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Was I asking too much OR was this PCC not doing her job?


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On 9/20/2019 at 2:12 PM, jb008 said:

Ask around next time you're on a cruise to gets some suggestions on travel agencies to look into.  I've booked both direct and through agencies and I personally have moved to booking with agencies because I get better deals with the TAs.  I usu. compare pricing between the two main agencies I've used before and go with the better deal.

 

FYI that the standard commission is 10% of your cruise fare (before taxes and fees) back to the agency.  Most agencies will give you some amount of OBC as a thank you gift back.  The biggest TA "gotcha" risk imho is that some of the agencies charge a cancellation fee.  I've personally booked with one of those agencies a few times now and I suspect that fee is what allows them to be so generous with their OBC offers. 

 

For reference though, I'm getting 14.4% of my total cruise cost (including taxes and fees) back from my TA as an OBC between one of their normal 10% back promo plus a $100 OBC promo they periodically run for new bookings (Labor Day "LD19" coupon in the most recent case, now expired).  I also qualified for an additional $50 OBC from the agency as a returning client.  This is my 4th booking with them (1 canceled and repriced w/fee waived, 2 completed, 1 upcoming). 

 

Edit: The other agency I like is a no fee one that is a big online one that gets hinted at on the forums like every 90-days 😉  They have one of the best cruise line agnostic search tools I've found, although you have to register for their newsletter to access the search results.

jb008,

Does it start with a A?????

Help me out here if you can!!

Thanks👍

I love my PCC but I am curious, BUT DONT WANT TO  MAKE ANY WAVES ON CC!

Denise😊

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20 minutes ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Does it start with a A?????

Help me out here if you can!!

Thanks👍

I love my PCC but I am curious, BUT DONT WANT TO  MAKE ANY WAVES ON CC!

Denise😊


I use two different agencies.  Neither start with A.

 

I'm trying to respect the forum rules here. So I will only mention the type of agency I like but won't post a specific name. 

 

I like the type of agency that is festive and runs sales ties to annual holidays e.g. a fourth of July "firecracker" sale and gives big OBCs tied to your cruise fare (10% of base fare to me is a good OBC starting point - I suspect they can afford bigger OBCs because they charge a cancellation fee).

 

I also like the type of agencies that specialize in "90-day Ticker" style last minute cruise vacations and would not charge a cancellation fee.  They obviously do other bookings further out than 90 days too.

 

Google is your friend if you're looking for answers for all life's "questions".

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17 minutes ago, jb008 said:


I use two different agencies.  Neither start with A.

 

I'm trying to respect the forum rules here. So I will only mention the type of agency I like but won't post a specific name. 

 

I like the type of agency that is festive and runs sales ties to annual holidays e.g. a fourth of July "firecracker" sale and gives big OBCs tied to your cruise fare (10% of base fare to me is a good OBC starting point - I suspect they can afford bigger OBCs because they charge a cancellation fee).

 

I also like the type of agencies that specialize in "90-day Ticker" style last minute cruise vacations and would not charge a cancellation fee.  They obviously do other bookings further out than 90 days too.

 

Google is your friend if you're looking for answers for all life's "questions".

OMGOSH 👍👍👍👍

Thank you! I got it 🙄 duh!!!

Much Appreciate 

Denise😊

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18 hours ago, dandrbs said:

I don't use them.  Every time I email I get the same type of response....they tell ME to Call them, or they call me.  I work in an open office and don't want to be on the phone on my break where everyone can hear me.  Plus....they don't really have time on the phone.  Was told you go look on line and let them know what you want to book.  No discounts, they wouldn't provide where TA will offer some better deals..  

 

Agreed. I find it really irritating when I respond to someone by email and they immediately call me. I also work at a kiddie table (AKA open office), where all my colleagues are listening in all the time, and I’m often responding to emails during meetings. Just because I’ve emailed you doesn’t mean I’m in a position to talk. It’s especially bad with recruiters - I sure don’t want colleagues hearing that I’m job hunting, and they still call after I explain this.

 

These guys need to remember that you’re the customer, so they need to work in a way that’s convenient for you, otherwise what’s the point of having them?

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:27 AM, highlandmom said:

So, this interaction happened this week and it has me going hmmmm 🤔

 

We are intending to do a family Christmas cruise this year and have it narrowed down to 3 options, 2 of which are HA (Koningsdam & NS).   We sailed  K at spring break in March with our 18 yr old and loved it so it’s the leading contender.  We intend to  book in a week or 2 once we confirm our 3 young adult children can all make it and hubby can get the time off work.  

 

I have always booked our cruises directly to retain control but I receive all of these emails from an assigned PCC and thought - let me give her a shot at doing the leg work and then I’ll just book through her in a week or 2 when we know for sure which we pick.  

 

So that’s the context, (hang in there - yes this is long), I emailed the PCC  and requested an email quote (which I know can change daily) for 2 cabins.   I outlined a couple of specifications  like one Veranda for 3 pax & one inside for 2 - preferably on the same deck and nearish etc.  I also ask to be informed of any obc or special offer.  This will just give me an idea of where the budget needs to be and cabin availability.  Nothing crazy.  I thought..

