If you’re thinking of booking a cruise with Cruise118, you’ll want to know if this is a company that you can trust, right? After all, it’s always a good idea to do your research before trusting anyone with your hard-earned money.
There are thousands of Cruise 118 reviews online, but sometimes it’s useful to read a review from one person who knows all the ins and outs about how a company works.
Disclaimer: I used to be employed by Cruise118, but I am no longer. I have not been asked to write this review and Cruise118 has no control over the content. Everything in this review is my honest opinion based on my experience of booking cruises as a customer with this company.
Who are Cruise118?
Cruise118 is an ABTA-certified specialist cruise travel agency, based in Chorley, Lancashire. The company was founded in 2008 and works with all of the major cruise lines to book cruise holidays for UK-based customers via its ‘cruise concierge’ service.
Who Owns Cruise118?
Cruise118.com is owned by World Travel Holdings, along with sister brands SixStarCruises.co.uk and RiverVoyages.com and many US-based travel agency brands including CruisesOnly.com, Cruises.com and CheapCruises.com.
World Travel Holdings is one of America’s largest leisure travel companies, serving hundreds of thousands of customers and with offices in New York, Florida and Massachusetts.
My Experience of Cruise118 as a Customer
Over the years, I have booked 14 cruises as a customer with Cruise118. I have also booked several cruises with other travel agents and also directly with the cruise lines.
My experience of booking cruises via Cruise118 has been excellent every time.
I’m happy to always consider using Cruise118 for my future bookings, with two exceptions. The first would be if I wanted to book a cruise that Cruise118 doesn’t sell, such as a cruise with the Italian cruise line Costa Cruises. However, this would be rare, as Cruise118 can book the vast majority of cruises that are available to UK residents.
The other reason why I might consider booking elsewhere is if Cruise118 cannot offer the best price. This has only happened to me once (out of many, many enquiries), as Cruise118 is one of the cheapest travel agents and will also try its best to price match for you.
Cruise118’s Best Price Guarantee
Cruise118 offers a ‘Best Price Guarantee’. The website says ‘we promise to match any price you find elsewhere’.
In most cases, it seems that cruise prices on Cruise118.com are cheaper than any other cruise website. It will always be cheaper to book with Cruise118 than directly with a cruise line because Cruise118 are given preferential rates so they can pass these discounts on to their customers.
If you find a cruise that’s cheaper elsewhere, Cruise118 will always match the price if they can. However, if another travel agent is selling cruises with no profit margin (as they may occasionally do, for example, to get rid of cabins they have bought in advance), then it may not be possible for Cruise118 to beat that price.
For this reason, just as when you buy anything, I would suggest that you check the prices on a few different websites before booking so that you can ask for a discount if needed.
Cruise118 Customer Service
Unfortunately, I’ve had cruises cancelled for various reasons including:
- A technical fault with the cruise ship
- The global pause in cruising
On every occasion, the team at Cruise118 has been very sympathetic and incredibly helpful in rebooking or arranging a refund for me.
In 2019, when my Bahamas cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian, the customer service team were incredible. Although my cruise was cancelled at very short notice, my flights to Miami were not. Luckily, because Cruise118 holidays are ATOL protected, I didn’t lose any money at all.
The team at Cruise118 spent a lot of time on the telephone on my behalf, so that they could claim back the money for my missed flight and hotel, and arrange a new cruise package for me. This meant that I was able to leave it in their hands and go about my day, rather than having to sort out my travel arrangements myself.
In 2020, cruise companies like Cruise118 had to refund many thousands of customers due to the worldwide pandemic. Not only that, but they had to implement new systems and train staff on new procedures, all whilst everyone was working from home.
Despite these very challenging circumstances, my personal experience is that Cruise118 was much faster to arrange refunds than any other travel agents I had booked with.
For some of my cancelled cruises, I requested Future Cruise Credit (FCC) rather than a refund. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a cruise line to issue FCC after a cruise has been cancelled. However, Cruise118 were able to book my new cruise straight away, so I didn’t have to wait for the FCC to be applied to my account.
Suggested read: Future Cruise Credit – 12 vital things to know
I would happily recommend Cruise118 to anyone looking to book a cruise. The customer service is excellent and the prices are very competitive, assisted by the ‘best price guarantee’.
The Cruise118 website doesn’t display every cruise package that you can book, and it doesn’t always display the family prices. Therefore, if you can’t see the cruise that you want, I would suggest calling them for a quote.
- How to Pay for a Cruise in Instalments
- How to Book a Cruise for a Family of 4
- How to Get Cheap Cruises: An Insider Guide