Answer: No Chinese input, sorry for poor English.
DIY Cruising doesn’t mean I drive the ship myself. It means I try to spend the least amount of money for my cruise trip. So finally I managed my luxury and cheap cruise trip, so I recorded some of my experiences here.
Since I heard from a friend about his cruise trip to Northern Europe, I was very jealous and always wanted to plan my own cruise trip. Last year my husband and I moved to Netherland for job reason. We decided to travel all over the Europe and definitely try cruise trip. Here is the first cruise trip we did.
By now, I think ‘vacation to go’ is the best agent for booking a cruise (http://www.VacationsToGo.com). It is easy to search for a cruise line according to my various requests (region, length of the trip, date of departure, port of departure…). Their website shows dynamic price list of each category of rooms. It is wise to monitor the price regularly and book several months in advance. You may also get good price (up to 70% off), when it is close to the departure date, in off-peak season. So for one week cruise trip, I can limit the cost up to 1000 Euros for two people. For connecting flight, I book from KLM or Lufthansa, they often offer 99Euro return ticket to major European cities.
Noted: 1. Government tax and petro fee vary every day. 2. Many cruise lines offer on board credit, you can use it to pay off the tips and other expenses during your voyage.
It means before you book the trip, always fill in their enquiry form to quote a price for the trip (each trip has a specific number). An agent from ‘vacation to go’ will contact you by call or email. Agents almost work 24/7. They will reply you in minutes sometimes.
Using my trip as an example, the following is how my agent replied me and you will see what to expect.
Thanks for letting me help you with your cruise!
This deal is currently available, though price and availability are subject to change so let me know as soon as possible if you are interested. Here are the details:
Sailing Date: June 5, 2011
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Itinerary: click here
Per person prices in US dollars, including port charges, taxes and government fees, based on double occupancy:
Balcony Category BE: $759 + $103.62 tax = $862.62 per person
Cabin total: $1725.24 USD
**There is ONLY 1 cabin available at this lowest price! The next available option is $200 USD more!**
I have placed cabin 10064 on hold for you under reservation number: 19571579.
In order to purchase this cruise, I will need the following information for all passengers:
· Legal names (first & last, as in passport) & title Mr., Mrs., etc.
· Dates of birth
· Address (City, State, Province, Country, Postal code)
· Phone number with country code
· List of special needs or occasions
· Preferred bed configuration (two twin beds or one queen)
I will also need the following payment information:
· Type of credit card and card number
· 3- or 4-digit CID number and expiration date
· Name as it appears on your credit card
Within 24 hours of your payment, I will send you an electronic confirmation.
Non US passport holders must verify passport and visa requirements for all passengers with the embassy, consulate or immigration office of the countries in your cruise itinerary. If these documents are not provided at the pier, you will be denied boarding and may forfeit the full amount paid for your cruise.
For more information, please reply to this e-mail or call me at the number below. My office hours are also listed.
Thanks again, and I look forward to helping you!
One bad thing is that some cruise lines do not offer the same cheap prices for customers outside of US and Canada. So we cannot book their trips through agents based in US, like ‘vacation to go’. The same trip mentioned in the email would cost me more than 800 Euro if I booked it through an agent in the Netherlands. Residents living outside of US and Canada cannot book trips from the following lines: Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Princess*, Royal Caribbean, Star Clippers.