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Book with TA or Azamara?


clojacks
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Unless we are booking a cruise onboard to take advantage of an offer, we routinely book with our TA. I've "read" that if you book with Azamara directly, you may be able to get them to sweeten the pot a little from what the internet or brochure offers are? Has anyone had that experience?

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If you book with a TA that is a member of Virtuoso there is sometimes an additional onboard credit available, or if it is a “hosted” voyage there is an option for a special shore excursion. Also, a TA may have more leverage to get extensions on payments.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, wjfan417 said:

If you book with a TA that is a member of Virtuoso there is sometimes an additional onboard credit available, or if it is a “hosted” voyage there is an option for a special shore excursion. Also, a TA may have more leverage to get extensions on payments.

 

 

The TA we use is actually offering a 10% of the cruise price OBC, and we would still receive that by transferring the cruise to them after we book with Azamara, but I’m curious if Azamara goes beyond their advertised offers?

Edited by clojacks
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I not heard of Azamara going beyond th advertised offer, but we don’t have much experience with them.    The 10% OBC we have gotten from our TA many times but not when they have group fares and a few other times in the past  when they gave  us gratuities. 

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47 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Never had this experience or heard of anyone getting it. Where did you read it, just out of interest?

 

Phil 

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure the exact location, BUT it was in an Azamara Quest guest review on CC, and I am assuming it was in one of the few Norwegian Fjord reviews, as that is what we are looking at. My wife is doing that part of our research and mentioned it, but I can't confirm the location, or context. If no one is familiar with it, we may have misunderstood the guests review, OR they were referring to a TA offer?? But, they distinctly mentioned contacting/booking with Azamara, so, who knows....

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10% of the cruise price in OBC, would be enticing.  We have an Open Passage booked from our last Celebrity cruise, which I believe adds $200 credit onto whatever our TA offers.  We've started using our American Express Platinum with Holland America, partially because we're doing reposition cruises in suites ($300 OBC), but it might not be worth it in a lower cabin on Azamara.

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13 hours ago, jelayne said:

You can book with Azamara and then transfer the Booking.com a TA  (limited time to transfer) and then get additional OBC or others incentives. 

This is what we do almost all the time.

 

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6 hours ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

We have an Open Passage booked from our last Celebrity cruise, which I believe adds $200 credit onto whatever our TA offers.

Are you allowed to transfer an Open Passage from Celebrity to Azamara?
I do know that you can’t transfer FCC from Celebrity to RCG and they are in the same group. Azamara are no longer in the group.

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10 minutes ago, upwarduk said:

Are you allowed to transfer an Open Passage from Celebrity to Azamara?
I do know that you can’t transfer FCC from Celebrity to RCG and they are in the same group. Azamara are no longer in the group.

You never could 

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22 hours ago, upwarduk said:

Are you allowed to transfer an Open Passage from Celebrity to Azamara?
I do know that you can’t transfer FCC from Celebrity to RCG and they are in the same group. Azamara are no longer in the group.

 

I have an Open Passage with Azamara, booked onboard Celebrity.  It took multiple request and a little research on their part, but I got my foot in the door.

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11 minutes ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

 

I have an Open Passage with Azamara, booked onboard Celebrity.  It took multiple request and a little research on their part, but I got my foot in the door.

Was that an open passage for a future Azamara cruise or an open passage for a future Celebrity cruise?

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On 4/10/2021 at 5:53 AM, clojacks said:

Unless we are booking a cruise onboard to take advantage of an offer, we routinely book with our TA. I've "read" that if you book with Azamara directly, you may be able to get them to sweeten the pot a little from what the internet or brochure offers are? Has anyone had that experience?

Azamara, or any cruise line that I'm aware of, does not undersell their travel partners

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Posted (edited)

The main advantage of direct booking is having control over your booking without the need to go through a third party (agent) who may or may not have your best interests at heart.  Certainly those who were due refunds in the last year reported receiving their payments far earlier than those who had used travel agents, some of whom took six months and more to pass the refunds back to the bookers.

