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LuckiePuris

Booking With US Sites & US TA's

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Just read this online:

 

Consumers need to be wary of booking cruises on US sites as the shipping lines reserve the right to deny boarding at check-in if they find that travellers are not US residents who booked with a US agent at the the US market rate.

 

Has this always been the case?

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I don't think I can post the link here as it a TA's website, but this was all that was mentioned regarding overseas TA's.

 

Sorry, didn't mention anything about UK TA's.

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Just read this online:

 

Consumers need to be wary of booking cruises on US sites as the shipping lines reserve the right to deny boarding at check-in if they find that travellers are not US residents who booked with a US agent at the the US market rate.

 

Has this always been the case?

 

Just answer this question then. Was it an Australian TA site? Me thinks it is a little bit of scaremongering perhaps?

 

If it is an Australian site then they are hoping to put the seed of doubt into peoples heads so that they book in Australia.

 

Think about it - does anyone ask for your drivers licence and proof of address when you check in? NO!!!

 

They accepted your money knowing that you are travelling on an Australian passport.

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Consumers need to be wary of booking cruises on US sites as the shipping lines reserve the right to deny boarding at check-in if they find that travellers are not US residents who booked with a US agent at the the US market rate.

 

 

Another thing. Note that they don't actually come out and say that you will be refused boarding. As I said before they are hoping to get people scared enough that they will book in australia.

 

Dirty tactics if you ask me. Start giving us good prices and we will book in Australia. I for one would love to. Then again, I am not stupid enough to pay an extra $7000 for a cruise just so I can book with an Australian TA.

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Just read this online:

 

Consumers need to be wary of booking cruises on US sites as the shipping lines reserve the right to deny boarding at check-in if they find that travellers are not US residents who booked with a US agent at the the US market rate.

 

Has this always been the case?[/quo

 

 

 

Are you a Australian Travel Agent ?

 

 

 

:):):):):)

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Another thing. Note that they don't actually come out and say that you will be refused boarding. As I said before they are hoping to get people scared enough that they will book in australia.

 

Dirty tactics if you ask me. Start giving us good prices and we will book in Australia. I for one would love to. Then again' date=' I am not stupid enough to pay an extra $7000 for a cruise just so I can book with an Australian TA.[/quote']

 

Can there really be that much difference between the costs?

 

I never booked through an overseas TA, and now it looks like its all too late. Seems a bit unfair though if there is that much difference in the price. :eek:

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Can there really be that much difference between the costs?

 

I never booked through an overseas TA, and now it looks like its all too late. Seems a bit unfair though if there is that much difference in the price. :eek:

 

Believe me there is. Why do you think it is such a hot topic and people go to the trouble of booking in the US? We saved $7000 on our Asia/Alaska cruise. That is not a small amount.

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Just answer this question then. Was it an Australian TA site? Me thinks it is a little bit of scaremongering perhaps?

 

If it is an Australian site then they are hoping to put the seed of doubt into peoples heads so that they book in Australia.

 

Think about it - does anyone ask for your drivers licence and proof of address when you check in? NO!!!

 

They accepted your money knowing that you are travelling on an Australian passport.

 

Hi Eileen' date='

 

Yes it was an Aus TA site but none of the major TA's. I had never heard of this TA but only stumbled across their page while doing a search for Rhapsody blogs.

 

I have never booked a cruise through a US agent and was wondering before I considered it, if anyone has had the experience of being refused boarding.

 

Like you said though, they know you are Australian as you hold a Australian passport.

 

Any queries, feel free to email :)

 

luckie_puris@yahoo.com.au

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Are you a Australian Travel Agent ?

 

 

:):):):):)

 

No I am not a TA. If you do a google search for Rhapsody blogs, one of those results will be a TA's blogs, and I found the above comment in one of the blogs.

 

I only posted here to find out if this had actually happened to anyone or if it was just a tactic to encourage booking through an AUS TA.

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Believe me there is. Why do you think it is such a hot topic and people go to the trouble of booking in the US? We saved $7000 on our Asia/Alaska cruise. That is not a small amount.

 

Wow that is an amazing saving! With that saving, think of all the extra tours etc you can do during the cruise, especially through the Alaska area as I have heard the tours are a bit costly

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Just read this online:

 

Consumers need to be wary of booking cruises on US sites as the shipping lines reserve the right to deny boarding at check-in if they find that travellers are not US residents who booked with a US agent at the the US market rate.

