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Advantages/Disadvantages with a TA


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I’ve always booked directly through RCCL for my cruises and I’m comfortable with the process. However, I’m planning on doing a family cruise (potentially 10+), and we being the ones with the cruise experience are spear heading this vacation. Obviously I don’t want it riding all on me so I’m likely going to use a TA.

 

I’ve read that if you use a TA to book a RCCL cruise there are certain things you can’t do without the TA. What things that I normally handle on my own will the TA have to do? For example, can I still book excursions through the cruise planner, cancel and rebook drink packages if there’s a sale, etc. 

 

Basically I want to know the general differences in the process I should expect. Thank you!

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7 minutes ago, Docbizarro said:

 For example, can I still book excursions through the cruise planner, cancel and rebook drink packages if there’s a sale, etc. 

Yes. You'll need the TA to get cabin price drops, cabin moves, etc.

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13 minutes ago, Docbizarro said:

I’ve always booked directly through RCCL for my cruises and I’m comfortable with the process. However, I’m planning on doing a family cruise (potentially 10+), and we being the ones with the cruise experience are spear heading this vacation. Obviously I don’t want it riding all on me so I’m likely going to use a TA.

 

I’ve read that if you use a TA to book a RCCL cruise there are certain things you can’t do without the TA. What things that I normally handle on my own will the TA have to do? For example, can I still book excursions through the cruise planner, cancel and rebook drink packages if there’s a sale, etc. 

 

Basically I want to know the general differences in the process I should expect. Thank you!

 

You cannot make payments or cancel the cruise without the TA.

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Only the TA can change your dining options, although if everyone is MyTime then you can make dining reservations for the group (assuming you want MyTime).  If all people but one are say 1st seating you would not be able to move that one person to 1st seating without the TA.  You can book Air2Sea flights on the web site but TA would then add that to your final payment - as Biker said all financial parts of the booking go through the TA.  

 

Purchases of beverages and excursions can still be done through the Cruise Planner website.

 

 

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I do the same.  Book direct myself unless there is a group.  For the groups (usually just extended family) my agent knows I'm the one planning so she'll usually communicate with me for most things.  She finds the best cabin for everyone according to their needs and takes care of the billing.  She makes sure that the bookings are connected and we all get the same dining etc.  

 

I do miss being in total control of my booking but I believe the pros out weigh the cons in this situation.

 

Back to your original question.  I have 2 bookings currently one I booked directly and one the agent booked (the group cruise) and as far as the cruise planner goes it looks the same.  I can book excursions, drink packages etc.  The only difference I've noticed so far is that I can't make a payment on the agent one.  

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Looking at other recent posts the big advantage might be having them be on hold with Royal if there is a problem with your booking.  Haven't had that happen to us, though.  She just always gets the best prices that we can't beat on our own.

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23 hours ago, Docbizarro said:

I’ve always booked directly through RCCL for my cruises and I’m comfortable with the process. However, I’m planning on doing a family cruise (potentially 10+), and we being the ones with the cruise experience are spear heading this vacation. Obviously I don’t want it riding all on me so I’m likely going to use a TA.

 

I’ve read that if you use a TA to book a RCCL cruise there are certain things you can’t do without the TA. What things that I normally handle on my own will the TA have to do? For example, can I still book excursions through the cruise planner, cancel and rebook drink packages if there’s a sale, etc. 

 

Basically I want to know the general differences in the process I should expect. Thank you!

 

You can book excursions through the Cruise Planner. You can cancel and rebook drink packages if you find a better price. The big thing you aren't able to do is, if you find a better cruise fare, you can't call RCI and ask for the lower rate. That must be done through your TA.  If you have trouble getting ahold of your TA, you might miss out on a price drop. On the other hand, some TAs (mine for instance) are constantly checking prices for their customers. My TA has found price drops that I did not see.

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23 minutes ago, cruiseguy1016 said:

 

You can book excursions through the Cruise Planner. You can cancel and rebook drink packages if you find a better price. The big thing you aren't able to do is, if you find a better cruise fare, you can't call RCI and ask for the lower rate. That must be done through your TA.  If you have trouble getting ahold of your TA, you might miss out on a price drop. On the other hand, some TAs (mine for instance) are constantly checking prices for their customers. My TA has found price drops that I did not see.

Excursions from a TA is  not a guarantee if you are late returning to the ship and miss it. Some offer an insurance option to cove you to meet the ship in the next port. Pick a TA that is not in the main office but works out of their home. There are many reasons for that. However, do pick one that is associated with a large company. The one I have has a small number of clients so she is on top of everything constantly and over the years save me a lot. Also offers a lot that the cruise line does not.

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I am a TA and what everyone is saying is true.  Only thing I would add is I pay attention to sales and check to see if rates drop or can be rebooked.  If someone wants to make a payment all they have to do is email me or call and say use same credit card and charge so much or I even have some clients we split up and make payments. Been doing this for years and now cruiselines and tour companies  have gotten into I can let you make payments.  A group takes allot of time and depending when you book is based on whether getting on board credit or a reduced rate.  You mention Royal so I am speaking about them.  All companies do not work groups same way.   I just had someone book Carnival to go with 6 other couples.  They had booked 2 weeks before him and if I had helped them I would have booked as a group to start out with and they would have gotten some benefit of it. As it was they had confirmed early dining and he was waitlisted and because a Carnival rep told him he had booked with me was why he was wait listed. Not true so I was able to go to my sales rep and she look into and got him cleared before he go on ship plus I gave him a thank you gift.  Booking direct no matter which cruise line they are order takers (and many are working from home now a days) and not going to go out of their way.  There are many good travel agents out there, call and talk to them and find one you like.           

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