 

If you are confident your agent will genuinely have your interests at heart all the time, there could be advantages booking with agents.

Edited by uktog
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If you were in the UK, I would strongly advise booking directly with Azamara as there have been many examples of how badly the UK travel agent system works.  But in US, it seems to be the opposite:  I have read (and experienced) how a TA can help you get refunds even when a cruise line says no.  And since TAs in the US don't take your money, there is no delay in either paying the cruise line or getting the refund into your account.  Since I am in the US, I always use a TA.  [But I should clarify that I'm not talking about 'big box' TAs who, it seems, take your order and disappear when you need service.  Finding a good TA is not a slam dunk – and sadly we're not allowed to give recommendations or even hints about the good ones we know.]

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I should explain that I am in the US and we ALWAYS use, or transfer, our bookings to a "big box" TA we have used for about 15 years with tremendous success and satisfaction. Our TA has a loyalty system that rewards customers with a token amount of OBC, but more importantly, I have communicated with the same representative for the last 8 years or so for every type of cruise, with any line, that we have taken, and he has ALWAYS gotten back to me within hours. I have been able to ask his suggestions when debating 2 different cruises, and he has offered his honest opinion, if he had experience enough to share. In addition, the "sweetener" of additional perks, usually in the way of OBC, but occasionally in the way of other perks, doesn't hurt. 

 

But, what has cemented my usage of this particular company is the assistance we received in the throes of the pandemic and its impact on booked cruises, active cruises, and upcoming cruises in the past year. We had refunds on a river cruise within days of bringing the cancellation to their attention, while we, at the same time, were seeing reports from others who had booked directly with the cruise line of it taking weeks and months to track down their entire refund. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, clojacks said:

I should explain that I am in the US and we ALWAYS use, or transfer, our bookings to a "big box" TA we have used for about 15 years with tremendous success and satisfaction. Our TA has a loyalty system that rewards customers with a token amount of OBC, but more importantly, I have communicated with the same representative for the last 8 years or so for every type of cruise, with any line, that we have taken, and he has ALWAYS gotten back to me within hours. I have been able to ask his suggestions when debating 2 different cruises, and he has offered his honest opinion, if he had experience enough to share. In addition, the "sweetener" of additional perks, usually in the way of OBC, but occasionally in the way of other perks, doesn't hurt. 

 

But, what has cemented my usage of this particular company is the assistance we received in the throes of the pandemic and its impact on booked cruises, active cruises, and upcoming cruises in the past year. We had refunds on a river cruise within days of bringing the cancellation to their attention, while we, at the same time, were seeing reports from others who had booked directly with the cruise line of it taking weeks and months to track down their entire refund. 

 

You have said exactly what I have said many times.  The best reason to use a good TA from a small agency and not a big box agency is not the perks but that they will take your side and fight for you when the cruise company tries to scr** you over which they often do.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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27 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

You have said exactly what I have said many times.  The best reason to use a good TA from a small agency and not a big box agency is not the perks but that they will take your side and fight for you when the cruise company tries to scr** you over which they often do.

 

DON

You may have misunderstood me....I USE a large agency with 1000% satisfaction....

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3 hours ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

 

Yes

I think he was asking which one it was. So was it (a) for a Celebrity cruise or (b) for an Azamara cruise?

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23 hours ago, uktog said:

The main advantage of direct booking is having control over your booking without the need to go through a third party (agent) who may or may not have your best interests at heart.  Certainly those who were due refunds in the last year reported receiving their payments far earlier than those who had used travel agents, some of whom took six months and more to pass the refunds back to the bookers.

 

If you are confident your agent will genuinely have your interests at heart all the time, there could be advantages booking with agents.

In the US, if you are using a good TA, the deposit  and all payments go direct to the cruise line not to the TA.  While the TA  can process cancellations and refund requests the refund goes direct to the passengers credit card not to the TA.

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