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Better deal with Travel Agent?

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I am looking to book an Alaskan cruise for the summer of 2020.  It has been ages since I cruised there, the last time I used a travel agent that was able to get me a better deal on the cruise than I was able to get by booking directly with the cruise line.  Is that still the case?  I don't mind doing the work of booking it myself, but if there are discounts that are available through TA's that will save me some money, I will go that way.  Many Thanks!!!

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Since any TA can book the rates and promos that you can booking Direct , a Good One can always do something better for your business.

If you encounter a problem with your booking , a Good TA has many contacts, within the cruise line , to resolve things

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We use a TA and always get a lower price than what Princess has listed. 

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A good TA should be able to beat the cruise line price by about 10%, maybe a bit more or less depending upon....

 

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If you're comfortable with using one, go for it. It doesn't cost you anything and you can probably save some money. Especially if you ask nicely 😉

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15 hours ago, lauren009 said:

If you're comfortable with using one, go for it. It doesn't cost you anything and you can probably save some money. Especially if you ask nicely 😉

You don't even have to ask  :).  Just book online with most decent cruise agencies and you will do a lot better (7-10% is normal) then if you book direct with a cruise line.  The savings may not come from a price savings, but once you factor in On Board Credits and other amenities (such as pre-paid gratuities) the savings are decent.

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4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

You don't even have to ask  :).  Just book online with most decent cruise agencies and you will do a lot better (7-10% is normal) then if you book direct with a cruise line.  The savings may not come from a price savings, but once you factor in On Board Credits and other amenities (such as pre-paid gratuities) the savings are decent.

Without naming names.....have you experienced the online TAs accepting Carnival gift cards as payment?  I know I can always ask (as I did my current TA before purchasing), but that 10% covering all charges is more important to me than the gravy 7-10% you may get as OBC from the TA.  Thanks

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9 hours ago, soonernstlouis said:

Without naming names.....have you experienced the online TAs accepting Carnival gift cards as payment?  I know I can always ask (as I did my current TA before purchasing), but that 10% covering all charges is more important to me than the gravy 7-10% you may get as OBC from the TA.  Thanks

Sorry, but my experience with anything Carnival is very limited.  I will tell you that all of my cruise purchase transactions have been done on major credit cards.

 

Hank

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16 hours ago, soonernstlouis said:

Without naming names.....have you experienced the online TAs accepting Carnival gift cards as payment?  I know I can always ask (as I did my current TA before purchasing), but that 10% covering all charges is more important to me than the gravy 7-10% you may get as OBC from the TA.  Thanks

isn't a 10% rebate (gift card) about the same as a 10% OBC (as long as it's refundable)?

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1 hour ago, soonernstlouis said:

The gift card discount doesn’t exclude  taxes/port charges.

The Carnival website says there are no discounts available at this time.

"No, not at this time. Discounts are posted on carnival.ourgiftcards.com whenever available."

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It’s not gift cards directly thru Carnival.  Google AARP Rewards for Good.  There are many detailed posts on the Carnival board about this.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, soonernstlouis said:

It’s not gift cards directly thru Carnival.  Google AARP Rewards for Good.  There are many detailed posts on the Carnival board about this.

OK, but they're only good on carnival right?  My TA discounts all cruise lines.

I looked at the Verizon gift cards.  Too many restrictions.

Edited by RocketMan275

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Yes, Carnival gift cards are good only on Carnival.  Rewards for Good also offers discounted Royal Caribbean Gift Certificates (I don’t know how these redeem).

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

OK, but they're only good on carnival right?  My TA discounts all cruise lines.

My original point was that you may be able to use the discounted Carnival gift cards AND get the TA’s profit sharing.  Obviously if you use a cruise line where no discounted cards are available, the situation doesn’t apply to you.

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10 minutes ago, soonernstlouis said:

My original point was that you may be able to use the discounted Carnival gift cards AND get the TA’s profit sharing.  Obviously if you use a cruise line where no discounted cards are available, the situation doesn’t apply to you.

Thanks for sharing that.  I'm sure some will find it useful.  

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On 3/28/2019 at 4:30 PM, RocketMan275 said:

A good TA should be able to beat the cruise line price by about 10%, maybe a bit more or less depending upon....

 

 

I think the disclaimer is depending on your cruise. Most will give me nothing on an interior room in off-peak season.

