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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Default Carnival Rep instead of TA

I have a question. We have always used a Travel agent. Well my favorite TA sold her business. I have talked to a few others and not happy with what I heard. Guess my TA spoiled me. So I went online and called Carnival and talked to a agent from Carnival. He seemed very helpful. We are booking in May for Apr 24,2010. So any thing I should be aware of booking with Carnival instead of my usual TA? I am nervous I guess. We are 11 of my family and we have been cruiseing for a long time. But always with a TA. Will I be able to pay the deposit with my debit card over the phone? What about the final payments? same??? Any info u can give me will help. Thanks...
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 09:01 AM
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You will be fine booking with the CCL rep but a TA could offer you more services. Keep looking for a TA and if you find one you are comfortable with after you book with CCL you can have the reservation transfered to the TA. I have had several folks who have transfered their reservations from CCL to me with no problems.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelgalSue
You will be fine booking with the CCL rep but a TA could offer you more services. Keep looking for a TA and if you find one you are comfortable with after you book with CCL you can have the reservation transfered to the TA. I have had several folks who have transfered their reservations from CCL to me with no problems.

Thats one heck of an advertisement Sue ...And your business phone number is????? I just booked the Carnival Glory for July 11th a few days ago.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Carnival Rep instead of TA

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingrandma
I have a question. We have always used a Travel agent. Well my favorite TA sold her business. I have talked to a few others and not happy with what I heard. Guess my TA spoiled me. So I went online and called Carnival and talked to a agent from Carnival. He seemed very helpful. We are booking in May for Apr 24,2010. So any thing I should be aware of booking with Carnival instead of my usual TA? I am nervous I guess. We are 11 of my family and we have been cruiseing for a long time. But always with a TA. Will I be able to pay the deposit with my debit card over the phone? What about the final payments? same??? Any info u can give me will help. Thanks...
I am not a TA.

The search for a good TA can be tough. But once found, you are done. That TA can help you with any cruise, maybe more. The cruiseline rep, Carnival or any other, can ONLY help you with their own line. So unless you intend to ONLY cruise Carnival, you will have to find a "good" rep with each line. And on a percentage basis, there are just as many BAD reps as there are bad TA's.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Aside from other services a Cruise Travel Agent offers.... with some shopping, on price alone you should always save money by booking with a travel agent.

If you request a quote from a Travel Agent, and they don't offer you a lower price than Carnival PVP offers, you just move on because you haven't found the right travel agent yet.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Well then...Can someone please tell me which travel agent to use? I have called 4 TA's and every single one of them quoted me exactly the same thing that the Carnival agent did
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CROOOOZIN
Well then...Can someone please tell me which travel agent to use? I have called 4 TA's and every single one of them quoted me exactly the same thing that the Carnival agent did
You may want to try and get a quote from the TA who handles many of our CruiseMates group cruises. I've been working with her for about 7 or 8 years now.

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...e/ruby2009.cfm
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 03:45 PM
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You can pay with your bank debit card or an electronic bank draft. Most of the pvps seem to be helpful and friendly, but never forget that they do not work for you, they work for the cruiseline. Because a PVP works for the cruise line first, you may find yourself at their mercy if anything goes wrong, which underscores the importance for third party insurance to an even higher degree. The only time I would recommend a cruise line rep over a travel agent is when there aren't any good travel agents nearby and you already know what you are doing(which clearly you do), since a good travel agent can have huge bargaining power to get things fixed if a problem arises.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
You can pay with your bank debit card or an electronic bank draft. Most of the pvps seem to be helpful and friendly, but never forget that they do not work for you, they work for the cruiseline. Because a PVP works for the cruise line first, you may find yourself at their mercy if anything goes wrong, which underscores the importance for third party insurance to an even higher degree. The only time I would recommend a cruise line rep over a travel agent is when there aren't any good travel agents nearby and you already know what you are doing(which clearly you do), since a good travel agent can have huge bargaining power to get things fixed if a problem arises.
Yeah you can pay with a debit card but I would use a credit card. Once you pay with a DC the money is gone and you have to fight with the cruiseline to get your money back.

