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Throwing in the booking towel: no longer going to use my TA, and book directly with C&A


pcur
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14 hours ago, ChC said:

I always book direct online or on rare occasions on the ship. But it never gives me any perks. Being a younger generation, booking direct online is what I do and feel comfortable with. Yet I am more frustrated cruise by cruise because I basically get noting, no free onboard spending (unless you book onboard), no prepaid gratuities, no surprising voucher for thanking me booking online to save RCL agent fees...On one recent cruise, the onboard sales person was surprised that I do not have TA, because the person said a lot of people book in NextCruise and send the booking to their TA so the TA give perks like prepaid gratuities, drink packages etc. It made me feeling bad for save RCL agent fees.

 

Go figure.

Yes, CHC, This!!!!  Book through RC, then transfer to a TA because they will give you extra $$$ and perks.  She lead you to the water….. up to you to drink and take advantage of it now.  Listen to the advice!

 

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Agreed.    This is what I do.   2 years ago I booked a GS for family of 4.   Paid $4500.   Got $300 OBC from RCI NextCruise.   $400 Cash back from TA;  $400 Cash Back for Airline tickets from TA; and $50 OBC for TA loyalty program.      

 

The TA deals aren't nearly as good now, but still better than nothing.

 

Have a $9K cruise coming up, getting $750 cash back from TA and another $75 OBC for TA loyalty.

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Maybe I’m looking at this wrong🤷‍♀️.  My TA is doing a ton of work for me.  I don’t pay her anything, the cruise line does.  Any perks I get from her come out of her commission.  So not only do I not pay her but I want her to give me a cut of her pay??  Does she really get that much?  I’ve already told her I don’t want ANY gifts left in my room or such as I feel like she’s earned every penny and that’s thanks enough.  I suppose I’m just being naive 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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I’m ready for a new TA. She used to be good, but before the pandemic she really messed up one of my bookings by rebooking a price drop as a NRD (originally refundable) then refused to take responsibility or fix it. I continued to use her because she still gave me good OBC, but I’ve been meaning to find a new TA. Every time I email her she responds to half my questions, and if she doesn’t know something, she tells me Royal or C&A would know. She also stills owes me the OBC I was supposed to get from my last cruise. 

 

I don’t need a ton of service, I do all my own research, planning, and often the booking itself, so I need a good TA who will be responsive, fix issues when they happen, look out for price drops, and give a good refund or OBC. Someone who has access to good group rates would be good too. 

 

I know we can’t advertise TA’s on here, but if someone could help me find a new one that would be greatly appreciated. My email is cruiselifemaui@gmail.com

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7 hours ago, kmorg1234 said:

But does he give you amazing OBCs or rebates on the cruises you have booked?  It makes a HUGE difference-they are making a ton of money that they can be sharing with you.

 

The huge Travel Agencies are making money, the individual TA's not so much.  Our TA is a very good friend who used to do corporate travel for my DH's company.  She now does personal travel for friends and family.  They make a commission and she occasionally puts together group cruises for church and family, but is hardly making a huge amount of money.  I can call her at anytime as they consider us family.  We don't get OBC or anything from them and I would never use a TA just because of those.  We get personal service and have a long friendship with them. OBC would be them giving up some of the relatively small commission they receive.  The large TA's do a lot of group and block bookings which increases their income and I don't begrudge them making money anymore than I begrudge anyone working for their income and have zero expectations that anyone owes me anything they have.

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47 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 

 

I don’t need a ton of service, I do all my own research, planning, and often the booking itself, so I need a good TA who will be responsive, fix issues when they happen, look out for price drops, and give a good refund or OBC. Someone who has access to good group rates would be good too. 

 

 

Sounds like a good amount of service to me.  

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On 9/16/2021 at 10:12 PM, poocher said:

I’ve never CALLED my TA for a price drop or really anything.  Quick email, she normally gets back to me within 24 hrs with whatever I’ve asked answered/fixed/adjusted usually later the same day.  Why would you want to be on hold while they’re on hold with RCCL?  

Me either. Why would I need to be on hold to get a price drop?

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15 hours ago, poocher said:

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong🤷‍♀️.  My TA is doing a ton of work for me.  I don’t pay her anything, the cruise line does.  Any perks I get from her come out of her commission.  So not only do I not pay her but I want her to give me a cut of her pay??  Does she really get that much?  I’ve already told her I don’t want ANY gifts left in my room or such as I feel like she’s earned every penny and that’s thanks enough.  I suppose I’m just being naive 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️


That's the way I look at it.  

I also get cheap rooms on cheap cruises most of the time, so my TA isn't earning a huge commission because my cruise isn't expensive.  

My TA is doing a great job, and I'm grateful for the service and the fact that I don't have to call Royal for anything.  I don't need gifts or extra cash back.  

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22 hours ago, kmorg1234 said:

Yes, CHC, This!!!!  Book through RC, then transfer to a TA because they will give you extra $$$ and perks.  She lead you to the water….. up to you to drink and take advantage of it now.  Listen to the advice!

 

We have been with our current TA for over five years and she's been wonderful.  She has taken care of ever issue and request that I have made of her.   

 

I keep reading about TA Discounts. OBC, and perks but I have never received any of these.  This has me wondering if I should start looking for a new TA? 

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21 minutes ago, DaKahuna said:

We have been with our current TA for over five years and she's been wonderful.  She has taken care of ever issue and request that I have made of her.   

