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cdoobiest

Curious if travel agents have access or better rates for refundable deposit bookings

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Looking at Symphony in Spring 2020 and I really don't like RCCL non refundable policy.  Since so far away and travelling with kids and grandparents, so much can change.  Travel agent I usually use who is part of larger cruise network always gets us about 10-15% off RCCL quotes.  They don't entice with extra OBC, just strictly better rates which I prefer.  We generally book 4 rooms for 3 families and I believe they get a better discount by placing us on their group rate space.  Just a guess.  

 

On latest cruise, I was expecting to pay more than RCCL advertised online price because I wanted refundable deposits but they were able to beat RCCL online non refundable rate by 10-15% plus still offer me refundable deposit!  Wondering if some of the larger travel agents have some more flexibility with RCCL deposit policy or I am just getting a very good discount for booking with them.  

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Agents are able to secure group space in advance which may lend itself to having less expensive prices for cabins than the prevailing rate.

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4 minutes ago, cdoobiest said:

Looking at Symphony in Spring 2020 and I really don't like RCCL non refundable policy.  Since so far away and travelling with kids and grandparents, so much can change.  Travel agent I usually use who is part of larger cruise network always gets us about 10-15% off RCCL quotes.  They don't entice with extra OBC, just strictly better rates which I prefer.  We generally book 4 rooms for 3 families and I believe they get a better discount by placing us on their group rate space.  Just a guess.  

 

On latest cruise, I was expecting to pay more than RCCL advertised online price because I wanted refundable deposits but they were able to beat RCCL online non refundable rate by 10-15% plus still offer me refundable deposit!  Wondering if some of the larger travel agents have some more flexibility with RCCL deposit policy or I am just getting a very good discount for booking with them.  

No, agents do't get better rates than anyone else.

I think you are just booking the cruise within a group which the agent booked when the fare was lower

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5 minutes ago, cruisinfanatic said:

No, agents do't get better rates than anyone else.

I think you are just booking the cruise within a group which the agent booked when the fare was lower

 

I noticed something with the latest release of Alaska itineraries.  We had group rates available that were significantly cheaper than the opening prices. I had not seen that before. 

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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7 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

All group rates are refundable.  Find a TA with group space on the sailing that you want.

 

Thanks for this Ken, I had not realized that group space could not be booked with the NRD option.

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20 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Thanks for this Ken, I had not realized that group space could not be booked with the NRD option.

 

I should clarify that a bit.  Group space can usually only be created for double occupancy cabins and for balconies and below.  ( I have been told that sometimes group space is available for quad cabins)

 

If you want to book a suite (JS or better) or a cabin that holds more than 2 guests then you have to book those at prevailing rates and then they can be moved into the group to receive the benefit of the group amenities however the deposit would remain the same as how it was booked ( either refundable or non refundable)

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Good to know.  One more question.  Does group space prices generally fluctuate as sales come and go with RCCL.  I presume prices are set for group rates early on and stay that way until rooms are booked?.  Just wondering if I see new sale with better prices, should I notify travel agent about drop in price.  Also, with group rate bookings, I am guessing better to book early to guarantee space.  

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8 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

 

I should clarify that a bit.  Group space can usually only be created for double occupancy cabins and for balconies and below.  ( I have been told that sometimes group space is available for quad cabins)

 

If you want to book a suite (JS or better) or a cabin that holds more than 2 guests then you have to book those at prevailing rates and then they can be moved into the group to receive the benefit of the group amenities however the deposit would remain the same as how it was booked ( either refundable or non refundable)

 

Not true.  Group space rates can be available on any category; they are just harder to find with suites because there are fewer units made available at those rates.

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3 minutes ago, Fortypluscruiser said:

 

Not true.  Group space rates can be available on any category; they are just harder to find with suites because there are fewer units made available at those rates.

 

I've created many groups and you cannot create s group with suite space reserved in the group. 

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17 hours ago, cdoobiest said:

Looking at Symphony in Spring 2020 and I really don't like RCCL non refundable policy.  Since so far away and travelling with kids and grandparents, so much can change.  Travel agent I usually use who is part of larger cruise network always gets us about 10-15% off RCCL quotes.  They don't entice with extra OBC, just strictly better rates which I prefer.  We generally book 4 rooms for 3 families and I believe they get a better discount by placing us on their group rate space.  Just a guess.  

 

On latest cruise, I was expecting to pay more than RCCL advertised online price because I wanted refundable deposits but they were able to beat RCCL online non refundable rate by 10-15% plus still offer me refundable deposit!  Wondering if some of the larger travel agents have some more flexibility with RCCL deposit policy or I am just getting a very good discount for booking with them.  

My ta does same thing. I book fully refundable rates with my ta cheaper then the non refundable rates with RCCL. I also get obc from the ta.

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