Assuming you pay your bill in full each month its better to go with the CC. American Express in particular has been helpful when a problem has arisen but any CC company should help.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 05:41 PM
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True, but the person only asked about debit cards so my advice was more targeted advice. I paid with an electronic bank draft myself.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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I thank everyone for all the great advice. I am still confused tho. I have called TA's and got the same amount for the cruise that I got from carnival. Actually one was even more by $45 per person. I still have to book our air fare and we do get our own hotels. Because we fly the day before. Enjoy starting our vacation a day ahead. It is also safer that way. Never know if flights get cancelled. I will try a few more TA's and see what they have to offer me. Our TA used to have chocolate covered strawberries and champagne waiting for us in our cabins. We got free drink coupons and free photo coupons.. So is that the extra service everyone is talking about. so Carnival wont do that for us hey??? We have time to make up our minds what to do. But I am so used to just calling my fave TA and she took care of it all. Thanks again...
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Old April 24th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingrandma
I thank everyone for all the great advice. I am still confused tho. I have called TA's and got the same amount for the cruise that I got from carnival. Actually one was even more by $45 per person. I still have to book our air fare and we do get our own hotels. Because we fly the day before. Enjoy starting our vacation a day ahead. It is also safer that way. Never know if flights get cancelled. I will try a few more TA's and see what they have to offer me. Our TA used to have chocolate covered strawberries and champagne waiting for us in our cabins. We got free drink coupons and free photo coupons.. So is that the extra service everyone is talking about. so Carnival wont do that for us hey??? We have time to make up our minds what to do. But I am so used to just calling my fave TA and she took care of it all. Thanks again...
I always book with Carnival PVP. I have used him for the last 3 yrs and he always gives me a good deal. If the price goes down he ALWAYS adjusts my price. The price for our June cruise actually went down by $112.00 from when I first booked. I also paid on it once a month with my debit card. And each month I called him to make a payment he would actually check the rates to see if their was a decrease in the price. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against TA's it's just that since I knew we were gonna sail Carnival mainly because the kids LOVE Carnival, I just call my PVP. I tried a TA once and the price they quoted me was much higher than Carnival's price. My PVP very nice, very helpful and actually knows my voice when I call him I even refer all my friends to him.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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A good travel agent should not be quoting you a higher price than Carnival. They have every bit of authorization and ability to deal with Carnival in getting the same price Carnival will give you. Some will ignore that for a higher commission and some just do not understand this. Personally, I would not be that kind of travel agent. I think a travel agent should do everything they can for their clients.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Default using a TA for travel

I WILL STICK WITH CARNIVAL. we made reservationa with a TA and the agent was NOT the brightest bulb,. when we tried to get in touch
he was out of the office, finally a few days later he called back ,he was BUSY He didnot make the proper arrangements for us and when we got to miami by train as we planned, he did not tell us it was $$$$$$ to the hotel and that it was $$$$ for the ride to the pier from the hotel, we were in south beach.The hotel was about as nice as a _OUT house, new rooms tile on the floor still wet, ANTS BY THE HUNDREDS, we called to a outside pizza place for8:30pm PIZZA, the restaurant was closed gave the guy a $10. tip and he just about dropped the food on the floor and said CHEAP. When we returned the train return time had changes, departed EARLIERl than he said, an missed it We rented a car and drove home . we filed with amtrak, and they made good for the tickets but the TA said OH. so no more buisenss with TA s and on the other side the Carnival vacation planners are in my opinion great . boB
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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I wish people would quit lumping all travel agents in together. Not all are bad, unethical, self-serving travel agents. I know I certainly I am not one of those.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Default travel agents

NO OFFENSE TO THE GOOD AND REPUTABLE TA'S
boB
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Thank you. You have to remember there is always going to be rotten apples in every buschel.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Default TA

