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RiverSong

CompareThatCruise.com

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Has anyone else tried to use this web site?  It adversities that you can find your perfect cruise, and looks to be a useful search tool.  The only problem has been every time I’ve tried to use it all I get is buffering.

:huh:

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Hello - my name is Mark Shepherd and I'm the founder of CompareThatCruise.com.

I'm very happy to answer any questions you have about the site, and feedback is always welcome (good or bad).

It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this point and we are always looking for ways to improve so we hope you find the site useful and look forward to getting to know some of you.

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8 hours ago, Mark Shepherd said:

Hello - my name is Mark Shepherd and I'm the founder of CompareThatCruise.com.

I'm very happy to answer any questions you have about the site, and feedback is always welcome (good or bad).

It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this point and we are always looking for ways to improve so we hope you find the site useful and look forward to getting to know some of you.

Hello the main problem I have with the site, it appears to be intermittent.  Sometimes I can get on others all I get is buffering, but I’m certainly going to keep trying.

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2 hours ago, tigerlilly said:

i cnat get on at the moment. what exactly does it compare?? itineraries or standards or prices etc?

We do three main things:

1. We compare prices from different cruise lines and travel agents.

2. We provide guides for almost every cruise line, ship and port (including photos, maps etc).

3. We provide interactive deck plans for every ship which allow you to look inside any individual cabin (kind of like Seatguru.com, but for cruises).

 

2 hours ago, RiverSong said:

Hello the main problem I have with the site, it appears to be intermittent.  Sometimes I can get on others all I get is buffering, but I’m certainly going to keep trying.

Sorry to hear that. When you say it's buffering, do you mean that you can't open the site at all or you can't get it to work properly once you're using it? If it's an error at our end it should come up with an error message. If it's not loading at all, it might be more of an issue with the internet connection.

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I expect this is not a true comparison as it will only show prices from the travel agents or cruise companies that pay to be there. Also their prices may not be the cheapest as they will need to cover the cost of advertising on this website.

Does the comparison factor in benefits from the cruise line or any goodies the travel agent might be able to offer? Or the level of customer service you can expect to receive from the agent or cruise line?

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31 minutes ago, Tom Cruise said:

I expect this is not a true comparison as it will only show prices from the travel agents or cruise companies that pay to be there. Also their prices may not be the cheapest as they will need to cover the cost of advertising on this website.

Does the comparison factor in benefits from the cruise line or any goodies the travel agent might be able to offer? Or the level of customer service you can expect to receive from the agent or cruise line?

It is very important to us that the prices quoted are a true comparison and we do not apply any markup to the figures.

We are working hard to make sure that we compare as many different lines and travel agents as possible, but just let us know if you find cheaper deals elsewhere and we will do our best to add them.

I agree that it is sometimes difficult to compare intangible benefits like quality of service from different travel agents, but our goal is to make the market as transparent as possible and we always aim to provide as much information as possible about all the different options. Sometimes you will need to click through to the agent's site to check certain details but we have tried to make that as simple as possible to do.

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1 hour ago, Mark Shepherd said:

It is very important to us that the prices quoted are a true comparison and we do not apply any markup to the figures.

We are working hard to make sure that we compare as many different lines and travel agents as possible, but just let us know if you find cheaper deals elsewhere and we will do our best to add them.

I agree that it is sometimes difficult to compare intangible benefits like quality of service from different travel agents, but our goal is to make the market as transparent as possible and we always aim to provide as much information as possible about all the different options. Sometimes you will need to click through to the agent's site to check certain details but we have tried to make that as simple as possible to do.

Ok Mark, sounds great. I wasn't suggesting that prices are marked up, rather that the travel agents and cruise lines might not be prepared to pay to use the website. It's like certain insurance companies won't use Compare The Market etc. Not exactly sure how it all works but good luck with it.

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15 hours ago, Mark Shepherd said:

Hello - my name is Mark Shepherd and I'm the founder of CompareThatCruise.com.

I'm very happy to answer any questions you have about the site, and feedback is always welcome (good or bad).

It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this point and we are always looking for ways to improve so we hope you find the site useful and look forward to getting to know some of you.

Hi Mark,

You have obviously put a lot of work into the site and I am sure there are simple answer to my questions.

