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-   -   Travel Agent expectations (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/ask-cruisemates-staff/321596-travel-agent-expectations.html)

mlschef October 4th, 2006 05:29 PM

Travel Agent expectations
 
I am wondering if I am expecting too much from my travel agent. We cruised on the Conquest (CCL) last month. The Conquest leaves Galveston on Sunday. We had never started a vacation on a Sunday before so I had never thought about being able to get in touch with our TA on Sunday.
When I asked her how to get in touch with her or the agency if we had a serious problem, she replied that she and her agency didn't work on Sundays and I would have to handle the problem myself.
We have used this agent a couple of times before and have always been happy with her. But, we have never had a problem that we needed her help with during a vacation.
Her answer has hung with me since she said it. We are about to book our next cruise and I am not sure I want to use her again.

My question: Am I expecting too much from her to be available anytime, or at least someone from her agency? It would take a major event for me to want her help on my vacation, but things do happen.

Mike M October 4th, 2006 06:12 PM

I would expect my travel agent to have an emergency number where they could be contacted for "Cruise related" problems, especially at check-in.

If you had booked your own air or hotel and things went wrong I wouldn't expect the agent to help you.

The travel agent earns their money when problems occur. Anyone can get you a few bucks off. It's when problems occur is when they earn their commission.

Take care,
Mike

Fern October 4th, 2006 10:02 PM

Our TA isn't available all the time, but there's always someone "on call" in her office. If your TA doesn't have an "on call" person, I believe I'd think about trying another TA.

mlschef October 4th, 2006 11:27 PM

Thanks for you responses. Fern, I think it would be unreasonable to expect a TA to be available 100% of the time. But this is not a one person agency, and I feel they should provide someone to contact.
Mike, we booked the entire vacation thru the TA. Air, transfers, insurance and cruise were all booked thru her with the assumption that it would be safer. Shore excursions were the only thing we handled ourselves and we did that onboard and stuck with the carnival excursions. First timers, better save than sorry.

From reading the story on the home page of CM's, it appears that a TA is still the best option for cruise planning.

Fern October 5th, 2006 10:53 PM

Yes, mlchef, it is unreasonable to expect a TA to be "on call" 24/7! (They have a life, too!) If you've booked with a "large" agency, there should be someone "on call" all the time!

IMHO, a good TA is worth their weight in gold! It may cost a little more in the long run, but a good TA is worth every penny, IMO!


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