Friday, July 04, 2008

CruisePricesCompared.com - Open Thread

It's going be a bit light on the blogging front today, so here's an open discussion for the new Cruisepricescompared.com site, which launches today.

The site has been created, according to Travel Weekly, so that travel agents can list their cruise deals direct to consumers. It's free for agents to list the deals and is a simple referral system (a bit like Cheapflights at a basic level).

So what do people think of the concept, and of the site itself?

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

In danger of being a somewhat lacking in intellectual and eloquent commentary here, but it is rather crap if you're a user.

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: Unkind (sort of). Please expand comment?

Jane GH said...

It is a very good idea. But the site needs a lot of work because consumers are a fickle bunch and will go elsewhere before you can say 'bad search tool'.

Alex Bainbridge said...

I have written a review of the new site here

10 things about cruise prices compared.com

Travolution Blogger said...

Alex: thanks for the link to your usual insightful and in-depth analysis.

Darren Cronian said...

I will also give you my insightful and in-depth analysis.

It looks like a crappy looking affiliate site. It's awful, the big blocky graphics, the clunky navigation, the auto video, which is not a nice introduction to the site when you've just been listening to Coldplay's new album on your subwoofer speakers.

Nope I don't like it :)

Pete Norwood said...

There's a high presence for Thomson on the homepage but they're not an affiliate, those links just go straight through to the Thomson site with no tracking code.

To be honest I think the whole thing could do with a decent design and clarified content & purpose.

Travolution Blogger said...

Pete: Thanks for the comments. We spoke briefly to Harley Van Stratten earlier this week.

Basically they are using ad creative of a number of suppliers and other tour operators (including Thomson, clearly).

The site has only secured two ad deals so far, but is running the remaining creative as a test and for creative purposes.

Anonymous said...

I AM using the site (I'll try anything free once!). My main worries are that we agents are just going to be "cannon fodder" so that the owner's can make money out of selling advertising space. I am worried about how much they are going to spend driving traffic.

My own company (Future Travel at the Co-op, of which I am but a humble homeworker) has a free (for us) website called holidayholiday.co.uk. However, the results from it are variable.

Advertising budget = money, but time also = money. I have spent 6 hours loading offers (they have to be researched and loaded one at a time). Should I have spent those 6 hours putting leaflets through middle-class doors, or phoning people who have booked in the lst 4 years to say "hello"? If I knew, I would be rich!

Finally, as someone who has paid per call (and been disillusioned) by teletextholidays.co.uk, how much trouble will people take to keep this up to date and compliant with the rules on advertising! If it took me 6 hours to research and load 50 offers, and I eventually get up to 500, how much time will it take to recheck availability and price?

My experience on other sites is that my offer is not at the "top" because there is a bogus price undercutting it - either deliberately or through neglect of updating it....

Anonymous said...

As a punter I checked on prices for a specific RCI cruise uk-uk in July as an example and found the prices here for a graded cabin was £200 more than the price I found from the first cruise specialist i looked at on the web. I did not bother to look for the cheapest option. You will not get Joe Public to use this type of service if he finds that the prices are loaded, nor will he ever return if he is told these are the best offers available when they are not.

www.cruisepricescompared.com said...

I set up www.cruisepricescompared.com
for the following reasons.
First, most of the cruise lines are having distribution problems. Many of their agents do not earn enough margin to pay to advertise their cruises.
Second to give cruise agents a "free to market" distribution solution. This will also enable agents to sell at a lower price NOT through discounting but by the agent not having to incorporate a distribution cost in their sale price. Hence, increased distribution for the cruise lines, risk and cost free advertising for the agents and a keenly priced cruise for the consumer.

Travolution Blogger said...

Cruisepricescompared: thanks for the comments. we will watch with interest how things develop over the coming months.