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FolsomMike

Worth using a travel agent for Oceania cruise?

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I usually cruise with Celebrity but just started looking at Oceania for a Great Britain itinerary. Within five minutes of plugging my name and number into their site, they called me to book a cruise (that’s never happened before).  The lady was very nice when I told her I had just started my research and she said she would send me an email with contact info when I was ready to book. I’m very impressed with their customer service but would I better off (and get a better deal) by ignoring her and finding a regular travel agent?

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You can do your booking with an Oceania Rep, and then transfer it to a travel agent for added perks.   Search Oceania connoisseurs club for Oceania preferred TA’s or I believe on Oceania’s webpage there is a pull down for recommended TA’s.   Your TA can add OBC, gratuities, percentage return etc.  You need to be aware there is a time limit however in which you need to transfer.   Someone will know exactly, but I believe it to be 30 days from booking.   Enjoy!  

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Cruseforme said:

You can do your booking with an Oceania Rep, and then transfer it to a travel agent for added perks.   Search Oceania connoisseurs club for Oceania preferred TA’s or I believe on Oceania’s webpage there is a pull down for recommended TA’s.   Your TA can add OBC, gratuities, percentage return etc.  You need to be aware there is a time limit however in which you need to transfer.   Someone will know exactly, but I believe it to be 30 days from booking.   Enjoy!  

 

 

 

 

Thanks! That’s very helpful. 

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Travel agents can also be very helpful in doing airline and hotel reservations.  Booking air with Oceania, you have limited options.  A good TA can find better flights and connections.  For instance, for our Baltic cruise last summer, out TA booked us on a Delta Vacations package that included premium seating on a brand new plane, excellent hotels in Stockholm (a boutique gem that Rick Steves' Tours uses) and Amsterdam, and transportation to and from airports/hotels at a good price.

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16 minutes ago, Sny said:

Amsterdam,  and transportation to and from airports/hotels at a good price.

What was the cost for the transportation  to what area in Amsterdam?

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18 hours ago, FolsomMike said:

I usually cruise with Celebrity but just started looking at Oceania for a Great Britain itinerary. Within five minutes of plugging my name and number into their site, they called me to book a cruise (that’s never happened before).  The lady was very nice when I told her I had just started my research and she said she would send me an email with contact info when I was ready to book. I’m very impressed with their customer service but would I better off (and get a better deal) by ignoring her and finding a regular travel agent?

YES..Absolutely...YES...YES  YES......but not a regular travel agent.....  BUT one who is in the concierige club of Oceania  top sales agents....     Some one who books O cruises almost daily and has done so for YEARS        Ask HARD questions.... what do you do for OBC   Do you rebate, What specials can you give me if I become a regular customer...      You will never ever get as good a deal going direct to the cruise company....

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LHT - We stayed at the NH Collection AMS Grand Krasponolsky,  just across from Dam Square.  By the way, the hotel has the most LAVISH breakfast buffet we had ever seen anywhere in the world (and it was included in our package).  We had a private minivan from port to hotel for $50.

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Just now, Sny said:

LHT - We stayed at the NH Collection AMS Grand Krasponolsky,  just across from Dam Square.  By the way, the hotel has the most LAVISH breakfast buffet we had ever seen anywhere in the world (and it was included in our package).  We had a private minivan from port to hotel for $50.

Ok   thanks   was that USD  or  Euro ?

 

I have paid 50 Euro  for the STA  transfer   to PTA  hotel

also took a taxi to Rembrandt square area  it was about 40E  last year

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I was turned off by Oceania after I saved a cruise to my planner and then got a phone call from an Oceania rep.  I told him I hadn't asked for a phone call, and saving an itinerary did not mean I planned on booking a cruise, and if I DID want a book a cruise, I'd do it through my travel agent, not Oceania.  I received phone calls and emails multiple times until I sent back an extremely curt response that I did not want to be bothered again.  We like the Oceania product and will continue to consider its itineraries, but this experience really annoyed me.

But to answer OP's original comment, a travel agent can offer you more than booking directly through Oceania, so IMO, there's no reason not to use a TA.

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Think of your TA as your consumer rep. Sometimes it is helpful to have a concierge class TA in discussions with O ( or any other company). He/ she is there for you.  We've needed ours for those situations.

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 Cannot praise our TA highly enough! She has smoothed the way for us - and now, for me - in countless ways. I treasure her. Heartily endorse the advice to get a TA from the connoisseur club or whatever it is called.

