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Susandt

Booking with a travel agent vs ncl p c c

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Special promotions you can get from the travel agent.  I always get some combination of additional OBC, pre-paid grats, specialty dining, chocolate strawberries, etc.  depends on what promotion the travel agency is offering at the time of booking.

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I used one of the larger online t/a and booked a lot if cruises for a family of 5, big money. the best I got from them was the chocolate strawberries. I now have 1 PCC at NCL, prefer it. They have more accessible hours and just seems more direct0

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We prefer a PCC. There are so many times on CC when I hear people complain that they didn't know about something, or they can't make a change, etc. because they have to wait or rely on their travel agent. I prefer to cut out the middle man.

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Book with PCC then transfer to TA who will give you 5-10% of the cruise fare back in OBC/cash.

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13 minutes ago, tomservo said:

Book with PCC then transfer to TA who will give you 5-10% of the cruise fare back in OBC/cash.

Sadly i dont think we can do that in the uk. Wish we could

 

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The first time I booked through a TA with friends (separate cabins) who were related to that TA. We were given mini suit for regular cabin prices, as it was our anniversary she had chocolate strawberries waiting in our room and we got $50 OBC. The boat had a deal worked out with this agency for priority boarding, it was great. 

 

Of course for our second time we wanted to go with the same agency. Our previous TA was not available but we still booked. No extra perks, no early boarding (different boat) no OBC and she put us in what I later realized was an obstructed view room. Not a big deal at all, took me days to even notice and it was only reading this forum I knew "people under you and not water = obstructed" 

 

Both times I was unable to bid for an upgrade due to using that specific TA (only wanted to the second go around, but invite never came)

 

I guess it's not even which company you go to but who specifically in that company you go to. Personally I wouldn't bother with an agent again. 

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2 hours ago, tomservo said:

Book with PCC then transfer to TA who will give you 5-10% of the cruise fare back in OBC/cash.

Really?  I didn't know that could be done....  I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination 🙂  Does that work with the big travel companies or just local type travel agents.  I haven't used a travel agent in years.  Thank you for the guidance!

 

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32 minutes ago, Newfun4me said:

Really?  I didn't know that could be done....  I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination 🙂  Does that work with the big travel companies or just local type travel agents.  I haven't used a travel agent in years.  Thank you for the guidance!

 

 

Yeah I've done it several times now with X, and twice with NCL. It should work with pretty much any TA. There is a time limit for how long after your booking you have to transfer it, maybe 30-60 days. Your best bet is to find a small agency that does a lot of business - they do enough business to earn the higher commissions, but don't have the overhead of the larger travel agencies, so they can pass more on to you. The big travel companies will often only give you gratuities for 2 and maybe 50/100 OBC.

 

It's a symbiotic relationship, because I don't ask my TA to do very much for me. I do all the research, make the reservation, transfer to them, they get their commission from the cruise line for very little work and pass most of it on to me either as a check or OBC. For example I have an upcoming cruise on the Bliss where the cruise fare is about 5k - the TA I am transferring to will give me 450 in OBC, which is about 9% of the cruise fare. I think TA's get 5-15% commission of the base cruise fare, the exact rate depends on a bunch of factors, mostly on how many bookings they get.

 

Keep in mind after you transfer you need to manage your booking through the TA, so that includes payments, changes to the booking, etc

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16 minutes ago, tomservo said:

Thank you!!!  This is super helpful.  We are booked in the Haven to Bermuda in May 2020 and it's about $9K, so some OBC would be awesome!  

 

Yeah I've done it several times now with X, and twice with NCL. It should work with pretty much any TA. There is a time limit for how long after your booking you have to transfer it, maybe 30-60 days. Your best bet is to find a small agency that does a lot of business - they do enough business to earn the higher commissions, but don't have the overhead of the larger travel agencies, so they can pass more on to you. The big travel companies will often only give you gratuities for 2 and maybe 50/100 OBC.

 

It's a symbiotic relationship, because I don't ask my TA to do very much for me. I do all the research, make the reservation, transfer to them, they get their commission from the cruise line for very little work and pass most of it on to me either as a check or OBC. For example I have an upcoming cruise on the Bliss where the cruise fare is about 5k - the TA I am transferring to will give me 450 in OBC, which is about 9% of the cruise fare. I think TA's get 5-15% commission of the base cruise fare, the exact rate depends on a bunch of factors, mostly on how many bookings they get.

