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I see people commenting on how they move their cruise to a TA after booking. What are the benefits? There is a TA that I am talking to on FB. The price he quoted me is the same as my cruise planner got me. I'm not shy about calling princess for a new fare if the price goes down. I can't book my flight until next February, does this impact your ability to book EZ Air thru Princess or does your TA have to do it for you? I'm basically clueless on this so any advice is welcome.

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Don't go with that agent if he isn't giving you part of his commission back at a discount off the cruise price or as OBC. There are plenty of agents out there that will give you money back depending on the cost of the cruise fare (without port charges). We cannot recommend agents or companies here but I will say that word-of-mouth is the best way to find an agent that is very, very responsive to your emails, calls, texts and FB messages even and will give you a kickback of some sort.

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I agree. We use a TA who gives us a decent discount. We set up our own EZAir flights for one of our cruises this summer ourselves as we were checking it out online on the Princess site and simply went ahead and booked it. No problem!

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Talking to a TA on FB who is not offering anything in return for taking over your reservation sounds pretty shaky to me. First, a TA should be providing you with excellent service. Since you've already booked, it sounds like the TA will do nothing other than collect his commission. Many TAs will offer you some sort of "thanks for booking" benefit. This may be in the form of OBC, a gift card, a reduced fare, or whatever.

I use a TA whom I love. I might do better on price if I looked hard, but I can't beat the service aspect. Someone I met on FB? No way.

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I am so glad I found my TA more than 20 years ago. Great service, great prices, great knowledge. When you find a good one, hang on to them.

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I basically do it all myself and then shortly before final payment switch to a TA who gives me 7-8% of the fare in refundable OBC. Keeps me in control until I am sure I am going but gets me the benefit of the extra OBC. If I am booking late in the process I just go straight to the TA but with all my info already in mind.

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Used to use TA's they want your Booking but do nothing for you after! After 29 cruises do it myself then I control my booking always do okay! Just got a huge price drop on a cruise ,do you think a TA is going to give you that and a perk! No way!

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[quote name='wheezedr']I basically do it all myself and then shortly before final payment switch to a TA who gives me 7-8% of the fare in refundable OBC. Keeps me in control until I am sure I am going but gets me the benefit of the extra OBC. If I am booking late in the process I just go straight to the TA but with all my info already in mind.[/quote]

The only negative about this is that you maybe losing money on the deal. If Travel Agents have group space (extra amenities), it maybe gone by the time you move it to the TA if you wait until final payment.

I personally like the money off the top of the cruise price as opposed to OBC but not all lines allow this.

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[quote name='wheezedr']I basically do it all myself and then shortly before final payment switch to a TA who gives me 7-8% of the fare in refundable OBC. Keeps me in control until I am sure I am going but gets me the benefit of the extra OBC. If I am booking late in the process I just go straight to the TA but with all my info already in mind.[/quote]


I thought Princess instituted a policy where you had to transfer within so many days! Am I wrong? Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks!

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Princess is one of the few (possibly only) lines that allow a TA to discount their price. I would not bother booking with a TA unless they gave you enough of a price break or extra perks to be worth it.

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[quote name='Reader0108598']Used to use TA's they want your Booking but do nothing for you after! After 29 cruises do it myself then I control my booking always do okay! Just got a huge price drop on a cruise ,do you think a TA is going to give you that and a perk! No way![/quote]

I use a TA. On the day of final payment on my last cruise (I had already made final payment), my cruise was reduced $700. I got that back from the cruise lines to my credit card. I just called my TA and said my price went down. Oh yea, I also got a discount on my cruise.

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[quote name='paul929207']Princess is one of the few (possibly only) lines that allow a TA to discount their price. I would not bother booking with a TA unless they gave you enough of a price break or extra perks to be worth it.[/quote]

Many TAs will write you a check after the cruise (or give OBC) on the lines that don't allow discounting.

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I've used several TAs over the years. One I found through a website that lets TAs compete for your cruise business I've gone back to over and over again. He has the booking for our upcoming cruise on the Royal. We got a great deal from Princess plus he's giving us additional on-board credit. Other TAs I've used have discounted the price without OBC. Some have been able to do both. Even the big box store got us a little bit of OBC for a cruise where I booked a casino rate.

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When I read some of the posts I just shake my head. Many folks really do get set in their ways or believe things that are just not generally true. So the easy answer when somebody asks us the best way to book is "just do whatever makes you happy."

But having booked over 100 cruises for myself, we do offer simple advice for those with open minds and interested in saving 7-10% off of cruise line direct deals. Note I say "deals" and not prices because a deal might involve paying the same price as a cruise line direct booking, but then getting back 7-10% (or more) in OBCs, pre paid gratuities, etc. In our case, since we often book longer more expensive cruises our savings on a single booking are generally in excess of $1000 and sometimes have topped $3000!

So what do we suggest? It quite simple, Just shop around. Look at the final price on the cruise line's own web site and then check the same cruise (and cabin category) on a few reputable high volume online cruise agencies. In some cases you will need to register your e-mail with an agency to get their best offers since they are sometimes prohibited (by the cruise lines) from publicly disclosing these deals (which are only available to registered users). None of the agencies we use charge any kind of fees.

