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  #1  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:35 PM
confused123 confused123 is offline
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Default Travel agent question- etiquette based

So I've never cruised before and never used a travel agent, but I've traveled to Asia and Europe and around the US having done all the planning myself. After reading these boards, I decided to use a TA. The first one I contacted ignored what I told her I wanted and tried to steer me to a longer cruise than I wanted. The second one hasn't called me back yet. I feel that I know which cruise I want so I'm looking for the travel agent to help with post-cruise hotels, flights, transfers, tours, etc. should I call a third one? I have a recommendation from someone I trust about another one, but is it rude to dump the first one? Should I just contact the third one and be done with numbers 1 & 2? Not sure about the general processes. Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 08:45 PM
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If they aren't listening/doing what you specifically told them, no, it's not rude to dump them. They are in a service industry and are providing poor or no customer service.

I always book my own hotels, flights etc but we've booked the cruises with a TA because we get some extras that we wouldn't have if we'd booked the cruise direct. This TA gives us the option of $150 OBC or travel insurance - we choose at final payment. This is on top of the promo that the cruise lines sometimes run.
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  #3  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Shmoo here Shmoo here is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confused123 View Post
So I've never cruised before and never used a travel agent, but I've traveled to Asia and Europe and around the US having done all the planning myself. After reading these boards, I decided to use a TA. The first one I contacted ignored what I told her I wanted and tried to steer me to a longer cruise than I wanted. The second one hasn't called me back yet. I feel that I know which cruise I want so I'm looking for the travel agent to help with post-cruise hotels, flights, transfers, tours, etc. should I call a third one? I have a recommendation from someone I trust about another one, but is it rude to dump the first one? Should I just contact the third one and be done with numbers 1 & 2? Not sure about the general processes. Thanks!
A travel agent is supposed to be working for you. If you're unsatisfied with one, you need to find one who will work with you, not steer you away from what you think you want. At least, the TA, if they insist on directing you to something else, should be telling you why.
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  #4  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:53 PM
navybankerteacher navybankerteacher is offline
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Someone who hasn't bothered to return your call is not very likely to extend himself in other areas; and a T/A who tries to steer you away from what you want is worse than useless. You owe nothing to a person in a service industry who fails to provide service.
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  #5  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by navybankerteacher View Post
Someone who hasn't bothered to return your call is not very likely to extend himself in other areas; and a T/A who tries to steer you away from what you want is worse than useless. You owe nothing to a person in a service industry who fails to provide service.
I agree.
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  #6  
Old May 11th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Since you have a recommendation, I would try that it. If you still can't get what you want, book it yourself. It is definitely not rude to dump the other two. Maybe third time will be the charm!
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  #7  
Old May 11th, 2013, 10:18 PM
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I too would go with "door number 3". It isn't at all rude to dump the first two.
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Last edited by Treven; May 11th, 2013 at 10:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old May 11th, 2013, 10:41 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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If you are being treated poorly while in the booking stage, just imagine what lack of service you will get once you pay your money?

Move along. You have not found the right TA from what you report here.

IMO
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  #9  
Old May 11th, 2013, 11:34 PM
Suitcasefull Suitcasefull is offline
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Have to agree; you're not getting the service you should. A TA works for you and shouldn't try to push you into other things. You don't owe them anything, assuming you didnt sign anything. We're lucky to have a great TA so hope you find one who'll be of good help for a long time.
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  #10  
Old May 12th, 2013, 01:26 AM
klauer klauer is offline
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If you know what cruise you want, I think that it is easiest to just to book it yourself. I don't know if TAs make enough in commissions to be interested in reserving your hotels, tours, etc. It sounds as if you have plenty of travel experience to do your own planning -- to me that is just as enjoyable as the trip itself!
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  #11  
Old May 12th, 2013, 01:29 AM
donaldsc donaldsc is online now
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If you went to a car dealer and the salesman either ignored you or treated you badly, would you feel that you had to return to that dealer to buy your car? Same for TS's.

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  #12  
Old May 12th, 2013, 03:16 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Find a TA who will spend the time with you and look at you as an individual traveler and nut just as another number.

A good TA can be invaluable.

A bad TA is a problem.

Keith
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  #13  
Old May 12th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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Krazy Kruizers Krazy Kruizers is offline
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Don't call -- go and see travel agents. You will get more and usually better results by talking to a TA in person.

I make all our hotel and flight arrangements.

Once you have booked a cruise, you can use your confirmation to go to that cruise line's site and see what tours are available for your cruise. Once you decide on what excursions you want, you can book them yourself on the cruise line's site.

You can also read about your ports here in the Ports of Call section.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 07:28 AM
Blue Elephant Blue Elephant is offline
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You owe absolutely nothing to these travel agents until you sign something.

I don't use travel agents myself. When we starting to plan our overseas trip last year, a travel agent quoted me $4500 for an airfare when I could get exactly the same thing for $3000 by booking online myself. When I challenged him on the matter I was told "Well that's the price I'm seeing". Absolutely no attempt to research further.

I decided that even if I made a few mistakes, it would still be cheaper to do it ourselves. THEN, we discovered just how much fun it was to research travel destinations for ourselves. I have no regrets about our choice.

Also booked our cruise online by ourselves!
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  #15  
Old May 12th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
If you are being treated poorly while in the booking stage, just imagine what lack of service you will get once you pay your money?

Move along. You have not found the right TA from what you report here.

IMO
Exactly. The TA should be doing everything they can to make you happy, to make you happy means hopefully you'll be a repeat customer. Not doing what you or not even calling you back to get your business? Time to dump them both and go with a completely new TA.
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  #16  
Old May 12th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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I agree with many of the sentiments stated in the above posts.

We have been on 23 cruises and have a 24th booked for the fall.

We have burned through three travel agents before finding one several years ago who is just fantastic.


Among the problems with those who we "fired":
  • not returning calls
  • getting my wife's name wrong on the travel documents
  • back years ago when we had the TA book airlines, we had an agent book us into Miami for a cruise out of Port Canaveral
  • back in the days of paper documents, we had an agent who moved his office and did not notify the cruise line or UPS and as a result our paper documents were returned. When I called a week before the cruise asking for them, he said just show up at the pier!
The TA is supposed to be working for you. If he or she is not doing the job, it is time to give them the sack!!!
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  #17  
Old May 13th, 2013, 09:27 AM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
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Using a TA is like going to a store....if one doesn't have (or do) what you're looking for, don't shop there....Go elsewhere!
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  #18  
Old May 13th, 2013, 09:39 PM
confused123 confused123 is offline
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Thanks very much! I just had TA number 3 tell me that I really didn't want to go on a cruise, so I have decided to bite the bullet and just book it all myself! I can't wait to get on board and I am excited that I am doing this myself.
I appreciated your post because it gave me the courage to just go ahead!
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  #19  
Old May 13th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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maryann ns maryann ns is offline
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Good decision. Keep asking questions here and on Trip Advisor.
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  #20  
Old May 13th, 2013, 11:02 PM
Suitcasefull Suitcasefull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confused123 View Post
Thanks very much! I just had TA number 3 tell me that I really didn't want to go on a cruise, so I have decided to bite the bullet and just book it all myself! I can't wait to get on board and I am excited that I am doing this myself.
I appreciated your post because it gave me the courage to just go ahead!
What the heck kind of TA would tell you that???? Why??
Glad you're excited about booking yourself but don't let this experience totally sour you on TAs. When you find the right one, they're really helpful. You might try asking people in your area for a brick and mortar TA they'd recommend, just so you have one in mind in the future.
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