Cruise.com

cruise.com

4 Voted

What is Cruise.com?

Since 1998, Cruise.com has been providing a full range of cruise-related tickets, tools, and services for its customers all over the world. They’ve partnered with renowned cruise lines to offer the best deals for over 20 years and have won several awards along the way. Not only can you find special prices solely for Cruise.com customers, but they are also able to get you additional discounts, onboard credits, complimentary amenities, etc. – all things you may not know about if you book directly with a cruise line.

So, what makes Cruise.com better than its competitors? Are they better? And can you trust them to book your next cruise vacation? This review will take a thorough look at everything they offer and help you determine whether or not they are a good choice for you.

Is Cruise.com a reliable company? Is Cruise.com a trustworthy company to book a cruise?

While they were not listed on ConsumerAffairs, I did find profiles for Cruise.com on the Better Business Bureau as well as on Trustpilot.

Cruise.com has an F rating on the BBB website along with three out of five stars – though that is only based on six reviews. A read-through of some of the complaints shows that people had the biggest problem with refunds, though it should be noted that refunds from most of the transactions are processed directly with the cruise line, but people usually turn to the platform they made the payment on. You should also note that there were also several refund complaints surrounding Covid-related cancelations in the last year.

Cruise.com has 1.6/ 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is categorized as ‘bad’ on the website. They’ve been listed on Trustpilot since 2015 and have since then received over 200 reviews. 57% of those reviews are categorized as excellent, 14% as either great or average, and 29% are either poor or bad. The star rating is a stark contrast to the excellent number of reviews, though it must be noted that not everyone who leaves a review will also rate the company on Trustpilot. While, again, most of the complaints were regarding refunds, there was a handful about additional charges after confirming a booking and added penalties which are listed in very fine script.

It should be noted that on both the BBB website as well as Trustpilot there are some reviews that were actually meant for Cruises.com and not Cruise.com – this is a completely different and unrelated company.

Does Cruise.com offer the best deals? Is it better to book a cruise through Cruise.com or with its competitors?

To determine the price benefit of using Cruise.com instead of a competitor service or directly with the cruise line, I searched for the same cruise across the board. I chose the Caribbean/ Bahamas as the destination, Baltimore as the departure port, all cruise lines and all ships, all lengths, and chose November 2021 as my departure date.

I came across the same Carnival 7-day cruise across all three platforms: Cruise.com, a competitor website, and Carnival’s direct website. I’m surprised to say the prices were exactly the same across all three, ranging from $609 to $1,559 depending on the choice of state room. So, then I took a look at what additional benefits and offers each were providing. Cruise.com included the following in addition to their great rate guarantee:

  • An exclusive offer of up to $1600 cashback
  • A reduced deposit of $50 per person at the time of booking
  • Free 2 category upgrade
  • An additional reduction in rates for military personnel

The competitor website included the following, even claiming to offer more than booking with the cruise line directly:

  • Up to $1,500 cashback, either in the form of a prepaid visa or as onboard credits
  • An additional $200 to spend onboard
  • Free 2 category upgrade
  • 50% reduced deposit ($50 per person)

This is pretty much the same as what Cruise.com offers.

Carnival.com had the following benefits to offer:

  • Reduced deposits from $50 per person
  • Price protection
  • Sale pricing up to a certain date

In final comparison, Cruise.com offers the best value compared to the cruise line directly but is almost exact to their competitors.

Is it easy to use the Cruise.com website?

My first impression of the Cruise.com website is that it is outdated. The design is lacking but it is very functional; there is contact information on the upper right-hand corner, a navigation bar full of options including translating the website to Spanish, and they have a slideshow of current popular cruises with details at a glance.

Below that, you’ll see a search engine as well as some of their best deals at that time. The search engine is the most commonly used feature; you can input all the necessary details such as destination, departure/ arrival port, preferred cruise line/ cruise ship, expected departure date, and length. They also ask you your state of residence on the search engine to apply any location-based discounts that may be available.