 

Has this always been the case?

 

I've certainly seen it claimed for some time, as well as people commenting to that effect elsewhere, or the equivalent of being asked to pay the difference (it affects not just Australia). However, I haven't heard any direct reports.

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Seems like I just got in, in the nick of time, a fortnight ago for a Panama cruise. Are we being denied using USA TA's just for cruises out of Oz or does it also include i.e. Med cruises etc?

 

My UK agent (Med cruise last September) has already told me she cannot sell me a cruise. I have bought the Panama cruise from a US TA (was charged the full amount four months out and have my boarding pass etc already).

 

Is it also all the shipping lines? Is there some legel eagle out there - can we complain to the Ombusman - is this collusion by the shipping lines to charge the Aust public more? If you get onto i.e. Royal site, there is dearer prices for cruises to the Aust public. If you don't add the 'au' for the internet address and you get the American website the price is MUCH cheaper for US citizens.

 

I'm with Bill & Charlies mum - why should We pay SO MUCH more and then there is a demand for gratuities as well.

Rassa

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How can they say that because you hold you a Australian passport that you can't book through a US agent.

 

I have a friend that is married to an American and lives in the US and she still has a Australian Passport.

 

Everybody should just start boycotting these cruise lines. And as I have said before we intend to lower our tipping onboard our upcoming cruise because we pay higher prices here for cruises.

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It is not just Ozzies that pay more. In the UK we also pay more if we book in £. We are taking a cruise on Oasis and some friends in the US got a quote from a very well known internet cruise agency and the total in $ was the same as the total in £ give or take. Now there is a big difference in $1500 and £1500. It is well known that some cruise lines simply will not allow a US TA to book for non-US citizens although I have read on these discussions many times that there are ways round it. Lots of Brits seem to do it. So I still think the statement you highlighted was scare mongering though.

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How can they say that because you hold you a Australian passport that you can't book through a US agent.

 

I have a friend that is married to an American and lives in the US and she still has a Australian Passport.

 

Everybody should just start boycotting these cruise lines. And as I have said before we intend to lower our tipping onboard our upcoming cruise because we pay higher prices here for cruises.

No doubt I'll get flamed for this but reducing your tips won't hurt the cruise line, only the crew who are serving you and cleaning your room etc. etc.

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How can they say that because you hold you a Australian passport that you can't book through a US agent.

 

I have a friend that is married to an American and lives in the US and she still has a Australian Passport.

 

Everybody should just start boycotting these cruise lines. And as I have said before we intend to lower our tipping onboard our upcoming cruise because we pay higher prices here for cruises.

 

If you refer back to my original post, I didn't say anything about Australian passport holders but that the post says they would deny boarding to non US residents who booked through a US agent.

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If you refer back to my original post, I didn't say anything about Australian passport holders but that the post says they would deny boarding to non US residents who booked through a US agent.

 

 

 

Nothing to fear get a US online agent pick what trip you want, ring the agent and relay any concerns you may have, they want your business as they work on volume. Agents don't want passengers complaining to to Cruise Company's about them giving out wrong information, you also ask if your cruise deposit goes direct to the Cruise Line, with a simple call it can be clarified by the line you are traveling with.

 

It is all about getting out of your comfort zone, once you do it and see how much you are saving you will continue this form of booking for future cruises. We are in a global world, that means a global economy I think some of these large corporations are not playing on a level playing field.

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Down - Unders if that is the case , why did I get knocked back by a large US on line T/A only 2 weeks ago 'Quote - Princess do not allow us to sell to Australiant Residents.'

 

A bit of funny business going on.

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Nothing to fear get a US online agent pick what trip you want, ring the agent and relay any concerns you may have, they want your business as they work on volume. Agents don't want passengers complaining to to Cruise Company's about them giving out wrong information, you also ask if your cruise deposit goes direct to the Cruise Line, with a simple call it can be clarified by the line you are traveling with.

 

It is all about getting out of your comfort zone, once you do it and see how much you are saving you will continue this form of booking for future cruises. We are in a global world, that means a global economy I think some of these large corporations are not playing on a level playing field.