 

This is the paraphrased email reply I got from her....thanks for your request for a quote but I spend all day on the phone and don’t have time to reply to emails for quotes.   If you call me I’ll help. 

 

Huh⁉️   It’s very possible that I totally don’t understand what a PCC or even a travel agent  does.  I thought giving a potential client quotes for 2 cruises would be something they did all the time.  Was it  because I asked for it via email?  I just prefer email to get the info.  

 

 Was I asking something crazy and out of line?  

 

What say you?

Unnacceptable.  Find a new PCC or use a TA

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@highlandmom, let me add my name to the list of posters who have stated that your PCC's response was totally unacceptable. While I understand your reluctance to get her in trouble, you are doing both HAL and your fellow cruisers a disservice by letting this go by unchallenged. If you choose to keep using a PCC, phone and speak to a supervisor, request a new PCC, and explain exactly why, just as you've done here. If you choose to use a TA at this point, at least phone and speak to the supervisor.

 

On the question of TA's, we've used the box box store ever since they opened their travel arm in Canada a few years ago and have been extremely pleased with them. Their website is very easy to use to conduct research, and I've had nothing but very positive experiences dealing with their agents. While you won't necessarily get the same agent if you call back on a booking, their record keeping must be excellent as whomever I deal with is right on top of things. I've cancelled cruises, changed cabins, re-fared booking, etc., all with no difficulty and with no charge. For our last HAL cruise, in June, we received $710 (USD) in refundable OBC, plus 2% cash back on the booking price.

 

Full disclosure: every communication with this TA has resulted in an email confirming action taken or information provided during a phone call. I've never asked for an email quote, but I have no reason to believe that one wouldn't be provided if requested. To give an example, for a booking made about a month ago, a cabin I was interested in must have been placed on hold in the minutes before my phone call to the TA to book it. As a result, I booked our second choice, but asked the agent to keep an eye on the first one and, if it was released, swap cabins and let me know. A few hours later, the agent sent an email confirming the swap.

 

Whatever route you choose for booking, I hope it all works out well. You and DH must be proud seeing one son getting married and another heading to Depot. 

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22 hours ago, Fouremco said:

@highlandmom, let me add my name to the list of posters who have stated that your PCC's response was totally unacceptable. While I understand your reluctance to get her in trouble, you are doing both HAL and your fellow cruisers a disservice by letting this go by unchallenged. If you choose to keep using a PCC, phone and speak to a supervisor, request a new PCC, and explain exactly why, just as you've done here. If you choose to use a TA at this point, at least phone and speak to the supervisor.

 

On the question of TA's, we've used the box box store ever since they opened their travel arm in Canada a few years ago and have been extremely pleased with them. Their website is very easy to use to conduct research, and I've had nothing but very positive experiences dealing with their agents. While you won't necessarily get the same agent if you call back on a booking, their record keeping must be excellent as whomever I deal with is right on top of things. I've cancelled cruises, changed cabins, re-fared booking, etc., all with no difficulty and with no charge. For our last HAL cruise, in June, we received $710 (USD) in refundable OBC, plus 2% cash back on the booking price.

 

Full disclosure: every communication with this TA has resulted in an email confirming action taken or information provided during a phone call. I've never asked for an email quote, but I have no reason to believe that one wouldn't be provided if requested. To give an example, for a booking made about a month ago, a cabin I was interested in must have been placed on hold in the minutes before my phone call to the TA to book it. As a result, I booked our second choice, but asked the agent to keep an eye on the first one and, if it was released, swap cabins and let me know. A few hours later, the agent sent an email confirming the swap.

 

Whatever route you choose for booking, I hope it all works out well. You and DH must be proud seeing one son getting married and another heading to Depot. 

Thank you for your thoughts on the situation.  I'll take calling in to a supervisor into consideration.  Regarding the box store,  I spent some time yesterday afternoon on their travel site and found it very easy to navigate.  I really like that the room options are easy to see or change and that it's easy to add a second room to the booking.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see though the price was almost the same as the HAL site, I would receive the promotions HAL is offering plus $645 US OBC on the Koniningsdam option or $380 on the NS option.  That's an incentive in itself.  I really appreciate that you've mentioned being able to communicate with an agent and reprice or change the booking with ease.

 

The final payment deadline is today on both cruises so I will monitor closely over the next week or so.  Perhaps the price will drop a bit if people cancel at the "deadline".    Hopefully it won't  go up 🙂  Now if only airfare wasn't so insane!!! 

 

Thanks also for the well wishes regarding the boys.  Yes, we are very pleased and proud of them.  It'll be a full circle moment for our family because 21 years ago, the son entering Depot was 6 weeks old & being carried around in a car seat, when my husband finished his training with the RCMP!

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33 minutes ago, highlandmom said:

It'll be a full circle moment for our family because 21 years ago, the son entering Depot was 6 weeks old & being carried around in a car seat, when my husband finished his training with the RCMP!

Wonderful! :classic_biggrin:

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I think the OP should write a friendly e-mail to Orlando Ashford (with a cc to Arnold Donald) and attach a copy of the e-mail from the PCC.  They could ask Mr Ashford if perhaps he has time to help with a booking since his employees apparently have better things to do.

 

Hank

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