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old fool

Booking via a US travel agent vs On board?

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We always have booked using a US travel agent, but would like to know advantages if any to using the on board booking office.

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Significant onboard credit (typically $300/person for a balcony for 8-13 days, we got a double OBC promotion last December) and $300 deposit. You can refer your booking to your travel agent (automatically if that TA booked your current cruise, by calling after the fact if you want a different TA) and get whatever discounts or benefits your TA normally gives (mine reprices the cruise with his discount, for example).

 

If there are ongoing OBC promotions they will stack with your OBC for onboard booking. With military and shareholder credit we will have $1550 OBC in December.

Edited by Underwatr

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1 hour ago, old fool said:

We always have booked using a US travel agent, but would like to know advantages if any to using the on board booking office.

Do carnival monitor these boards. I don't want to get a carnival wide ban from 7 cruise lines when I post this.  I don't  know about any advantages but with regards to disadvantages I beat cunard on price for NYC hotel for 2 two people by some way. 

Edited by ace2542

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9 hours ago, Underwatr said:

Ok, but that has nothing to do with the OP's question.

The only advantage I can think of is getting onboard spend for booking onboard. Which we got Agents work off commission and Cunard will not price match with an agent I asked them. Are agents cheaper than going direct with Cunard? I am uncertain as to the answer to that.

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Again, you book onboard with Cunard for the OBC and then refer the booking to the agent for the agent's pricing. My agent generally will discount Cunard's price by about 8-10%.

 

I've done it both when my agent has booked the cruise I'm on (easy, the onboard booking office will offer to do this during the booking meeting) or refered to a different agent after the cruise.

 

Either way you get both the OBC for booking onboard plus whatever perks you normally get from the TA. I know this because my agent's booking invoice is a few hundred dollars less than the booking invoice I got from the onboard booking office.

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15 hours ago, ace2542 said:

Do carnival monitor these boards. I don't want to get a carnival wide ban from 7 cruise lines when I post this.  I don't  know about any advantages but with regards to disadvantages I beat cunard on price for NYC hotel for 2 two people by some way. 

That is actually very easy as cruise lines price hotels per PERSON, not per room. If you can't beat ANY cruise lines' price on a hotel anyplace, you're doing it wrong.  That's not even a secret.  

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Cunard is one of the cruise lines that still permit US TA's to Discount their best rates , upfront, in addition to offering just OBC's.

With rare exception such as a double OBC for booking a future cruise onboard for select sailings , Cunard offers the same Promo Rates as booking shoreside .

If you get swayed to book onboard , you may still transfer that booking to a US TA for additional discount . OBC , or other benefits.

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20 hours ago, old fool said:

We always have booked using a US travel agent, but would like to know advantages if any to using the on board booking office.

I usually buy future cruise credits rather than booking onboard. That way you can buy as many as you want, and use them when you decide on a cruise. They cost $300 per, and they come with OBC ($200) for a Transatlantic more for longer cruises. They act as the initial down payment on the cruise you choose which can save a lot of money upfront as well. You get the future cruise credits from the same place you book on board. 

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22 hours ago, Underwatr said:

If there are ongoing OBC promotions they will stack with your OBC for onboard booking. With military and shareholder credit we will have $1550 OBC in December.

 

Wowsers! 😮 That is pretty impressive... 🙂

 

That would buy me more Champagne afternoon teas than I would know what to do with! 😄 

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We might struggle with that amount, but I'm looking forward to the port at dinner... 🙂

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1 minute ago, Underwatr said:

We might struggle with that amount, but I'm looking forward to the port at dinner... 🙂

 

I am not a big drinker, at all... But after the World Club drinks reception and then some bubbles in a friends suite, and the 3 Kir Royals I ordered from the sommelier, I had to excuse myself from the dining table... Not my finest hour... 😕 

 

With that OBC, you can order a whole barrel of port? 😉 

 

