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How to exchange a gift from Travel Agent


JerrySueW
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Our travel agent gifted us with a Birthday Celebration package for my husband whose birthday is on the 2nd day of our upcoming cruise. The package includes a shave, $25 casino credit and a bucket of beer. We don't drink alcohol and we're not big gamblers, so I'd like to exchange the package for something more suitable. I'd prefer not to ask the TA to make the switch. Any advice on making this happen before we board the ship? I'm thinking it might be difficult to connect with the right person to handle this on the first day of the cruise. Thanks for your help!

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You can call Princess to see if there's anything they can do to exchange it for you before boarding.  Otherwise check with Passenger Services after boarding.  They usually are helpful in coming up with suitable exchanges.  The casino credit is an easy one by the way if they are unable to convert that to $$.  Simply put it on a machine and cash it out, that is, if it isn't already shown as generic OBC on your folio (or on your Travel Summary and / or the Payments and Credits in the Cruise Personalizer).

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When I have had a casino credit, I’ve taken the card to the casino and they gave me cash. I have 2 bottles of wine on an upcoming cruise and would love to trade that for OBC. Does anyone have experience with that?

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We tried to exchange a wine gift from our TA for something like a few bottles of water or soda and they wouldn’t let us. So we gave the gift certificate to another person. FYI, I was charged the overage. I didn’t mind as we wanted to treat their table. 

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Travel agent gifts are chosen and paid for by the travel agent. The cruise line only sells it to us.  I always want to make sure my clients know I'm grateful for them trusting me with their travel plans. Honestly though, unless I know the client really well , I have the hardest time choosing what to get. I would be THRILLED if a client told me what they wanted. I really think you should call the TA and let her change it. 

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My agent has given me a Birthday Package for my birthday on the second day of me cruise.

 

If you list your birthday on your Personalizer, I have had a Birthday sign on the cabin door and a paper for a cake in the diningroom.

 

I am interested to know what I will get in a Birthday Package?

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5 hours ago, Peckishpixie said:

Travel agent gifts are chosen and paid for by the travel agent. The cruise line only sells it to us.  I always want to make sure my clients know I'm grateful for them trusting me with their travel plans. Honestly though, unless I know the client really well , I have the hardest time choosing what to get. I would be THRILLED if a client told me what they wanted. I really think you should call the TA and let her change it. 

My TA has said he only likes to give OBC because he knows in that way you can basically choose what you want to do with it.

 

One time a bottle of wine was listed as from him, but I knew it was from the cruise line. I called ahead and was told I could exchange it for OBC. At the front desk, I was first told no I could not. I tried again with a different purser, and was then told she would have to check with headquarters. I did get the exchange. I also wrote her up as one of the crew who went above and beyond to make our cruise great.

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8 hours ago, Peckishpixie said:

Travel agent gifts are chosen and paid for by the travel agent. The cruise line only sells it to us.  I always want to make sure my clients know I'm grateful for them trusting me with their travel plans. Honestly though, unless I know the client really well , I have the hardest time choosing what to get. I would be THRILLED if a client told me what they wanted. I really think you should call the TA and let her change it. 

Thanks for this response.  My thought was to contact the TA.  I think they would like to know whether a thank you gift was appropriate or not.  

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3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

My TA has said he only likes to give OBC because he knows in that way you can basically choose what you want to do with it.

That's the way to do it IMO.  For first time, we received a 6x8 photo as a gift on our Nov cruise.  Found out very quickly at the PSD could not turn it in for anything else. 

 

We had decided if so, we'd just get a group shot of us and our friends at one of the photo stations.  Then we found out the photo dept only provide thoses in 8x10 and it would have cost us a relatively large amount to order a 6x8 and coupon no good.  Coupon only good for default 6x8 photos which are is disembark photos in each port (mostly useless IMO).  Ultimately, they let us each (friends and us - 1 coupon per booking) turn in BOTH our coupons together in exchange to receive ONE of the 8x10's we posed for.  We just made a high res copy back home and good enough for us. 

 

I can certainly use a wine credit, but normally bring my own on and save $$$.  At least it would be better than a photo.  But cash is king IMO.

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1 minute ago, steelers36 said:

That's the way to do it IMO.  For first time, we received a 6x8 photo as a gift on our Nov cruise.  Found out very quickly at the PSD could not turn it in for anything else. 

Sometimes photos are included in group amenities. I know my agent's parent agency has group space a lot of time and they pick out the group amenity gifts. So my agent didn't pick them out.

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My TA once gifted us a balcony breakfast (on an Alaska cruise). Unfortunately, the only notification of said gift was a call from room service telling us we only had one day left to schedule it (never got the card). In this scenario, they converted to OBC. In all honesty, while appreciated, it's not really a gift we would have taken advantage of. 

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12 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

My TA once gifted us a balcony breakfast (on an Alaska cruise). Unfortunately, the only notification of said gift was a call from room service telling us we only had one day left to schedule it (never got the card). In this scenario, they converted to OBC. In all honesty, while appreciated, it's not really a gift we would have taken advantage of. 

We dislike the UBB and have traded it for OBC several times through room service.

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5 hours ago, phabric said:

My agent has given me a Birthday Package for my birthday on the second day of me cruise.

