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rez667

booking question

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How do you prefer to book your cruise?  I used to use a PVP on Carnival religiously.  We are going to start taking Royal Carribean, but I don't know if it's worth calling a Royal sales rep, or a local travel agent. any feedback is welcome.  Thanks y'all ❤️ 

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We have always used a TA for all of our cruises. Particularly because we aren't loyal to any one line. Our TA knows us well; knows our likes and preferences, and has never steered us wrong. He has also been able to get us extra perks or better pricing than we might have gotten for ourselves. A few months ago he was able to reprice our next cruise, saving us over $700.

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I do all the research including making a provisional booking, then hand it over to our T/A to confirm, so we get the OBC.

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We typically book with an on line TA.  It goes far beyond the additional OBC that she provides.

 

She has given us recent customer feedback on ships that we would never get from a cruise line employee.  On one occasion she added us to a group booking that saved us money.  On another,  she threw in a complementary full day Caribbean excursion that included a very nice lunch at a top flight restaurant. 

 

Once, when we were about to book a late booking cruise she advised us strongly to wait another week.  Sure enough that late booking fare went down considerably again  and saved us a nice chunk of change.  Would a cruise line employee do that?  I do not think so.

Edited by iancal

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3 minutes ago, iancal said:

We typically book with an on line TA.  It goes far beyond the additional OBC that she provides.

 

She has given us recent customer feedback on ships that we would never get from a cruise line employee.  On one occasion she added us to a group booking that saved us money.  On another,  she threw in a complementary full day Caribbean excursion that included a very nice lunch at a top flight restaurant. 

 

Once, when we were about to book a late booking cruise she advised us strongly to wait another week.  Sure enough that late booking fare went down considerably again  and saved us a nice chunk of change.  Would a cruise line employee do that?  I do not think so.

Are you allowed to say which company?  I feel like a new cruiser again. It is kind of exciting, but I am lost as to where to start :-/

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18 minutes ago, mom says said:

We have always used a TA for all of our cruises. Particularly because we aren't loyal to any one line. Our TA knows us well; knows our likes and preferences, and has never steered us wrong. He has also been able to get us extra perks or better pricing than we might have gotten for ourselves. A few months ago he was able to reprice our next cruise, saving us over $700.

I was able to get this done with my PVP on Carnival, but I had to watch the prices myself.  Did your TA watch for price drops, or was that your responsibility?

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1 hour ago, rez667 said:

Are you allowed to say which company?  I feel like a new cruiser again. It is kind of exciting, but I am lost as to where to start 😕

 

We aren't allowed to name TAs on CC.  I would say that the choice depends totally on your TA.  We have a wonderful TA  whom we have been using for more than 10 years.  She is worth her weight in gold.

 

DON

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We use one of the big online TA'S. They do not price check we have to do that ourselves, if we see a price drop it is just a quick call to be repriced.  Only real advantage to a TA is the extra perks, usually get pre paid grats and a specialty dinner.  Even when we book direct with the cruise line we call the TA and let them take it over, must be done within 60 days on Royal. 

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4 hours ago, rez667 said:

Are you allowed to say which company?  I feel like a new cruiser again. It is kind of exciting, but I am lost as to where to start 😕

 

3 hours ago, donaldsc said:

We aren't allowed to name TAs on CC...

 

Howdy rez667! emo22.gif

 

Thank you for your first thread on the Ask a Cruise Question forum and welcome to Cruise Critic! 👍

 

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Princess also requires bookings made through them to be transferred to your TA within 60 days. 

 

Today I was transferring two Holland America cruises, which I had booked directly with HAL, to my TA. Apparently Holland America has just introduced this same 60 day transfer policy. I was OK with one which I booked recently but the other was booked in June and was past the 60 days. My TA spoke with the HAL agent and they were able to freeze my cabin and then cancelled my June booking and re-booked it with today's date with the TA now gaining control of the booking. In doing so I will now receive the TA's agency's perks. I always book directly with the cruise lines so I can select and quickly reserve my cabin once I select the one I want. If I didn't care about cabin location and type I would just use the TA. I prefer my method. It works for us.

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I use a TA, but may book myself or have her book.

 

She does check for, and apply price drops.  And has been very helpful in everything I have asked.

 

And I get some OBC based on the final fare.

 

If you know what you want, other than OBC, what benefit would you get from using one?  
 

Up to you.

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3 hours ago, SRF said:

I use a TA, but may book myself or have her book.

 

She does check for, and apply price drops.  And has been very helpful in everything I have asked.

 

And I get some OBC based on the final fare.

 

If you know what you want, other than OBC, what benefit would you get from using one?  
 

Up to you.

