Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Brattle

No Travel Agent For Me

Recommended Posts

I am booking a 7k Sky Suite on Celebrity. After hearing about all the great TA deals I decided to do my due diligence and offer it to a travel agent. I used bigbox stores and the biggest online cruise sales companies that I could find. I probably used 9 different agents. Figuring that they make a 10-12% commission (or more) I thought there might be some room to make this profitable.-NOT  The worst offer that I got was a $65 pp obc and the best offer was $150 pp obc. I also found that some bigbox companies came in with higher prices and then offered larger rebates that brought the price back to what everyone else was offering. 

Good luck to those who have success with a TA and maybe it is just this particular cruise but I just did not find the value in giving up control of my 7 thousand dollar booking for a few hundred bucks. I hope that you do better.

 

Edited by Brattle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, not my experience (not that I am in any Suite category).  Maybe the wrong TA??

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also find that my TA is able to get better service from the cruiselines for things like better cabins or dinner reservations when Celebrity told me that late was full, etc. You might not get this from the big box stores but a cruise specialist does this type of followup quite well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have used the same TA, local brick and mortar, for at least 18 years.  Over the years we have developed a great travel relationship with her.  I would never attempt to go it alone, she takes care of every tiny detail.  I travel worry free.  I guess it just depends what your experiences may be.

 

Happy travels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brattle said:

I am booking a 7k Sky Suite on Celebrity. After hearing about all the great TA deals I decided to do my due diligence and offer it to a travel agent. I used bigbox stores and the biggest online cruise sales companies that I could find. I probably used 9 different agents. Figuring that they make a 10-12% commission (or more) I thought there might be some room to make this profitable.-NOT  The worst offer that I got was a $65 pp obc and the best offer was $150 pp obc. I also found that some bigbox companies came in with higher prices and then offered larger rebates that brought the price back to what everyone else was offering. 

Good luck to those who have success with a TA and maybe it is just this particular cruise but I just did not find the value in giving up control of my 7 thousand dollar booking for a few hundred bucks. I hope that you do better.

 

This is my experience as well.  I love reading on here about how people get OBC.  No matter who I call, what words I put in the search engine, I get very little.  Mine was a $9K trip on Celebrity for which they offered me $50 OBC in total.  $50 isn't worth giving up control of my reservation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course we aren’t allowed to discuss TA’s here, or I am sure many people could steer you in directions that are worth 8 to 10 percent and sometimes better. 

 

I have also heard of many people who book directly who got extra’s. I asked but never got anything by going direct. 

 

Most importantly, have a great cruise!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Robb said:

We have used the same TA, local brick and mortar, for at least 18 years.  I travel worry free.  

 

Happy travels.

 

I always travel worry free.  I know that I've addressed every detail before I leave and if something happens I just roll with it.  I take out my phone and try to find the best recovery plan.  

Edited by ipeeinthepool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We haven't used a travel agent since 1995...we always go right to the cruise line, and we always do our due diligence before doing so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smallest amount we've gotten in OBC was about 5% of our fare on a last-minute balcony guarantee. The most was a combination of cash back and OBC on a 13 night cruise, which was about 12% of our cruise fare.  We have an upcoming cruise that we got at a group rate (hundreds less than advertised on the X website), and then we received gratuities and OBC, combined about 12% of the fare.  I've never felt I've given up any control, and in fact, it's nice to call the TA if I want to change cabins or investigate a price drop and let her sit on hold with the cruise line.  So far any request I've made, she's been able to get.

People have to do what they're comfortable with, but for us, I'd rather get the extras with a TA since I haven't yet had a bad experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dealt with a Celebrity Cruise Planner (I think that is what they are called). He promised this, that and etc.   I said I wanted it in writing and he said that he couldn’t do that and don’t worry as it is in the system.   We got on board and none of it was true.  We told them the agent’s  name and to get with him.   The response was that he is no longer with  the company.  

 

Our response was burned once and won’t be fooled again, and never used one of their agents again.  It still didn’t help us on that cruise.

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

 

Edited by miched

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CharmCity2000 said:

This is my experience as well.  I love reading on here about how people get OBC.  No matter who I call, what words I put in the search engine, I get very little.  Mine was a $9K trip on Celebrity for which they offered me $50 OBC in total.  $50 isn't worth giving up control of my reservation.

 

On a similar subject I posted about booking $9K cruise on Celebrity cruise which we just got home a couple of weeks ago. We got $1125 in refundable obc which was credited to our credit card after about three days. I gave up 0 control of my reservation from the time I booked it until the time we finished the cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

 

On a similar subject I posted about booking $9K cruise on Celebrity cruise which we just got home a couple of weeks ago. We got $1125 in refundable obc which was credited to our credit card after about three days. I gave up 0 control of my reservation from the time I booked it until the time we finished the cruise.

grandgeezer was this booked while onboard a Celebrity cruise? I am doing the Panamal Canal in a little over a month with Celebrity. I have a 24hr hold on a cruise on the Edge for Feb. but maybe I will wait until onboard if the offers are that good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been booking my own for last ten years , I like being in control, good travel agents are hard to find , tried a agent for next cruise and really not that happy with a few things. Normally book on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your cruise is a Trans Atlantic or repositioning cruise very few offer any significant benefits. That's when you can you Shareholder credit if you own at least 100 shares of RCL stock. Now, if you book while onboard you might get some additional benefits. Once I booked a TA while on a TA and received gratuities. This is rare, but can happen. There have been many threads on benefits of booking directly with Celebrity, booking on board, or using a TA. Might search for these threads to gain further insights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My agent gives me 10% of the cruise fare minus the non-commissionable cruise fare.  I have a spreadsheet which calculates it and his offer is the same every time.

