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Old August 8th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Default Travel Insurance Questions

We are trying to decide which TA to use for a future cruise . We are down to 3 TA's each agengy uses different insurance .We've always used Travelex .

Has anyone used any of the following and if so would you recommend them ?

1) Travel Mate

2)Travelguard

3)Allianz
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Old August 8th, 2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakers Fan View Post
We are trying to decide which TA to use for a future cruise . We are down to 3 TA's each agengy uses different insurance .We've always used Travelex .

Has anyone used any of the following and if so would you recommend them ?

1) Travel Mate

2)Travelguard

3)Allianz
You said that your last TA gave you a sizeable cash rebate after the cruise, so why would you be looking to switch?

As to the insurance. You can buy your insurance independently. No need to buy through the TA, so really that shouldn't even enter into your thought process on choosing a TA.

You can buy directly from Travelex, Travel Guard, and a multitude of others. You can compare them all at insuremytrip.com, and then easily buy your insurance.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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The TA that I referred to previously is offering $200 post cruise ,however the 2 other TA's are offering more in OBC .Its not just my wife and I .We are 4 couples .I have been designated the person to choose a TA as 2 couples have never cruised and one has only cruised once.
A TA that we used 4 years ago said that she can get insurance at a lower rate and I believe that is the case with all TA's or am I wrong ?
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Old August 8th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Having the ability to view side by side comparisons at insurermytrip.com, makes it easy to see the best available policy for you. Have more questions, you can give them a call. Never heard of #3. Don't make getting a new ta, and buying insurance, a combo deal.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Having the ability to view side by side comparisons at insurermytrip.com, makes it easy to see the best available policy for you. Have more questions, you can give them a call. Never heard of #3. Don't make getting a new ta, and buying insurance, a combo deal.

My wife called but she asked me to post the question on CM as well .
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Old August 8th, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Are you,or anyone of the four, flying into the port? That will add cost. I have bought insurance from Nancy,and also have done it on my own. Go to the site,and get your cost the cost,and then call your ta and get their price. Make sure you compare apples to apples. Remember what happened to us,and make sure the medevac/repatriation portion has high coverage.
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Last edited by Trip; August 9th, 2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 12:02 AM
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There's no reason a TA can offer travel insurance for less than you can buy it directly.

Most travel agents I've dealt with do include the insurance at cost as an extra convenience to their customers.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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Nobody is flying ,we are all from the area the ship is leaving from .
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Old August 9th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Check them all out and look at CSA as well. I am sure you can get it yourself for the same price and not let that effect your choice of a travel agent.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Unhappy One option?

Any time a Travel Agent only offers one option --

itinerary, cruise line, air arrangements, hotel ...

OR travel insurance ....

it is time to vote with your feet and find a different agent!

The principal job of a good travel agent is to help you explore the many many available options and make an intelligent choice among them.

Do you need insurance? What kind of insurance do you need? What does the policy offered cover? What other risks are not covered? What about pre-existing conditions? What about cancelling at the last minute? What reasons for cancellation are covered?

If your travel agent has not discussed these questions, and more, with you, and offered options on each of them, they are not doing a Travel Agent's job, they are just a booking agency.

If those agents only offer you one option in insurance, it waves a big red flag to me. What other things are they offering you only limited options in and not letting you make an intelligent choice?

I really suggest you find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor (look for the agent's diploma on the wall, not just an agency sticker). Ask your friends and co-workers for a recommendation. The service is entirely free to you. ACC's are trained to find the very best cruise for you, after learning your personal situation and preferences, and work hard to get you the very best rate. When you come on this board asking basic questions such as you asked, it shows that you will really benefit from professional advice and assistance.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old August 9th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Any time a Travel Agent only offers one option --

itinerary, cruise line, air arrangements, hotel ...

OR travel insurance ....

it is time to vote with your feet and find a different agent!

The principal job of a good travel agent is to help you explore the many many available options and make an intelligent choice among them.

Do you need insurance? What kind of insurance do you need? What does the policy offered cover? What other risks are not covered? What about pre-existing conditions? What about cancelling at the last minute? What reasons for cancellation are covered?

If your travel agent has not discussed these questions, and more, with you, and offered options on each of them, they are not doing a Travel Agent's job, they are just a booking agency.