Once you do, you’ll be taken to a list of cruises that meet your basic requirements. You can see the cruises at a glance, with basic itinerary details, length of cruise, departure date, price, and any other applicable offers. After you pick one, you can choose the stateroom you prefer; you’ll then be prompted to either log in, register as a customer with the Cruise.com website, or continue without registering.

Once you choose the last option, you then put in details of all the passengers and payment before it’s confirmed. You’ll also get an email of the confirmation at the address you provide.

How can I register on the Cruise.com website?

Registering on the Cruise.com website has some benefits; if you’re a constant cruise-goer you won’t have to input your details each time you confirm a booking. It’s extremely easy to register when prompted. It takes less than a minute and only requires your name, address, and preferred password.

Can the Cruise.com website help me figure out which cruise is best for me?

If you’re unsure of which cruise you want to go on, using a resource such as Cruise.com can show you all the cruises available. It’s easy to just leave all of your filters blank and browse a list of everything available.

Use the navigation bar at the top of the website to find deals such as last-minute deals or deals by specific cruise lines. You can also pick from some of their most popular destinations or pick specialty cruises such as culinary cruises, golf cruises, honeymoon cruises, or specific family-friendly cruises for those traveling with kids. It’s easy to narrow down what’s best for you using the Cruise.com website.

What other features are on the Cruise.com website?

The navigation bar has a couple of features that really stand out, other than being able to find a cruise specific to your needs.

They have a section dedicated to land tours which allow you to book excursions at any ports you might be landing in. There is another tab titled Cruise Info which drops down to some articles on tips for new cruise-goers, what the cruise dining experience is like, passport requirements, port parking, and even going on a cruise with special needs. This could be very helpful if you’re going on your first cruise ever and don’t have any experience or know what to expect.

The website has an interesting blog with articles on a variety of cruise-related topics. Some that I came across include cruises on the Norwegian Fjords, the amenities on the Sky Princess ship, and even an article on cruise lines that stop at private islands.

The website may look like it’s throwing a lot of information at you at a glance but it’s very easy to maneuver once you spend a couple of minutes on it.

Can you get scammed by Cruise.com?

Nothing in researching for this review pointed toward Cruise.com being an illegitimate company and scamming people. While there are complaints on review sites, most of them are due to the fine print regarding refunds or cancelations due to Covid-19.

Does Cruise.com have a rewards program?

While it is not specifically a rewards program, signing up as a member on their website does reap some benefits you would not get otherwise. It’s free to become a member and you would get access to exclusive rates, discounts, and special offers.

Does Cruise.com have a mobile app?

Cruise.com does have a mobile app for iPhone and Android users. You can find them in the App Store or on Google Play using this link.

The app is very straightforward and easy to use; not only can you use it to browse available cruises, but you can also use it to keep track of bookings you’ve already made or to add any services.

How can I reach Cruise.com customer service?

Cruise.com has made it extremely easy to reach their customer service if you find yourself needing to. The home page lists phone numbers to contact cruise experts as well as for after sales service in the upper right-hand corner.

They have an additional Contact Us dropdown on the navigation bar which provides contact information for international clients, a cancellation form if you need to cancel your cruise and a separate contact form for those who are requesting a quote.

Phone, email, online forms – Cruise.com has all methods of contact available for their clients to reach them easily.

After a comprehensive look at Cruise.com, it’s proven to be an adequate cruise booking website. There are complaints, as there are with any business, but not enough to portray the company as a scam or as unreliable even. The benefits of using Cruise.com are similar to those of their competitors and will enhance your experience compared to booking with a cruise line directly.

Pros
  • In the industry for over 20 years; experienced professionals
  • Over half of Trustpilot reviews mark the company as ‘excellent’
  • Proven to offer more benefits than booking with a cruise line directly
  • Gives you the opportunity to compare different cruises
  • Can purchase without registering as a member unlike other cruise booking sites
Cons
  • Not listed on ConsumerAffairs; F rating on BBB website
  • Outdated website; very busy with a lot of information thrown at you at once
  • Registering as a member provides access to exclusive rates, discounts, and special offers