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booking through TA or NCL direct?


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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, rodndonna said:

 

Being retired and COVID - quite a recipe for lots of YOUTUBE cruise video watching  - lol.

 

Good luck with your adoption!

Thanks.

I hasten to add that I'm not saying everyone will prefer to use a travel agent. I believe the OP was just asking for people to weigh in about their personal preferences. What works for me and my wife might not for you, and vice versa. 👍☺️ Side note: I see that you ARE the OP, LOL.

Edited by DCGuy64
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4 minutes ago, rodndonna said:

 

I think that is one of the major differences for people that prefer TA's and folks who generally prefer on-line and direct bookings. Some of us REALLY REALLY enjoy the researching of all the options and the planning stage, and it helps that some of us are lucky enough to have the time as well.

Absolutely.

 

For me the planning and expectation is a big part of a holiday. I would absolutely hate the idea of leaving the planning or any decisions about where we went etc.

 

I know other who are happy to just turn up and see where they end up. A good friend of mine can rarely tell me where their cruise is going before they set off.

 

We are all different, and therefore I would never be so stupid to just say to a stranger that they should or should not use a TA, and more than I would tell them what to do in other areas in their life.

 

This thread has predictably moved from your original question towards one of the many general "use a TA or not" discussions, which really don't add much.

 

From what I have read from your comments, you seem to be relatively comfortable going either way. Given Covid there is probably a bit of an advantage to using a TA if you are booking multiple elements (so you don't end up with a non cancellable flight if the cruise is cancelled), but it also isn't too tricky to avoid. I have just cancelled my flights and hotels for the August cruise that was just cancelled. However, from what you are saying that would be the main reason for using a TA in this case.

 

You seem fairly clued up, so I would suggest that you can answer your original question better than we can. Hopefully some of your specific queries have been clarified along the way.

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1 minute ago, KeithJenner said:

Absolutely.

 

For me the planning and expectation is a big part of a holiday. I would absolutely hate the idea of leaving the planning or any decisions about where we went etc.

 

I know other who are happy to just turn up and see where they end up. A good friend of mine can rarely tell me where their cruise is going before they set off.

 

We are all different, and therefore I would never be so stupid to just say to a stranger that they should or should not use a TA, and more than I would tell them what to do in other areas in their life.

 

This thread has predictably moved from your original question towards one of the many general "use a TA or not" discussions, which really don't add much.

 

From what I have read from your comments, you seem to be relatively comfortable going either way. Given Covid there is probably a bit of an advantage to using a TA if you are booking multiple elements (so you don't end up with a non cancellable flight if the cruise is cancelled), but it also isn't too tricky to avoid. I have just cancelled my flights and hotels for the August cruise that was just cancelled. However, from what you are saying that would be the main reason for using a TA in this case.

 

You seem fairly clued up, so I would suggest that you can answer your original question better than we can. Hopefully some of your specific queries have been clarified along the way.

 

Yes - you have pretty much nailed it spot on. I now have the crux of what I was wondering - the "am I missing something that I might not be familiar with for NCL bookings?. It sounds like there is not any difference in price offering (not like other lines) but maybe some perks with TA's for NCL.

 

It does appear NCL's flight bookings and promos are somewhat convoluted for my tastes, so that likely removes direct booking for me.  We will stick with a TA or air agency vacation booking package to couple the flight and cruise as a package where we can choose our flights.

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I like to research myself. Using a TA will make me feel "maybe missing something".  And a TA can't add anything to your NCL cruise sold over here, NCL is simply not a big player. Last NCL cruise booked with TA came with €80 OBC. Thats not worth listen to "can't help you, your'e booked by TA" at the hotline...

 

We prefer NCL bookings.

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well - since I started the thread - and I am sure you are now all on the edge of you seat as to our TA or NCL ordeal (NOT!) haha - we booked on-line  NCL with the help of a PCC.

 

We were taken in at an AMAZING rate for the flight promo to Australia in 2022-2023-  of just CAN$1350 for both of us form Toronto - hard to get that rate for just one of us!. As it turned out I could not get access to that flight option anywhere besides NCL's site (not sure it was even valid) - so we had no choice. but to nab it on-line with NCL. We used a PCC as well as I had the booking on hold and wasn't sure how to get and add a CruiseFirst certificate before completing the booking - so someone did that for me.

 

Australia/New Zealand - March 2023 - here we come!!! 

