Money saving cruise deals available through travel agents

Britons looking to embark on a cruise holiday could save a lot of money by booking with a travel agent rather than going direct with a cruise operator .
Research by consumer watchdog Which? for its travel publication found that using an agent to book a cruise break could save a couple more than £200, with further savings of up to 25 per cent to be had by shopping around from one agent to another.
To find the cheapest way to book a holiday at sea, the group compared May prices for the same sea and ocean cruises with five cruise agents, and direct with eight cruise lines – both online and over the phone .
They discovered that none of the cruise lines studied offered lower prices than those quoted by travel agents, although they did find that agents’ best quotes for specific cruises varied by up to £400 per person.
The also suggested that booking a cruise online is not guaranteed to be cheaper than a phone-based purchase after finding that booking with Cruise Thomas Cook by phone instead of the web would have been either the same price or cheaper in seven out of eight cases.
In addition, the Which? researchers said asking for a discount could prove rewarding for cruise holidaymakers, despite several operators, including Fred Olsen, P&O Cruises and Cunard, discouraging agents from offering cut price deals .
When asked if they could provide a better deal, the manager of one cruise line (CruiseDeals) offered a discount on the total cost of a Cunard cruise, while the agent for Cruise.co.uk offered hundreds of pounds worth of on-board credit as part of their deal .