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37 minutes ago, labradorsunseeker said:

Sorry, this might be an old question but who gives the better deals?  Travel agents or Norwegian directly?  Getting different prices when I google.

Googling won't give  you the information you're looking for.  TA are not allowed to advertise pricing different from the cruise lines.  They can offer some small amounts of OBC which might be the differences you're seeing.  

You'll need to call the TA to get the best prices.  BTW, most of the big name TA do not compete on price so calling them won't help.

To give  you an idea of what a real TA can do, I use a TA that offers about an 8% discount on all cruise lines.  I found her through another frequent poster on CC.  

It is  unfortunate but CC won't allow us to name specific TA.  Perhaps you've noticed that there are some TA that do advertise on the "Deals" or "Find a Cruise" tabs here on CC.  They're not the ones who do discounts.  Every time I get a survey from CC that asks what can they do better, I mention allowing posters to name TA.

What you can do is do an inventory of organizations you do business with.  Many of them have TA services often at a discount.  Are you a member of a warehouse chain?  Try them.  The best thing to do is develop a list and call and ask for their pricing.  You can always go somewhere else.  On  your next cruise, ask your fellow passengers who they  use.

One final word, unless your booking high end suites, it may not be worth the effort.  Saving 8% on an inside isn't the same as saving 8% on a Haven.

 

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49 minutes ago, labradorsunseeker said:

Sorry, this might be an old question but who gives the better deals?  Travel agents or Norwegian directly?  Getting different prices when I google.

 

47 minutes ago, labradorsunseeker said:

Should add, our first cruise--most expensive with less benefits through a TA.  next few I booked myself through different sites.  Not sure anymore??

Some travel agents omit taxes and fees from their prices while the cruise lines must include them. Always make sure you're comparing apples to apples...the bottom line after all taxes and fees.

In general you'll find that  the bottom line price of the travel agent and the cruise line are the same.  

We book through a trusted travel agency because we get extra benefits, most often in the form of on board credit not offered by the cruise line. In some cases we've received paid gratuities and in others a rebate after we return from the cruise. it all depends on the cruise line, the travel agency and any promotions offered. High producing travel agencies generally get paid higher commissions and can offer some benefits back to you as a result.

Edited by njhorseman
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I have used the same TA for the last 5 bookings. They have always had the same prices as NCL, unless they had a Group Booking of cabins available. I do however get OBC. Usually in the 5-10% range of what I paid.

 

Personally, regular customer service at NCL is terrible and inconsistent (you can get 3 different answers from 3 different agents) and my TA will get the exact answer and will make sure it is honored. Its alot easier to call my TA because they work for you, not the cruise line and has their clients best interest in mind.

Also, there is usually a thank you card in my cabin from my agent and either a snake or a bottle of wine waiting for my when I board. 

 

I have booked direct with a cruise line before, but prefer my TA because they actually take care of you (if you get a good TA).

 

I would gladly post my TA's name but CC won't let you because TA's advertise with them and they would loose their advertising revenue. 

 

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16 hours ago, labradorsunseeker said:

Sorry, this might be an old question but who gives the better deals?  Travel agents or Norwegian directly?  Getting different prices when I google.

TA all the way. I always price with and without a TA. Our TA always comes out way ahead in the total price. The cruise is cheaper, the amount of OBC is more

 

Send me a message and I'll tell you who we use

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2 hours ago, zerooveride said:

I have used the same TA for the last 5 bookings. They have always had the same prices as NCL, unless they had a Group Booking of cabins available. I do however get OBC. Usually in the 5-10% range of what I paid.

 

Personally, regular customer service at NCL is terrible and inconsistent (you can get 3 different answers from 3 different agents) and my TA will get the exact answer and will make sure it is honored. Its alot easier to call my TA because they work for you, not the cruise line and has their clients best interest in mind.

Also, there is usually a thank you card in my cabin from my agent and either a snake or a bottle of wine waiting for my when I board. 

 

I have booked direct with a cruise line before, but prefer my TA because they actually take care of you (if you get a good TA).

 

I would gladly post my TA's name but CC won't let you because TA's advertise with them and they would loose their advertising revenue. 

 

They must really be a great TA if you have stuck with them after having a snake sent to your room!  😉

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3 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

They must really be a great TA if you have stuck with them after having a snake sent to your room!  😉

Snacks . . . dang autocorrect

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Like others, a TA for sure.  Always get 10-13% back on OBC which is huge.  I do all my own research so all I use the TA for is book the cruise and "call you next time."  I

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After many years of cruising and booking both with and without a TA, I finally found a TA who is worth her weight in gold.  Am I getting a better price than the cruiseline?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  But what she offers in knowledge and service is way more important to me.  I  cannot imagine having had to navigate all the Covid changes without her.  And like others have mentioned,  it's a shame we can't mention her name.

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8 hours ago, labradorsunseeker said:

Thank you to everyone for your help.  I guess I will find myself a travel agent!

 

Some were mentioned between the lines. :classic_happy:

 

As said above, try more than one for a good comparison. As an European we love US based TA's for the relaxed policies and extra's. Selling cruises in Europe is still a bit of an high end market than it is in the US. For me; I tend to be a smart cruiser for most of the time. But I also like my vacations to go sometimes. We just book online, do our own research for a good cabin and appreciate the extra OBC or packages. Others use a TA for price drop tracking or for/as a contingency plan. 

 

Good luck with finding an online TA that suits your needs!

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One place you might want to check is NCL's website. At the very bottom of the page you will see "travel partners" and click "find an agent" and search your area....from my basic understanding, these should be agents that know the NCL product very well. Also, (the list in my area) they are locals, not big box outlets, which will give you the service that you are looking for. 

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