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texaspoet July 23rd, 2009 04:47 PM

Travel Agency or Cruise Line $$$
 
On line Carnival and Travel Agency same cruise. Will there be a discrepancy in the prices charge? The travel agency says No, their prices are dictated by Carnival. But I keep seeing differences. Why even think about a travel agency if there is no benefit? Why not just book on-line through the cruise line? Or is there a benefit using a Travel Agency?
Thanks! First time Cruise coming up!

Kamloops Cruiser July 23rd, 2009 05:05 PM

A travel agent represents the cruiser and can mediate if a problem occurs.
Since the CC that works for the cruiseline , they are restricted as to their
authority for dealing with problems.

I personally would always use a TA , more personalized service.

Donna July 23rd, 2009 07:07 PM

I agree, always a travel agent. You also have to make sure the prices quoted are with all the taxes, etc. A lot of the time, they will advertize a price that does not include that while an agency may have that figured in, so they look higher, but may even be lower.

Many cruise travel agents also buy up group space and can give you a better deal/price on any of those cruises, always ask about those. They also usually add something, like an onboard credit.

Mike M July 24th, 2009 11:39 AM

Re: Travel Agency or Cruise Line $$$
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by texaspoet
On line Carnival and Travel Agency same cruise. Will there be a discrepancy in the prices charge? The travel agency says No, their prices are dictated by Carnival. But I keep seeing differences. Why even think about a travel agency if there is no benefit? Why not just book on-line through the cruise line? Or is there a benefit using a Travel Agency?
Thanks! First time Cruise coming up!

A travel agent, selling a Carnival cruise, can discount that price if you contact them directly. They cannot "advertise" a price lower than Carnival. Discounting means they take part of their commission and basically pay part of your cruise. It may not be a huge amount but it would be less than Carnival's.

The lower the price of the cruise the less an agent can discount. So if you are buying a $299 bargain cruise the agent may not be able to discount.

I recommend and use a travel agent. The PVP is working for the cruise line and is required to put the cruise line's interest first. A travel agent represents you and is there when problems occur, before, during and after your cruise. Agents can also have access to group bookings, at less of a cost, than Carnival is selling it.

So: The short answer is: Use a "good" agent.

Take care,
Mike

colorcrazie July 24th, 2009 11:48 AM

While I almost always use our travel agent, I sometimes find real bargain basement deals going direct with the cruise line. I always give our agent a chance to meet or beat the price, but at times, it is simply not worth their while. When the agency is owned by an individual, I used to be able to convince them to work with me even on bottom prices. But, those owned by larger corporations now don't give the agent enough authority. So, once in a while, I book direct. Just my bottom feeding approach.
Marty

Kamloops Cruiser July 24th, 2009 06:43 PM

In most cases my TA's price is the same or lower.

kc1 August 13th, 2009 04:42 PM

Just booked with a TA for hundreds less than price quoted on Carnival web site. Bottom line, I think, is that it doesn't hurt to call them and get a quote.

Amberderossi August 14th, 2009 11:37 PM

Be aware there are many TA's that are charging professional consultation fees that have nothing to do with the price of the cruise. Consider it an insurance policy for a newbie for matching them to the perfect cruise experience for them.

VegasCrossfire September 20th, 2009 02:47 PM

Although most TA's are now not able to advertise the cruise at a lower price, they are usually able to offer onboard credits or another perk. We have a group of 23 leaving next month. We went through a TA, receiving onboard credit. Some of the group went through a different TA and got a trip for 5 days in Cabo (1 went through the same TA and got 7 days in Cabo! ) Some went thru RCCL and got nothing. We all got the same price for the room (after taxes, etc.) - so it pays to shop around.


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