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Paul Motter December 1st, 2010 04:09 PM

Cruise Line Sales Calls
How many of you have ever received a sales call directly from a cruise line - and how did it go?

AF1 December 1st, 2010 07:36 PM

I received a phone call two months ago from a Royal Caribbean Certified Vacation Planner. She said she noticed I had visited their website and put a hold on a few cruises; she said was I still planning on booking a cruise; and if so, she would help me with the process. I mentioned to her that I had already booked thru a travel agent. She said thank you and if I had any questions to please call her.

Dave Beers December 1st, 2010 09:38 PM

I've had several calls over the past couple of years. As with AF1, after I had researched some cruises on the Royal Caribbean website I received numerous calls which went unanswered by me. I finally picked up the phone on one of their calls and told them I had a cruise already booked through my agent. RCI was persistent. So am I in screening calls but I finally got sick of it and now I know to nip it in the bud early or else they won't stop calling.

Carnival did the same thing after I did nothing more than go to their website and order a hardcopy brochure. A PVP called several times before they gave up. In that case I never talked to them.

Snoozeman December 1st, 2010 10:16 PM

I used to get a lot.

If you list a preferred TA on your profile they will NOT call you.
(their own rules)

Mike M December 1st, 2010 10:17 PM

Over the years I have received calls from NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Each time I have told them I use my own travel agent and haven't heard back from them.

It's probably been two or three years since I received a sales call.

Take care,

green_rd December 2nd, 2010 09:04 AM

I received a call from NCL after registering on their website. They sent me some materials but never followed up.

I have been offered and cruise/resort package from the old Carnival Sea Miles card. Didn't take them up on the offer.

Dave Beers December 2nd, 2010 11:47 AM

In my case both RCI and Carnival have my agent listed. Her agency even shows up at the top of the Carnival website. Yet they called anyway - breaking their rule.

I've recalled more information about this and I now remember contacting my agent after Carnival called and telling her about it. As you can guess she was outraged and contacted her sales rep. After that I received no more calls.

With RCI - after I had researched the cruise on their site I had my agent make the booking. The phone call came after the booking was made and appeared on the RCI website in my account. I find it hard to believe someone from RCI calling me didn't have my account information showing I had already booked the cruise via my agent.

itrek December 3rd, 2010 08:39 AM

Yeah Carnival and RCCL both called me a couple times recently after I did a cruise search on their web sites. I just asked them to put me on their "no call list" and the calls stopped. No big deal.

Paul Motter December 3rd, 2010 11:22 AM

Well, I have to say it is far more persistent than even I thought.

As we all noted, it would be different if that had our travel agents listed. And if they called and said "we can credit your travel agent for the commission even if you book directly with us."

But the problrm is deeper - the KNOW that some (probably most) people don't really believe that commission are "free" to the consumer, and if the direct caller just hints they can save money by buying direct (and who doesn't basically believe that in most purchases anyway?) - then a person will be easily misled into thinking a direct buy will be cheaper than using an agent.

PLUS - I have had people tell me their caller said they had access to offers travel agents don't get. The day THAT happens we will see a revolt.

oboeplayer December 3rd, 2010 11:51 AM

Sales calls
I have had a few calls from cruise lines after I requested brochures, but not from just visiting their website. However, my regular travel agent began charging a $25 fee the last cruise we booked last year. It has made me rethink about booking directly with the cruise lines or finding another agent.

Paul Motter December 3rd, 2010 01:04 PM

The advantage to using a travel agent is that you get access to ship information from a number of cruise lines - not just one.

I guess in this day and age a lot of people feel confident enough about picking a ship that they bo longer need a travel agent.

Personally - I will keep using one.

Look at the new rules for late final payments from Princess and Cunard. If you are a day late your cruise is cancelled and you lose your deposit - no warnings, no grace period.

A travel agent would (should) not ever let than happen to you. She would call you a week ahead of time and remind you of what you need to do.

DebJ14 December 3rd, 2010 09:30 PM

Not only are they poaching clients via phone, but they are doing it on cruise ships. I have clients who I have had for years. I tried repeatedly to get them to try Carnival, but they stuck with Royal Caribbean. On their Voyager of the Seas cruise last spring they met a Carnival executive onboard. He gave them the name and number of a Carnival PVP and told them he would get them a special deal. After they were all booked, and paid they had all kinds of questions. The PVP was no longer with Carnival so they called me expecting me to service a booking made directly with Carnival. I have been on FAMS and seminars on Carnival and we are warned never to try to get customers onboard or we can lose the right to book. Yet, their own executives go out and do it. The client said he would have booked with me but was told that a travel agent could not get him as good a deal. I asked what he was paying and I could have gotten a better fare for them plus gotten upgrades. He qualified for both a residency rate and a senior fare, neither of which he got. They also did not get a bottle of wine or OBC from Carnival, which I would have given them. Between this, the phone calls and E-mails to my clients from the cruise lines and all the TA bashing on that other online forum I figure I will get out of the business in a year or two. I've been at it 18 years and am a CLIA Master Cruise Counsellor who has sailed on over 42 different ships, yet every Tom, Dick and Harry out there thinks they know it all when booking their first or second cruise. I love it when I see people complaining about rooms under the disco or over the main show room or find that they are denied boarding for failure to have proper documentation. Invariably, they were do it yourselfers.

Kuki December 3rd, 2010 09:44 PM

I am surprised to hear that a Carnival Ex would sail on RCI, and if he did, surprised he would identify himself.

I have been writing on this topic for a couple of years now on my blog, and I've been surprised there hasn't been an uproar from the travel agent community over it all.

Heck, years ago the uproar from TAs basically put Renaissance Cruise Line out of business, refusing to book their ships because of the direct selling policies.

I think TAs more than make their commissions in most cases. I don't know what it's going to take for that community to wake up before many fine agents disappear

CONVERT94 December 4th, 2010 02:23 AM

The world goes around
My storefront TA Maggie, sold me my first cruise on the old Rotterdam in 1983, then two more in '84 & '85. By the time I was ready to book again it was '88 and I booked online...I knew what I wanted and it was cheaper. My last sailing was in late '08 and it was online. If the cruise I want for 2011 is available through the cruise line cheaper than the internet, then that's where I'm going. Just as the online agencies took over the storefronts, etc. It's business. It's progress. Time marches on. I miss Maggie, I miss Woolworth's too. I got one phone call from RCCL. The guy was polite and I told him sorry. That was the end of that. Haven't heard a peep from HA,NCL,Celebrity or Princess.

DebJ14 December 5th, 2010 08:54 PM

I found out the name of the Carnival Exec from my clients and wrote him a letter telling him I did not appreciate him poaching my clients on a RCCL cruise. I also sent him print outs showing that the Carnival PVP did not give my client the best price. The only response was a form letter that said they received my letter and they would get back to me. NOTHING. I also called my DSM and complained.

Kuki December 5th, 2010 09:10 PM


If the cruise I want for 2011 is available through the cruise line cheaper than the internet, then that's where I'm going.
That's never going to happen. The best the cruise line can do is offer the same price as a travel agent (other than the rare agent who charges an extra service fee).

So, by booking direct, you may get the same price MINUS the services a travel agent includes.

CONVERT94 December 5th, 2010 10:30 PM


Originally Posted by Kuki (Post 1332615)
That's never going to happen. The best the cruise line can do is offer the same price as a travel agent (other than the rare agent who charges an extra service fee).

So, by booking direct, you may get the same price MINUS the services a travel agent includes.

I learned long,long ago: Never say never. See, I just said it.

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