 

I've received thousands in refundable OBC in the last several years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

My agent gives me 10% of the cruise fare minus the non-commissionable cruise fare.  I have a spreadsheet which calculates it and his offer is the same every time.

 

I've received thousands in refundable OBC in the last several years.

 

 

I am clearly doing something wrong. Maybe I will try again tomorrow.-Brick and mortar if I can even find one and online. So far I am just not seeing it (5-8-10%)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have booked on our own, but use a Brick and Mortar for more complicated trips. We were on the Serenade trans Atlantic and arrived a day late because of the Hurricane.  There was a lot of upset people as they tried to change flights and hotel bookings. My wife sent a text to our TA, she replied within 10 min that our flight was changed. When we arrived home she have gone to bat with Royal and they reimbursed us the airline change fee. Having a good TA is not just about the onboard credit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old TA argument has gone on for decades.  The answer is simple...jumping in blindly will not get you a real cruise specialist.  “I’ll do it myself” is the mantra of the “Never TA’s”...and I say Good Luck.  I have been doing business with my TA for over 33 years and I would never book without him.  He is worth his weight in gold.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Brattle said:

 

 

I am clearly doing something wrong. Maybe I will try again tomorrow.-Brick and mortar if I can even find one and online. So far I am just not seeing it (5-8-10%)

It’s not hard to get a refundable 10% OBC.  We always book directly with Celebrity and transfer to one of two TAs.  Try big online TAs, we use one in Florida and another in New Hampshire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always used a TA, but got fed up when there was weekend specials and their agency was closed.  So I started booking myself.  I watch prices pretty carefully and call when there is a drop.  Sometimes I have called for several drops.  I think I have a ten booking drops on our upcoming cruise.  Agents say they will watch for you, but will they?  That said, if I have found a better deal with an agent, I simply transfer the booking.  So I have done it both ways but only use an agent when it is well worth it.  I like having control of my booking!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, miched said:

I dealt with a Celebrity Cruise Planner (I think that is what they are called). He promised this, that and etc.   I said I wanted it in writing and he said that he couldn’t do that and don’t worry as it is in the system.   We got on board and none of it was true.  We told them the agent’s  name and to get with him.   The response was that he is no longer with  the company.  

 

Our response was burned once and won’t be fooled again, and never used one of their agents again.  It still didn’t help us on that cruise.

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

 

I am sorry this happened to you but I am not surprised.  I now get EVERYTHING in writing and make sure I have a copy with me when I board.  Several times I had to pull that out and fix the problem.  I never trust that there will be ANY communication between land and sea with ANY line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We book about a year or more in advance.

We pick our cruise line,  itinerary, ship, date, category and location. 

Get a quote from either X or Royal Caribbean depending on the cruise.
Contact our agent for the last 18 or so years and ask her what she can do.

-----------------------------------

Example;

Just booked an 11 night Caribbean cruise. Midships veranda on deck 10 Anthem OTS.

Travel agent had same category and location (opposite side) available on an agency group booking.

$ 990.00 below price quoted by RCCL.

refundable deposit not due for 30 days.

$75 OBC

dinner for 2 specialty restaurant.

----------------------------------

This is how we almost always go about booking our cruises.

 

BTW.. It seems that whenever I contact her she is on a cruise yet NEVER fails to get back to me with an email response in under 12 hours. That's why we book with her.

 

 

Edited by boscobeans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brattle said:

grandgeezer was this booked while onboard a Celebrity cruise? I am doing the Panamal Canal in a little over a month with Celebrity. I have a 24hr hold on a cruise on the Edge for Feb. but maybe I will wait until onboard if the offers are that good.

 

No, it was booked with an online travel agency about four months before. I have never booked a new cruise while we are on one. We book whenever we decide we want to get away and where we go changes regularly.

We went in August which usually have better deals than February. You could book it while on the Panama Canal cruise and transfer it to another agency to pick up more perks. I think you have two months to transfer it.

 

1 hour ago, Brattle said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, miched said:

I dealt with a Celebrity Cruise Planner (I think that is what they are called). He promised this, that and etc.   I said I wanted it in writing and he said that he couldn’t do that and don’t worry as it is in the system.   We got on board and none of it was true.  We told them the agent’s  name and to get with him.   The response was that he is no longer with  the company.  

 

Our response was burned once and won’t be fooled again, and never used one of their agents again.  It still didn’t help us on that cruise.

 

 

The same thing could have happened to you regardless of which type of travel agent you used.

We had a similar experience years ago when using an agent from a well-known and highly regarded outside travel agency. 

 

That is why it is important to get everything in writing

Any agent who tells you "he couldn't do that and don't worry" is waving a big red warning flag at you right there.

 

Edited by fleckle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll book little 3 day repo cruises direct but not anything over that. The rewards are too big. Booked a nine day on the weekend...my TA was $350 US below the cruiseline. My best deal on Celebrity was my TA escalating a complaint that got me 50% off and a very prized cabin...m class FV. I really don’t think I’d have got that on my own. We are very independent travellers but cruises, always involve a TA. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...