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DW and I booked out Classic Southern Caribbean Golden Cruise for this July 11th last year in October through a major travel agent which will remain unnamed. For purposed of this post, I will call them Arlsoncay Agonlitway.
Since then, we have made all of our monthly payments to them ontime and were paid up well in advance of 30 days. However, we have gotten nothing but trouble.
First, we were not getting any statements saying that we had made payments. After 2 weeks of asking, we started to get them. Next, when we called to get the final payment amount, we had to call repeatedly in order to get an amount. When we finally did get an amount, it was $640 too high because the TA did not subtract the amount of our downpayment or travel insurance. Had we not kept records, we would have been WAY overcharged.
Next, we started asking for a confirmation of final payment from Arlsoncay Agonlitway, which we STILL have not recieved. We also wanted a confirmation of payment in full from Princess, which we STILL have not received.
When we went online 2 weeks ago to check our cabin assugnment and book shore excurions through the personalizer (and, let's face it, we all like to just go online and look at all the info!), we got a message that read "CANCELLED BOOKINGS CANNOT BE VIEWED!" I FLIPPED!
We called Princess, and they said that Arlsoncay Agonlitway had not paid them anything since the deposit. I couldn't believe it. So, after straightening things out with Princess and having Arlsoncay Agonlitway OVERNIGHT our payment, we were told that everything was fine and that everything was the way it was before.
(GOTTA SWITCH COMPUTERS! WILL CONTINUE IN 5 MINUTES)
did you pay by check..if so those would be your reciept of payment. Maybe call a lawyer friend to contact the agency and princess just to let them know you are serious about this issue. The TA is to blame since Princess is not receiving the coreect $$$ and dollars from them. Also it seems you are to " hands-off " on your approach. KEEP RECORDS....
We normally only make the initial deposit and final payment. If, God forbid, something happened inbetween the deposit and final payment and we had to cancel, it's just easier to have less money in the pot to worry about. Also, always pay by credit card...then you know whether the money got to the cruiseline or not, as the charge should be from the cruiseline, not the travel agency. And if something is disputed, you have some recourse. Make sure you get a receipt for everything you do with the travel agency and any changes that make occur. Any agency that doesn't supply these automatically isn't worth their salt.
I know I have heard of this before, and it is difficult for many travel agents to take monthly payments and each time issue a receipt.
I might suggest that after you make your initial down payment on the cruise that you put away those monthly payments, either in a savings account or some other type of account so that you will not spend it, and then make ONE final payment to them, as this is the normal way to pay for a cruise. It makes it much easier on the travel agent and much less stress to yourselves wanting that receipt each time a payment is made.
This might work with a small mom and pop agency, but very hard on those big companies with thousands of clients. Cruises are not usually sold on the installment plan unless you decide to put the charge on your credit card and make payments on that.
The Travel Agency will not make payments to the cruise line, they will make inital payment, and then final payment when it is due, but not payments every month as you make them to them. Just way too much trouble for the cruise line and too much to keep track of.
Sorry you had a bad experience, but that seems like a lot for a travel agent to deal with. ONLY IMHO of coarse.
Tahitian Princess 10/14/04
RCI-Legend of the Seas 3/27/05 Panama Canal.
One Phantom Booking still open with Princess.
[This message was edited by Toto2Kansas on 05-27-04 at 09:40 AM.]
The payment is made and Princess did get it. The problem was not with the monthly payments and we did not have to pay all of the monthly payments. We did that so we would not spend it on something else!
I was told that everything was the way it was before and we had the same cabin, etc. However, when I went to log on last night, all I had was a booking, no cabin. When I called Princess, they said that our cabion had been rebooked when we cancelled (it was the location that we wanted to a "T") and we were on a guarantee.
Normally that would not bother me, but there are only 5 cabins left on the whole ship, so if they were booked up, we would have been Sca-rewed.
So, we went ahead and grabbed up the last room in our category and are waiting and praying for an upgrade.
We contacted Arlsoncay Agonliway USA and have not heard back.
Oh, yeah! I also forgot to mention that we almost missed an upgrade a couple of months ago but I happened to call Princess to ask a question and they helped me upgrade us and save $200.
Shouldn't my TA have been looking out for me all the way? Shouldn't he have looked for price-drops, followed up on payments, etc.?
I am SO frustrated. I wish I would have known about CC before we booked.