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Yes, Every voyage we always put down 2-4 $300 deposits for the OBC which they generate. In the US, I thought it was $150 OBC for 7 days or less and $250 for 8 days or more?? ....good for 4 years and you can get the money back if you don't use it. I seem to remember that with a few discounted fares we were not able to make use of the deposit. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

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7 minutes ago, old fool said:

Yes, Every voyage we always put down 2-4 $300 deposits for the OBC which they generate. In the US, I thought it was $150 OBC for 7 days or less and $250 for 8 days or more?? ....good for 4 years and you can get the money back if you don't use it. I seem to remember that with a few discounted fares we were not able to make use of the deposit. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

 

Quoting from the Cunard FAQ (and recent daily programmes) regarding OBC for booking on board and future cruise deposits.

 

On Board Spending Money:

 

6-9 nights on board
Grill Accommodation = $200USD
Balcony Accommodation = $150USD
Inside / Outside Accommodation = $100USD

 

Sailings of 10 nights or more
Grill Accommodation = $400USD
Balcony Accommodation = $300USD
Inside/ Outside Accommodation = $200USD

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18 hours ago, Underwatr said:

Again, you book onboard with Cunard for the OBC and then refer the booking to the agent for the agent's pricing. My agent generally will discount Cunard's price by about 8-10%.

 

I've done it both when my agent has booked the cruise I'm on (easy, the onboard booking office will offer to do this during the booking meeting) or refered to a different agent after the cruise.

 

Either way you get both the OBC for booking onboard plus whatever perks you normally get from the TA. I know this because my agent's booking invoice is a few hundred dollars less than the booking invoice I got from the onboard booking office.

Does the onboard booking agent lie about the number of cabins left available. He told me for the crossing we are doing only 4 cabins left on the entire ship the first TA after return from world cruise?

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Actually, YoYo on QM2 managed to book a cabin that wasn't listed as available for my segment.

 

Cabin availability varies all the time, since any given one can be assigned to one of several simultaneous itineraries, but only one of those itineraries (so a cabin I'm trying to book for a 12-night NYC-NYC Caribbean cruise may be assigned to the 26 night Soton-Soton round trip, the 19 night NYC-Caribbean-NYC-Soton voyage or the 19-night Soton-NYC-Caribbean-NYC voyage). The legs before and after a world cruise will have many cabins held for continuing World Cruise passengers. Over time inventory may be shifted among itineraries to maintain a balance so if you were to wait other cabins may eventually become available.

 

Did your TA find better availability on the same day the onboard TA "lied" to you?

Edited by Underwatr

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8 hours ago, Underwatr said:

Actually, YoYo on QM2 managed to book a cabin that wasn't listed as available for my segment.

 

Cabin availability varies all the time, since any given one can be assigned to one of several simultaneous itineraries, but only one of those itineraries (so a cabin I'm trying to book for a 12-night NYC-NYC Caribbean cruise may be assigned to the 26 night Soton-Soton round trip, the 19 night NYC-Caribbean-NYC-Soton voyage or the 19-night Soton-NYC-Caribbean-NYC voyage). The legs before and after a world cruise will have many cabins held for continuing World Cruise passengers. Over time inventory may be shifted among itineraries to maintain a balance so if you were to wait other cabins may eventually become available.

 

Did your TA find better availability on the same day the onboard TA "lied" to you?

The prices with a major cruise agency on tv in UK was £7 cheaper than the onboard booking prices for cruise and flight. The onboard team  had a major wack in the hotel. I saved several hundred finding my own hotel for the 2 nights in nyc that I wanted hotel has perfect access to subways for things we want to see. Cunard rep said 4 cabins were left on this particular crossing and that availability was covering Cunard and all partner agencies.

Edited by ace2542

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2 hours ago, ace2542 said:

Cunard rep said 4 cabins were left on this particular crossing and that availability was covering Cunard and all partner agencies.

...at that moment in time.

 

Availability for a given port pair changes frequently.

 

No one is disputing that TAs can discount Cunard's rate. We've identified the solution to that.

Edited by Underwatr

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