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TAs allowed to discount?


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I am going to ask a silly question - did you guys ever miss the ship in port? I vaguely remember someone with a similar name missing the ship and having a hilarious story involved years ago.

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

The point to remember is this:  it's not the cruise line that discounts, it's the TA.  


But most cruise lines will not allow agents to discount their prices now.  HAL, Princess and a few others are still allowing it as long as it isn't advertised.  The higher category you book, the higher the discount since agents are paid on the cruise fare only - not the cruise fare you see advertised because that has port charges added into it.  Also, not on government taxes, transfers, airfare, etc.  

Edited by DrivesLikeMario
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50 minutes ago, DrivesLikeMario said:


But most cruise lines will not allow agents to discount their prices now.  HAL, Princess and a few others are still allowing it as long as it isn't advertised.  The higher category you book, the higher the discount since agents are paid on the cruise fare only - not the cruise fare you see advertised because that has port charges added into it.  Also, not on government taxes, transfers, airfare, etc.  

I do not know of a cruise line that does not allow agents to discount.  I would imagine that would constitute price fixing.

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My understanding is that a TA cannot sell the cruise for less than the cruise line sells it.  That being said, the TA can "discount" it by "rebating" some of his/her commission.  The TA can, also, chase price reductions that might come before it is on the web site or on the website and get them for you.  

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

I do not know of a cruise line that does not allow agents to discount.  I would imagine that would constitute price fixing.


Let me enlighten you:  these are just a few of the cruise lines that do not allow agents to discount their cruise pricing:
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Crystal, Oceania, Azamara, Windstar, NCL, and Silverseas.  

If you have a problem with their rule, you need to take it up with them.  It's been this way for quite a few years.
Most of the remaining cruise lines will not let TAs discount their prices and advertise it (Princess, HAL, etc.).

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I used to be a TA and way back when, yes, they allowed it. We used to be able to apply our commission to the fare and undercut the cruise line as we saw fit. I left the business back in 2012 and at that time I wasn't allowed to do this with any major line.

 

Instead, what many of you are getting are group rates that your TA has (which at times come out lower than the cruise line directly) or some high performing agencies get preferred pricing on certain, low performing sailings. These preferred prices are dictated by the cruise line and are offered to certain high-performing agencies and are lower than the going rate with Princess directly. My former colleague and now my travel agent offers me these promos when his office offers them. Otherwise they do not allow a travel agent to reduce a rate as they please. Instead of reducing rates to entice bookings, travel agents can offer OBC, free grats or comp dinners at the specialty restaurant.

 

 

Edited by nycruiser80
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Our TA, which does post their discounts on their web site, gives us the following with respects to each of the following cruise lines:

 

HAL - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Princess - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Disney - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Celebrity - 10% nonrefundable OBC

RCCL - 8% nonrefundable OBC

Oceania - 11% rebate check + OBC

Silversea - 10% rebate check

 

BUT in all cases the original cruise line price listed on their confirmation was the same as that listed on the TA's invoice. With regards to HAL, Princess and Disney, there was simply a line item on their invoice noting the discount.

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I know we can't ask for specific TA recommendations but is it ok to ask HOW to find a TA that does discounts?  Sorry if it's not allowed to ask for help with the procedure, no offense intended.

Edited by Karlzmom
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6 minutes ago, Karlzmom said:

I know we can't ask for specific TA recommendations but is it ok to ask HOW to find a TA that does discounts?  Sorry if it's not allowed to ask for help with the procedure, no offense intended.

On your web browser, enter "find a cruise line travel agent". In the results you should see a 2020 article written by Cruise Critic. Read that article, especially towards the end where they give you some examples of how to actually find a travel agent.

 

Then, once you start searching and find some TAs that catch your eye, give them a call and see what they have to say. For us we went through quite a few before we found the one that worked best for us. And that's the key, finding one that works best for you. 

 

BUT, when you start making those calls, may I suggest you have a specific cruise and cabin category in mind, rather than just asking general questions, so they can offer specifics on what they can do for you.

 

Hope this helps.

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Our TA, which does post their discounts on their web site, gives us the following with respects to each of the following cruise lines:

 

HAL - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Princess - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Disney - 10% off the cruise fare which is applied as a credit on their invoice

Celebrity - 10% nonrefundable OBC

RCCL - 8% nonrefundable OBC

Oceania - 11% rebate check + OBC

Silversea - 10% rebate check

 

BUT in all cases the original cruise line price listed on their confirmation was the same as that listed on the TA's invoice. With regards to HAL, Princess and Disney, there was simply a line item on their invoice noting the discount.

Ken, you might want to consider a different TA for your Celebrity cruises.  Most of us get the discount in refundable OBC.

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10 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Ken, you might want to consider a different TA for your Celebrity cruises.  Most of us get the discount in refundable OBC.

Good point and we probably would, but X is the only cruise line where we actually use their PCC to manage our bookings. The service he has provided us over the years has been worth more than any OBC, refundable or nonrefundable, a TA could give us. He's just that good. Now, if he ever leaves X, we'll probably revisit that decision, especially if we can find a TA that gives refundable OBC.

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1 hour ago, Karlzmom said:

I know we can't ask for specific TA recommendations but is it ok to ask HOW to find a TA that does discounts?  Sorry if it's not allowed to ask for help with the procedure, no offense intended.

 

Best way is to ask fellow passengers at the Meet & Greet on your next cruise.

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3 hours ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

nycruiser80-We can still reduce the price with Princess as long as it isn't advertised.  You don't have to offer OBC with Princess.

Yes, agree.  TA's can discount the fare - and do.  Don't have to deal with OBC.

 

40 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Most of us get the discount in refundable OBC.

If true, unfortunate, but at least you can get the funds eventually from Princess.  There a lots of good TA's who offer a cash discount off the base fare, so no OBC.  I also get some group OBC at times, depending on what they have going.  And perhaps the TA coupon book or some other bauble - just depends.

 

21 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

we'll probably revisit that decision, especially if we can find a TA that gives refundable OBC.

Or, better yet, find a TA that offers a cash discount off the fare.  I see you get that now from CCL brands and DCL, but not RCCL brands (perhaps no one does actual discounts for those - IDK).

 

After going from one TA to the next (not too many), I have found a TA we are both happy with service and gives the best Princess discount of all I know of.  Someone was asking about how to find one - trial and error, unless you run into a fellow passenger with the right connection.  Searching online info can help, but since @Karlzmom is looking for a good deal, you should search for agencies who will compete for your cruise booking and go from there.

 

 

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10 hours ago, DrivesLikeMario said:


Let me enlighten you:  these are just a few of the cruise lines that do not allow agents to discount their cruise pricing:
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Crystal, Oceania, Azamara, Windstar, NCL, and Silverseas.  

If you have a problem with their rule, you need to take it up with them.  It's been this way for quite a few years.
Most of the remaining cruise lines will not let TAs discount their prices and advertise it (Princess, HAL, etc.).

Funny thing is that I have received discounts on RCCI and Celebrity.  My TA assures me that she will discount any cruise line and that there is nothing the cruise lines can do about it.  Price fixing is still against the law.

 

I'm sure many TA will tell you that they would love to give you a discount but the cruise lines won't let me give discounts.  

Edited by RocketMan275
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