Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Discussion Topics > Ask a Cruise Question
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Ask a Cruise Question Post your general cruise questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 7th, 2012, 03:24 PM
cirman52's Avatar
cirman52 cirman52 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 835
Default Travel agents

Why isn't there a forum about travel agents ? Questions could be asked like : how do I find a good online agent or what do I have to do to get my on line agent to return calls/ emails ?
Or is this field covered else where ?
__________________
Future Cruises:
3 /2015 Celebrity Infinity btb Buenos Aires, S. A. to Ft. Lauderdale
10/2015 NCL " Star " Dover to Tampa

PAST CRUISES :
1/2009 Celebrity Century Caribbean
3/2010 Celebrity Infinity Panama Canal westbound
10/2011 HAL Westerdamn Western Med./Black Sea
3/2011 NCL TA to Copenhagen
4/2011 NCL Baltic Sea
3/2012 Celebrity Solstice TA to Barcelona
4/2012 Celebrity Solstice RT Barcelona
9/2012 RCI Majesty of the Seas
9/2013 Celebrity Solstice TP to Hawaii
10/2013 Celebrity Solstice Hawaii to Sidney
10/2013 RCI Radiance of the Seas Sydney / Perth
11/2013 RCI Rad. Perth / New Zealand / Sydney
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old July 7th, 2012, 03:29 PM
CruiserBruce's Avatar
CruiserBruce CruiserBruce is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Petaluma, Ca. 94954
Posts: 18,774
Default

Those things are discussed. Every day or so, several people ask about finding a TA, or whether an online or brick and mortar TA is better. We just can't name them, recommend them, or discuss them by name.

The reason for not naming them was apparent the other day. A TA came on, and on several boards, advertised her services. That was one. How do you think it would be if there were hundreds everyday?

Last edited by CruiserBruce; July 7th, 2012 at 03:31 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old July 7th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 63,911
Default

We are not allowed to discuss TA's on cruise critic.

My advice is to ask friends, work colleagues, relatives or others you know who cruise if they have a recommendation.

Keith
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old July 7th, 2012, 03:45 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is online now
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 44,190
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserBruce View Post
Those things are discussed. Every day or so, several people ask about finding a TA, or whether an online or brick and mortar TA is better. We just can't name them, recommend them, or discuss them by name.

The reason for not naming them was apparent the other day. A TA came on, and on several boards, advertised her services. That was one. How do you think it would be if there were hundreds everyday?
Bruce is so right. I am very thankful that CC does not allow mention of travel agents. We would be inundate with ads and pseudo praises.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old July 7th, 2012, 04:30 PM
thinfool's Avatar
thinfool thinfool is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: E. Kentucky & Palm City, Fl
Posts: 2,321
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul929207 View Post
We would be inundate with ads and pseudo praises.
This is very true and appreciated, but to the OP I would tell you that you can go to the home page of Cruise Critic and find several types of travel agents.

I get emails from Cruise Critic regularly that reflect a collusion between Cruise Critic and some (unnamed) travel agency.

Whether they are good or bad I cannot say... I have a great travel agent.

Finally, some cruise lines (Princess comes to mind) have listings on their web page of travel agents who are 'certified' to book cruises for them.
__________________


Carnival Spirit 2003 (Caribbean)
Carnival Fascination 2004 (Caribbean)
HAL Noordam 2004 (Norway)
Celebrity Horizon 2005 (Caribbean)
Sun Princess 2006 (Caribbean)
Diamond Princess 2007 (Alaska)
Carnival Splendor 2008 ( E. Mediterranean)
Carnival Glory 2010 (b2b E+W Caribbean)
Emerald Princess 2012 (Caribbean)
Island Princess 2012 (Panama Canal-full transit)
Ruby Princess 2014 (Caribbean)
HAL Ryndam 2014 (W. Caribbean)
Ruby Princess 2014 (W. Caribbean)
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old July 7th, 2012, 07:26 PM
Cruisin' Chick's Avatar
Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In the Valley, CA
Posts: 19,665
Default

I think some other sites will allow TAs to put their info in their signature line, but they aren't allowed to solicit business by sending emails or private messages to any of the other members (they'll get banned permanently in those cases), but any one can contact them if they get a sense from their posts if they are knowledgeable.

