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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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I am working on organizing a group trip to Alaska in July of 2009. I have spoken with a travel agent about prices. The prices she quoted me are not lower than booking it myself through the Royal Caribbean website. Is this usual or should I look for a different travel agent? All the books I have read suggested that travel agents should be cheaper than the website published price.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:23 PM
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Royal Caribbean has a policy ( A STINKY ONE) which prevents travel agents from charging less for cruises than the cruise line does.

HOWEVER, since you have a group.... you should look for an agent who can set up group space, which will make the price somewhat cheaper, and will also include some perks.

I advise finding an agent very experienced in group cruises, and asking for a quote, and asking what perks they may be able to offer.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Travel Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by theresat
I am working on organizing a group trip to Alaska in July of 2009. I have spoken with a travel agent about prices. The prices she quoted me are not lower than booking it myself through the Royal Caribbean website. Is this usual or should I look for a different travel agent? All the books I have read suggested that travel agents should be cheaper than the website published price.
You have enough time to shop around a little. You could even call RCL and ask what their pricing policies are so that you know the whys and wherefores of the numbers that are quoted.

Some (most) cruise lines only have one price. These prices can change, sometimes on a daily basis but a good TA can match any other TA's price...including the cruise line. In some cases a TA may rebate some of his commission to give a lower price. Whether this is right or wrong I do not know, but some cruise lines will revoke his booking privileges if they catch him.

So try to learn a little more about pricing policies before you decide. Also, I don't know how large your group is, but be aware that the demand for Alaska is so great that you may find yourself swimming upstream against a very strong current as you look for discount pricing.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Be aware for "group" freebies you usually have to book 16 people in 8 cabins. Do you have that many?? Otherwise, I would look for a cruise discounter and book with the cheapest. Keep track of pricing trends YOURSELF, and immeditely contact the booking agent if you see a drop and request an adjustment.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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I'm a travel agent and the prices should be less for the group and there are points given to ghe group so that they can get things such as wine in the room, on board credit, private cocktail parties, bathrobes and more. I would be glad to work on your group and get you the best deal possible.

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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:36 PM
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Cheapest is not always the best - you want good customer service when it comes to a vacation. Go with someone with knowledge and good customer service so that things will run smooth for your group.

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Old April 22nd, 2008, 10:40 PM
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I always make my reservations direct with the cruise line. If my plans change before the final payment date I can always cancel the cruise with no penalty from a Travel Agent, if one were involved. Another good reason to make your initial booking direct with the cruise line is that you can always move the booking to a TA, if at some later date a better deal comes along. I have done this often and usually find the best deals with large on-line cruise brokers. Another reason is that if there is any problem, I have found that it is much easier to deal direct with the cruise line than to go through a middle man. Just my 2 cents worth. If your group is large enough you can also make group bookings direct with the cruise line at a very good discount.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:59 PM
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I am a travel agent. I have seen with booking a group with RCL that the group prices can be higher. Ask you agent to check pricing in the group pricing and without group pricing.
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