Cruises & Culture Discovery
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Why book a cruise with CDV?
There are several key concerns when booking any vacation. Service and Price are the big ones. When it comes to service, it is not just about how efficient getting things booked will be, but about getting ready to go, what if something happens during, and wrap up after. When it comes to price, some people are more price sensitive than others, and why pay more than you should, right? We address both!
The internet may have made many people book all of their travel direct, which has made the job for travel agencies that much harder, to be sure. But remember, we are a tour operator, not a travel agency. The first thing to know is this: When you book direct with a giant corporate conglomerate, and you have an issue, you know you will spend forever on hold, only to reach a call center that probably won't be able to help... or wait who knows how long for a return email. We, on the other hand, are easy to reach, and we have special access to deal with most issues directly. When we can't, we usually have someone on the inside, send a text and it is taken care of.
But one on one service goes much further than that. When little things pop up that can affect your trip, having a one on one relationship with us makes all the difference. We are proactive, and usually know of the issue (and the solution) before you do, and deal with it. Even during your trip, you always know there is someone you can contact that will have your back no matter what, 24x7. You will never get that with a large corporation or a multinational booking site. And with a travel agent, they generally don't have the kind of resources and team we have to take action quickly, anywhere in the world. This is the benefit of being a tour operator that cultivates individual relationships and can handle your other travel needs. We are the whole package.
Most people don't know that anyone that has a sales relationship with the cruise lines always has access to every deal they offer directly, but some of us have even more. This is how some companies are able to sell cruises at lower rates, or with extra amenities than you can get directly. We have access to block off space and get low pricing on the blocked space very early on. With that, we can get better rates and lots of extras that we can pass on to you. Between our own blocked off space and blocked space in our network, we have this kind of space on over 6,000 cruises at any time.
Credit toward CDV Trips!
If you book a cruise with us, you can get credits up to $5,000 or more toward CDV trips on top of getting great prices and service. Click here for details on our credits.
Where getting better pricing really gets interesting is if you have booked one of these with us, and for some reason the cruise line finds the need to lower their prices through a big special sale. If this happens, and the price of the category you booked can now be had for less, many cruise lines will allow us to move you into the new, lower price. Better yet, if we booked you with extras like shore excursions or on board credit, that carries over with you at the new pricing! So, for example: Suppose we have a price of $3,000 for you on a cruise that includes a shore excursion and $100 of on-board credit through group space we have blocked. a few months later, the cruise line runs a special that has the same cabin for $2,500, and they offer $100 of on board credit on top. When we move you into the new pricing, you get the $2500 price, and you often still have $200 of onboard credit.
We are not transaction-driven, like the large "call-center" and massive travel websites. We are relationship-driven. Furthermore, unlike the others, commission is not our focus. We know this may seem strange, but the reality is that the commissions paid on cruises is barely a dent compared to what we do with our tours. Our goal is all about building a bigger network and our tour business, while adding the cruise bookings as added value that can connect with our tours and keep us helping our guests. If you have traveled with us before, you surely get this. Remember, family is our DNA and we are not going to change who we are now! What this means is that if there is a way to get you a better price or more value, we will always do it, because the "commission" is not part of our calculation.
No booking fees or planning fees.. Many travel agencies add these fees, and they do so for good reason. Managing travel takes a lot of time, and the commissions they receive are really quite low. They truly do earn those fees. But again, this is simply not part of our calculation. We have a fantastic team with incredible resources and logistics. To be perfectly honest, we are already doing all of this anyway, and charging fees would cost us more in accounting costs than it would be worth.
We don't play the money game, but still offer more value. If you want to get the absolute rock bottom price on a cruise, there are a some companies out there that will offer prices nobody can match. The reason is because they are actually paying for part of your cruise in order to make the price look better. Sometimes there is no catch for you in terms of price. You will, in fact, sometimes get the best price possible with some of them, but usually there are lots of strings attached and fine print. They are practicing what is considered and unethical game of "advance rebating," and it is against terms of service with virtually all cruise lines, but a blind eye is turned. The amount they pay in advance to make the price look better (or to offer you lots of extras) will come back to them later when they get their commission, and in many cases they expect you to fail to follow the terms required to get the credit you are promised. There is a huge catch in terms of service, however. They play a numbers game, and there is much more in planning a cruise than simply taking a reservation. They have low paid workers in call center boiler rooms that are incentivized to move on to the next person as soon as possible after they get your reservation. It is all about volume, and the price you pay is when you need something more than just a ticket.
If you really want inside info on how many of these companies play unethical games, click here.
We are uniquely in a position to offer even more value with our credits toward CDV vacations. It is not hard cash, but has more value than they offer, and we can still give you the service and attention you deserve without any ethically questionable practices. If you book a cruise with us, you can get credits up to $5,000 or more toward CDV trips on top of getting great prices and service. Click here for details on our credits.
We are CDV. Let's face it, we have not just been booking travel for people for 17 years, we have been operating it. The people that actually provide these services have a different insight and entirely different connections. If you are taking a cruise that stops in a specific city, you can bet that we have someone there that we know. We can get stuff done. We know how to organize excursions in ways that most simply do not. IF you have a problem during your trip, you are working with people that have physically operated hundreds of tours with thousands of people... We have dealt with some of the biggest emergency situations you can imagine. And if there is an issue with the cruise line, more often than not, we can get a direct line to the boss of the boss of the boss of the person most people would be talking to.