Ginza - We kept EXCELLENT records. THat is not the problem. The problem is that we have had a hard time getting our TA to get us reciepts and confirmations. The other problem is they didn't pay Princess!
Peabody - I will definately keep that in mind. We did pay by check, but will pay by CC in the future.
Toto - We did not by an installment plan; we just made monthly payments because we wanted to make sure we didn't get to the 90 day mark and be short. We are a younger professional couple and have really had to work to pay for this cruise.
If it was too much for the travel agent to do, they shouldn't be a travel agent. All of their recipets are computer generated: push print and we have our account summary. They just didn't do it.
It is not unusual for people to make monthly payments. Circumstances are different. My wife and I are retired and make monthly payments on our cruises.
However, the difference is I go in to my local travel agent each month and give her my Visa and she calls Princess, RC or whoever and while I am sitting there she puts $500 on my Visa........then I pay it off each month and we do it again.........better than having a $3,000 payment on the due date.....but that is what is better for us.
We obviously don't use an on line agency. We also normally book 9 months to a year in advance.
After she calls Princess, I get a printed receipt before leaving her office.
The headaches come when you want to pay your T/A with a check........then the T/A has to use their credit card to make a payment on your cruise. It can be done but it is a headache..
If you are using a local agency there should be no problem IF you use your own credit card.
One thing you might want to try, Jon. Email or call, and if you get an answering machine, tell them you lost your cabin and you are p*****. It was their fault, not yours!!You are a regular on cruise critic, and it has 100,000 members, and if they don't fix this to your satisfaction, the entire world will know what they did to you, and you have already talked to your lawyer!!! Worth a shot!!! I would do that in a heartbeat!! And talk to the supervisor, not the TA!!!!!
7 days on Star Princess 10/24
GROWING OLD IS MANDATORY..... GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL
I hope you can put this behind you and have a fantastic cruise anyway. It's coming soon! Get that precruise excitment going and pull out some suitcases. Might help! It is a real shame when a TA causes such anxiety for their customers. This agency may be in real finacial turmoil and you got the short end of it. Just an FYI, there are some online TA's where you can make period payments on your cruise. I know you can with icruise.
As stated above, I suspect the travel agency is having financial problems. We had a problem similar to this in that we were billed twice for almost 3k and when I'd call the hotel direct they didn't have any record of our reservation. After a lot of hassle and trips to the agency as well as filing a complaint with the cc company the problem was worked out but it took several months to get our money back. I kinda had a heads up there was a problem eventually because the TA didn't sound too surprised we were double billed and then told us she was owed a prepaid vacation for being the highest sales rep and still hadn't received it 11 months later. It is up to you if you want to keep this booking but be aware they may be in trouble. In our case the agency closed a few months later. The deals were good, a little too good I guess or bad management.
Majesty of the Seas (2)
Monarch of the Seas
Diamond Princess Alaska
Grand Princess 9/04
Had problems also with the Canadian branch of that same TA
promising the moon and not coming through.....so I dismissed them and book direct with Princess now.
I also pay in installments to princess via credit card in CA dollars and never have a problem.Princess update my statement each time and e-mail also mail me a statement update.
Sorry you had an experience with this TA company ,you obviously are not alone.
I am with you- Kruisey.
Wow, I wonder if the CW agency that you used is a franchise. We use them for all our corporate travel and have found them to be doing a great job for us. Perhaps you may have to find out if it is a franchise and then call the head people in charge that oversee them and tell them your story. I would be sooooo pi**ed, I would want something from them, like shipboard credits, etc. So far you have reached people in the following areas:
NY, VA, NJ, OK, FL, SC, MA and at least one Canadian. Let them know that also.
Jon I'm glad your situation worked out. I know how scary it is to look up your booking and not find it. We had booked through a respectable travel agency and paid our deposit with a credit card. We even received a receipt from the TA with the credit card number showing that we had charged our deposit to our AMEX card. A few days later after we received our paperwork I went into the cruise personalizer and looked up our booking number. The statement said there was no such booking number. I couldn't get a hold of my TA so I immediately called Princess. Princess stated they had not received my payment. I was stunned since I had a receipt for my credit charge. I called AMEX and they stated nothing had been charged. Called TA and she got everything worked out. Fortunately, our cabin was still available. What scared me is had I not checked, our cruise would have been nothing but a pipe dream. Now, I am overly cautious and trust no one. Hate to be that way, but mistakes/oversights do happen.