 

I keep reading about TA Discounts. OBC, and perks but I have never received any of these.  This has me wondering if I should start looking for a new TA? 

Simple answer.... YES!

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7 minutes ago, Sam.Seattle said:

Simple answer.... YES!

Thanks.  I will start my research.  

 

At the top of the list if to look for a site where I can find help with the names of ones to avoid.  Unfortunately CC rules forbid naming names so researching here will not be helpful.

 

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On 9/18/2021 at 5:38 AM, poocher said:

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong🤷‍♀️.  My TA is doing a ton of work for me.  I don’t pay her anything, the cruise line does.  Any perks I get from her come out of her commission.  So not only do I not pay her but I want her to give me a cut of her pay??  Does she really get that much?  I’ve already told her I don’t want ANY gifts left in my room or such as I feel like she’s earned every penny and that’s thanks enough.  I suppose I’m just being naive 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I'm with you.  I want my TA to make as much as possible.  He has saved me thousands and his customer service  is off the charts.  If he were turning over gobs of his commission to me and other clients in order to attract and retain business he would need to do twice the volume to generate the same income thus impacting his ability to deliver his 5 star service. Free grats or dinner in a specialty restaurant, a bottle of wine or a little OBC mean nothing when service is compromised.  How many threads do we see, like this one, complaining about service from a TA every month.  When I sold my home I didn't want the real estate agent offering the lowest commission rate, I wanted the agent with the best closure rate. The same is true of my travel agent.  Thankfully I found one.

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9 hours ago, DaKahuna said:

We have been with our current TA for over five years and she's been wonderful.  She has taken care of ever issue and request that I have made of her.   

 

I keep reading about TA Discounts. OBC, and perks but I have never received any of these.  This has me wondering if I should start looking for a new TA? 

No, your first sentence answers your second sentence. I'm reminded of a famous quote by Ben Franklin.

 

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”


 Benjamin Franklin

Edited by Tree_skier
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My TA give OBC based strictly on cruise cost.  It really isn’t worth it to me to give her a cruise under 3k. For $100 OBC I’d rather watch for price drops or cabin upgrades that occur on the weekends.  When we book suites, cruise tours or with more expensive lines like Viking I do give them over to her as the OBC is worth it. 

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4 hours ago, poocher said:

Sorry, you’ve been with the same TA for 5 years.  She’s handled every issue and request.  She’s wonderful.  And you’re dumping her?!?!?

No.  I was just wondering out loud about whether I should or not.  Someone said yes but seems now there are differing opinions. 

 

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2 hours ago, cruiselvr04 said:

My TA give OBC based strictly on cruise cost.  It really isn’t worth it to me to give her a cruise under 3k. For $100 OBC I’d rather watch for price drops or cabin upgrades that occur on the weekends.  When we book suites, cruise tours or with more expensive lines like Viking I do give them over to her as the OBC is worth it. 

So if a price drop occurs on a weekend, your TA can’t do it?  

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Basically there are 2 schools of thought here.

 

1.  Use a TA based on the perks you get for doing so.  This may or may not affect the service you receive if and when you need it.  Your primary concern is perks.

2.  Use a TA that gives personal and consistent customer service.  You may or may not need a high level of service but it is available if you do.

 

Neither approach is wrong and the perfect TA would be a little of both.  When/if someone finds this perfect TA, please let us all know!

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the issue with those price drops is that many times they are capacity controlled and sometimes only last hours. You can miss many a price drop waiting for a TA. My wife checks every cruise at least once and sometimes more a day and gets in on those quick changes. This is especially true on airline tickets. Anyway, if you like your TA, then great. For us, that "free" bottle of wine in the room is not worth the hassle of dealing with them.

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As far as I know, and like your wife, I check daily, I have never been told that my TA missed/was unable to get me a price drop.  Days, nights, weekends, holidays, she’s never missed one.  And when she is on vacation, she sends me the email address of the agent covering for her.  

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51 minutes ago, spunks said:

the issue with those price drops is that many times they are capacity controlled and sometimes only last hours. You can miss many a price drop waiting for a TA. My wife checks every cruise at least once and sometimes more a day and gets in on those quick changes. This is especially true on airline tickets. Anyway, if you like your TA, then great. For us, that "free" bottle of wine in the room is not worth the hassle of dealing with them.

I’d like to know where you are getting price protection on airfare!?!

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1 hour ago, brillohead said:


Sounds like that TA just keeps "office hours" on weekdays from 9-5.  I'll stick with my guy, who is always available, pretty much 24/7/365!

My TA works M-F, 8-5.  On weekends, there is staff available to service bookings, i.e., change of cabins, price decreases, etc.  It's not a "big box" per se, but it is a very large one.

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On 9/16/2021 at 10:28 PM, brillohead said:

It DEFINITELY depends on the TA.  A big box store or online agency is totally different than the experience you get with an individual TA that you actually know.  

I handle everything via email, maybe one phone call in the last couple years, and that was because he had some questions that were faster/easier to discuss on the phone.  Price drops, room changes, bookings, payments, weird questions -- I just send a quick email and it gets taken care of.  


But if I had huge wait times like the OP, I'd be dropping my TA in a heartbeat.  What's the point of having a TA if you have to do a bunch of work / waiting on hold????

 

Same experience here.


I send an email with an issue.  Shortly, I get an email back that everything is taken care of.

 

I don't have to look for price drops, my TA checks every day and gets them applied and then tells ME.

 

You just need a new TA.

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