So what do you have to lose? Perhaps an hour of your time. We just booked (this week) a 30 day HAL cruise where we saved just over $1000 by doing the booking with one of our favorite cruise agencies....over what it would have cost with HAL. It is about the same with Princess bookings. For those that book Celebrity or RCI cruises it is a bit more difficult to find really great deals but they do exist.

Hank
P.S. For those that have strongly formed beliefs that they know best please ignore my post :)

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[quote name='paul929207']Princess is one of the few (possibly only) lines that allow a TA to discount their price. I would not bother booking with a TA unless they gave you enough of a price break or extra perks to be worth it.[/QUOTE]



Both Cunard and HAL also permit TA's to discount their best rates .


Sent from my iPad using [url=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums[/url]

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You can transfer to a TA any time before your final payment date. You will be able to book EZ Air through the CP just as you would if you booked directly through Princess. The only things I've noticed that you can't do on your own would be to book transfers or add Princess insurance. Your TA can easily do this for you though. Mine discounts, provides extra OBC when available, and will happily refare when Princess lowers the price for our previously booked cruises and will provide a full explanation of what the impact on perks will be if she does that for us. As Coral mentioned, my TA will also book group space which provides even greater discounts. And if things go wrong, she will go to bat for us with Princess. I've been using my TA for about 8 years now and will keep doing so.

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I am booked with a TA.
1) I transferred the cruise to the TA months after booking it. I had to email Princess to accomplish it.
2) I set up my own EZ Air after transferring it to the TA.

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[quote name='suekel']I see people commenting on how they move their cruise to a TA after booking. What are the benefits? There is a TA that I am talking to on FB. The price he quoted me is the same as my cruise planner got me. I'm not shy about calling princess for a new fare if the price goes down. I can't book my flight until next February, does this impact your ability to book EZ Air thru Princess or does your TA have to do it for you? I'm basically clueless on this so any advice is welcome.[/quote]

a good travel agent is great
mine gives me a discount
checks monthly to see if fare has dropped or their are special promotions
always sends wine (or more than one bottle) to my room
finds airfare that is cheaper than the cruise line (or if not I don't have to do that leg work myself)
knows which hotels etc I should use pre and post etc

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[quote name='Coral']I use a TA. On the day of final payment on my last cruise (I had already made final payment), my cruise was reduced $700. I got that back from the cruise lines to my credit card. I just called my TA and said my price went down. Oh yea, I also got a discount on my cruise.[/QUOTE]Similar experience with my recent Emerald cruise. Was paying about 12% less than the Princess fare to start with. Five days after final payment, Princess reduced the price to about what I’d paid. My TA couldn’t give me a refund but I sailed with $300 extra OBC she got me instead.

A good TA can make a big difference. If you’re not quoted at least 10% less and additional OBC, keep looking.

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[quote name='geoherb']I've used several TAs over the years. One I found through a website that lets TAs compete for your cruise business I've gone back to over and over again.[/QUOTE]I got seriously burned big time using that service. The TA discovered they made an accounting “mistake” of @ $1k over a year after booking and a month after final payment and said they’d cancel my booking if I didn’t pay the difference by the end of day.

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[quote name='Pam in CA']I got seriously burned big time using that service. The TA discovered they made an accounting “mistake” of @ $1k over a year after booking and a month after final payment and said they’d cancel my booking if I didn’t pay the difference by the end of day.[/quote]
WOW! TAs have insurance to cover their errors. I realize that you were between a rock and a hard place at that point, and had little choice but to pay it and argue later. But that sounds outright criminal to me.

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Pam in CA gets about the best upfront discount of anybody I've seen post about that. Of course she sails a lot and has for a long time. She also gets stuck with the single supplement and deserves as much of a discount as possible.

I don't get as much as she does but I like my guy and he does give me about 8%. I'm happy with that and he seems to be happy with getting commission when I do almost all of the work. If both parties are happy then I call it a win. :D

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[quote name='Pam in CA']I got seriously burned big time using that service. The TA discovered they made an accounting “mistake” of @ $1k over a year after booking and a month after final payment and said they’d cancel my booking if I didn’t pay the difference by the end of day.[/quote]I agree that some of the TAs on that site are less than pristine in their knowledge. I try to steer clear of those. But so far, I've booked three cruises through three different agencies from that site and have never had a problem. Perhaps one reason is that I book most of our cruises after the final payment date.

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[quote name='Thrak']Pam in CA gets about the best upfront discount of anybody I've seen post about that. Of course she sails a lot and has for a long time. She also gets stuck with the single supplement and deserves as much of a discount as possible.[/QUOTE]Thanks. I think. ;) I don’t get any special discount that any other passenger using my TA would get no matter how many cruises. Considering I’m rarely invited to the Most Traveled, I haven’t cruised as much as many others. My last cruise, a 12-day to Alaska a couple of weeks ago, the cut-off was about 550 days. I wasn’t even within shouting distance.

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