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SempreMare

Transferring a direct booking to a travel agent

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

FCC?  So you get an OBC from HAL and another one from your TA?  Clearly not experienced at this level of sophistication!

You certainly can.   Most TA benefits are in addition to those offered by HAL.  Try it, you'll like it.

 

FCC is future cruise credit.  There is a HAL representative on the ship.  Normally, located close to guest services.  You will also receive a notice of when the person will be available in your room.  You can book a cruise through that person.  Normally, there is a small amount of OBC as an incentive.  You can also purchase a Future Cruise Credit.  This is useful if you don't want to make up your mind on the exact cruise but you want the OBC.  A FCC costs $100 PP IIRC.  The FCC then can be used as a deposit on the cruise when you decide to book saving you a large amount on the deposit.  The FCC also counts as a $100 off the price of the cruise.  You also receive a variable amount of OBC.  You can use the FCC directly with HAL or through a TA.

Edited by RocketMan275

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23 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

You certainly can.   Most TA benefits are in addition to those offered by HAL.  Try it, you'll like it.

 

FCC is future cruise credit.  There is a HAL representative on the ship.  Normally, located close to guest services.  You will also receive a notice of when the person will be available in your room.  You can book a cruise through that person.  Normally, there is a small amount of OBC as an incentive.  You can also purchase a Future Cruise Credit.  This is useful if you don't want to make up your mind on the exact cruise but you want the OBC.  A FCC costs $100 PP IIRC.  The FCC then can be used as a deposit on the cruise when you decide to book saving you a large amount on the deposit.  The FCC also counts as a $100 off the price of the cruise.  You also receive a variable amount of OBC.  You can use the FCC directly with HAL or through a TA.

 

Thank you RocketMan275.  So say I DO NOT get an FCC on this trip let me see if I have this right: 

 

For some future cruise we decide to take, I call HAL/PCC (would be nice to know how to get a good, more experienced one of those) and see what their best price is. I book this and get whatever OBC etc they give me. Then  I notify  my on-line large cruise company TA and see what her price is. Unless it is more than HAL,  I ask  HAL to transfer the booking to her? And then I keep the HAL OBC and she gives me more? Seems to be too good to be true.... wouldn't everyone do this?

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2 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

Thank you RocketMan275.  So say I DO NOT get an FCC on this trip let me see if I have this right: 

 

For some future cruise we decide to take, I call HAL/PCC (would be nice to know how to get a good, more experienced one of those) and see what their best price is. I book this and get whatever OBC etc they give me. Then  I notify  my on-line large cruise company TA and see what her price is. Unless it is more than HAL,  I ask  HAL to transfer the booking to her? And then I keep the HAL OBC and she gives me more? Seems to be too good to be true.... wouldn't everyone do this?

 

Unless HAL is running a promotion, you are unlikely to get any OBC from HAL or your PCC.  TA's can also process a FCC when you book a HAL cruise through them.  In my opinion, it's all about time.  Booking with HAL takes some amount of time and transferring the booking to a TA takes time.  Many cruisers will want to skip HAL/PCC and just have the TA book it.  I have also had several local travel agents say that they are not interested in taking transfers, so make sure your TA will do that!

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1 hour ago, zentraveler said:

 

FCC?  So you get an OBC from HAL and another one from your TA?  Clearly not experienced at this level of sophistication!

FCC is the Future Cruise Consultant on board every HAL cruise. The FCC can book cruises, or sell you a Future Cruise Deposit, which is used as the deposit on a cruise when you decide what you want to take. The Future Cruise Deposit (FCD) comes with an On Board Credit (OBC). If you book a cruise, instead of a FCD, that OBC is doubled.
Then, whatever OBC my TA gives me is in addition to that.

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1 hour ago, zentraveler said:

 

FCC?  So you get an OBC from HAL and another one from your TA?  Clearly not experienced at this level of sophistication!

Sorry, double post.

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56 minutes ago, zentraveler said:

 

Thank you RocketMan275.  So say I DO NOT get an FCC on this trip let me see if I have this right: 

 

For some future cruise we decide to take, I call HAL/PCC (would be nice to know how to get a good, more experienced one of those) and see what their best price is. I book this and get whatever OBC etc they give me. Then  I notify  my on-line large cruise company TA and see what her price is. Unless it is more than HAL,  I ask  HAL to transfer the booking to her? And then I keep the HAL OBC and she gives me more? Seems to be too good to be true.... wouldn't everyone do this?

It really doesn't matter if the TA price is more than the price you have booked with HAL. The price transfers in place and the TA honors it. If the TA can give you a better price, even better.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, zentraveler said:

 

Thank you RocketMan275.  So say I DO NOT get an FCC on this trip let me see if I have this right: 

 

For some future cruise we decide to take, I call HAL/PCC (would be nice to know how to get a good, more experienced one of those) and see what their best price is. I book this and get whatever OBC etc they give me. Then  I notify  my on-line large cruise company TA and see what her price is. Unless it is more than HAL,  I ask  HAL to transfer the booking to her? And then I keep the HAL OBC and she gives me more? Seems to be too good to be true.... wouldn't everyone do this?