Firstly how does your site differ from sites like Cruise Compare and Deal Checker?

I am somewhat intrigued as to how you arrive at your recommendations. I put in the search boxes Premium, Older Couples and Modern. The recommendations were NCL and RCI neither of which I would rate as premium and certainly would not say RCI for older couples. Change Premium to Luxury and it comes up with Celebrity and Azamara. Whilst I accept Azamara I would have thought that Celebrity were Premium. I see you also class Fred Olsen as a Budget Cruise Line. Can you tell me the criteria you use to classify the cruise lines.

Finally as it is now frowned upon for agents to discount the fares as they used to most agents will be within a few pounds of each other unless one gets a special promotion from the cruise line so who do you think will use your site unless of course you are going to open it up to European and US agents when of course we will see a lot of difference in prices.

Regards,

OWT

Edited by Oldworldtraveller

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Hi OWT,

15 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Firstly how does your site differ from sites like Cruise Compare and Deal Checker?

Both of these are great sites, and ones that I would recommend using, but we do something a bit different. Instead of just comparing all the available cruises from all the various cruise lines, we also compare the price of each of those cruises from multiple different travel agents. So rather than just getting a price from a single agent, you can compare the whole market in one place.

Sometimes that won't make much difference if a particular deal is only available from a single agent, but sometimes it will make a big difference and you will able to compare deals from 6+ agents. I'm not sure if I've done this right, but I have attempted to attach a screenshot showing what I mean.

15 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

I am somewhat intrigued as to how you arrive at your recommendations. I put in the search boxes Premium, Older Couples and Modern. The recommendations were NCL and RCI neither of which I would rate as premium and certainly would not say RCI for older couples. Change Premium to Luxury and it comes up with Celebrity and Azamara. Whilst I accept Azamara I would have thought that Celebrity were Premium. I see you also class Fred Olsen as a Budget Cruise Line. Can you tell me the criteria you use to classify the cruise lines.

I think our difference of opinion may well just come down to the terminology we've used. We have adopted a categorisation whereby "ultra luxury" is the top category, "luxury" is the next one, and "premium" is the one below that. The bottom two categories are then "midrange" and "budget".

So we are classifying NCL and RCI as the middle of the five categories, which I would have thought was a fairly reasonable description. Celebrity and Azamara are in the category above that, and then ultra luxury includes lines like Crystal and Seabourn. I appreciate though that the choice of words may not be perfect as it's open to debate whether premium is better than luxury or vice versa, so we will look again at that (although those words were chosen quite careful to reflect the marketing terminology used by the different lines).

Likewise in terms of the suitability for different travellers, the page you are looking at is by necessity only a quick summary and you ideally need to read the full reviews to get the complete picture. We identify RCI as being potentially suitable for older couples, perhaps as part of a multi-generational holiday, but we explain that there are lots of other lines that are probably more suitable.

Things like ship and line ratings will always be fairly subjective, but rest assured we have put (and are continuing to put) a lot of effort into getting them as accurate as possible and we have used a lot of different criteria to determine those rankings so they are very scientifically reached even though we realise that not everyone will agree with all of them.

15 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Finally as it is now frowned upon for agents to discount the fares as they used to most agents will be within a few pounds of each other unless one gets a special promotion from the cruise line so who do you think will use your site unless of course you are going to open it up to European and US agents when of course we will see a lot of difference in prices.

I understand what you are saying, but there is more price variation than you might expect. There is also variation based on different agents having different availability (some offer cruises that others don't) so this provides a useful tool for customers to find out which agents offer the cruise that they are after.

Hope this answers some of your questions - feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the site if you would like any more information.

Regards,

Mark

 

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Good morning Mark,

Thank you for your replies. As I said the differences are minimal. Cruise 118 are £50 lower on an inside but much higher on ocean and balcony as celebrity direct are on ocean view. Apart from that the others are almost the same. Sometimes the higher amounts include OBC meaning the base is the same.

Having read the articles by JohnH (Captain Greybeard) and Seatrade I see you are a man of many talents and I too wish you every success as anyone who changes direction in life and puts a great deal of time, effort and money into a project does in my personal opinion deserve to succeed. 

Regards

OWT

 

Edited by Oldworldtraveller

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