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Old April 18th, 2014, 10:01 PM
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Default Felt taken advantage of

I have an Australian cruise booked thru one of the largest online TA. Thru the website that emails me when prices go down, I was informed there was a reduction of $158pp in my category. Emailed my TA and got the reduction. However the TA informed me she took away my free Gratuities & giving me $75 in OBC. Bottom line I save $55 (158*2-12*14 nights*2+75) and TA saves $261 (12*14 nights*2-75).

She claims their commission is reduced with the price change. Told her she will not have to worry about commision on my cruises any longer after the 5 upcoming cruises I have booked thru them. They do not get $261 commission on $316.

I know this opens the door for Pete to remind us not to use online TA.

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Old April 18th, 2014, 10:49 PM
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LMAO - you're right about that!

In all fairness though, sometimes when the price goes down, the promotions are not the same.

For example; I had a client the other day where they contacted me and said they saw where the price of their cruise went down. I checked and sure enough, the cruise line is now offering guarantee cabins for much less than they originally paid for their cabin. However, if they choose to take the new rate, they'll lose the special they originally had, i.e. pre-paid gratuities that were worth $84 per person. So the client had a choice to make; do they move from the cabin they really wanted and lose their pre-paid gratuities or do they choose to get a guarantee cabin where I have no idea where they'll be but they'll save money overall?

With all that said, sometimes there aren't alot of options, especially after final payment has been made. It will depend on the special that was booked, the cruise line, and other factors that will play into the decision making process.

Obviously, this is a choice for the client to make. But the bottom line is, it's their decision to make. An agent's commission has nothing to do with it and what I would do is irrelevant. It's all about presenting the facts and then the client deciding what's in their best interest and what they want to do.

And yes, these big online sites are all about the money and not about the service, so you really have to look at all the information and decide what's in your best interest.

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Old April 19th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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LMAO - you're right about that!

In all fairness though, sometimes when the price goes down, the promotions are not the same.

For example; I had a client the other day where they contacted me and said they saw where the price of their cruise went down. I checked and sure enough, the cruise line is now offering guarantee cabins for much less than they originally paid for their cabin. However, if they choose to take the new rate, they'll lose the special they originally had, i.e. pre-paid gratuities that were worth $84 per person. So the client had a choice to make; do they move from the cabin they really wanted and lose their pre-paid gratuities or do they choose to get a guarantee cabin where I have no idea where they'll be but they'll save money overall?

With all that said, sometimes there aren't alot of options, especially after final payment has been made. It will depend on the special that was booked, the cruise line, and other factors that will play into the decision making process.

Obviously, this is a choice for the client to make. But the bottom line is, it's their decision to make. An agent's commission has nothing to do with it and what I would do is irrelevant. It's all about presenting the facts and then the client deciding what's in their best interest and what they want to do.

And yes, these big online sites are all about the money and not about the service, so you really have to look at all the information and decide what's in your best interest.

Pete
Cruiseplanner, are you allowed to recommend an online website where I can track cruise prices up or down?
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Old April 19th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I would if I knew of any to recommend. I know there are several out there, most of them charging for the service. There are also some apps you can get for your phone - again, for a fee. Or you can simply check the cruise line's website once a week for free. Prices tend to change on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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Old April 19th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for the tip on Tuesday/Friday price changes.
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Old April 19th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Cruiseplanner, are you allowed to recommend an online website where I can track cruise prices up or down?
Timmy,
Pete is right, the one I use charges for the service. However it is something like $5 for listing 10 cruises. Only list those cruises you have booked. Saved me plenty. Well worth the few $$.

Try C r u i s e f i s hdotnet, w/o the dot and spaces.

O F C'er
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Old April 19th, 2014, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OldFartCruiser View Post
Timmy,
Pete is right, the one I use charges for the service. However it is something like $5 for listing 10 cruises. Only list those cruises you have booked. Saved me plenty. Well worth the few $$.

Try C r u i s e f i s hdotnet, w/o the dot and spaces.

O F C'er
I use this one too. It's been great so far. And you only have to pay if you want it to e:mail you. You can check yourself for free.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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I am pretty sure c ruisec ompete also has a price tracker month by month. They call it a "price predictor" - which may not be what you are looking for - but it does show where prices have been.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFartCruiser View Post

I know this opens the door for Pete to remind us not to use online TA.

O F C'er

I would not use online TA's either.



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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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I do sometimes use some of the large web based cruise agencies to book my cruises and have always received good service ( and OBC and other perks I would not have had otherwise ) and have yet to have a problem.

I have had an agent spend considerable time on a 3-way call with me getting me an upgrade to a Penthouse Suite for only $80 PP more than I had paid for my minisuite after a price drop. And when prices dropped again, they did the same thing to get me additional OBC. So to make a broad statement that these agencies are "not about the service" I don't think is fair. I would bet there are plenty of TAs out there who would not have done as much! I was never impressed with the bricks and mortar TA I had in my hometown, which is why I went to the web agencies to begin with. I am sure there are some very good ones, but they seem to me to be difficult to find.

But, one thing I never do with these agencies is to book via the website. I will call them and speak to an agent to get all the details and then have them book it after all my questions have been answered. With upgrades, etc. I have never lost anything I already had. However, I always CALL the agent, never email a request, and instruct them to CHECK OUT what the possibilities are and let me know what the bottom line is BEFORE making any changes. That way, if anything is not to my benefit I do not have to do it!

The OP e-mailed his TA with a request and she did as he instructed. He really can't blame her if he did not first ask her what would be the outcome of implementing his request.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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I am always in favor of people pointing out that it is best not to make generalizations about people, or businesses.

Buggs - I think you have a very good point that it is about the person your are working with - not the name of the agency, that matters.

I also agree with you saying you would not book a cruise online. I always feel much better speaking directly to a representative and hearing my options. It does not take long to figure out whether or not the person you are working with is taking a genuine interest, or is just collecting a paycheck and couldn't care less about the customer.
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