 

hi down-under, the cruise lines have stopped the international passengers from booking with US TA's.....so if we want to cruise we have to use a local TA

 

rkmw

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Down - Unders if that is the case , why did I get knocked back by a large US on line T/A only 2 weeks ago 'Quote - Princess do not allow us to sell to Australiant Residents.'

 

 

 

I believe Princess is not doing the right thing by you, they want the best of both worlds which is totally wrong, good people booking out of Australia and New Zealand they are making a fortune out of.

 

I would try a US site and see the price in US dollars, then ring the US and see if you can book it, not all US on line agents work to the same policy, shop around. Another way is, if a Australian TA wants your business they should match prices, again shop around it is your hard earned money, you do not want anything for nothing but you do not want to be fleeced. Good luck!

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hi down-under, the cruise lines have stopped the international passengers from booking with US TA's.....so if we want to cruise we have to use a local TA

 

rkmw

 

 

 

I believe it is only with Princess, who want to protect the high fares that you good people are paying out of Australia and New Zealand.

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I believe it is only with Princess, who want to protect the high fares that you good people are paying out of Australia and New Zealand.

 

hi Down-under, its Princess, Royal Caribbean and Hal

 

rkmw

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I believe it is only with Princess, who want to protect the high fares that you good people are paying out of Australia and New Zealand.

 

 

Nope, RCCL have put a stop to it as well. My US T/A told me a couple of weeks ago that he could not book Princess or NCL for Aussie & NZ residents but there was no problem with my Carnival booking (I double checked and then triple checked). A few days after my booking was confirmed he told me that he had just been advised by RCCL that they could no longer book cruises on their ships for all of us down-under.

 

Choose a different cruise line - there's heaps of them. Avoid P & O - they charge far too much for an inferior product. Just imo. :(

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We booked and deposited a cruise through a big US travel agency at the end of October. We will pay approx half price, saving over $6,000 compared to the cheapest on line fare I could find in Australia. Normally I'm a fierce "buy local" supporter, but this is a serious saving, and I bet the price difference wouldn't go into the local travel agent's coffers, but straight to Princess. I cannot see how Princess can justify such a huge price discrepancy. The Australian dollar would have to fall to around 25c for the Aust/US prices to be similar. I suspect Australians are being ripped off!

 

According to an email from my US TA, as of 13/11/09 Princess has now restricted all US based agents from booking international clients on Princess sailings, but will honour current bookings and rates.

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I have just done a comparsion with a 7 night Carribean cruise 1 booked through Princess Cruises for an inside stateroom, on 3rd January, the price was AUD 903.76. The price for the same cruise, from an on-line travel agent was USD 499.00 In both cases taxes were addition. This will mean the exchange rate for this cruise would be .5521 if Princess leads us to believe that it is only the exchange rate difference. Today our exchange rate is around the .90 and when you convert the USD 499 to AUD this would be AUD 555 hence we can see who pays more for cruising and not been able to take advantage of the discounted prices in the USA. Then don't forget tips and other onboard expenses. :mad:

 

Regards

 

Michael

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We have also used US TA's to book our cruises (saving lots of money), with no problems what so ever.

 

I have emailed our agent, to see if there is a change.

 

I would also love to be able to give our business to an Aussie TA, but the difference in price is too much. eg. Our last cruise to the Baltic. Oz price

balcony cabin $4000 pp(AUD), US price- $1600pp USD (with a better balcony cabin). Even with a bad exchange rate, there is no comparison.

 

Will let you know what I find out.

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Someone mentioned the media should be contacted re this issue. In today's Sunday Mail (Bribane), there's an article about fares being cheaper if booked via the US - nothing in it we didn't already know. It does quote an Aus TA saying that you may be denied boarding - scare mongering me thinks! Also mentions 2 US online TA's which I'm sure we all know about. Who knows - Princess may see this as negative press and do something - well we can only hope!

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The same article is in the Sunday Melbourne Paper. Princess was doing this some years ago, when other shipping lines were not. Perhaps they are scaremongering and it may blow over in a year or so. There was on this board about 6 months ago, where (and I think it was Princess) gave the couple a hard time on board, because they bought the cruise overseas, but the couple stood their ground and refused to pay the extra. If it is scaremongering, I imagine Aussies will take a chance and stand their ground. It has also been reported on this Board where Princess had the cabin numbers in staff quarters of those cruisers who chose to pay less gratuities.

