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lesleyharris

non usa buying from usa travel agents

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I am based in Australia, and looking to book a cruise.  The best prices by a mile are from USA companies.  Some have told me they cannot sell a Holland American Cruise to a non USA resident.  Others have  said they will.  There are "rumours" around that say if you buy from a USA agent and you are not USA resident you will be denied boarding, but a Cruise Critic forum said they had spoken to the various Cruise companies and no one has ever had this happen.  One of the USA travel agents actually told me HAL dont allow them to sell to non USA residents.  I would welcome comments - as I dont want any issues, but I believe IF I BOOK AND PAY FOR A CRUISE - THEY CANNOT STOP ME BOARDING...??  Does the ticket even show who you booked through ?   should I just use a friends USA address???  although my passport will be Australian.. This is the fb message from one of the travel cos...

" I just spoke with a travel consultant and they said unfortunately we can only sell Holland America to US and Canadian residents. If travelers are from Australia, they will need to book locally. I’m so sorry about the confusion. Holland America has different rules for us than most other cruise lines so this is an isolated occurrence. Thanks for thinking of us!"

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You say some US travel agents have said they will book you on HAL.  I would suggest you ask those US travel agents if there is any issue with you not being a US resident.   I can only speculate on why fares might differ.  Might be taxes, fees, grats, or who knows.     

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I booked a couple of cruises several years ago though a US travel agent.  I am a British passport holder living in the UK.  Subsequent to booking and successfully sailing on the two aforementioned cruises,  the major cruise corporations, Carnival and Royal Caribbean introduced a series of rules seeking to prevent non-US passengers from booking (Canadians and Mexicans are not included in the restrictions).  They sent me an email outlining all the regulations and exceptions under which non-US people are permitted to book.  These included a non-US citizen who has a US address, it was not clear if you had to live there etc.,  making a booking which included a US citizen in your cabin (I am thinking of European grandparents with a US grandchild or similar).  Not sure what would happen with a "no show" US cabin companion. I can re-book through same US agent with the same lines as a pre-existing customer.  Other exemptions were listed but I forget what they were.

 

It might help to contact the corporations direct.

 

Regards John

Edited by john watson

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As an Australian, you are afforded protections by the Australian government that are not afforded to US citizens. That accounts for the price distance. Also, Australian prices will probably include gratuities, while the US prices don't.

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We have an Aussie Friend who also happens to be a HAL 5 Star Mariner and spends many months a year cruising.  He books many of his cruises using a Canadian address that belongs to a good friend, and thus gets North American pricing on lines like HAL.  He also uses this Canadian address as his address of record for HAL cruises.  Having an Australian Passport does not cause him any problems since there are plenty of Aussies who are resident in both the USA and Canada.

 

But these kind of pricing issues do not just pertain to cruises.  A few years ago I was booking tickets on New Zealand's Transalpine Train when I noticed that the price was a lot less for residents of NZ or Australia.  But the tickets were simply e-mailed and printed out on one's computer printer.  So I used  a "Tor" browser and modified the settings to show that I was booking from a an Australian IP Address (this fools the booking computer into thinking I was in Australia).  The price immediately dropped, I quickly booked and printed-out my ticket and the rest is history :).   Those who routinely use VPN's on their computer can do the same thing by choosing an appropriate VPN IP Address.

 

Hank

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18 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

As an Australian, you are afforded protections by the Australian government that are not afforded to US citizens. That accounts for the price distance. Also, Australian prices will probably include gratuities, while the US prices don't.

 

True.

And port fees are included too.

But those things simply don't account for the HUGE price differences that we,ve seen.

We Brits get ripped off, but that's nothing compared to the way Aussies get screwed.

 

We've booked thro US t/a's in the past and benefitted from the big big price differences, and the price-drops (not available in the U.K.) and the deposit refunds (also not available in the U.K. - deposits are non-refundable from the moment they're paid).

We always paid by cc because that replicates the refund security of U.K. t/a's if the t/a goes belly-up.

 

In recent years the poor exchange rate for sterling has negated much of the price difference, and nowadays we do just as well by booking very late, and usually with a UK cruise line

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Unfortunately, the rules of this forum do not allow naming/recommending/etc travel agents.

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Another issue is credit cards -- not all international cards work on US systems, and if you don't have a US card with a US billing address and zipcode, sometimes American TAs can't complete the booking. 

 

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