cabin and class all need to be the same, and the other fare has to be from a US-based website.

The one thing we found on the Travelocity site that wasn't included on Orbitz and Expedia was a Price Match Guarantee - or, at least if they do offer it, it's not as prominently featured as it is on the Travelocity platform. According to the fine print, if you book your cruise vacation through Travelocity and find a lower fare within 24 hours, they'll refund the difference. Of course, the travel dates, cruise line, cabin and class all need to be the same, and the other fare has to be from a US-based website.

Another novel part of the Travelocity site is their partnership with reality TV show The Amazing Race. Find yourself wishing you could take one of the fantastic cruises that the contestants win as a prize? You can - if you're willing to pay for it! Scroll down towards the bottom of the site and you'll find all of the travel prizes listed under "As Seen on The Amazing Race".

On the other hand, Travelocity doesn't offer a rewards program. If you only use online travel agencies occasionally, this probably won't impact your decision. But, if you are a frequent traveler, choosing an online agency like Expedia or Orbitz and sticking with it could lead to significant rewards down the line.

On the other hand, Travelocity doesn't offer a rewards program. If you only use online travel agencies occasionally, this probably won't impact your decision. But, if you are a frequent traveler, choosing an online agency like Expedia or Orbitz and sticking with it could lead to significant rewards down the line.

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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.

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