 

Keep in mind after you transfer you need to manage your booking through the TA, so that includes payments, changes to the booking, etc

 

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4 minutes ago, Newfun4me said:

 

 

I just submitted the transfer form, it looks like you only have 30 days from the time you make the reservation to transfer. You could always cancel and rebook to reset the timer if it makes sense (and the prices haven't changed significantly).

 

Another tip is to have 2 or 3 TAs in your stable to keep them honest. The first time I did this, he gave me about 10% back, and when I went back to him for another booking it went down to 5%, so I have a few other TA's that I use. The main one I use now typically gives me 8-10%, but I always ask before I transfer to keep her honest :classic_biggrin:

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5 hours ago, tomservo said:

Book with PCC then transfer to TA who will give you 5-10% of the cruise fare back in OBC/cash.

 

 

So can someone message me a contact with ta, going to book with p c c tonight

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Posted (edited)

I routinely book with a cruise line and then transfer the reservation over to my TA.  CC doesn't allow us to give out names of TA's, but the only thing I can do is give you this;  C..C..,  they are based in NH, and they have been great to me.  I have even been able to exchange one cruise for another with no problems.  But, you have to realize that they will charge you to cancel a cruise.  Shop around, ask questions before you commit to them, get someone with experience (2 yrs at least).

Edited by Oldgoat61

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We booked with a TA, spent a lot of money on 3 minisuites plus a suite, also booked insurance through her.  Paid the exact price that we could have had online through NCL.  Got no OBC or anything else.  We were on a ship that appeared to be undersold and in the weeks before  sailing other Cruise Critic folks were saying that they had called NCL and gotten upgrades or OBC.  Our TA refused to do anything and we couldn't contact NCL since we had used a TA,  She was downright rude about it.  I complained to the company that our TA had a franchise through, got nothing, not even a call back.  Never again.

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30 minutes ago, pbenjamin said:

We booked with a TA, spent a lot of money on 3 minisuites plus a suite, also booked insurance through her.  Paid the exact price that we could have had online through NCL.  Got no OBC or anything else.  We were on a ship that appeared to be undersold and in the weeks before  sailing other Cruise Critic folks were saying that they had called NCL and gotten upgrades or OBC.  Our TA refused to do anything and we couldn't contact NCL since we had used a TA,  She was downright rude about it.  I complained to the company that our TA had a franchise through, got nothing, not even a call back.  Never again.

Yeah, I don't get anything from t/a's either except them complaining how little they are making on my cruise reservation, no room for OBC or anything else. I'd love to see 5-10% back.

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I just booked Breakaway for the week after Thanksgiving.  When everything is equal I book directly with my PCC at NCL, but this time the TA gave me a $300 lower fare, $150 OBC, and prepaid gratuities in addition to the "all 4 free" promo, so it saved me almost $700 overall, or about 20% of my original fare.  Just gotta shop around and pit a couple TAs against eachother.

 

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5 hours ago, Oldgoat61 said:

But, you have to realize that they will charge you to cancel a cruise.

I’ve seen some that do, I would avoid working with them. The 2 I’ve settled on don’t charge cancellation fees. But you definitely need to ask. 

 

3 hours ago, kpjb said:

Just gotta shop around and pit a couple TAs against eachother.

Gotta keep them honest!

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23 hours ago, Susandt said:

Any advantage.

generally if you have a good agent there will be more perks involved for one thing. They also have better knowledge of the overall picture in regards to your total travel plans. They are there to assist whenever needed, not just booking the cruise. At least that is how we see it. 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

generally if you have a good agent there will be more perks involved for one thing. They also have better knowledge of the overall picture in regards to your total travel plans. They are there to assist whenever needed, not just booking the cruise. At least that is how we see it. 

AGREED. I encountered my 1st PCC just because I called and needed help in combining 4 cabins to 1 confirmed reservation for my SDP's , my shows, even the complimentary MDR's. I could not achieve this on-line.

Since then , he has booked 4 more cruises from me . I call , tell him when & where & done. Perks , bookings all done with no worries. I'm happy

Edited by yearsofcruising

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DW's late dad was a part-time TA & we used him for a couple of cruises with good discounts & OBC's.  We then went with PCC's and have had hit-and-miss results over the years; "hit's" have upped us to Balcony & OV's at times while the "miss"'s usually ignore us & eventually disappear entirely.

 

IMHO it's a "people" business, I think, where your personal relationship(s) with your TA or PCC is the most important consideration.  But I also always remember that it's a business & these folks have to make $$.

 

My 2 cents...pun intended...lol

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