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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 21st, 2004, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default Cruise Agents vs Self Booking

I want to get the pros and cons to booking with an Agency verses booking directly with a cruiseline.

I have had one experience with an agency (just recently) and it has been a nightmare.
Making a long story short I have been told documents will not be issured until 7-10 days before the cruise. Booked February.

I just feel I am paying fees to an Agency who seems to deal in Bulk bookings and gives No customer service.

I have been thinking of canceling but again I have no informtaion to go on- no documents recieved- they have yet to send anything other than confirming my payment in full with insurance.

Have any of you had Bad expereinces like this and how did you handle it.

Would any of you complain about a company like this?
If so where?

It is a small company(out of state from me) and the owner is the one who is being so Lazy(my opnion).

I just feel I will Never go with an Agency again!

Why,??? Because I keep getting people who can not give me direct answers when I call, who tell me they will get back to me(several hours later and then give me info to contact someone else) or Never answers my emails. (I booked online via email).

Thank you all for helping me.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 21st, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Agents vs Self Booking

Receiving documents 7-10 days before sailing is "normal". Unless you have air arrangements through the cruise line, then you should receive the air portion at least 30 days before sailing. I have received documents anywhere from 60 days to 3 days before sailing. I have never booked directly through the cruise line because a good TA can beat that price and give you better service.

If you feel you aren't getting good service from an agent or agency, tell them and then find another one.

One other thing. You really don't need documents to sail. As long as you have a booking number and valid identification you can show up at the pier, get your tags and cabin number from the luggage handlers and then proceed to check-in. You can pre-register and pre-book your shore excursions online. Documents are wonderful to receive but are not a requirement.

Take care,

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 21st, 2004, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Agents vs Self Booking

Not quite sure why you want to complain about this travel agent??

They sent you a confirmation of your booking, and said they'll send you the cruise documents when they get them (which as Mike said 7 -10 days prior is what the cruise lines call normal).

The cruise lines create the documents, and then send them to the TA. The TA checks them, then sends them out. The travel agent has no say in when the documents are sent to them.

With your booking # you should be able to go on the cruise line web site, and pre-register immigration information etc. as required. And on some lines, even pre book your shore excursions.

Unless you've had questions and the travel agent isn't responding to them, I'm not certain what else you want them to do.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 22nd, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
Posts: 12,716
Default Re: Cruise Agents vs Self Booking

the TA has no control of when you get your documents, it all depend upon when the cruise line sends them out. 7-10 days before departure is common.
Are you telling us that your agency is charging you a service fee to book your cruise? Or is your TA doing all the "leg-work"for you for nothing but the commission??
Do you know your TA's name or are you just calling the agency? It makes a huge difference. You need to speak to your specific agent-she/he will be familiar with and will have the details on your particular cruise and will give you answers. He/she may not get back to right away , but they will get back to you. That's how they stay in business, its all about the service.
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