Best Cruise Deals Are a Few Clicks Away

Every day more consumers learn
that a cruise—with food and entertainment included in the fare—
provides tremendous value for the travel dollar. But many people do not
realize cruise prices can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars
depending on which travel agency they use. How can you find that best deal
for your particular cruise when that deal is hiding anywhere among the
17,000 travel agencies in the United States? CruiseCompete.com (http://cruisecompete.com/ ), the world’s only
competitive cruise pricing Web site, has the answer. Simply select the
cruise you want and your request immediately appears in the accounts of
more than 100 member travel agencies. These are high-volume agencies
purchasing cabins in bulk and they have better rates on most sailings than
ordinary retail agents or the cruise lines themselves.

Live agents view consumer requests and respond with quotes that include
all taxes and charges—making price comparisons a breeze. Your contact
information is kept strictly confidential until you decide to contact the
agent with the best deal. Most people receive three to six quotes to
consider with no obligation to buy. Agents are also available via phone or
e-mail to provide more information or advice. Most bookings are made via
phone with a live human being, and do not require sending credit card
information over the web.

The CruiseCompete service, which is free to consumers, is especially
valuable now that the cruise market is so hot. “The cruise lines can’t
build new ships fast enough to accommodate demand,” said CruiseCompete CEO
Bob Levinstein. An estimated 10.6 million sailings were booked in 2004, a
banner year for the industry. The most popular sailings for 2005 are
filling up, and all expectations are for continued rapid growth.

“Prices are going up overall, but so is the gap between the retail price
and the price that an agent holding group space on a particular sailing
can deliver,” said Levinstein. “CruiseCompete is an easy way to connect
with the agent who just happens to have lower-priced space on the sailing
you need.”

In addition, strict new rules from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and
Norwegian cruise lines will dictate what travel agencies can and cannot
advertise. “Once we get to January, the only prices allowed in ads or on
publicly-accessible web sites will be retail prices,” says Levinstein. “To
get the best rate, you’ll have to request quotes from agents. Quotes via
CruiseCompete are private, password-protected communications, so they are
exempt from these restrictions—making our unique model even more
valuable to consumers.”
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