 

If you list your birthday on your Personalizer, I have had a Birthday sign on the cabin door and a paper for a cake in the diningroom.

 

I am interested to know what I will get in a Birthday Package?

What is in the Birthday Package?

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4 minutes ago, phabric said:

What is in the Birthday Package?

https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-gifts-celebrations/gifts-and-services/

 

For the Birthday Girl — Save 15%*

It’s her day. Make it extra special with a little pampering, fresh flowers and caffeine to fuel the fun. Cooling gels and a warm stone massage come together for a manicure fit for a queen… or a birthday girl.

This package includes:

  • Fire and Ice Manicure
  • Miniature Birthday Floral Arrangement
  • Coffee Card

(*Package savings of 15% compared to buying the individual items.)

 


 

For the Birthday Guy — Save 25%*

He doesn't like to make a fuss, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve one. A bucket of brand-name beer, a classic shave – barber chair and all – and playtime in the casino is all he needs.

This package includes:

  • Bucket of Beers (Qty 5)
  • Men’s Deep Cleanse Shave in the Lotus Spa®
  • $25 Casino Credit
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7 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-gifts-celebrations/gifts-and-services/

 

For the Birthday Girl — Save 15%*

It’s her day. Make it extra special with a little pampering, fresh flowers and caffeine to fuel the fun. Cooling gels and a warm stone massage come together for a manicure fit for a queen… or a birthday girl.

This package includes:

  • Fire and Ice Manicure
  • Miniature Birthday Floral Arrangement
  • Coffee Card

(*Package savings of 15% compared to buying the individual items.)

 


 

For the Birthday Guy — Save 25%*

He doesn't like to make a fuss, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve one. A bucket of brand-name beer, a classic shave – barber chair and all – and playtime in the casino is all he needs.

This package includes:

  • Bucket of Beers (Qty 5)
  • Men’s Deep Cleanse Shave in the Lotus Spa®
  • $25 Casino Credit

Thanks for the information.

 

It will be nice to have a manicure and a flower arrangement.  I have the Best Ever Sale, Premium Beverage that includes coffee which I don’t drink coffee.  
 

I wonder, once Onboard I can exchange it for OBC?

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1 hour ago, steelers36 said:

That's the way to do it IMO.  For first time, we received a 6x8 photo as a gift on our Nov cruise.  Found out very quickly at the PSD could not turn it in for anything else. 

 

We had decided if so, we'd just get a group shot of us and our friends at one of the photo stations.  Then we found out the photo dept only provide thoses in 8x10 and it would have cost us a relatively large amount to order a 6x8 and coupon no good.  Coupon only good for default 6x8 photos which are is disembark photos in each port (mostly useless IMO).  Ultimately, they let us each (friends and us - 1 coupon per booking) turn in BOTH our coupons together in exchange to receive ONE of the 8x10's we posed for.  We just made a high res copy back home and good enough for us. 

 

I can certainly use a wine credit, but normally bring my own on and save $$$.  At least it would be better than a photo.  But cash is king IMO.


On my last cruise, there were 2 cards for 6x8 photos first time from my agent.  We are 2 single ladies, we thought great we both will have a photo.  We took photos on formal nights.  We went to exchange the cards for the photos, and we found out that the crew member had put someone else’s card in our cabin.  We had not looked at the card before for the name/cabin #.  One of us took the free photo and the other purchased the other.

Edited by phabric
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5 hours ago, steelers36 said:

That's the way to do it IMO.  For first time, we received a 6x8 photo as a gift on our Nov cruise.  Found out very quickly at the PSD could not turn it in for anything else. 

 

We also had a photo coupon once, IIRC an 8x10. Since the frame for it was already in our cabin, we decided not to try to get OBC instead. We gave the photo to my mother.

 

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12 hours ago, Coral said:

Sometimes photos are included in group amenities. I know my agent's parent agency has group space a lot of time and they pick out the group amenity gifts. So my agent didn't pick them out.

That's another thing. Sometimes our parent company sets up a group amenity and no one can change it. It's the same thing for everyone in the group. We add you to established groups to save you money, but then we have less control. 

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21 minutes ago, Peckishpixie said:

That's another thing. Sometimes our parent company sets up a group amenity and no one can change it. It's the same thing for everyone in the group. We add you to established groups to save you money, but then we have less control.

I also concur for example the cruise line offers a list of amenities and assigns each a point value. Sometimes after selecting for example the casino credit, there might only be enough for the photo and rather than have it go unused, it’s there. They should change the way they do the group amenities as they’re sometimes not that great and can’t be changed. 

 

The birthday celebration package goes above and beyond the door sign and cake/song in the dining room in that they will decorate thE interior of the stateroom with balloons and decorations. This has a cost associated with it whereas the regular birthday sign doesn’t. This one I suspect may have been personally added by your agent. 
 

I can also concur that I wouldn’t be offended if you called me and allowed me to explain where and what I could do if anything. 
 

It’a obvious from your post that you have a lot of integrity and empathy about not wanting to hurt their feelings and I think they I’ll appreciate and it will strengthen your client relationship.

 

Please post any updates. 😀

 

 

 

 

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