Travel agents compete for your cruise ship booking business

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If winter makes your thoughts go to swaying palm trees, beautiful beaches and cruise ships, I’ve got a website for you to find deals on the latter.

If you are experienced cruiser, you may know that I’ve talked in the past about using a site like CruiseCritic.com to get user reviews of cruise lines and other info.

Now there’s another competitor to CruiseCritic called CruiseCompete.com. Using a reverse auction model, CruiseCompete puts providers in competition for your business and the price keeps bidding down, kind of like the opposite of eBay.

With CruiseCompete, you pick the ship you want and the date  of travel. Then travel agents compete for your sale, each cutting the price of your final ticket lower and lower.

What kind of service will you get after the sale — or after the sail for that matter? Though the CruiseCompete does offer user reviews of travel agents, it all comes down to a personal choice; are you  interested strictly in saving money or in a combo of savings and service? That’s up to you.

One final caveat, though. If you’re buying your very first cruise, don’t buy online. Buy from a real live cruise specialist at a travel agency and rely on their expertise. A good agent will ask about your interests, hobbies and what you like to do in your spare time. Much like people, cruise ships have a definite personality and a cruise agent can help you to find the right fit for yours.

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