If those agents only offer you one option in insurance, it waves a big red flag to me. What other things are they offering you only limited options in and not letting you make an intelligent choice?

I really suggest you find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor (look for the agent's diploma on the wall, not just an agency sticker). Ask your friends and co-workers for a recommendation. The service is entirely free to you. ACC's are trained to find the very best cruise for you, after learning your personal situation and preferences, and work hard to get you the very best rate. When you come on this board asking basic questions such as you asked, it shows that you will really benefit from professional advice and assistance.

Have a GREAT cruise!
We had a wonderful TA who unfortunately retired .Since then we have been getting recommendations from friends ,relatives ,neighbors ,etc .None of them compares to our initial TA .
For our next cruise we conferred with people we know who are avid cruisers and received 2 names ,both of who are listed as Master TA's .
Hence the dilemna .
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Old August 10th, 2012, 03:06 AM
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There is a special designation ... Master Cruise Counselor.

Many people are travel agents. Even those with ACC (Accredite Cruise Counselor), though they have passed some CLIA courses, count lunches they may have on ships visits toward their creditation. They may have actually sailed very few times. Better than no experience, yes, but no assurance of anything sadly.

The problem in the "travel agent business" is it may be one of the least regulated businesses around. CLIA "accredits" them, but then has no authority to penalize them for bad business practices, or ability or even a willingness to assist in dealing with agents who do not handle your bookings properly.

CLIA is essentially a marketing service for the cruise lines. Not an industry association where membership truly means anything to some frustrated customers.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Talking CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor

Kuki has some of the facts right, but not precisely.

It happens that my DW actually IS a Master Cruise Counselor so I watched her go through the whole process.

Basically here is how it works. I may have a few of the numbers not exactly right but the idea is there.

CLIA itself is, as Kuki says, a trade organization for Travel Agencies. The agency can join and post the CLIA poster in its window, essentially just by paying a fee. They then receive some information and promotional materials.

Individual agents who work for a CLIA agency can then begin the ACC training. It is an online course in some considerable depth, and also in person seminars, and the primary concentration is "qualifying" the client, that is, learning their needs and expectations and matching them to a cruise line, itinerary and price that suit them.

While taking the online course, the travel agent is required to complete two cruises on two different cruise lines and two different lengths, and in addition five different ship inspections. The ship inspections can be the type of lunches aboard Kuki refers to, but they do not count as "cruises."

There are certain other educational requirements, and in addition certain professional requirements including having booked at least 25 cruises.

At this point they can receive the Accredited Cruise Counselor designation. Now admittedly two cruises and five ship inspections does not seem like a lot to most of us on this board. But in fact it is a whole lot more than most of the order takers at online or 800 number agencies have ever done, and indeed more than many storefront agents have ever done.

Master Cruise Counselor requires two more cruises, five more ship inspections, and more seminars and training. Now there are a lot of us on this board who have taken more than four cruises. But again, it is a lot more than many who call themselves "cruise agents" have done.

Also, simply having taken that many cruises is not the principal part of the certification. The training, online or in actual seminars, is extensive and concentrates on serving the client properly and making a good match. The final exam for both ACC and MCC includes questions presenting hypothetical clients and requiring the agent to propose a cruise package to fit them. This is, IMAO, a lot more important than having just sailed a few times.

Kuki is absolutely right that the travel industry is largely unregulated. CA does have some financial responsibility laws, and I think other states do too. But if you can post the proper bond and maintain a proper escrow account you can put up a sign that says Travel Agent R Me. CLIA titles are no guarantee, but they are certainly a good start.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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MM:

Interesting in that the CM moderators (some ,not all) have often suggested that people check to see if their agent was a CLIA member.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakers Fan View Post
MM:

Interesting in that the CM moderators (some ,not all) have often suggested that people check to see if their agent was a CLIA member.
Because;
In an unregulated profession it's the closest thing to certification you are going to get.

We also recommend that you deal with a MCC (Master Cruise Consultant) instead of an online order taker. Even many of the PVP agents that work for the cruise line have never set foot on a ship. At least with a MCC, or even an ACC, you are at least talking to someone who has specific cruise training and has actually taken a couple of cruises.

Take care,
Mike
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