Originally Posted by cruise planner
I didn't say you don't get a live person, I said you usually get ahold of someone who's never been on a cruise. And if you have any problems, they do not want to spend any time helping you because there's no money in it. There's only money in making reservations, not in providing service after the fact.
There was an article put our years ago that said when you call the cruise lines or these online sites, you're talking to someone who; 1) works in a call center, 2) is not a certified travel agent, 3) has worked for the company less than 6 months, and 4) has never even seen a ship let alone been on a cruise or to any of the ports. So their expertise is limited to taking your money, not in answering any questions about the cruise or the ports. They're in a hurry to take your money and get onto the next customer.
Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but those are a small percentage of the total that fit within the usual perimeters. The thing is these people work for a big company - they do not work for themselves. They get paid for making bookings. To spend time answering questions and providing good customer service takes time away from their number one priority.
We all know how frustrating it can be working with large companies. When you call them, it often starts off with a voice message that says, "Press 1 for English." Then it often takes 5 minutes to go through all the prompts before you actually get to talk to a real human being. Personally, I would much rather work with a small business anytime! They care more about me as a person than just another number.
I guess its time for an update then. Expedia Cruiseshipcenters is who you get now to book a cruise with. We are all full fledged travel agents with many, myself included, CLIA certified. Cruiseshipcenters runs a training program of its own that must be taken before you can book a cruise for anyone.
While not everyone has necessarily taken a cruise, neither have a lot of others. I have 43 cruises with many trips to islands and Europe in addition. Everyone in our office has cruised.
We all have a brick and mortar office where the client is welcome to attend if they wish. Since most are using an 800 number, they don't usually want to come into an office. Once you are connected with a travel agent through the 800 number that agent will give you a number at which they can be reached.
We are all more than willing to work with the client well after the cruise has been booked with any issues they may have.
There is certainly a lot more to us (Expedia). And we are not a call center.