HOW TO BEST BOOK A FIRST-TIME CRUISE WITH A SPECIALIST AGENT
Whether, you are looking to book a cruise for the very first time or are a cruising pro, it would be pretty fair to say that a first-time cruise poses a whole host of questions and possibly pre-conceptions. With so many cruising options out there, there’s a million and one questions going around in your head, from which cruise itinerary to choose, whether to fly in, length of time as well as budgets, on-board experiences, cabin choices and port destinations. If you’re in a position where you would like to explore cruise options, for the very first time, then say hello to a UK-based cruising specialist agent, Cruise Circle.
This article details Be-lavie’s experience of booking a first-time cruise with Cruise Circle and aims to address honestly and authentically the process plus the benefits of using this specialist cruise agent.
The cruise is aboard Royal Caribbean’s second largest ship, ‘Symphony of the Seas’ sailing to the Western Mediterranean for seven days, departing in Barcelona and stopping at the ports of Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Marseille (France), La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples (Italy) before returning to Barcelona.
Full Disclosure: This is a sponsored article with Cruise circle and details their booking process prior to a cruise sailing on Royal Caribbean’s, Symphony of the Seas for seven nights. All opinions and views are honest and our own and remain a copyright of be-lavie. Read our disclosure policy for details.
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Cruise Circle: The Company
Cruise Circle are a cruise specialist company, members of the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) based in Bolsover, Derbyshire, England and experts in the cruising industry. They pride themselves on a personable customer service right from the enquiry and pre-booking stage through to returning home from your memorable cruise. Their aim is to demystify all the cruise jargon and present an experience that suits you as the customer with the added benefit of taking care of the minutia of the process but keeping you informed and addressing your concerns as a priority.
Communication is critically important with Cruise Circle, and is primarily through one of the cruise specialists and customer service advisors. You can opt to telephone or email throughout the booking process and beyond, right up to your cruise and return home.
Benefits Of Booking A First-time Cruise With A Cruise Specialist Company
As confident and independent travellers, who tend to craft their itineraries for global destinations, a first-time cruise was a whole new kettle of fish. We really would have had no idea if it wasn’t for the help and direction we received from our cruise specialist. It’s for his reason that we personally recommend booking a first-time cruise through an agency specialist rather than going solo.
Specialist Agents & Recommendations
Agents as you expect are specialists in their field and are able to advise the cruise-type that will suit your requirements, including the best products out there for the experience you’re looking to achieve from your cruise. This means that a lot of the research and hunting has been done for you, which leaves you to concentrate on other things. A wonderfully trained team and UK based, the staff at Cruise Circle have a breadth of knowledge which they are happy to share which primarily comes form personal recommendation attained from travelling and experiencing the cruise packages and their respective elements themselves.
Budget Friendly & No Hidden Costs
Budget is obviously at the fore-front of everyones mind, and Cruise Circle are open and transparent about their costs. Their are no hidden fees and everything is broken down for you and explained in as much detail as you need before receiving the invoice so you know exactly what to expect.
If you do your research, you’ll discover that Cruise circle’s products are competitively priced and the company can also provide parity, which is such a fair deal in todays travel market.
Flights & Baggage
If you opt for a fly-in cruise then you can bet the agent can take care of flights and transfers for you so there’s no panicking on whether you’ll arrive to board late. Additionally, you can be rest assured, a seven night or longer fly-cruise holiday with Cruise Circle will always include baggage, and quite a generous amount at that! So you get the idea about no hidden costs!
On the topic of flights, no one wants to start their holiday tired, so flight times are reasonable where possible and are not based on lead-pricing so you’ll be arriving at your destination fresh faced. Oh and there is none of that flying out of one airport and returning to a different airport, which plays complete havoc with car parking arrangements for those that need to drive and park at the airport. Customer convenience is key.
The all important question, are you covered if anything goes wrong with the company? The answer is yes! You can put your mind at ease because Cruise Circle adhere to the ABTA code of conduct whereby third party cruises they have booked are financially protected.
Fly-cruise bespoke tailor-made packages by Circle Cruise are ATOL protected. Your specialist cruise advisor will go through this with you once you are ready to book and will explain all the terms and conditions around this subject as it is a concern for many and it is always best to understand the small print before travelling.
Nope, you will not be charged anything extra for booking with Cruise Circle.
Important Questions To Tailor your First -Time Cruise
When it comes to the nitty gritty of cruising like how the on-board extras work such as food and drinks packages, which excursions to book, internet facilities, activities, and other options, the cruise specialists are absolute gold. They can advise you with options for you based on your preferences and style. For example not being huge alcohol consumers, we decided not to opt for a pre-payable premium package but rather focussed on fine dining foodie experiences, and we are exploring these options more. The team also go through what to expect at the online-check in stage.
Due to our interest in sustainability and responsible travel, the specialist was able to send us information about the pledges Royal Caribbean has made to support this as well as long-term projections on reducing carbon emissions. This is the one-to one-level of service which is added and advantageous when booking through an expert agent like Cruise Circle.
Be-lavie Top Tips For First-Time Cruise Considerations
- Prior to making a call, ensure you have a notebook and pen to hand to make notes and write comments. It may seem obvious but it’s funny how easily you can forget discussion points.
- Have a rough estimate of dates you would like to travel and the length of duration of your cruise itinerary
- Have an estimate budget for the trip in mind so your cruise specialist can work with this.
- Check out which ports will be visited and if these are places that interest you for off-shore excursions. These are often at an extra cost and for budgeting its good to envisage where you’d like to visit.
- Have an idea of the type of cabin you’d like to have, for example if you’re only going to sleep in your cabin or stateroom, an internal facing option is more affordable but if you want to spend some time relaxing on your cabin and budget allows, you may want to opt for a balcony stateroom.
- Remember, don’t be shy, discuss your travel style, likes and dislikes to your cruise specialist so they can advise with you the correct package to suit your individual needs and preferences.
- To get to terms with some of the first-time cruise terminology, head to cruise critic for the lowdown on unfamiliar phraseology.
First-Time Cruise With Cruise Circle Round-Up
Our pre-booking experience really has consolidated our thoughts that using an agent verses independently booking a first time-cruise has given us peace of mind and that extra level of protection and security. There is always someone at the end of the phone or email who is willing to respond in a timely manner and provide support no matter how obvious or silly the question may appear. The level of service is personal, not stuffy and cruise-terminology is demystified and explained from the outset in a patient manner. No question is ignored. You have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you wish when talking with the cruise specialist at the initial stages and can always contact the customer advisors by phone or email if you require clarification once you’ve booked your cruise. Booking with Cruise Circle is a seamless and stress-free experience which cuts out a lot of research time and allows the customer to focus on building precious memories instead.
One of the biggest advantages for first-time cruisers is that this type of travel offers the ability to discover many inspiring destinations in a region of the world with the added bonus of enjoying entertainment, great dining and much more at one base alongside waking up in a new city or country each morning.
Ready To Make an Enquiry For Your First-Time Cruise ?
If you’re considering a first-time cruise, based on our outstanding pre-booking experience, we’d thoroughly recommend getting in touch with Cruise Circle by clicking the button below.
Following our Symphony of the Seas seven night Western Mediterranean cruise, please do check back in with us where we will delve into our on-board experiences. These will include wining and dining, activities as well as cabin types, things to do at ports and the all important subject of how Royal Caribbean is advancing to net zero innovation through energy efficiency and decarbonisation.