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royal Caribbean oasis of the seas

The Oasis of the Seas might not be a bad choice. Photo: Royal Caribbean

The Paradox of Choice

My sister has been interested in taking a cruise vacation this winter. Having never been on one before, she quickly got really overwhelmed with the sheer number of options out there while trying to find the lowest cruise prices.

While, having a lot of options is a good thing, it is very easy to get sucked right down the rabbit hole on Cruise Critic, trying to read the forum posts on six or seven different types of boats and trips.

After a few hours of helping her out myself, I was exhausted too, and we had gotten nowhere.

Enter: Cruise Compete

Until….I came across a site called Cruise Compete.

Now, what I like about Cruise Compete is that basically, the site does all the work for you.

My problem was that my sisters dates and location of the cruise were pretty flexible. She wants to travel sometime in Janurary or Feburary and doesn’t really care that much about which islands, after last winter in New England, who can blame her!

Sometimes, you just want to spend a few days in the sun, drink in one hand, iPad in the other and not worry about anything, am I right?

Anyway, because of that, there were about 50 different cruises to choose from. What?

Cruising Made Easy….And Cheap

But, after reading some of the reviews from Cruise Critic and doing a bit of travel blogger independent research I was able to narrow down the choices to three cruise lines: Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity.

Now, for the next part, we got the lines, we’ve picked the Caribbean as a destination and I know she wants a cruise that is 5 days long.

So, my next step was going to Cruise Compete. I filled in five different cruises that were acceptable, two on Royal Caribbean, two on Celebrity and one on Princess. You put in the type of cabin you’d like, the number of people and then any notes you might have. For instance, if an ocean view is a must have, or if you need a mobility accessible room.

Click, I agree and that’s it. Now comes the fun part. All you have to do is sit back and wait while travel agents are emailed your info.

Within about 3 minutes my inbox was filled with requests from travel agents who were offering on board credits, free travel insurance, and even discounts on shore excursions, along with the price of the rooms I had requested.

Pretty sweet, right?

Here's a sample of my recent requests and bids.

Here’s a sample of my recent requests and bids.

Cruise Critic even knows that I’m lazy so they will actually highlight in red the lowest cruise prices of all of the bids, which is helpful, because you can easily get 5-10 bids in less than 24 hours. It’s perfect to help you compare and contrast exactly what is going on and makes the decision making process a whole lot easier.

So, if you are in the market for a cruise, check out the site and let me know what you think!

Have you used Cruise Compete before? Are you a cruising fan? Let me know in the comments!

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