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SilverSea Transfer to External Travel Agent Timeframe


twangster
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First time experience with SilverSea. 

 

I have a confirmed booking with SilverSea that I am attempting to transfer to my regular travel agent who I use for the majority of my cruise vacations with other lines.  It's going on 12 days since my transfer request was submitted.  

 

The SilverSea agent I booked it with knows I am trying to get it transferred to my normal travel agent and they have become slow to respond or don't respond knowing the transfer is pending.   My regular travel agent can't get answers from SilverSea.  I'm more or less in a limbo between companies.  When I submitted the transfer request I received an immediate automated response stating it was in process. 

 

Does anyone have any experience transferring a book to an external travel agency?  Other RCG brands transfer bookings in days.  Is this normal for SilverSea?

 

Thanks.

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We had a lot of trouble transferring a booking.  We were told the Silversea agent who made the original booking had to transfer it to our travel agent.  As with you, after a lengthy delay waiting for the Silversea agent to transfer the booking, we called the Silversea agent directly, to request the transfer.  He gave us a hard time, repeatedly asking what our agent could do for us that he couldn't, and giving us a long, hard-sell talk, before finally agreeing to transfer the booking.

 

ps to alexandria:  We wrote the above while you posted.  We have a travel agent who we like to use.  She is very quick to respond to our messages and get any requested information.  She usually can beat the price of the cruise line, or provide some other perk.  But most importantly, we feel we can rely on her for a quick and accurate response.  While we were facing all the return home difficulties we have described elsewhere on this board, she was vastly more helpful than Silversea in attempting to find solutions.

 

Usually, we will turn to her first, but sometimes there is a short-lived or otherwise limited promotion for a cruise line that we want to grab before it is gone.

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58 minutes ago, alexandria said:

Sorry but I don't have any input, just a question.  Is there some advantage or reason to book direct with the cruise line and then transfer the booking to your travel agent? 

Not at present, but in normal circumstances there is ‘ a book onboard’ discount that can make it worthwhile to book with SS first.

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1 hour ago, alexandria said:

Sorry but I don't have any input, just a question.  Is there some advantage or reason to book direct with the cruise line and then transfer the booking to your travel agent? 

 

Looking beyond pricing, in my experience with other brands when everything goes right from the day of booking to the day of debarking an external travel agent isn't always required.  It's when things don't go right that an external agent can become more valuable.

 

Through the years but particularly during this pandemic I have had a number of cruises impacted by various events.  At times the cruise line can be difficult to work with.  They look after themselves and don't always have your interests at heart.  An external agent can be an advocate on your behalf, they know what other agents and other guests have been able to get accomplished when a cruise line says "no" or this one solution is the only option.  They do this for a living, it's all they do, they know the ins and outs of the system and how to push for better outcomes.  

 

If you have a simple financial situation doing your own taxes is a viable option for many.  When you have a complicated financial situation a tax advisor can be invaluable to determine the best outcome and maximizing your experience.  That's not a perfect analogy but it is relevant to this scenario.  

 

My agent has spent hours dealing with different issues that have resulted from pandemic cancellations with other brands.  All I had to do was send one email or make one phone call to let her know what I wanted and she spends hours on the phone rather than me having to.  Knowing that more pandemic issues are possible with this SilverSea booking I would much prefer to have a proven advocate on my side ready to jump in to represent my interests while I relax and watch from the sidelines.

Edited by twangster
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32 minutes ago, Silver Spectre said:

Not at present, but in normal circumstances there is ‘ a book onboard’ discount that can make it worthwhile to book with SS first.

 

I think you can book "On board" and still request your own travel agent. At least it used to be that way.  My TA always gives me some on board credit to use so I tend to use her.

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1 hour ago, A Tucson Guy said:

I think you can book "On board" and still request your own travel agent. At least it used to be that way.  My TA always gives me some on board credit to use so I tend to use her.

That’s correct. But you may not have a TA in mind when you book.

Edited by Silver Spectre
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2 hours ago, twangster said:

 

Looking beyond pricing, in my experience with other brands when everything goes right from the day of booking to the day of debarking an external travel agent isn't always required.  It's when things don't go right that an external agent can become more valuable.

 

Through the years but particularly during this pandemic I have had a number of cruises impacted by various events.  At times the cruise line can be difficult to work with.  They look after themselves and don't always have your interests at heart.  An external agent can be an advocate on your behalf, they know what other agents and other guests have been able to get accomplished when a cruise line says "no" or this one solution is the only option.  They do this for a living, it's all they do, they know the ins and outs of the system and how to push for better outcomes.  

 

If you have a simple financial situation doing your own taxes is a viable option for many.  When you have a complicated financial situation a tax advisor can be invaluable to determine the best outcome and maximizing your experience.  That's not a perfect analogy but it is relevant to this scenario.  

 

My agent has spent hours dealing with different issues that have resulted from pandemic cancellations with other brands.  All I had to do was send one email or make one phone call to let her know what I wanted and she spends hours on the phone rather than me having to.  Knowing that more pandemic issues are possible with this SilverSea booking I would much prefer to have a proven advocate on my side ready to jump in to represent my interests while I relax and watch from the sidelines.

You make a strong case for the use of TAs  I have of course used them over the years.  I have had good TAs and not-so-good TAs.  

 

Unfortunately, I have had too many incidents where well-meaning TAs screwed something up.  They are not always available when you need them.  They take vacations, fam trips, etc.  And colleagues say I have to wait for TA's return.

 

Several years ago, my TA assured me that a certain suite was available for a four-segment B2B.  I told her to book it and gave her credit card info.  The TA waited a couple of days to make the booking/deposit.  By the time the TA reached SS, the suite in question had been booked by someone else for one segment and I had to move suites twice.  The TA was very apologetic and sent a bottle of bubbly to the ship (as if SS did not provide enough! 🙂).  But the moving was an unnecessary hassle.

 

I have since dealt exclusively with Silversea agents.  When mine is away, others cheerfully fill in.  They have access to others within the company to obtain special arrangements.  And I find that dealing with SS removes one additional possibility for a screw up:  I am dealing directly with the person making or changing the booking within the SS system, and I have written confirmation within a couple of minutes.  With the TA the communication is from me to the TA to SS (with an additional chance for miscommunication).

 

BTW:  My SS agent provides some nifty onboard perks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The agent I had booked with gives a 10% discount and had no problem transferring the onboard bookings to them. However, the cruise i was due to sail on next week and was cancelled in September, i heard nothing from them. Similarly the cancellation which cane through 2 weeks ago I chased them to question why theyve kept quiet. I had rung and emailed them so many times since Spring.

 

The next 2 bookings I have are direct, but now SS are dragging their hills on a replacement for the March cancellation, so may well leave it with the agent and keep the extra 5% on board sailing discount. Nothing is ever perfect. Not sure how it works, but she said i was getting an extra discount for this booking as it takes me over the 100 day sailing during the booking. Whats that about? I know once you've done 100 days you qualify for an extra 5%.... But im not there yet... Though i guess the 15 days I got cancelled takes me over? Weird as i didnt expect the 15 days to be added until another booking confirmed to replace. Confusing... Yup it certainly is.

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On 10/27/2020 at 6:14 PM, A Tucson Guy said:

I think you can book "On board" and still request your own travel agent. At least it used to be that way.  My TA always gives me some on board credit to use so I tend to use her.

Every annual cruise booked with Silversea apart from the first one has been booked on board with all the applicable discounts with the request that our excellent personal travel agent deal with the reservation made so as to obtain T/A discounts as well.Has worked well throughout the period 1999/2020.

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