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petuniaflower

No deal/OBC from TA

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Is it "normal" or typical for an agent to say (for a last minute fairly cheap cruise) that the price he quoted (which is the same as Im getting on Carnival site) is the best he can do because its already very reduced.  So he is offering the same price as I am getting online, with no OBC.

 

Just wondering if this is normal, as I have not experienced it..

 

Thx

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If I dont get an obc I dont book with a TA.     Fastest way for me to move to a different company

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4 minutes ago, petuniaflower said:

Is it "normal" or typical for an agent to say (for a last minute fairly cheap cruise) that the price he quoted (which is the same as Im getting on Carnival site) is the best he can do because its already very reduced.  So he is offering the same price as I am getting online, with no OBC.

 

Just wondering if this is normal, as I have not experienced it..

 

Thx

The cruise price is always the same.  The TA offers out of their pocket any incentive.  

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, theeddie said:

If I dont get an obc I dont book with a TA.     Fastest way for me to move to a different company

I was kinda thinking the same thing..I have definitely booked on my own before, just usually go with a TA due to OBC, but I thought maybe he was right because it is last minute and pretty cheap??

 

I might add that I have tried several TAs in Canada and I find Im teaching them stuff..so have booked myself or gone off someone from a site who offers quotes..

 

Really wish there could be adverts on here..

Edited by petuniaflower
addition

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Just now, petuniaflower said:

I was kinda thinking the same thing..I have definitely booked on my own before, just usually go with a TA due to OBC, but I thought maybe he was right because it is last minute and pretty cheap??

 

 

no point in adding another cog in the wheel with no benefit 

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I always hear on these boards how TAs give 12% extra discount plus OBC, and Im like where/how do I find a good one lol!

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7 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

The cruise price is always the same.  The TA offers out of their pocket any incentive.  

Yes and no.  They can always match the cruise line price.  

 

However, our TA gave me a rate that was slightly more than the cruise line (about $30 I think), but very generous rebate/OBC that was way more than the $30.  They said they could match the cruise line fare, but the OBC would be a lot less.  I was better off with the higher price so I could get the OBC. 

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7 hours ago, petuniaflower said:

I always hear on these boards how TAs give 12% extra discount plus OBC, and Im like where/how do I find a good one lol!

 

Hi Petunia

 

This is not the norm. 

 

Some people have TA's that are able to throw in extras and are actually knowledgeable about the industry. If you do find one, hang on. Some say that their TA's will even check for price drops for the. Again, not the norm. In Canada, don't be surprised with TA's that will even charge for their services. Those people you can immediately ask what you are paying for and why you should be paying them. More often, as you have seen, is that you cannot expect all TA's to understand all the rules for all the cruise line, let alone hotels, airlines, etc. For anyone new to travelling, if they just call a random TA and rely on them totally to find best value, I believe it will "cost" them. The good thing for them is that they won't know how much it cost them. 

 

As you mention, you didn't pay very much. That has something to do with it as well. You also read on these boards of people mentioning their TA's got them $1200 in price drops. Meanwhile, I am looking at a 1 wk. cruise later this month that was $400 total. Do you think I am going to get any other discounts? Not likely. Just find the best price and enjoy. 

 

Obviously, there is no harm asking for possible discounts, but expecting it would not be realistic. 

 

 

 

 

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Look elsewhere.  Kickbacks are the only reason to use a TA in todays world with every answer at your fingertips.

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The whole TA discount/perk bragging isn't always telling you the full story. There is absolutely a difference in perks between a $1000 cruise and a $5000+ cruise. Go look it up on a TA and other small 3rd party websites. Cheap interiors will offer nothing. Suites and balconies often come with extra OBC. There is also a difference in cruise line, to a degree. If a TA is making $100, they aren't going to give you $100, there is nothing in it for them. If they are making $500, then there is more room for them to play with. Plus, if you are a repeat cruiser of expensive fares, your TA is more likely to keep sweetening the deal so you don't even think of going somewhere else and costing them that revenue stream.

 

My cheap fares have yet to offer me anything more than a $25 OBC. Don't be fooled by all of the "free" stuff people boast about.

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3 hours ago, Joebucks said:

The whole TA discount/perk bragging isn't always telling you the full story. There is absolutely a difference in perks between a $1000 cruise and a $5000+ cruise. Go look it up on a TA and other small 3rd party websites. Cheap interiors will offer nothing. Suites and balconies often come with extra OBC. There is also a difference in cruise line, to a degree. If a TA is making $100, they aren't going to give you $100, there is nothing in it for them. If they are making $500, then there is more room for them to play with. Plus, if you are a repeat cruiser of expensive fares, your TA is more likely to keep sweetening the deal so you don't even think of going somewhere else and costing them that revenue stream.

 

My cheap fares have yet to offer me anything more than a $25 OBC. Don't be fooled by all of the "free" stuff people boast about.

You are spot on.  I can attest that many TA's get less than 15% (and that is rare) for most things.  This leaves little room to give things away, especially if you want extra attention - watching for price drops, booking shows, etc.  On a cheap cruise, that % can go down drastically, as there are usually overhead from whatever host agency (or employer if they are an employee) they use.  

 

If you have a cheap cruise (say less than $1000), then that could easily net the TA less than $75, and takes nearly the same amount of time to book as a $5000 cruise.  While they may throw something in, that is not always feasible.  

 

As you said, repeat customers are much more likely to get better perks, especially if they are not high maintenance.  If say you have somebody that already does all the legwork, and just says - book this cruise, then handing out much more perks is worth it.  

