Cruisebound, which launched last week, promises greater savings and a streamlined booking process.
Cruises are making a big comeback in 2023. And thanks to the new site, booking a cruise has never been easier. What should be a quick and one-time booking experience often turns out to be intimidating once you start looking for the right flight, as many sites start wooing travelers with different perks and deals.
Cruisebound, a newly launched site aimed at first-time cruisers, streamlines the often complex process by aggregating all deals with handy comparison tools. Available on desktop and mobile, the site estimates that it can help travelers find personal savings of between 15 and 30 percent.
“The main advantage of Cruisebound is that the entire experience is designed to make it simple and intuitive for customers to find the best deal for their cruise vacation,” said Cruisebound CEO and Co-Founder Pierre-Olivier Lepage. Travel + Leisure in the current situation. “Because we built Cruisebound to only sell cruises and cruises, the screen provides all the details customers need to make an informed decision.”
Backed by a team that includes former Tripadvisor co-founder Steve Coover and former CEO of Booking Holdings Inc. And its CEO, Jeff Boyd, the site uses each passenger’s details to pull prices from major cruise lines.
Early in the booking process, users will be asked if they qualify for discounts as members of the military or as a senior, possibly as part of group or union rates or as a return cruiser. “One point of differentiation is that on Cruisebound, the user does not need to call a number or get any promotional codes,” Claire Gibbons, Vice President of Product for Cruisebound, told T+L. “The product does all the checks and logic by default to find the lowest rate for each individual customer.” This process provides those solid savings, unlike general rates, she said.
Cruisebound, which officially launched on January 19 after a year of beta, hopes to attract millennials and Gen Z travelers with a mobile-optimized experience. They found that 91 percent of bookings made during the beta phase were on a mobile device, and that the average age of Cruisebound users is 36.
But just because the digital booking process is focused doesn’t mean there’s still a human touch. “Each reservation is backed by the Human Support Guarantee, ensuring world-class customer service both live and after booking,” the company said in a statement, explaining that Cruisebound’s advisors are available via phone, text, and email.
The company added that there are no hidden fees, including reservation fees often seen on other cruise websites. They also allow reservations to be made for free, with the exact length of the reservation varying by cruise line.
“My favorite feature on Cruisebound today is the multi-cabin booking experience,” said Lepage. “During beta testing, we had a lot of customers contact us because they were traveling with friends and/or family and wanted cabins nearby. We listened to this feedback and built an intuitive experience for people to book multiple cabins in one transaction.” He takes pride in adapting to customer needs, adding that being able to “quickly resolve pain points” is the ultimate goal.
“I firmly believe there is an appealing cruise experience for all types of travelers—singles, young couples, families, multigenerational cruises, people looking for adventure, or just wanting to relax,” Lepage added. “The more detail and content we provide, the easier it will be for users to choose the best cruise for them.”
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Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.