Mystery shopper: Cruise specialists

Mystery shopper: Cruise specialists

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Wanted: A couple are looking for a summer cruise to the Baltics, lasting about two weeks. They’ve never cruised so are seeking guidance on what to expect.

Budget: £6,000

GoCruise, GoCruise.co.uk
83%

The website was colourful and easy to navigate. The agent, who answered the phone within a minute, was upbeat and friendly throughout the call. I was asked lots of questions and the agent was clearly knowledgeable.

I would have liked to have discussed options on the phone, but the agent wanted to compile a list of options, and promised to email me her recommendations.

I was sent four quotes: £5,264 for 12 nights on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette, sailing from Amsterdam; a trip onboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Musica from Kiel in Germany; and itineraries from Southampton with P&O Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

The agent gave good advice on excursions and whether we’d need a visa for Russia.

Mundy Cruising, mundycruising.co.uk
81%

It was easy to find the agency’s number, but my call wasn’t answered for three minutes. The agent was friendly and interested in my query.

At first, the agent recommended a Crystal Cruises option, but it wasn’t a Baltics cruise, so she then suggested a sailing with Oceania Cruises from Southampton.

I was quoted £5,129 for a concierge veranda suite or £6,019 for a penthouse. The agent said there was a possibility of further reductions.

Reader Offers, readeroffers.travel
72%

The website was colourful and attractive. It took five minutes for my call to be answered, but the agent was patientand pleasant.

The agent recommended a cruise on Celebrity Equinox from Southampton, leading in at £3,918 for a balcony cabin. A 10-night fly-cruise from Copenhagen with Regent Seven Seas was also suggested.

The agent said it would cost about £6,000, including excursions, although availability might be an issue.

Verdict
All the agents proved extremely knowledgeable but the winning agent offered an array of options and was particularly thorough.


Winning Agent

Jane Bowen, cruise specialist
"I’ve had my GoCruise franchise for seven years. Before that I wasn’t in the travel industry but I did love going on cruises and learning about the different cruise lines and their ships. I cover the Wolverhampton area and love sharing what I’ve learnt over the years.”

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