About Vacations to Go
If you’ve ever had a sudden, irresistible urge to pack your bags, drive to the nearest port, hop on a cruise ship, and sail to some far off, exotic location, Vacations to Go claims that they’re “America’s clearinghouse for discount cruises,” and that they can help you save up to 82% on last-minute cruises from nearly all cruise companies, destinations, and ports of departure.
But does Vacations to Go really make the process as easy as they claim? And do they really offer some of the best deals around? Let’s drop anchor and see what the facts have to say.
Quick Facts About Vacations to Go
Vacations to Go claims to be a bonded and fully accredited travel agency that can help you save up to 82% on last-minute cruises. In fact, the company is ranked as one of the largest online travel agencies in the U.S. with more than 700 employees, and has helped more than 4 million customers find a great deal on their next cruise.
According to the Vacations to Go website, they offer last-minute deals from every cruise line in the world, which can be accessed in one of three ways on their website:
- 90-Day Ticker – A list of last-minute cruise deals that depart in 90 days or less.
- Find a bargain Tool – Allows you to book cruises in advance, while still gaining valuable early bird discounts, two-for-one deals, and cut-rate promotions.
- Manual Search – Allows you to search for cruises based on date, region, cruise lines and ships, length, port of departure, and destination. You can also search based on discount type (e.g. 55+, military, law enforcement, teacher, and more).
However you find your cruise on the Vacations to Go website, the company claims that the average availability is less than 7 days, although some listings sell out in a matter of hours. Because of this, if you find a deal you like, you may want to book as soon as possible.
In addition to searching on their website, Vacations to Go also provides a weekly e-newsletter that outlines some of their most recent cruise deals.
Vacations to Go Pricing & Refund Policy
In order to search for cruise deals on the Vacations to Go website, you’ll be required to sign up by entering your first and last names, email address, and country. Registration is completely free of charge.
Due to the variety of cruises listed by Vacations to Go, prices can vary greatly, as well as refund policies. In general though, you’ll be required to submit a down payment of anywhere between $100 and $1,000 (depending on the cruise line) when your initially book your trip, and then to pay the remaining balance anywhere between 45 and 120 days prior to departure. Since Vacations to Go specializes in last-minute cruise deals that will usually sail within this time period, in many instances you may be required to submit full payment immediately after booking.
If you need to cancel your cruise prior to departure, refund policies will vary by company, although the closer you get to your sail date, the less money (if any) you’ll receive as a refund. If necessary, your Vacations to Go counselor will be able to provide additional information by calling 800-338-4962.
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Vacations to Go?
Vacations to Go has been in business since 1984 (online since 1999), and is based out of Houston, TX. The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, although they do have nearly 50 closed complaints over the past three years. Most of these appear to reference poor customer service, misunderstandings about the booking process, and undisclosed fees. With this said, it appears that Vacations to Go responds quickly to complaints in an effort to resolve them.
Outside of the BBB, Vacations to Go customer reviews appear to be mostly negative, with the most common complaints citing high pressure/bait and switch sales tactics, agents who are unresponsive to customer’s emails, unlisted additional charges/fees, and booking mistakes.
What’s the Bottom Line About Vacations to Go?
So what’s the deal with Vacations to Go? Should you book your next cruise through them? The answer is: it depends.
First, you should keep in mind that Vacations to Go is a sales-driven company. Employees are typically paid on a commission-only basis where they’re given leads, and then expected to close a certain number of sales in an effort to meet their quotas. This means that the company can help you find great cruise deals, but their Travel Counselors appear to be more focused on making their next sale than they are about providing solid customer service. This could be the primary cause behind many of the customer complaints we encountered that cited high pressure/bait and switch sales tactics, and poor follow-up communication.
Next, if you’re prepared to do a little legwork, we read numerous customer reviews claiming that you can often find many of the same (or even better) deals through other travel sites like Kayak.
