Cruise Planner, great advice. I have a couple of questions you may be able to clarify for me. I've been booking my own travel, including cruises, forever but recently have grown very tired and very frustrated with RC's C&A reps. Either I get bad information, get shuffled around (one actually put me back into the queue when I said I was switching my sailing) and another C&A rep sent me to the B2B person who then sent me to a "cruise consultant" who didn't know what they were talking about. All I wanted to do was change my sailing to another ship. After finally getting the cruise changed, they locked me out of my reservation (for payment purposes) and it took another 3 hours on the phone to get it released.
I contacted a TA a friend uses for cruises. I explained why I was engaging the TA (so I wouldn't have to deal with C&A ever again) and said I wanted a mid-ship Concierge cabin on a Celebrity cruise to Alaska. I also asked since I'm Diamond with RC if there were any additional benefits beyond the Elite that I would get with a Concierge cabin. The TA quoted me the lowest rates for balcony and concierge cabins but none were mid-ship. She told me to call RC to find out what the benefits were when booking Celebrity's concierge cabins so I could compare them myself. When I asked for mid-ship cabin quote she said she would suggest cabins to me at the time of booking but, of course, the rates she quoted wouldn't be the same as the mid-ship cabin. Apparently, the benefit of booking with TAs (or at least this one) is that they pay the gratituties and offer a small OBC, neither of which is a deal maker for me. Is this typical? This is a huge on-line agency and should I have to do basic research (like what the benefits of being Elite or that come with a Concierge cabin)?
All I really want is someone who is familiar enough with the cruise lines or willing to check to answer a few questions and give me quotes for the actual cabin type/location I want. I understand they don't book air/excursions but it seems like this TA only wants to book the cruise and leave me to do exactly what I was engaging her to do, deal with RC/Celebrity. Yeah, I'm a little frustrated, so I'm sorry if this is coming off harsh.
Thanks in advance.