 

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I use to book directly with the cruise lines but switched to a TA for all my cruise bookings.  The reason I did so comes down to dollars.  Depending on the cruise line I either get lower pricing or refundable OBC from the TA.  The discount or refundable OBC is in the range of 8% (varies with each cruise) of the total costs.  My TA also is also considered an AMEX travel partner and I receive additional benefits (OBC and perks) by using an AMEX Platinum that I would not receive booking directly with NCL or any other cruise line.

 

Other components of travel - flights, hotels, insurance, etc. I handle on my own.

 

If not for the savings I would book direct with the cruise line. 

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I never use a TA and I have yet to find anyone who can match let alone beat the offers I get.  I do not want to have to contact a third party any time I need something.  That "they can help you if something goes wrong"  point is absurd.  I have never had a thing go wrong and if it does I do not want to have to track down a T/A and then them track down NCL.  I'll handle it myself.

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59 minutes ago, MoCruiseFan said:

I never use a TA and I have yet to find anyone who can match let alone beat the offers I get.  I do not want to have to contact a third party any time I need something.  That "they can help you if something goes wrong"  point is absurd.  I have never had a thing go wrong and if it does I do not want to have to track down a T/A and then them track down NCL.  I'll handle it myself.

amen! brother!

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1 hour ago, MoCruiseFan said:

Ihat "they can help you if something goes wrong"  point is absurd.  I have never had a thing go wrong and if it does I do not want to have to track down a T/A and then them track down NCL.  I'll handle it myself.

I wouldn't agree that the point is absurd. Things do go wrong, and there are different preferences as to how people are able to deal with them.

 

In the past few years we have had cancelled cruises, Covid, itinerary changes, flight changes, all manner of things.

 

As an example, a few years ago we went to Orlando for a couple of weeks at the same time as some friends. We booked everything independently and they booked through a TA. Both of us used American for part of our flights and a few months out there were schedule changes which meant that our both of our original flights no longer worked. They contacted their TA who rearranged with a new schedule that I would have hated. They were very happy at not having to do anything else. I phoned American and rearranged for a schedule that worked for us (and we got there with a lot less hassle than them), so we were happy.

 

I wouldn't have wanted to do it their way and they didn't want to do it my way. We were both happy.

 

It is all personal preference.

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Last cancelled cruise: TA in Lockdown, closed for weeks, NCL on phone: can't help, you're booked by TA...

 

I'm sorry, but this was our last TA booked vacation. 

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During the Ash Cloud crisis, Costa removed all guests on to the pier in Dubai that hadn’t booked directly with them.

Its a fact, I was one of them, we were abandoned, the TA and insurance said it was an act of God and didn’t take any liability, since on book directly, and not with Costa.

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Our TA has saved us thousands over the years. On any one cruise will save from $500-$1500 depending on the cabin. That includes getting extra OBC. Haven't had an issue yet, on our last cruise we booked an mini suite and upgraded to a Haven. Still got a better deal than booking direct with NCL.

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On 4/13/2021 at 5:38 PM, MoCruiseFan said:

I never use a TA and I have yet to find anyone who can match let alone beat the offers I get. 

Uh, oh.

Does this mean that I have to give back the 3 or 4 cruises (of 40-50 days total) that have been fully paid for by the savings we've garnered by using a TA? 

On the 4 sailings we did between October 2019 and March 2020 alone, those savings were in excess of $6000.   And since 3 of the 4 were group pricing, they were actual keep-in-your-pocket savings, not OBC. 

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20 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Uh, oh.

Does this mean that I have to give back the 3 or 4 cruises (of 40-50 days total) that have been fully paid for by the savings we've garnered by using a TA? 

On the 4 sailings we did between October 2019 and March 2020 alone, those savings were in excess of $6000.   And since 3 of the 4 were group pricing, they were actual keep-in-your-pocket savings, not OBC. 

Ditto, if you are  not saving money by using a TA you are using the wrong one. I always price the cruise out with NCL then our TA. I never say what the NCL price, I'm sure the TA knows what it is anyway Lol. Booking with a TA has always been cheaper, even with NCL's best perks and OBC.

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I think I know the answer but because I don't know for sure I'll go ahead and ask it anyways. We tend to spend enough money on NCL cruises in the casino that we end up booking our cruises direct through NCL Casinos at Sea and receive some nice perks that way. My question is would it be possible for a TA (Big Box or other) to do any bookings through CAS on our behalf or do we need to deal directly with CAS ourselves? Anyone know for certain?

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