In the case of trying to track down a TA (if you don't have friends who could recommend one for cruising), look in the yellow pages for your area under travel agents, and find one that uses the phrase "cruise specialist" in their ad or heading. Then go in to their office and ask questions about the cruises they've been on. They should be able to discuss with enthusiasm their actual onboard experience. If they haven't been on a cruise, they shouldn't be considered a cruise specialist.
__________________
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old July 7th, 2012, 08:32 PM
we're sailing away....'s Avatar
we're sailing away.... we're sailing away.... is online now
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 15,337
Default

Mabe have a board just for TA>
__________________
We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages; 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages; 24 days
Holland: 11 voyages 152 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages; 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages; 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages; 35 days
Vantage: River 2 voyage 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 66 Cruises 604 days

NOT YET SAILED
Holland Ryndam 11/14 -21 days
Holland Ryndam 1/15 -14 days
Holland Maasdam 3/15 - 14 days
Holland Rotterdam 4/15 - 18 days
Holland Veendam 6/15 - 14 days
Vantage River Cruise 8/15 - 21 days
Princess Emerald 8/15 -14 days
Holland Eurodam 9 /15 -17 days
Celeberity Xpedition 11/15 - 10 days
Holland Prinsendam 11/15 - 25 days
Holland Volendam 2/16 -28 days
Holland Volendam 3/16 - 30 days
Holland Volendam 3/16 - 35 days
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old July 8th, 2012, 06:09 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Moon Township, Pa
Posts: 22,039
Default

I'm glad there's no TA business going on here. I can see many inherent problems with allowing TA's to work on a cruise board.
__________________
Darcie
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old January 15th, 2013, 09:20 PM
cccollector cccollector is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 4
Default travel agent high fees

Hi:
Just booked a cruise & the TA said there was taxes & fees but they dont match the cruise $$$...Cruise online fees & taxes where way cheaper $$...TA said there would be another screen online showing more board & landing fees...is there such fees when you book online????

thanks
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old January 16th, 2013, 05:44 AM
janetz's Avatar
janetz janetz is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Berkshires Of MA
Posts: 9,814
Default

We found our TA thru this site. Keeping looking around.
__________________
Live to cruise!

Royal Princess 10 Night Repo Cruise

Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old January 16th, 2013, 01:43 PM
SadieN SadieN is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
Posts: 11,545
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cccollector View Post
Hi:
Just booked a cruise & the TA said there was taxes & fees but they dont match the cruise $$$...Cruise online fees & taxes where way cheaper $$...TA said there would be another screen online showing more board & landing fees...is there such fees when you book online????

thanks
On a TA's bill the costs are broken down differently than on the cruiseline's site.
On the TA bill you will see something like-

Non-commissionable: $500
Commissionable : $500
Taxes and fees $100
Total: $1100

The TA does not get a commission on the whole amount of the cruise just the commissionable part of the fare. When rates go down it is usually the commissionable part being reduced. The non-commissionable rate rarely changes as it covers fixed costs.

As long as the Total is the same I'm satisfied.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old January 16th, 2013, 03:15 PM
Gunner22aa's Avatar
Gunner22aa Gunner22aa is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 2,044
Default The Best TA

Won't be found here. He/She will be found by word of mouth from those that have used them to their satisfaction. With the proliferation of online booking options TAs need to work very hard these days to keep a client base that pays the bills. One that isn't cutting it with their customers is headed for another form of employment and fast. Thankfully we found a great one over ten years ago and even though she has moved to another city 150 miles away I would never think of switching to someone else local. Ask around to those you know that travel extensivly.
__________________

Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:53 PM
BassettMom BassettMom is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 791
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cirman52 View Post
Why isn't there a forum about travel agents ? Questions could be asked like : how do I find a good online agent or what do I have to do to get my on line agent to return calls/ emails ?
Or is this field covered else where ?

I don't think the OP was asking about any specific TAs or allowing TAs to post/advertise. I think the question was a forum so that we could ask questions about TAs in general (not specific ones).

I posted a topic trying to find out what people look for in a TA and what specific questions to ask a TA when considering using one. It would have been nice if I could have gone to a specific forum to get these types of questions answered.