 

Donna 

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On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 6:55 PM, FolsomMike said:

I usually cruise with Celebrity but just started looking at Oceania for a Great Britain itinerary. Within five minutes of plugging my name and number into their site, they called me to book a cruise (that’s never happened before).  The lady was very nice when I told her I had just started my research and she said she would send me an email with contact info when I was ready to book. I’m very impressed with their customer service but would I better off (and get a better deal) by ignoring her and finding a regular travel agent?

We did our first 2 cruises through O's customer service staff. They were very nice, but we never got anything "special". There was always the push to get the "O life" package, which always sounded like you got all these perks for free, which you certainly did not! We prefer to just book just the cruise & do all the other plans ourselves. This time around, we used our TA which we've used for Cunard/Celebrity/Princess. The cruise cost was the same, but we got over $600 OBC, which we never got booking direct.

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3 hours ago, Toranut97 said:

 Cannot praise our TA highly enough! She has smoothed the way for us - and now, for me - in countless ways. I treasure her. Heartily endorse the advice to get a TA from the connoisseur club or whatever it is called.

 

Donna 

Yes Donna it is  Oceania Cruise Connoisseur Club🙂

 

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I agree with the recommendation of using a TA.

In addition to excellent service, ours pays gratuities and offers a significant refundable onboard credit. From what I've read, that's not uncommon. 

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Posted (edited)

We did book our first Oceania cruise through them.  The sales associate I spoke with during the sales process came on very strong, dropping personal information that made me feel like she really cared about my trip (50th wedding anniversary) and that she lived and breathed Oceania. . Booked it on a Friday.  Over the weekend I had a few questions, which I emailed to her.  No response.  Called at the beginning of the week, and this agent was no longer with them.  Hmmm...

 

Edited by Sny

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On 8/3/2019 at 8:12 PM, hiccups said:

I was turned off by Oceania after I saved a cruise to my planner and then got a phone call from an Oceania rep.  I told him I hadn't asked for a phone call, and saving an itinerary did not mean I planned on booking a cruise, and if I DID want a book a cruise, I'd do it through my travel agent, not Oceania.  I received phone calls and emails multiple times until I sent back an extremely curt response that I did not want to be bothered again.  We like the Oceania product and will continue to consider its itineraries, but this experience really annoyed me.

But to answer OP's original comment, a travel agent can offer you more than booking directly through Oceania, so IMO, there's no reason not to use a TA.

Ok, this sounds familiar...I ended up booking the cruise directly through their website because I saw that few cabins were still available and I figured that was quicker than trying to reach the agent on the phone. Today, the agent called me to follow up and I told her I had booked through their website. She was polite but obviously displeased and I felt like I had to apologize.  In retrospect, though, I thought...wait a minute, you called me; I didn’t call you. It seems like an odd system. 

I’ll still investigate transferring to a travel agent as many of you have suggested. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 12:45 PM, Hawaiidan said:

YES..Absolutely...YES...YES  YES......but not a regular travel agent.....  BUT one who is in the concierige club of Oceania  top sales agents....     Some one who books O cruises almost daily and has done so for YEARS        Ask HARD questions.... what do you do for OBC   Do you rebate, What specials can you give me if I become a regular customer...      You will never ever get as good a deal going direct to the cruise company....

Thank you for the info.  I've booked several cruises through a company and not gotten much in return.  I will search for the  Oceania Cruise Connoisseur Club next time and look for someone new.

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16 hours ago, FolsomMike said:

Ok, this sounds familiar...I ended up booking the cruise directly through their website because I saw that few cabins were still available and I figured that was quicker than trying to reach the agent on the phone. Today, the agent called me to follow up and I told her I had booked through their website. She was polite but obviously displeased and I felt like I had to apologize.  In retrospect, though, I thought...wait a minute, you called me; I didn’t call you. It seems like an odd system. 

I’ll still investigate transferring to a travel agent as many of you have suggested. 

Let me explane    why the agent way upset they get commission  or credits even in O 

 

It you booked through a travel agent then.     Your booking direct initially  took away any leverage she could have had with O.    O did not need to offer your agent anything to seal the deal.    They  already had  you ...Why  offer any more incentive to sell and already sold customer..   

 Had you gone with the Travel agent, she could have, in all probability, gotten you a better deal.        What you did with O was in essence sitting at a poker table  and showing everyone your cards.......

It is a very  stacked deck to book direct with the line.... and not with a travel agent... a quality  agent.

  

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