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My TA works in a very small brick and mortar store, so they give nothing for booking with them. Many years ago, before some cruise lines cut their commissions to the agents, they always gave a small gesture to people that booked with them.

As others have said, the TA’s take money out of their commission to offer you incentives to book and stay with them. Large online and big box agencies can do this more freely, because they have hundreds of customers.

I have 7 cruises booked right now and I have done them myself online. The only drawback I have now, is I am the one that has to sit on hold and take care of my bookings now.

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13 hours ago, PrincessArlena'sDad said:

Yes and no.  They can always match the cruise line price.  

 

However, our TA gave me a rate that was slightly more than the cruise line (about $30 I think), but very generous rebate/OBC that was way more than the $30.  They said they could match the cruise line fare, but the OBC would be a lot less.  I was better off with the higher price so I could get the OBC. 

Legit TAs that contract with Carnival are not permitted to undercut Carnival rates that is why they offer OBC or other incentives like paying your grats

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Talking about TA's, and here is MY opinion.  I have been blessed to do around 19 cruises over the years, and am getting ready to do another one in March. Up till this one, I have "always" used a TA, but had read that the PVP were good also.  Well I decided to see for myself!  I contacted my normal TA, and also got a PVP.  I found "both" of them gave me the same deal.  The PVP was able to give me a better deal in room selection.  I will say up till now, even though it was not much, my TA, always gave us an OBC of $25 pp. Now I have (I got it taken care of another way after waiting for several days) not heard back from the PVP when I had a BIG question to ask her. When I called her private number, it said her mailbox was full, and even now, I still have not heard back from her, and don't expect to, now that everything is paid for.  I think I will go back to the TA, as that $25 was still nice to have FREE for each of us!

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I gave my friend who is a travel agent my booking that i made online because she claimed she could get me OBC and a free dinner at specialty restaurant. That was 8 months ago. My cruise is a couple of weeks and sorry to say no OBC, no dinner, almost missed the 90 days (i had to call and text to remind as the cruise line would not let me pay myself), and no luggage tags (i ordered myself last week but still no sign). In todays world, TA are really not needed. I tried to help a friend and even luggage tags or paying my final deposit were too much. If i found a good TA, Id probably change my mind, but based on this experience, no way.

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On 1/2/2020 at 11:38 PM, petuniaflower said:

Is it "normal" or typical for an agent to say (for a last minute fairly cheap cruise) that the price he quoted (which is the same as Im getting on Carnival site) is the best he can do because its already very reduced.  So he is offering the same price as I am getting online, with no OBC.

 

Just wondering if this is normal, as I have not experienced it..

 

Thx

Yes that is normal.  Not all TAs have access to extra perks like OBC for every cruise... more often than not my TA gets me OBC, but not every time.  The difference is, with a TA they work for you, so if there's an issue, they're more inclined to solve it because they want you to return.  The PVP works for the person who cuts their checks--the cruise line, so they are more inclined to err on the side of their paycheck. 

 

I've booked cruises 3 ways, local travel agent, major travel company, and Carnival and the only experience I would ever want twice is with my local travel agent.  I will never, ever book with the major travel company ever again, and my experience with a PVP was so horrid that I cancelled the cruise before final payment because everything was a fight--even getting a price adjustment, which my TA does without question.  

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On 1/3/2020 at 8:23 AM, ray98 said:

Look elsewhere.  Kickbacks are the only reason to use a TA in todays world with every answer at your fingertips.

Now that is funny,....you were joking right?

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You can still do everything online and you can work with other carnival employees if you use PVP. I cant stand when I'm locked down and have to do everything through the TA. 

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9 minutes ago, Treyatl2006 said:

You can still do everything online and you can work with other carnival employees if you use PVP. I cant stand when I'm locked down and have to do everything through the TA. 

Actually they are doing ‘all the work’ but what is the everything you are talking about?

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23 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

Actually they are doing ‘all the work’ but what is the everything you are talking about?

I mean if I want to do anything online like pay my balance, make purchases, and etc... I can do it myself online or over the phone instead of having to go through the TA.

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7 hours ago, Treyatl2006 said:

I mean if I want to do anything online like pay my balance, make purchases, and etc... I can do it myself online or over the phone instead of having to go through the TA.

Understand

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On 1/3/2020 at 1:45 PM, crzndeb said:

My TA works in a very small brick and mortar store, so they give nothing for booking with them. Many years ago, before some cruise lines cut their commissions to the agents, they always gave a small gesture to people that booked with them.

As others have said, the TA’s take money out of their commission to offer you incentives to book and stay with them. Large online and big box agencies can do this more freely, because they have hundreds of customers.

I have 7 cruises booked right now and I have done them myself online. The only drawback I have now, is I am the one that has to sit on hold and take care of my bookings now.

Deb, FYI, the TA we are using for both the last med and Trans-Atlantic is offering $200 OBC for each cruise. I usually use my PVP but when it is a more expensive cruise, I go with my TA as she gives generous OBC.

Pat

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On 1/2/2020 at 11:45 PM, petuniaflower said:

I was kinda thinking the same thing..I have definitely booked on my own before, just usually go with a TA due to OBC, but I thought maybe he was right because it is last minute and pretty cheap??

 

I might add that I have tried several TAs in Canada and I find Im teaching them stuff..so have booked myself or gone off someone from a site who offers quotes..

 

Really wish there could be adverts on here..

 

You can check here:

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseto/cruiseitineraries.cfm?deals=all

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