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  #31 (permalink)  
Old May 25th, 2010, 06:23 AM
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We generally cruise 2 X a year, in spring & fall & our decision on which cruise depends upon if the trip is itinerary driven or not. If there is a certain place we are interseted in we check the lines on which we are willing to sail & see what they are offering & most often sail the one with the most attractive price.

I realize that everyone has their own opinions about TAs, but I have to chuckle when I hear someone say that they spend the same, or even save $$ by not booking with a TA. Really??? They must not be loooking very hard! While many lines do not allow discounting, there are a number of on-line TAs who give on board credits or pre-paid gratuities. We usually get $100 to $200 on board credit from our on line TA each time we sail. After booking, I keep track of what our sailing is sellingfor, & if I see a lesser price for a room that I'm interested in, I call my TA, & she changes it for me.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Rich...

I agree about the travel agent.

Even of you monitor your own prices a good travel agent will take care of getting the best rate for you when you tell them about a price drop. That is just that much less work you have to do yourself - not counting the extra discounts a travel agent can provide.

Plus, a GOOD travel agent has enough volume and clout to give you a perk once in awhile outside of the cruise line - on their own. So, if they cost you nothng, add a level of convenience and they can give you bonuses at times, why not use one, even if you micromanage your own booking?
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Old May 25th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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I booked Carnival early saver fare. Every time the price went down I got on board credit (OBC). I checked my cruise price everyday. If the price went down I put in my early saver request right away. I had nice OBC on my last cruise and I'm completely happy with the price I got. BTW the price I paid was only available one day; the next day the price jumped about $50 per person. A travel agent could have easily missed that price decrease if they weren't watching the prices everyday. If I didn't like to watch the prices or do the research; I would book with a Travel Agent and they would be a great way to go. However, I enjoy the hunt, research, and price watching.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Debra View Post
Katlady,

Great post!!!!

I agree with you 100% about having control over your vacation and have not used a TA for many years. You are right that NO Travel Agent will watch the prices as well as you and I do!!

Happy cruise planning,

Debra
I totally agree with you. I booked Early Saver fare on Carnival every time the price went down so did the Travel Agent's commission. So why would the Travel Agent be watching the prices as close a I do? So they could lose money on the price drop? Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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I too have a spreadsheet, not as elaborate, that lets me input the cost of the different room types, cruise lines and dates. I have an additional formula that adds on estimates for airfare based on port city, taxes/fees, pet sitting, transportation, and our typical on-board spending amount so we can see the "real" cost of a cruise. I then look through the spreadsheet to find the most affordable option at the best time and book.
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