"" Writer's Wanderings: Travel Tips - Cruise Forums

Monday, August 09, 2010

Travel Tips - Cruise Forums

While guide books such as Frommer's, Fodor's, Lonely Planet, and my favorite, Rick Steves, provide a lot of good information, they are sometimes a little behind due to the time lag in publishing. Some of the best up-to-date information can come from travel forums. There are forums attached to the websites for the guide books but I prefer the cruise forums. Maybe because I love cruising so much or because I feel more confident with people who generally have nothing to gain but wanting to share their experiences.

The two cruise forums I belong to are the Cruise Critic and Cruise Line Fans. The Cruise Critic has been around a bit longer and is the larger of the two. They often have get togethers on board ship so that you can meet others who post and glean on the forum. You don't have to join to peruse the boards but you do need to join if you want to ask a question or respond to a post.

Using the forums, we were able to arrange for a private tour when we last visited St. Petersburg. Others had posted their experience and made recommendations and we felt confident in booking with one of the Russian guides that was mentioned. It worked out better than we hoped and we had a great time.

On another occassion, we discovered that we could get $100 onboard credit for a Crystal cruise if we were sponsored by another person who had cruised Crystal. It didn't take long to hook up with someone in the forum and we all benefited.

Even if you are not taking a cruise, the forums offer lots of suggestions for destinations and often provide detailed itineraries, map references, prices, etc. It's a great way to plan and planning is half the fun of traveling. And you'll probably make some friends along the way.

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