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vacationlover_mn

Booking a cruise with a travel agent

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Haven’t used a TA in years... if I book a cruise using a big box, I can still manage most elements of my cruise in the planner, correct?  I’d only need to call the big box if I wanted to change rooms, or cancel, correct?  Thx!

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You can plan your cruise using the cruise planner the same as you would if booked direct.  Correct about going through the TA for changes to your reservation such as changing rooms, cancelling, repricing or making payments.

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First time using an on line TA and probably my last. I like to be in charge of my cruise and yes I can reserve things on line in the cruise planner but I have to call the TA for everything else. Phone calls, emails not being responded to in a timely manner. Maybe I just have the wrong TA.

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11 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 ....  Maybe I just have the wrong TA.

 

That would be my guess.

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Yeah, been using an internet agency, but price drops and getting obc are a pain. Booked with Royal, when I got a decent agent on the phone.

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1 hour ago, blueridgemama said:

First time using an on line TA and probably my last. I like to be in charge of my cruise and yes I can reserve things on line in the cruise planner but I have to call the TA for everything else. Phone calls, emails not being responded to in a timely manner. Maybe I just have the wrong TA.

 

It's all in the TA.

I had a good one, but she left and her replacement was useless.  

So I started using one I met online. Best decision ever. Probably even better than my old one.

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I’m now torn about using a “regular” TA, or the big box one.  At the big box, I’d get a gift card for the store, but it sounds like a regular TA will give me OBC?

Edited by vacationlover_mn

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I just moved one of our cruises over to a TA. First time to ever use one. When the genie sends out our preference sheet it will still go to us correct? I don't want it going to the TA and him losing it, not that he would, but just in case.

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Lots of good and Bad. Going on Harmony next May, first time for us to just book with RCI on line, all other cruise trip have went with a Travel  Agent. What I did not know is you can not pick your cabin on line with out a extra cost.With My Travel Agent we always picked out our Cabin day of booking..  

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17 hours ago, blueridgemama said:

First time using an on line TA and probably my last. I like to be in charge of my cruise and yes I can reserve things on line in the cruise planner but I have to call the TA for everything else. Phone calls, emails not being responded to in a timely manner. Maybe I just have the wrong TA.

That was my experience with my Warehouse TA. Never spoke to the same person who booked the cruise and waited a life time on hold the 2 times that I had to call. I only used them for $250 OBC and had to call 21 days before sailing to get conformation of the OBC. The other time I called was to find out what portion of the cruise would be refundable  if I canceled so I knew what value to insure. Whoever I spoke to were very helpful but I wouldn't expect great service if something should have happened and I needed  them to go to bat for me. Now after this Thomas Cook situation I'm more hesitant to use a TA.

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Yes, Iamcruzin, I had a similar experience with a big box TA and so was resigned to do my own until I was referred by a CC member to a TA in Ocala. She is handling our Aus/NZ cruise in February 2021 and, so far, she has been wonderful and available 24/7!! How she handles this trip will determine if we use her again! For right now, I couldn't be more pleased and look forward to working with her! The right TA makes a difference for sure!!

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1 hour ago, bburk00 said:

I just moved one of our cruises over to a TA. First time to ever use one. When the genie sends out our preference sheet it will still go to us correct?  ...

 

Correct.

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You should also check if your travel agent participates in the Royal Up program if you have any interest in that.

 

i remember readings threads where people couldn't participate in Royal Up with one of the big box TA’s

 

Outside that, having the right travel agent is a great benefit 

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I just transferred my Alaskan booking that I booked direct with RC to a travel agent and I couldnt be any happier. I met her online in a Harmony of the Seas cruise group.  Happens that we went to the same high school and she lives in the town in central FL that I grew up in.   She was able to get almost 300.00 knocked off the price by putting us in a group booking and she also gave us an onboard credit.  She is excellent and constantly monitors price drops as well.  I will book through her from here on out.

Edited by ryano

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16 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

It's all in the TA.

I had a good one, but she left and her replacement was useless.  

So I started using one I met online. Best decision ever. Probably even better than my old one.

 

When we cruise next time I'll do the same thing.  Met one on line that was extremely helpful.  Unfortunately for me, i'm outside the window allowed for transfers for my upcoming cruise, but i'll def use him next time!

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1 hour ago, Iamcruzin said:

That was my experience with my Warehouse TA. Never spoke to the same person who booked the cruise and waited a life time on hold the 2 times that I had to call. I only used them for $250 OBC and had to call 21 days before sailing to get conformation of the OBC. The other time I called was to find out what portion of the cruise would be refundable  if I canceled so I knew what value to insure. Whoever I spoke to were very helpful but I wouldn't expect great service if something should have happened and I needed  them to go to bat for me. Now after this Thomas Cook situation I'm more hesitant to use a TA.

 

Question about OBC with the TA  When I have booked direct my OBC is listed on my RCI account page so that I can use it to purchase things in my cruise planner.

It is not available online now in my account. I called and she said it would show up in  my on board account on the 2nd day of the cruise. Does that sound right?

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4 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

Question about OBC with the TA  When I have booked direct my OBC is listed on my RCI account page so that I can use it to purchase things in my cruise planner.

It is not available online now in my account. I called and she said it would show up in  my on board account on the 2nd day of the cruise. Does that sound right?

 

Correct, that kind of OBC won't show up early

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14 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Correct, that kind of OBC won't show up early

 

Strange.  The OBC I received from my TA is available for use immediately in my cruise planner. 

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2 minutes ago, ryano said:

The OBC I received from my TA is available for use immediately in my cruise planner. 

That may have been pass through OBC from RCI.

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If I'm getting between 8-10% in either instant discount, or in OBC by going through a TA, is that considered a good or fair amount?  Sometimes the big box online TAs will run double OBC sales, I've gotten 15+% in OBC.... it's just such a pain when you need them to make any kind of change.

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18 minutes ago, ryano said:

 

Strange.  The OBC I received from my TA is available for use immediately in my cruise planner. 

 

Sometimes the travel agent has OBC to give from a group booking perk and that OBC is really from Royal.  That shows up in the Cruise Planner.

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4 minutes ago, Glide_Path said:

If I'm getting between 8-10% in either instant discount, or in OBC by going through a TA, is that considered a good or fair amount?  Sometimes the big box online TAs will run double OBC sales, I've gotten 15+% in OBC.... it's just such a pain when you need them to make any kind of change.

 

Sounds quite generous to me. 

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6 minutes ago, Glide_Path said:

 ... it's just such a pain when you need them to make any kind of change.

 

Not for us.  It's actually easier than a direct booking.  I send one email, takes me a minute, and the travel agent makes the change.  No phone calls, no waiting on hold, no using Royal's website.

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2 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

Now after this Thomas Cook situation I'm more hesitant to use a TA.

 

I dont worry about that. Our payments go direct to Royal

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23 minutes ago, Glide_Path said:

 Sometimes the big box online TAs will run double OBC sales, I've gotten 15+% in OBC...

On RCI? It's kinda hard for any TA to make money when the most they'll likely see from RCI in commissions is 16% and that's on the comissionable portion of the fare.

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