as one person said "other services they offer" can sombody fill me in on the other services
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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A proper travel agent can handle bookings for your transportation, car-rentals, hotels, excursions, etc. Pretty much if it is travel related, a good agent should be able to help. Sometimes only in advice, sometimes an actual service.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Thanks brad for the info, sorry if i offended a real TA
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Old April 25th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Just starting out, but even so, I plan to treat my clients as first priority.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: using a TA for travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttam
I WILL STICK WITH CARNIVAL. we made reservationa with a TA and the agent was NOT the brightest bulb,. when we tried to get in touch
he was out of the office, finally a few days later he called back ,he was BUSY He didnot make the proper arrangements for us and when we got to miami by train as we planned, he did not tell us it was $$$$$$ to the hotel and that it was $$$$ for the ride to the pier from the hotel, we were in south beach.The hotel was about as nice as a _OUT house, new rooms tile on the floor still wet, ANTS BY THE HUNDREDS, we called to a outside pizza place for8:30pm PIZZA, the restaurant was closed gave the guy a $10. tip and he just about dropped the food on the floor and said CHEAP. When we returned the train return time had changes, departed EARLIERl than he said, an missed it We rented a car and drove home . we filed with amtrak, and they made good for the tickets but the TA said OH. so no more buisenss with TA s and on the other side the Carnival vacation planners are in my opinion great . boB
One.
If you read all through this and many other cruise boards, you WILL find just as many complaints about Carnival reps, RCL reps, airline reps, hotel reps, and on and on. Good service reps are now the rarity, so finding one working for a cruiseline is chancy at best. Same does go for TA's too.

Two.
Is Carnival the ONLY line you WILL EVER cruise? Once you find that good TA, they can help with ANY line. A Carnival PVP cannot help with any line but Carnival.
Also, price, a Carnival PVP can NEVER EVER beat an independent TA's price, While an independent TA can ALWAYS, 100% of the time meet or BEAT the cruiselines BEST price.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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We have delt with TA before and none of them have been able to beat the carnival planner price, even for early sign ups. It may be the tidewater area
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Old April 26th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttam
We have delt with TA before and none of them have been able to beat the carnival planner price, even for early sign ups. It may be the tidewater area
boB
I have not booked a cruise with anyone but an online TA for over 100 bookings. My TA is shopping 2010 cruises for me right now. I have very often beat the cruiseline prices, and at worst equaled them. NEVER have met my TA in person. I am a past pax on many cruiselines and I ALWAYS shop them so I know what the lines prices are. Also my TA supplies me with the same insurance I can buy online for less. We never consider cruiselines own insurance.
Shopping TA's online, you cannot just look at their websites. Carnival does not allow lower priced ads. You MUST call and talk with the online TA to get the best price, AND YOU MUST be knowledgeable going in and ask questions. About fees, charges, policies, cancellations, etc.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I didn't say it was EASY!
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Old April 26th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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We have cruised other cruise companies. But we prefer Carnival. They have always been very good to us. our cruises have always been fun and relaxing and all we hoped they would be. So we figure if it isnt broke dont fix it! I do appreciate all the great comments and help. I think We are sticking it out with the Carnival Rep this trip. See how it goes for myself. Like I said i had the best TA and now I cant find one to compare. So I will try this. Happy cruising everyone!
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Old April 26th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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cruisingrandma;

Good luck w/your cruise planning and most of all enjoy the cruise!
I am sure all will go just fine and remember to ask questions, like
the other poster suggested.

That's a good policy!

Take care;

Lee & Kelli
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: TA

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttam
as one person said "other services they offer" can sombody fill me in on the other services
I work for my clients and not my suppliers.

Some of my services include proprietary cruise guides preparing passengers month by month up to the day of departure on various tips. It also includes a packing list. My clients have no time for message board reading.

Depending on the fee level they have paid it can include watching pricing weekly, working 7 days a week to make changes, to having a car service take them to and meet them at their departure airport.

My client's pay my salary as I am working for them. Any commission paid by a supplier is a reward for booking my client's on that supplier. If someone doesn't want to pay my fees, no harm no foul we have not wasted each others time. I don't take on each and every client so that I may fully service the client's that I have. You won't find me on the web or my listing in the phone book. I work strictly on referrals.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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I personally prefer not to charge service fees to my clients. Commission is supposed to be your paycheck, not a reward. It is simply part of the job to offer the highest possible level of service to each client no matter how much you have to do. This is the very premise I am building my agency on and the way I am choosing my host agency. I don't even see a need for service fees because that is like saying to the client "You are only important to me if you pay me a fee", which I feel is not right at all. I know some travel agents feel differently but the way I see it why charge a service fee and drive business to online mega-agency competitors like Travelocity, Expedia, and CruisesOnly. The only time I plan to charge extra is when I have to include something that is at my own expense, which is a basic business sensability. I hope my point is coming across quite clearly.
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