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After recently reading a lot of the CC comments on OBC from Carnival and OBC from their TA's I have a quick question.     All but one of my past cruises we have booked thru a TA that is also considered a friend.   She has been a TA forever.     We have never received any kind of OBC or perks from her.   When reading thru the different comments it seems that a lot of the TA's have given their clients OBC.   I never knew any of them did this.     I have always done all of the research on my own and just emailed her the ship, the dates, the exact room that we wanted and she would book it.    I have no idea how much she makes on this - but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe

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You went to her voluntarily and she has no obligation to give you anything extra. It was straightly your own choice. If you are unhappy with this, you should go to another TA that will give you perk.

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31 minutes ago, maryandmarge said:

... but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe

 

I do something similar and then shop around amongst a variety of agents to see what they come with in terms of an offer.  At least one travel agent aggregator site that I know of does this as well if you want to put your cruise out to "bid" to a single source.  Search around and you will find something.

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@maryandmarge

 

Howdy! emo22.gif 

 

Perhaps you will find some helpful information in the Cruise Critic article Finding a Cruise Travel Agent last updated January 8, 2020.

 

In your search for a TA/cruise specialist that gives OBC, I suggest you use one that also actually cruises. There are lots of folks out there that want to sell you a cruise any way they can, but cannot help you with truthful & personal answers to any questions about cruising since they never cruised.

 

Good luck and happy sails,

 

Host Kat emo32.gif

 

Edited by Host Kat
Typo due to fat fingers & skinny laptop keys!
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Thanks for all the responses.     I will consider all these choices when I book my next cruise.     Right now I'm just hoping that our February and March cruises will be a go.    Have a nice weekend to all.   

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12 hours ago, maryandmarge said:

After recently reading a lot of the CC comments on OBC from Carnival and OBC from their TA's I have a quick question.     All but one of my past cruises we have booked thru a TA that is also considered a friend.   She has been a TA forever.     We have never received any kind of OBC or perks from her.   When reading thru the different comments it seems that a lot of the TA's have given their clients OBC.   I never knew any of them did this.     I have always done all of the research on my own and just emailed her the ship, the dates, the exact room that we wanted and she would book it.    I have no idea how much she makes on this - but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe

Do research, and get quotes. If you find something better pricewise or with OBC or other perks, go back to her and ask if she can match it.

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After recently reading a lot of the CC comments on OBC from Carnival and OBC from their TA's I have a quick question.     All but one of my past cruises we have booked thru a TA that is also considered a friend.   She has been a TA forever.     We have never received any kind of OBC or perks from her.   When reading thru the different comments it seems that a lot of the TA's have given their clients OBC.   I never knew any of them did this.     I have always done all of the research on my own and just emailed her the ship, the dates, the exact room that we wanted and she would book it.    I have no idea how much she makes on this - but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe
Your friend has been making a lot of money out of you, because travel agents earn 10 to 16 % on each and every booking for all the major Cruise lines.

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The large, high volume US travel agents generally give you 10% of your basic Cruise fare as OBC or discount.

 

So if your basic Cruise fare for two adults in a cabin is $3000 and the taxes and port fees are another $400, then the high volume US travel agent should give you 10% of the basic fare which is 300 dollars as a discount or OBC.

 

This travel agent OBC is an addition to any OBC offered by the cruise line depending on what offer they are running at that time.

 

Also, whenever Carnival cancels your Cruise, they will give you US $600 OBC or Aus $900 to transfer your deposit to a future Cruise.

 

So in all, you can get many different types of OBC--

1. the travel agent OBC

2. the cruise line OBC

3. OBC for transferring your cancelled Cruise deposit to a future Cruise.

4. Military, firefighter, police discount or OBC.

5. Shareholder OBC

6. Cruise line Loyalty club discount or OBC

 

Sometimes the sum of all OBC and all discounts can be even more than your cruise fare!

 

And now MSC is giving 50% 30% or 10% discount to to health care workers.

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We always get OBC from an on line  TA.  Usually 8-12 percent.  If her firm had a group of some sort on the same cruise she would include us in the group.  That would earn us another, smaller discount, and once a very nice gratis all day excursion.

 

We do our research and typically know what we want.  It is simply a matter of the entering the booking. 

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15 hours ago, Host Kat said:

In your search for a TA/cruise specialist that gives OBC, I suggest you use one that also actually cruises. There are lots of folks out there that want to sell you a cruise any way they can, but cannot help you with truthful & personal answers to any questions about cruising since they never cruised.

I think that the cruising experience of a travel agent is unimportant to the OP, she does her own research and just needs an order taker. As for me, I prefer the advice of the Cruise Critic community over that of a travel agent. There is not a travel agent alive who has sailed as many ships and itineraries as we, the Cruise Critic community, have.

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on board prices are higher than the online discounted prices that the giant travel agents offer.

 

when I tried to book on board and showed the future Cruise consultant my online price on the mobile phone, she said she could not match it.

 

remember The Cruise consultant has to be paid a good salary as well as free food and accommodation

 

Plus he or she gets a free cruise and good commission on all sales on board

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In addition to OBC's, our former on line TA (she left the business) did three things for us beside booking the cruise ( and repricing on the rare occasions that we booked outside the final payment window.  We will need to find a new TA in 2022 when we book again.

