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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Hi. I am planning to beook a Bermuda cruise. Really undecided as to how to go about it. Could use my local travel agency. Could book directly with NCL, or could use one of the huge online agencies. It is my understanding that if you book directly with the cruise line you can't get the deals you can get elsewhere. What about discounts? I know they would give me the past-passenger discount, but what about the union discount or a resident discount? Also, I don't know if my local agency can get me the same deals as the online agencies can.

Please give me your opinions/advice on this. Norwegian is raising their rates on April 1. I'd like to do something before then. Also, does anyone know if you have to actually be booked before April 1, or would talking/planning with an agent be good enough to get the old prices?
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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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You can start by contacting the lady that does most of our CM group cruises, she would be happy to help you. Just look at the group cruise section and get her contact info. It never hurts to compare, travel agents may have group deals that you can get in on to save a few dollars.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Thank you. That would be nice, since I have always cruised in the Spring or Fall, and now I have to go in the Summer, which costs a lot more.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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What is her name?
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Look for the contact info for Nancy B.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArabianHorseLover View Post
Hi. I am planning to beook a Bermuda cruise. Really undecided as to how to go about it. Could use my local travel agency. Could book directly with NCL, or could use one of the huge online agencies. It is my understanding that if you book directly with the cruise line you can't get the deals you can get elsewhere. What about discounts? I know they would give me the past-passenger discount, but what about the union discount or a resident discount? Also, I don't know if my local agency can get me the same deals as the online agencies can.

Please give me your opinions/advice on this. Norwegian is raising their rates on April 1. I'd like to do something before then. Also, does anyone know if you have to actually be booked before April 1, or would talking/planning with an agent be good enough to get the old prices?
Any travel agent can get the EXACT same deals that you can get by booking through the cruise line. That is if the agent is smart and ambitious enough to know about them and look for them. They can also give you some things that are "extra", such as OBC, travel insurance, a bottle of wine or something else that you will not get from the cruise line. The cruise lines do not have "cruise line only" deals and anyone who says otherwise is mistaken. You can get the Union, Military or other discount you qualify for from your local travel agent or with any other agent. Discounts are not available on all sailings. You may have a military discount or senior discount on one cruise but not on another.

Remember, just because an agent or agency has an online presence does not mean they are not a brick an mortar agency with good, personal service.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Well, luckily I am aware of all the possible discounts. So I can inform a travel agent, if necessary. I do realize that the cruise lines do not give out such things as upgrades, OBC, etc. So it really sounds like booking with a cruise line is NOT the smart way to go.

I have booked through my local agency in the past, and that is certainly the easiest way to go. Also, everyone always says that if you have a problem when you are on the trip it is good to have a local agent to call. I don't think local agencies can get things like upgrades, OBC, etc. like the online agencies, can though, can they?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Any travel agent can get the EXACT same deals that you can get by booking through the cruise line. That is if the agent is smart and ambitious enough to know about them and look for them. They can also give you some things that are "extra", such as OBC, travel insurance, a bottle of wine or something else that you will not get from the cruise line. The cruise lines do not have "cruise line only" deals and anyone who says otherwise is mistaken. You can get the Union, Military or other discount you qualify for from your local travel agent or with any other agent. Discounts are not available on all sailings. You may have a military discount or senior discount on one cruise but not on another.

Remember, just because an agent or agency has an online presence does not mean they are not a brick an mortar agency with good, personal service.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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the thing is if your local travel agent has been around the business for any period of time, he/she will have contacts within the cruise company, and might have access to perks, discounts that aren't "known" to a general reservations agent, and i am speaking from past professional experience. Its always good to have someone that you know personally handling things for you, they know you, your wants/don't want's likes and dislikes and they can handle any problems that might pop up
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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ArabianHorseLover, i can give you the name of an awesome cruise travel agency that i deal with, they are an "actual" agency, but they do huge volume cruise business all over the county, pm me if you want this info.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
You can start by contacting the lady that does most of our CM group cruises, she would be happy to help you. Just look at the group cruise section and get her contact info. It never hurts to compare, travel agents may have group deals that you can get in on to save a few dollars.

I sent her an e-mail re a cruise I am planning to take .No response .I sent a second e-mail(your suggestion) and she responded asking if I am a past cruiser .I replied that I was and gave her my ID # and never heard from her again .
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Old March 25th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Look for the contact info for Nancy B.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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I sent her an e-mail re a cruise I am planning to take .No response .I sent a second e-mail(your suggestion) and she responded asking if I am a past cruiser .I replied that I was and gave her my ID # and never heard from her again .

Henry... I have to say that I am VERY surprised to hear this. She has dealt with hundreds and hundreds of bookings for people on our CruiseMates group cruises, as well as many personal friends I've referred to her, and in all that time I've heard from perhaps 3 people who weren't anything but 100% satisfied.

On occassion, I would think an agent could get very busy and forget about a previous email, but I know she also has a toll free phone number as well for more direct contact.

Unless she's away on a cruise she is generally available any time day or night, weekend or weekday. When she's away her assistant is available by toll free number during weekday office hours.

No way would I ever say she always beats anyone's deal, because no agent can always beat everyone.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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We will try calling next week.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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She's even e-mailed me from the airport on the way to a cruise. She also has an assistant that is very helpful as well...
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:54 AM
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I have not been able to find any contact info. for Nancy B.


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Look for the contact info for Nancy B.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 03:22 PM
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Hi AH,
If you click on the link, you will see her contact info:

Cruisemates Cruise, Allure of the Seas October 2nd, 2011.
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