I recently booked a cruise to Alaska through Costco! I have never been on a cruise before and have never used Costco for anything other than for buying food. My boyfriend and I got an interior stateroom on a 7-day Princess cruise leaving from Vancouver! It will be a graduation present for both of us, as we will graduate the weekend before our Tuesday departure!
Now, why did we choose to do it through Costco? First off, it was at least $50 less per person than anywhere else I could find, including calling Princess herself! Further, we will receive a Costco gift card and a free photo book when we return home! What a deal! But, what is it like to book a cruise through Costco? The initial purchase was a simple online click. The only trouble was that when we made the purchase, we had to put our names EXACTLY as they are on our passports. Neither of us had our passports handy at the time of purchase. This wouldn’t be a problem for normal names, and we didn’t even think about it, and spelled our names the way we normally do. Unfortunately, on my passport, my last name has a space in it that I never use anymore. My boyfriend has a suffix that is in a different location on his drivers license than his passport. Researching online, I found people saying that if it doesn’t match EXACTLY, they can turn you away from the cruise!
I called Princess right away, but was on hold for 45 minutes. Once I got through, I explained my trouble only to hear that they could do nothing about it since I booked with a ‘travel agent’. Of course, by the time I hung up with her, Costco had closed! The next morning, after breakfast, I called Costco’s travel site. I got through within 3 rings! I told her my situation, and the polite lady on the phone said “sure, no problem! I will email you the new info and you can sign in to the cruise personalizer!” Now, THAT is service! I am really looking forward to this cruise, and have already bought an evening gown and made my boyfriend buy a 3-piece suit for the captain’s dinner! It should be a ball!