 

An Alaska cruise with a balcony or higher? TAs are dying for that business.

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39 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

 

I think the disclaimer is depending on your cruise. Most will give me nothing on an interior room in off-peak season.

 

An Alaska cruise with a balcony or higher? TAs are dying for that business.

Any time you're offered a percentage discount, the actual amount of the discount will depend upon the value of the discounted item, ie,  10% of $1000 will be more than 10% of $100.  It also depends upon the cruise line.  My TA will give about 10% on almost any cruise line except Carnival.  I booked a honeymoon for my step-son on Carnival (the only cruise line that fit his schedule).  Even though I booked a suite, the TA was only able to give $25 obc.  She almost always gives 8-10% on other lines.  She apologized but said that Carnival commissions prevented her from doing better.

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My TA is quoting me exactly the same price as if I call the cruise line.   Worse (2nd time I've used him), I call him up and say "we're thinking of this cruise, can you look into what else is available" and couple hours later he'll call back and say (the cruise I mentioned) is the best deal available.  Feels like he's just regurgitating what I said and not really researching.  Definitely getting a "what's the point" (of using the TA) feeling.  I guess I'm just ranting !

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27 minutes ago, ChillEDog said:

My TA is quoting me exactly the same price as if I call the cruise line.   Worse (2nd time I've used him), I call him up and say "we're thinking of this cruise, can you look into what else is available" and couple hours later he'll call back and say (the cruise I mentioned) is the best deal available.  Feels like he's just regurgitating what I said and not really researching.  Definitely getting a "what's the point" (of using the TA) feeling.  I guess I'm just ranting !

He isn't the  only TA in town.  BTW, you don't need to use a TA that's in town either.  I live in Alabama and use one who is based in Ohio.  Just keep calling and asking about prices.  Also make sure they don't charge any fees not charged by the cruise lines.  Keep reading CC.  I know we can't mention TA's by name but sometimes people slip up and you'll get a lead on a good TA.  

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Not all TA's give a discount.  Ask around. Compare prices. Ask other passengers who they use 

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3 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

He isn't the  only TA in town.  BTW, you don't need to use a TA that's in town either.  I live in Alabama and use one who is based in Ohio.  Just keep calling and asking about prices.  Also make sure they don't charge any fees not charged by the cruise lines.  Keep reading CC.  I know we can't mention TA's by name but sometimes people slip up and you'll get a lead on a good TA.  

 

 

Exactly.  I live in Colorado and use a TA in Florida.

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16 hours ago, ChillEDog said:

My TA is quoting me exactly the same price as if I call the cruise line.   Worse (2nd time I've used him), I call him up and say "we're thinking of this cruise, can you look into what else is available" and couple hours later he'll call back and say (the cruise I mentioned) is the best deal available.  Feels like he's just regurgitating what I said and not really researching.  Definitely getting a "what's the point" (of using the TA) feeling.  I guess I'm just ranting !

A few years ago we were on a long HAL Grand Cruise and made friends with a fascinating lady (we share an interest in independent travel).  One evening she told us about her travel agent/friend and was thrilled because she had sent her a pretty good bottle of wine (worth about $100).  She asked us if our TA had given us any wine and the answer was no.  But our cruise agent had given us about $3000 of On Board Credit!  So my advice, which has not changed in over 20 years is very simple.  "Shop around among reputable high volume cruise agencies."  In nearly all cases you will find these agencies online (which is how they generate high volume sales).  I keep reminding my favorite cruise agent that I am loyal to her as long as she is loyal to me by giving me the best overall deal.   "Ranting" about a cruise/travel agent does not put money in your pocket.  You always have the power to take your business elsewhere.

 

Hank

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20 hours ago, ChillEDog said:

My TA is quoting me exactly the same price as if I call the cruise line.   Worse (2nd time I've used him), I call him up and say "we're thinking of this cruise, can you look into what else is available" and couple hours later he'll call back and say (the cruise I mentioned) is the best deal available.  Feels like he's just regurgitating what I said and not really researching.  Definitely getting a "what's the point" (of using the TA) feeling.  I guess I'm just ranting !

 Let him know that you are "shopping for a cruise" and he should change his tune. 

If not , you can do the looking up to see what else is available easily at Online sites with "cruise" in their name..

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