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Posts posted by jcanino

  1. So Crystal has decided that on any moved bookings the new agency will be limited to 10% commission which makes every agency on the same footing. From the article I read it wasn;t clear if this also applies to bookings mover from the cruise line to a TA -- I wouldn't be surprised if it does.


    It does apply that way as well. It was in the press release we received.

  2. I agree. I live in Georgia as well and there are no local TA's anymore. Everyone wants to do business on the internet. I also booked my cruise via an online travel site. After my cruise no one ever called me again either. I am also still looking too!


    I just did a search on CLIA's web site (http://www.cruising.org) for travel agents in Georgia. In the 30*** ZIP codes, 452 agencies come up. in the 31*** ZIP codes, there are an additional 54. Mind you, not all of these are store front agencies. Some of them may be one person operations. If you narrow your search even more by entering in the first three or four numbers of the ZIP code, you will get an even small list of travel agencies closer to you. Once you have that narrowed down, look for an agency that may have an ACC or MCC certified travel agent. With the amount of work, time and effort that goes into earning the certifications, you may find a good, local TA that way.


    I also searched on The Travel Institutes's web site (http://www.thetravelinstitute.com) for GA travel agents who have earned CTA and CTC certifications and found 60. Some may work for the same agency. To earn a CTA, a TA has to have been employed a minimum of 2 1/2 years. For the CTC, it is 5 years. This certification process is even more involved than the one from CLIA and involves more course work, more time and a whole lot more money. Both certifications conclude with the TA taking a three hour exam that includes five essay questions. Someone who takes the time to earn a CTC certification is serious about the business they are in.


    Check both web sites and see if you can find a travel professional in a nearby community.

  3. Don't know if this is the appropriate thread but -- can anyone tell me how to book the Y UP fares so often discussed as cheap first class?


    If you are booking directly on an airline's web site, try checking that you want First Class and then best available fare. When I fly my son home from Seattle, I price the lowest Coach fare and then I price the lowest First Class. So far, 3 out of 4 times the price difference was only $200. But then again, he is in the Army so sometimes he flies home with less than a month's notice or during holidays.


    When I price it at work, I can do basically the same thing through my SABRE system.

  4. Currently, I am booked on a transatlantic cruise with air added on the price. The price that has been quoted to me (one way to Rome) is cheaper than what I can find independently ,of course, they have added the fact about the transfer from the airport etc. Is this too good to be true? Am I going to find myself in the worse seat on the plane? Should I expect the long way around from Miami to Rome? All comments welcomed.


    Since the cruise lines contract with the airlines for the flights, they can get cheaper one way flights than you can. I would suspect that you will have one connection between MIA and FCO. Depending on the cruise line, they will assign your flight 30 to 90 days in advance. Call your TA or the cruise line at the 90, 60 and 30 day marks to find out your flight. If you used a TA, they should check on seat assignment. If you used the cruise line, you have to do the checking.


    I have a couple sailing from Barcelona at the end of June on Royal Caribbean. At the end of March (90 days), I had their air itinerary, discussed it with them and locked it in. They are being charged $1100 per person including transfers. The best price I found for them was $1100 and they would need to add transfers. The flights that are assigned for them are pricing at $2300 per person if I sell those flights. Their times are excellent and connections very good.

  5. The fee for booking tickets directly through an airline is usually about $25.00. Don't quote me on this, but commission is usually in the neighborhood of 10-15%. Varies with travel agency and varies with the status of the agent, but my own local travel agency that is owned by a friend averages about 12% on all travel EXCEPT air.


    Quite a bit more money to be made as a package deal than just a $25.00 fee for air tickets. And most people DO NOT pay a travel agent to book airline tickets through the airline, except for complicated itineraries. You really don't need a TA to book an airline ticket from Boston to Miami.


    The average service fee for airline tickets booked through a TA is $25 though I have seen it as high as $50 and there are some that charge a percentage. Although a travel agency may make 10-17% on the cruise fare portion of a cruise, the cruise lines usually only pay 5% on the air (base price not including taxes or PFC's). On a $300 ticket, the TA makes $15. In our office we always compare cruise air to published air prices. Published air is not always the cheapest. When a client books a cruise and published air, we usually discount our service fee.

  6. Is it okay to go barefoot on the ship except for dining room?


    Outdoors, the deck may be very hot but you can go barefoot. Once inside, no one will stop you from being barefoot in the hallways. Public rooms are different and you should wear something on your feet.

  7. I am a little confused by the driving distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. Mapquest says it is a 3 hour and 17 minute drive, but some posters have said it is 35 minutes away. We are arriving 5 days prior to the cruise to spend some time in Orlando before driving down to the port in FLL. Our original plan was to arrive on Monday night and drive down on Friday for the Saturday departure, but now I am wondering if we can spend the extra day in Orlando and drive down early Saturday morning (April 9th/05). Also for the 3 of us is it worth renting a car or paying for a limo/car service??? Any help would be appreciated.

    I don't know how anyone could tell you it was 35 minutes. It is, as Mapquest says, about 3 and a half hours without hitting traffic. I would definately rent a car as a limo or car service from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale is going to be in the two to three hundred dollar range.

  8. Since this is still being posted to, I will relate our cruise surprise. Last year (2003), my wife and I and our two kids saw the passing of my father (Valentine's Day), her mother (June), one of my Uncles (September) and the father of our daughter's best friend (November). Needless to say, it was a lousy year for us and we felt that our life was completely sucked out of us. We had no joy and nothing to make us feel good. Thanks to an inheritence from my father and a bonus from my wife's employer, we decided to to do something that would make us feel good about life and bring some happiness to others. We decided that we were going to take family and some friends on a cruise.


    I created a video of pictures from a past cruise on the Carnival Triumph and past ship inspections. I then found a recording of Jimmy buffet singing "Sea Cruise". You know the song where the lyrics go "won't you let me take you on a sea cruise." At the end of the pictures, I added a few frames of text wishing them a Merry Christmas and that we wanted them to join us as we sailed the Carnival Triumph on August 7, 2004. The next frame told them that our Christmas gift to them was a cruise in a Balcony cabin along with round trip air. The last frame stated that tips, shore excursions and on board charges were not included.


    As we showed people they video, we gave them a bag with a Carnival brochure, a deck plan showing which cabin was theirs along with other information on cruising and Carnival. People were shocked, speechless and some even cried. Needless to say, we sail in less than three weeks. We invited 33 other people and have a total of 12 balcony cabins. This past Saturday, one of my sisters in law held a picnic for all the cruisers. A cousin's daughter created a logo for our cruise and she and her mom had t-shirts made for everyone with the logo along with a tote bag for each cabin.


    I have told everyone that the cruise came about because four people are no longer with us. It isn't about their death but rather is is about the live's they all led and the way we loved them all as well as everyone that we invited. The unofficial theme for the cruise is LIFE, LOVE, FAMILY.


    Joe Canino

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