Three points:

First, there is simply no reason why you should not get a FCC on this trip.  Having a FCC does not affect the situation.  Having a FCC will get you OBC regardless of whether HAL is offering promotional OBC on the cruise  you select.  The FCC OBC is a promotion for buying the OBC while on board a cruise.  Also, suppose the deposit on the cruise  you select is $500.  You can use the FCC in  lieu of the deposit.  You're only putting $100 down.  Of course, you'll ultimately pay the difference but the lowered deposit is attractive.

Second, there are no price or OBC advantages from going through the PCC.  The PCC will quote, as her best available price, the exact same price HAL will provide on their website.  PCC's are not allowed to discount cruise prices. 

Third.  HAL does not always show all cabins as being available for booking.  Some are usually held back.  Some report that a PCC has been able to remove a cabin from inventory and make it available.    It's not clear that a TA cannot do the same thing.  I've never had a TA tell me that she cannot get the cabin I want.  If a TA tells you the cabin is being held back in inventory, then  you might call the TA and see if she can book the cabin and then transfer it to the TA.

 

The Bottom Line (here are the steps I use): 

1. Get the HAL price and promotional information from the HAL website.  

2. Contact one or more TA and get their best deal.

3. Pick the TA you're most comfortable with who has the best deal.  (Any TA that quotes a price that is more than HAL is a ripping you off so drop them from immediate consideration.)

 

Some believe that a PCC gives them an advantage on upsells.  Well, maybe.  But, the only upsell I was offered was on a booking through a TA.  I'm really not interested in upsells since I book the cabin I want and I'm not really interested in any others.  

 

Another problem with using a PCC as a possible means for upsells is this.  Upsell offers go out after final payment when it's too late to transfer.  In effect, you're giving up a discount, normally 10%, as a bet on getting an upsell.  Does the upsell save you at least 10%?  Do you get an upsell offer often enough to offset giving up the 10% discount?

Edited by RocketMan275

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13 hours ago, RuthC said:

FCC is the Future Cruise Consultant on board every HAL cruise. The FCC can book cruises, or sell you a Future Cruise Deposit, which is used as the deposit on a cruise when you decide what you want to take. The Future Cruise Deposit (FCD) comes with an On Board Credit (OBC). If you book a cruise, instead of a FCD, that OBC is doubled.
Then, whatever OBC my TA gives me is in addition to that.

 

True, except that if you get a FCD only, you normally receive an email from HAL two weeks after you cruise which offers to double the OBC (which then equals the amount you get when booking onboard) if you book within the next 60 days (date clearly stated in the offer).

 

For those who do not get this email (often referred to as the "Thank you for sailing with us" email), you can still get this extra OBC credit by telling your TA to use the promotion code ZPM (or VPM if that does not work).

 

Further, you can use the ZPM code at a much later date, as long as it is within 60 days of a later cruise.    

 

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

Second, there are no price or OBC advantages from going through the PCC.  The PCC will quote, as her best available price, the exact same price HAL will provide on their website.  PCC's are not allowed to discount cruise prices. 

I would mildly disagree with this statement. When I am on the phone with my PCC she goes thru all the various promotions in effect to see which one gives the best price. The web site only shows one price. A good TA would do this as well.

 

Bottom line - not all Travel Agents are good, some are almost useless. The same can be said for the PCCs. I happen to have a good PCC and she does work to get the best price and promotions that are available. She also has told me several times that her status and salary are not dependent on keeping the booking in house. I also have a TA that I deal with who I trust and has no problem with taking a transferred booking. He takes whatever price / perks I have and adds his. I can also transfer to BigBox if that is the best option, but I have no expectation of personalized help from them. I feel that I have the best of both worlds this way. YMMV.

 

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1 hour ago, richwmn said:

I would mildly disagree with this statement. When I am on the phone with my PCC she goes thru all the various promotions in effect to see which one gives the best price. The web site only shows one price. A good TA would do this as well.

 

Bottom line - not all Travel Agents are good, some are almost useless. The same can be said for the PCCs. I happen to have a good PCC and she does work to get the best price and promotions that are available. She also has told me several times that her status and salary are not dependent on keeping the booking in house. I also have a TA that I deal with who I trust and has no problem with taking a transferred booking. He takes whatever price / perks I have and adds his. I can also transfer to BigBox if that is the best option, but I have no expectation of personalized help from them. I feel that I have the best of both worlds this way. YMMV.

 

 

This all makes sense. Thanks all. For this particular cruise (to Alaska) we wanted an inside cabin so even if the price goes down it won't matter for us, and for the first time ever we don't want an upgrade!

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1 hour ago, DaveOKC said:

 

True, except that if you get a FCD only, you normally receive an email from HAL two weeks after you cruise which offers to double the OBC (which then equals the amount you get when booking onboard) if you book within the next 60 days (date clearly stated in the offer).