 

Princess seems to be the worst. Take your money elsewhere.

Rassa

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Here is the link for the article:

 

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26412648-17102,00.html

 

The Australian Travel Agents are obviously bullying the cruises lines to make people use Aussie agents.

 

I hope one of the tv stations get on the bandwagon.

 

The cruises lines needed to be shown up for ripping off Aussies!

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Here is the link for the article:

 

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26412648-17102,00.html

 

The Australian Travel Agents are obviously bullying the cruises lines to make people use Aussie agents.

 

I hope one of the tv stations get on the bandwagon.

 

The cruises lines needed to be shown up for ripping off Aussies!

 

hope this thread doesnt go poof as it mentions TA's

 

anyone with some contacts email Current Affairs or Today Tonight

 

rkmw

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A big UK cruise agent has quoted me 2000 pounds (AU$4000) for the same 30 night Star Princess cruise quoted here at AU5500. That is a saving of AU$3000 per couple. So the poms are getting much better deals. I reckon this story shoud go to ACA or Current Affair. Has anyone proof of Princess refusing boarding because the booking was with a US t/a.?

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I have a question...

 

So we cannot book with a US TA. But when I go to http://www.royalcaribbean.com.au which is the Australian website, it shows me the cruises in Australian dollars.

 

Am I able to book direct with the RCI Australia webpage? Or is this something we can no longer do?

 

I would assume it should be ok and the same as booking direct with P&O and Princess.

 

Thanks for your help!

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So we cannot book with a US TA. But when I go to www.royalcaribbean.com.au which is the Australian website, it shows me the cruises in Australian dollars.

 

Am I able to book direct with the RCI Australia webpage? Or is this something we can no longer do?

 

If you book on the RCI Australia page as you describe, the price will typically be the same as if you booked through an Australian travel agent.

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A big UK cruise agent has quoted me 2000 pounds (AU$4000) for the same 30 night Star Princess cruise quoted here at AU5500. That is a saving of AU$3000 per couple. So the poms are getting much better deals. I reckon this story shoud go to ACA or Current Affair. Has anyone proof of Princess refusing boarding because the booking was with a US t/a.?

That's just it Les. It is all smoke screens and innuendos. They are trying to put the seed of doubt into everyones minds so that people will book here and not with an o/s TA.

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I don't think you would have any concerns about refusal of embarkation if booking a cruise through a US TA, as long as the cruise does not depart from an Australian port. If it does depart from Australia, I think maybe the concerns are valid.

 

Guys, I feel sorry for you, but if you were to investigate for yourself, you might find that the high costs you pay and the restrictions the cruise lines have to comply with in regards to overseas bookings are written into the laws of your country.

 

It's understandable that the Australian government, or state governments, wish to protect local businesses from foreign competition. It is also understandable that your government wishes to collect taxes that are part of those sales. Both would be impossible if you were allowed to go overseas to make your travel arrangements.

 

Some of you blame the cruise lines. This isn't without justification - while they might not like the restrictions that force them to operate a local subsidiary in Australia, it also allows them to set higher pricing. But, in order to maintain their standing, and more importantly, avoid problems with operating their ships from Australian ports, they have to comply. That means that they have to lean on their agents in the US to refuse Australian bookings.

 

What you have here is a perfect storm of unintended consequences. Your government wants to protect your travel agencies from international competition, so crafts laws that makes it more difficult for you to book overseas. Your government wants the taxes and licensing fees, so forces the cruise lines to set up local subsidiaries if they exceed a threshold of activity from Australian ports (perhaps the reason Carnival isn't included - yet). The cruise lines face stiff penalties and other repercussions if they do not comply, so they are forced to tell overseas agencies not to accept bookings that are initiated from Australia. By playing along, the cruise lines get to charge higher prices, the government gets more tax revenue from the higher prices since X% of a large number is much better than X% of a smaller number, and YOU, the consumer, pays for it all.

 

I would be most interested to find out what an investigation would discover. I did my own research to make the preceding comments. It took about 15 minutes on Google to find relevant documentation on AUS web sites. The thing is, you have to follow the money. Governments are like the cosa nostra, even if they aren't involved directly in the business, they still like to get their cut. Your government has made an offer that the cruise lines can't refuse.

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