Finally, keep in mind that since your cruise is booked through Vacations to Go (and not through the cruise line directly), if any mistakes occur that impact your trip, you’ll typically need to resolve them through Vacations to Go, which might present a problem considering their reputation for poor customer service. Also, because Vacations to Go is a large sales-based organization, you shouldn’t expect to have your hand held throughout the process. In other words, while they may be able to help you locate great cruise deals, it doesn’t appear that they provide much support beyond this.
Have you booked a cruise through Vacations to Go? If so, tell us about your experience by writing a review!
2 out 2 people found this review helpful
We have used Vacations to Go to book 15 cruises over the years, and would not consider using another agent. Their sales people are the best. One time we got an agent who did not seem to care about us or our plans, so we asked for another agent, and got one immediately. We book way ahead for our cruises, and WE keep track of what that booking is doing. If the price drops, or if a new perk is offered, we call our agent, and she adjusts our booking to always get us the best deal. We do not expect that our agent has nothing to do but monitor only our booking.
We have often been called to ask if we want to take advantage of a new perk, or a cabin upgrade for a small fee, etc. It's nice to have that option.
In my opinion, if you want great service, and you have realistic expectations, Vacations to Go is the best.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
4 out 4 people found this review helpful
They care less once they have you booked. The salesperson disappears, and you can't reach any managers. It is just a case of "making the sale and moving on!"
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
2 out 4 people found this review helpful
A complaint about Vacations to GO
We booked a family holiday for 31st of December, 2016 with Vacations to Go with Costa cruises. However, my holiday turned into a nightmare, I was kept on hold for hours, my calls were not returned, and when they were, it was 4am in the morning due to the time difference.
They quoted a different price and charged a different price and when I challenged them, they refused to refund and blamed everything on the exchange rates.
The vice president and Megan Peters are dishonest and misrepresented what the company portrays. They told me to complain to Mr. Alan Fox as he is the sole owner of the company Vacations to Go and their CRO.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friendView all 2 commentsHide comments
Jun 18, 2017
Help me understand Nalin, you gave Vacations to Go a one-star rating, but in the conclusion of your review you state, "Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend." If I were your friend and you recommended Vacations to Go to me and I had a similar experience as yours, I would be upset with you! Also, I might be glad that I was not your enemy.
Oct 14, 2017
I agree Dan. It makes no sense to me either. Some key sentences are missing. I read Christopher Elliot's blog, it has great information on how to handle the problems. They have people that will also try to help also.
2 out 2 people found this review helpful
4th time with VTG, first issue this year
We have booked all-inclusives with Vacations To Go for 4 years straight. We've been to Jamaica, Punta Cana and Riviera Maya. Next month, we head back to Punta Cana. The first 3 years, we never had an issue and everything was usually better than expected. We booked all excursions through Apple/Amstar (Vacations To Go uses them exclusively for all-inclusives). There is a rep at the airport and daily at the resorts. This year we've had a small glitch, which was the combined fault of VTG and American Airlines. We book 4-5 months out as soon as we see the prices drop. This time, AA changed our returning flights and notified VTG. Our agent missed the change in her queue so we ended up with the last 2 seats on the plane- in separate aisles, clear in the back. I'm not pleased and let them know, but no one seems to able to help.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
11 out 12 people found this review helpful
Vacations to Go is irresponsible
After booking with Vacations to Go, I was excited for our cruise. I had a few questions, and once they got all the money for the cruise, you could no longer get a hold of the agent who originally seemed so helpful. Also, she failed to tell me of a promo that the cruise-line was offering that would have saved me $1000 by offering a free ultimate beverage package with my two bookings. I seemed like the only one walking around on the cruise who hadn't gotten that deal. When I came home and took up the issue with management, of course they refused to refund me the money.
I don't want that to happen to others, so I advise everyone now to search out their own deals, and do their own bookings. The same deals are online with other travel sites.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friendView all 1 commentsHide comments
Jan 25, 2016
Which cruise line did you book with?