 

For those who do not get this email (often referred to as the "Thank you for sailing with us" email), you can still get this extra OBC credit by telling your TA to use the promotion code ZPM (or VPM if that does not work).

 

Further, you can use the ZPM code at a much later date, as long as it is within 60 days of a later cruise.    

 

All of that is correct. However, if I have selected a cruise that I want to take, and there's a cabin I am willing to choose, I book it as soon as possible. If I am on a ship at the time, there's no reason not to book with the FCC.

The ZPM promo is only good for those 60 days, so if I have an FCD, and don't find a cruise to book in 60 days, I don't get the double credit.

Getting double OBC when booking with a FCC, and the ZPM promo are two different things. They just amount to the same total.

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On 5/15/2019 at 5:32 AM, SempreMare said:

=== tl;dr Summary: 

The next time I transfer a booking from HAL to a travel agent, I would try this approach: 

1) Request the form to transfer a booking to a travel agent by emailing: World_Cruise_Reservations@hollandamerica.com

3) Fill it out and email it back same address.

 

Transfer Form - Blank.pdf 158.94 kB · 31 downloads

 

Resurrecting this thread a bit to provide a recent experience.  After much anguish, I decided to transfer my book from HAL to a TA for some perks.  I remembered this thread from last month that stated there was a form to fill out now.  I'm really not sure if this is true.  My TA simply called HAL and told them to transfer the reservation to their agency and it was all done in out 10 minutes.  I did not fill out any form or have to call anyone.  I just gave the TA the HAL confirmation number. 

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@ChinaShrek  thanks for your feedback on recent experiences.

 

Just curious - what were the perks you enjoyed with the transfer to a TA ? 

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You were very fortunate, we just did the same thing. HAL emailed us a form, we filled it out, our TA had the booking in 24 hours. Not difficult, just not as easy as it used to be.

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16 minutes ago, SempreMare said:

@ChinaShrek  thanks for your feedback on recent experiences.

 

Just curious - what were the perks you enjoyed with the transfer to a TA ? 

My cruise was originally $3348.  The TA gave me $350 OBC.

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I have to relate our experience this week (and last).

 

I called our big-box TA on June 6 to transfer two bookings we made on Maasdam last month. After the TA contacted HAL by phone, the TA told me to fill out the Acrobat fillable firm they sent and return it to them by email. The TA's email instructions said not to worry about signing the forms. So, I believed them and returned the form the same day. A couple of days later, I got another email saying that HAL wanted a signature, so I signed and scanned the forms and returned them again on June 8. Then...crickets.

The original and followup email both said to allow 24 to 72 hours for HAL to process. After hearing nothing, I called the TA June 17, and was told they had just gotten the OK from HAL, and proceeded to finalize the bookings. I was more than a little discouraged that HAL made it so difficult to transfer bookings. However, we'll be getting over $2100 OBC for these, so it was worth the bother. 

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On 6/19/2019 at 6:48 PM, kwb101 said:

However, we'll be getting over $2100 OBC for these, so it was worth the bother. 

 

$2100 on board credit !?!   For transferring 2 bookings?  Wow.

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 I'm not the recipient of the $2100 obc, but just calculating out, at 8% from the TA, works out to an average fare of  $6500pp for each of 2 cruises. Easily accomplished when booking a Neptune or a longer cruise. 

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I called in March to transfer a booking to our TA. Just called HAL gave them TA info and that was it. 

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On 6/19/2019 at 6:48 PM, kwb101 said:

However, we'll be getting over $2100 OBC for these, so it was worth the bother. 

Is that OBC refundable?

My TA gives the option of OBC or a discount in the same amount.  I generally prefer the discount.  

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4 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Is that OBC refundable?

My TA gives the option of OBC or a discount in the same amount.  I generally prefer the discount.  

 

Yes, TA OBC is refundable 😄 

 

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5 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Is that OBC refundable?

My TA gives the option of OBC or a discount in the same amount.  I generally prefer the discount.  

From the Big Box?  I prefer my TA but I like to keep another option in case I need to change.

We really don't do a lot of onboard spending.  We seldom take shore excursions and we don't need a drink package.  We hardly ever spend more than $50 (total) per day.

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45 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Is that OBC refundable?

My TA gives the option of OBC or a discount in the same amount.  I generally prefer the discount.  

Agree - I would MUCH rather have the lower price than OBC.  More efficient and less hassle.

 

 

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7 hours ago, SempreMare said:

 

$2100 on board credit !?!   For transferring 2 bookings?  Wow.

We'll get $2845 OBC from the same TA for transferring 3 bookings.  That and the free gratuities are very much appreciated!  😄

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27 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

Agree - I would MUCH rather have the lower price than OBC.  More efficient and less hassle.

 

 

 

And, I on the other hand, prefer the OBC 😉 

 

Bur remember, I’m Canadian and pay for my cruises in Canadian dollars.  Since spending on board is in U.S. $ and the exchange rate is not pretty, the OBC usually works out to be a better deal for me.

 

Different strokes 🙂 

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