 

-on one or two occasions when we called to book a ship she advised us of a better offer on a similar ship.  Or gave us independent  feedback she had from other clients

 

-one one occasion she recommended that we hold off a buy inside the final payment window.  Waited five days and the price went down again.  I think we saved about $500 USD on the total payable

 

-we were able to bypass the cruise line-websites and their CSR's

-

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Remember, the OBC you might receive from your TA, comes out of their commission. I have a friend that is a TA, and I get nothing, which is fine with me. Sometimes I book with her and sometimes I book on my own.

She works in a 2 person office (owner and her), so they don’t have bookings like the big box or extra large travel agencies online. Those have taken the business away from the small brick and mortar. Lots of people want a deal, no matter how small. Personally I would rather support small business. Just not having to sit on the phone getting changes done on a reservation, is worth it to me to use her.

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22 hours ago, maryandmarge said:

After recently reading a lot of the CC comments on OBC from Carnival and OBC from their TA's I have a quick question.     All but one of my past cruises we have booked thru a TA that is also considered a friend.   She has been a TA forever.     We have never received any kind of OBC or perks from her.   When reading thru the different comments it seems that a lot of the TA's have given their clients OBC.   I never knew any of them did this.     I have always done all of the research on my own and just emailed her the ship, the dates, the exact room that we wanted and she would book it.    I have no idea how much she makes on this - but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe

 

On your next booking check around and get quotes from other agents, making it clear that you are looking for the best deal.  Or use one of the bidding sites to put your cruise out to bid among participating TAs.  Once you have a good quote it is up to you whether you want to go to her and ask her to match it.  If so I would take the tack that you went on cruise critic and found out that online TAs are sometime flexible on pricing and/or perks.  You checked it out and were offered this deal.  But as she has done booking for you in the past you want to give her a chance to match it.  If you value the friendship I wouldn't say anything even remotely hinting at recriminations about the past.

And regardless if you book with her or another TA, if you get OBC, it is almost certainly non-refundable, as compared to OBC you might get from the cruise line which is frequently refundable.  Meaning if you get 400 OBC from your TA and only spend 300 on board you lose the 100 unspent balance.  Always ask.  And who knows, on a recent booking I was getting 450 and I asked the question.  It was nonrefundable, but then the agent offered to reduce the price by 200 and reduce the OBC by 200, leaving me in the same position with less risk of unused OBC.


Anyway, good luck!

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If you wish, you can have many different travel agents bidding for your business by offering more and more OBC or discounts from the 10 to 16% commission that they receive.

That is provided you know exactly which Cruise you want and you don't expect them to hold your hand and spoon feed you.

Of course, some of them are so nice, they may even do that and answer all your questions on call, (provided they know the answers)

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for example if your basic Cruise fare is 4500 and the agent receives a 15% commission (675) and they choose to pass on 10% or 450 to you, they can give it to you as a discount of 450 or use it to buy OBC of say 500 at a 10% discount. (assuming the OBC discount to be 10% only for agents)

 

( Agents have special privileges and are eligible to buy OBC at a discount).

 

So which would you prefer, a 450 discount or 500 OBC?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/17/2020 at 7:23 PM, maryandmarge said:

After recently reading a lot of the CC comments on OBC from Carnival and OBC from their TA's I have a quick question.     All but one of my past cruises we have booked thru a TA that is also considered a friend.   She has been a TA forever.     We have never received any kind of OBC or perks from her.   When reading thru the different comments it seems that a lot of the TA's have given their clients OBC.   I never knew any of them did this.     I have always done all of the research on my own and just emailed her the ship, the dates, the exact room that we wanted and she would book it.    I have no idea how much she makes on this - but I've done all the leg work and all she has to do is call the cruise line and enter it.    I'm sure we are one of her easiest clients.   Seeing that other people are getting extra perks from their TA's makes me wonder why I use her since she hasn't offered any.    Would appreciate any comments good or bad on what everyone thinks.    Thanks much -    Be safe

Just do the whole thing yourself.You do not need a travel agent.

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15 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

And regardless if you book with her or another TA, if you get OBC, it is almost certainly non-refundable, as compared to OBC you might get from the cruise line which is frequently refundable. 

 

I believe this varies by cruise line.

 

With Viking, the OBC from the TA is listed as refundable. When our last cruise was cut short we received the entire OBC provided by our TA back, shortly after returning home.

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We look at it this way.  On average 8-12 percent OBC translates into a free cruise for every 12-15 that we take, sometimes fewer.  

 

Compare this to any of the cruise line frequent cruiser programs.

 

Certainly beats a bottle of wine,  50 percent off an optional dining venue, some sort of made in China tin medallion, a lapel pin,  priority boarding, or a 'free' bottle of water, etc, etc.  

 

I believe that the OBC program that some on line TA's offer really shows up how relatively  poor some of the frequent cruise programs really are. 

 

We derive far more value dealing with a TA instead of a cruise line and significantly more value dealing with on on line TA that provides OBC's.

Edited by iancal
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