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Travel Agent Vs Booking Online

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

 

You were "clever" enough to completely miss my point. I never said you can't get anything back from a TA. The price of a cruise that gives you $500 in stuff is likely no less than $5000. In those cases, yea you are better off doing a TA. It's very misleading to the average cruiser who is not booking a cruise this expensive, who sees these kinds of numbers, and expects this is what they can get. 

 

It's like saying this car dealership is the best because they took $5,000 off of the sticker price, and I didn't even have to haggle. Everyone runs over there because that sound's like an amazing deal. Oh, it was a $90,000 Porsche? I was looking for a $25,000 Honda.

 

A better analogy might be if we are buying last year's model of our favorite car, we will get a lower price for it since they are trying to move leftover merchandise. We shouldn't expect the dealer to give us extra perks such as life time oil changes, road side service, or other extras when the price has already been discounted. 

 

On the other hand, if purchasing the latest model car, we might expect the dealer to provide some additional perks for purchasing the car from him. 

 

I get what you are saying. One can expect more perks when purchasing a more expensive cruise. But not everyone can cruise off-peak seasons or can book after final payment when they are trying to sell off leftover cabins. What we are describing is as valid as what you are describing. No need to accuse us of "bragging" or are hiding important details. It would have been much more effective if you had provided additional information of an ALTERNATIVE cruise booking method instead of being so dismissive of a valid booking process that you choose not to use. 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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3 hours ago, Joebucks said:

Most of the people bragging about their amazing TA or the insider deals they got, aren't telling you the price tag of their cruise

Joe,

I think to hit the nail on the head in one sentence.  And while you probably

are more blunt with your words than I would be, it makes perfect sense that paying 3x more

for the Taj Mahal than a cardboard box allows the TA freedom to share their commissions.  If anyone commonly booking interior/off-season or sub-$80/night has an additional savings strategy...we are all ears.

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1 hour ago, SantaFeFan said:

I get what you are saying. One can expect more perks when purchasing a more expensive cruise. But not everyone can cruise off-peak seasons or can book after final payment when they are trying to sell off leftover cabins. What we are describing is as valid as what you are describing. No need to accuse us of "bragging" or are hiding important details. It would have been much more effective if you had provided additional information of an ALTERNATIVE cruise booking method instead of being so dismissive of a valid booking process that you choose not to use. 

 

I did mention a travel credit card. These may or may not work with a TA. There's many options out there.

 

One thing I could have mentioned is random cash back offers out there. Right now, Orbitz is giving 10% cash back on cruises through Ebates. I don't think any TA is doing 10%, let alone cash, but I could be wrong. Although some can take the Carnival gift cards which can be purchased at 10% off. There are all kinds of cash back portals beit standalone, through a credit card, etc.

 

I can't do the after final payment cruises either. I'll save that one for retirement in Florida 🙂

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

 

I did mention a travel credit card. These may or may not work with a TA. There's many options out there.🙂

 

Love those credit card rewards!!

 

My bank allows me to credit any rewards earnings towards any travel related charges on my credit cards, whether for business or pleasure. After the travel charge is made, regardless of which card that charge was made on, I can use the rewards earnings from that charge to get a refund on any travel charge for up to a year. What is nice about this rewards plan is that I can use any of my cards to charge as much of my cruise costs as possible. I then earn rewards $$$ for those very charges which I can then use to get refunds for some of those same charges. It is like getting an additional discount on the cruise, but this time directly from my bank. 

 

And this is with no fee cards, so there are no service charges. By always paying off the monthly balance, we never pay any interest either. Basically, those rewards $$$ is free money. 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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6 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

I did mention a travel credit card. These may or may not work with a TA. There's many options out there.

 

One thing I could have mentioned is random cash back offers out there. Right now, Orbitz is giving 10% cash back on cruises through Ebates. I don't think any TA is doing 10%, let alone cash, but I could be wrong. Although some can take the Carnival gift cards which can be purchased at 10% off. There are all kinds of cash back portals beit standalone, through a credit card, etc.

 

I can't do the after final payment cruises either. I'll save that one for retirement in Florida 🙂

 

I've never had a problem using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay for a cruise.  The TA shouldn't care as the charge goes directly through the cruiseline.  Since I get 3x points, and if I use the portal the points are bumped up to an additional 1.5, using the card gives me 4.5% above and beyond what I get from the TA.  Then I use the points to get free airfare to my embarkation port.  Because of my screenname.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

I've never had a problem using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay for a cruise.  The TA shouldn't care as the charge goes directly through the cruiseline.  Since I get 3x points, and if I use the portal the points are bumped up to an additional 1.5, using the card gives me 4.5% above and beyond what I get from the TA.  Then I use the points to get free airfare to my embarkation port.  Because of my screenname.

 

CSR is my go-to as well. I could never imagine traveling without a card like it again.

Edited by Joebucks

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

Same here. I go off-peak season too. Our cruise fare hasn't exceeded $1300 yet. The best TA offer I have ever received is an extra $25 OBC. Most of the people bragging about their amazing TA or the insider deals they got, aren't telling you the price tag of their cruise. There has to be enough mark-up in the cruise for the TA to throw money at you.

 

For me, I just book direct or through my credit card rewards. It's a travel card that lets me redeem my points for my entire cruise fare at a great redemption rate. No out of pocket fare costs are worth way more to me than a $25 obc, cheap bottle of wine, or "speed dial."

 

Most of the "amazing TA insider deals" I've seen reported on CC are of the form XX% discount or OBC.  In those cases, the price tag of the cruise is irrelevant.  A percentage is a percentage.

 

Personally, I prefer my big box VISA card that gives a 3% cash back.  I find cash back so much more convenient than points because cash can be used anywhere and is compatible with all promotions.  BTW, this card does not have a $450 annual fee either.

 

The bottom line:  10% discount from my TA and 3% cashback is the equivalent of a 13% discount which is far better than anyone gets from a cruise line.   (Note: my TA gives the choice of a discount or an equivalent amount of OBC.)

 

FWIW, a 10% discount on a fare of $1500 (inside guarantee) would be $150, somewhat better than " a cheap bottle of wine".

Edited by RocketMan275

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