In Ontario we have a government back traveller's insurance which compensates us in case the TA agency goes out of business, and also offers complaint resolutions, among other things.

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We used a TA on a every cruise except our most recent one which we booked with the cruise line.

We had a great TA then he retired and after that we have tried to find someone as good as him but we never have.

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On 11/8/2019 at 4:10 PM, 4everOrcruiser said:

In Ontario we have a government back traveller's insurance which compensates us in case the TA agency goes out of business, and also offers complaint resolutions, among other things.

 

With my TA all payments are made directly to the cruise line.

 

So if they were to close their doors, I would just have to contact the cruise line to get my reservation back in my hands.

 

And I would not get the promises OBC.

 

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I use a PCC on Holland America (our most frequent line), am using a PVP on Princess (have re-fared SIX times!), and handled my own booking last year on our only RCI so far. I could NOT figure out if they even have the equivalent of PCC/PVP! Also with their dynamic pricing I once re-fared myself three times in one afternoon/evening including after any travel agent would have been out of the office and unavailable.

 

One thing I am encountering this year on HAL is gross failure to show all available cabins on-line! I cannot figure out why they are doing this. So for the two bookings I have outstanding, I made a list of acceptable cabins and, with the deckplan in front of me, had my PCC look up and confirm availability then book. For one cruise way out in 2021, even SHE had to call "inventory" to confirm. Cabin choice is very important to me!

 

 

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14 hours ago, crystalspin said:

including after any travel agent would have been out of the office and unavailable.

 

That depends on your travel agent.

 

Mine seems to work 24/7 and even answers email while in vacation. 😄

 

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On 11/11/2019 at 12:18 PM, crystalspin said:

I use a PCC on Holland America (our most frequent line), am using a PVP on Princess (have re-fared SIX times!), and handled my own booking last year on our only RCI so far. I could NOT figure out if they even have the equivalent of PCC/PVP! Also with their dynamic pricing I once re-fared myself three times in one afternoon/evening including after any travel agent would have been out of the office and unavailable.

 

One thing I am encountering this year on HAL is gross failure to show all available cabins on-line! I cannot figure out why they are doing this. So for the two bookings I have outstanding, I made a list of acceptable cabins and, with the deckplan in front of me, had my PCC look up and confirm availability then book. For one cruise way out in 2021, even SHE had to call "inventory" to confirm. Cabin choice is very important to me!

 

 

I too am very particular about the location of my cabin. I prefer mid ship near the elevators and on the Upper Promenade deck. 

Failing mid ship I will opt for a location close to the rear elevators.

 

I am also finding Holland America's web site to be much less user friendly than it was a few years ago. It used to be quite easy to maneuver around and check for available cabins but not so much now. I will usually have multiple web sites and travel agencies open just to see which cabins are available. Once I select the must suitable then I will immediately call HAL and make my booking.

It used to be we had until final payment to transfer the booking to my local TA but this has just changed with HAL. They now (same as Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity) require the booking to be made no later than 60 days after the initial booking with HAL. Found this out last week for an Alaska cruise I had booked back in June, 2019. I was transferring a Princess cruise for this February so I decided to do both at the same time, thinking I had lots of time with my Alaska Sept booking. HAL informed my TA of their recent changes. My TA had the HAL agent lock in my cabin, then cancelled my booking and then re-booked it and transferred it to her. A bit more work but well worth it as the TA agency offered many shipboard perks and I still retained my cabin.

BTW, sorry I don't know the meaning of your terms PCC and PVP. Thanks

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PCC and PVP are terms for a sort of personal travel representative within that line.

 

So like having a different TA for each line, but they work for the line, not for you.

 

I would prefer to use a TA that works for ME, and wants to make ME happy. 

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I have always done my own research and found exactly what I wanted to book, then called my travel agent.  He is always able to beat or sweeten the pot of what I could book myself.

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I normally book myself and transfer, or book on board (auto transfer) to my TA.

 

But we were looking for a specific cruise timing, that was not yet out.  So told the TA what we wanted, and the day the bookings for that  timeframe went live, she booked it.  They did not go live for the general public for a few days.

 

Same on a sale price.  I would have had to stay up to midnight to book, she booked it for me. 😄

 

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35 minutes ago, SRF said:

I normally book myself and transfer, or book on board (auto transfer) to my TA.

 

But we were looking for a specific cruise timing, that was not yet out.  So told the TA what we wanted, and the day the bookings for that  timeframe went live, she booked it.  They did not go live for the general public for a few days.

 

Same on a sale price.  I would have had to stay up to midnight to book, she booked it for me. 😄

 

It's great having a good reliable TA you can count on.

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