I agree that I wouldn't want to have to wade through advertisements from TAs, or posts from loyal customers advertising on behalf of their TAs, on the forum, but having a place to go for help/guidance would be nice.

Just my opinion of course...

Donna
__________________




Past Cruises:
Pacific Princess, Jun 3-10, 2014, Alaska Inside Passage Cruise
Star Princess, Dec 20, 2013 to Jan 4, 2014, Hawaii Holiday Cruise
Caribbean Princess, Mar 16-23, 2013, Southern Caribbean
Holland America's Amsterdam, Dec 5-22, 2012, Panama Canal (Eastbound)
Diamond Princess, Mar 14-29, 2012, SE Asia and China
Sapphire Princess, Dec 31, 2011 to Jan 7, 2012, Mexican Riviera
Sapphire Princess, Sep 11-18, 2011, Alaska Inside Passage
Sapphire Princess, Apr 9-16, 2011, Mexican Riviera
Holland America's Zaandam, Dec 19, 2010 to Jan 2, 2011, Circle Hawaii Cruise
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:47 PM
Admin's Avatar
Admin Admin is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,272
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassettMom View Post
I don't think the OP was asking about any specific TAs or allowing TAs to post/advertise. I think the question was a forum so that we could ask questions about TAs in general (not specific ones).

I posted a topic trying to find out what people look for in a TA and what specific questions to ask a TA when considering using one. It would have been nice if I could have gone to a specific forum to get these types of questions answered.

I agree that I wouldn't want to have to wade through advertisements from TAs, or posts from loyal customers advertising on behalf of their TAs, on the forum, but having a place to go for help/guidance would be nice.

Just my opinion of course...

Donna
Hi Donna. You can ask the questions you've listed here. You can ask any generic question about travel agents. You can ask how others found their agent or what to look for in a good agent or what benefits you can expect from a travel agent. You just can't ask for a travel agent recommendation. You can't give a travel agent recommendation. That includes giving your e mail address to get or give a recommendation. You can't recommend a travel agent and you can't ask for feedback on a specific travel agent. If we allowed that type of discussion, the boards would be inundated with recommendations, real and fake, and then you wouldn't know if the recommendation is genuine or being paid for. But you can definitely discuss generic topics concerning travel agents. This is the correct board for that discussion.

Last edited by Admin; January 23rd, 2013 at 03:48 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old January 24th, 2013, 12:57 AM
ReneeFLL's Avatar
ReneeFLL ReneeFLL is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 295
Default

What are the benefits of using a TA if you already know which cruise you want to take? I was told that a TA could not get you a better price, but that the only extra thing they could do is to maybe give you a ship board credit or something along that line. They said that the TA, the cruise lines or any other "discount" places could not sell the rooms any cheaper than the other. Is this true?
__________________
Renee & Mike




Looking forward to another 2 week cruise.

Celebrity Eclipse 2-8-2014 14 days
Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas 2-15-2013 10 days
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas 2-25-2011 10 days

Just 4.5 miles from the port. : )
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old January 24th, 2013, 08:53 AM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: New Cumberland,PA, USA
Posts: 18,989
Default

We salute CCs policy re TAs (the less said the better). Those of us who remember the early days on online Travel blogs and sites can talk about the days when AOL ruled the roost (the World Wide Web was in its infancy). AOL was the first place to have a popular cruise blog and many TAs used the site as their way to boost their own business. Some of these were decent TAs...but others were awful. Now, as to the previous comment about discounting, its just not true. We book a lot of cruises (cruised 101 days in 2012) and always shop around for our cruises by pricing-out what we want with several large online TAs and also the cruise line's own site. In all of our bookings (over 70 now) there was only 1 time when a cruise line's site was competitive. There are always some TAs who can offer special authorized promotions, amenities, or group rates. The price controls now enforced by most of the mass market lines do have some impact, but there can be major savings by looking around. On shorter cruises (10 days or less) the savings might not be huge (often a few hundred dollar on board credit, prepaid gratuities, etc) but on longer more expensive cruises the savings can be quite large (we saved over $3000 on a HA cruise last year). My advice for any cruiser is to simply spend a few minutes shopping around since you have nothing to lose but a little time.

Hank
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old January 24th, 2013, 09:24 AM
Underwatr Underwatr is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,540
Default

Generally a good TA has saved me about 10%, either off the top or with OBC. Not always (and then I book with the cruise line). But it may be mostly a function of the lines I cruise (Cunard and a bit of Princess).
__________________


Past:
Queen Mary 2 (Caribbean Holiday) - December 2013
Carnival Pride (Bahamas) - October 2013
Queen Mary 2 (Caribbean Holiday) - December 2012
Caribbean Princess (Scandinavia) - July 2012
Queen Victoria (Hawaii) - February 2012
Queen Mary 2 (Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing) - October 2011
Queen Victoria (Panama Canal Transit) - March 2011
Queen Mary 2 (New England/Canada) - September 2010
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old January 28th, 2013, 06:53 PM
Arzeena Arzeena is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,162
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty9 View Post
I'm glad there's no TA business going on here. I can see many inherent problems with allowing TA's to work on a cruise board.
I agree with you. With the ease of becoming a "travel agent" these days, when every other person you know is becoming a cruise agent, it would be a real nuisance.
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old April 27th, 2013, 05:35 AM
azippy azippy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 394
Default

Travels Agents have designations:
CTC - Certified Travel Counselor is the most prestigious - college level courses
CTA - mid way through the course work for CTC

These agents would be most knowledgable of your ports of call & destinations.

MCC - Master Cruuise Counselor - there is one level about this - not sure of the letters used
ACC - Accresited Cruise Counselor - 1/2 way to MCC

these ppl specialize in cruises only - may not have the expertise for ports/destinations

These are not free classes - so an agent who has taken them not only invests time - but money - that has to say somethng about thier level of knowledge.

Like every profession - some good - some bad and some indifferent - shop around ....
__________________
[



B]Crown:[/b] Odyssey ('00)
Cunard: Adventurer ('73) Ambassador ('74) QE 2 ('84) Queen Mary 2 ('05)
Festival: Vision (02)
Viking River Cruise: China (06)
Costa:Riviera(2-88 & 8-88)
Dolphin: Seabreeze (92)
Premier: Oceanic ('89) & Big Red Boat: Oceanic (89)
HAL: Eurodam ('08)
Celebrity: Horizon ('95) Millennium('00) Summit (03) EXPEDITION (08)
Carnival: Holiday (93) Fantasy(94)Fascination (94) Inspiration(96)Paradise (98)Triumph (99)Victory (00) Legend (02) Legend (02) Legend(04) Victory (06) Splendor (08) Glory (13)
RCCL: Song of America(91 & 92 & 93) Monarch (92) Monarch (93) Legend(95) Rhapsody (99) Nordic Empress (99) Rhapsody (00) Grandeur (03) Freedom (06)Oasis(12) Vision (12) Allure(13)
Princess: Pacific(original-02) Island (04) Grand (10 &11) Caribbean (11) Crown(12) Sapphire(12) Ruby (13) Emerald (13) Crown (13) Ruby (13) Emerald (14)
NCL:Spirit(05) Dawn (07) Epic (14)
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old April 27th, 2013, 07:39 AM
lisiamc's Avatar
lisiamc lisiamc is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,199
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneeFLL View Post
What are the benefits of using a TA if you already know which cruise you want to take? I was told that a TA could not get you a better price, but that the only extra thing they could do is to maybe give you a ship board credit or something along that line. They said that the TA, the cruise lines or any other "discount" places could not sell the rooms any cheaper than the other. Is this true?
We recently booked through an agent who belongs to an organisation which provides little extra events for their customers. We received a free shore excursion - a very nice surprise!

TAs can also be useful if you're having a problem with your booking, although some are more helpful than others. We booked through a different agent last year, who got us a really good price, (a very few cruise lines still seem to allow some discounting) but was no use at all when we wanted to ensure that all of our party was booked for the same table at dinner. We had to wait until we could see the maitre d' to fix that. We might use them again in the future because of the great pricing, but with the knowledge that just booking the cruise directly with the line would have been more helpful when we needed to make a change. So there can be pluses and minuses with using an agent.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:11 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.