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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Default early saver bookings

What's everyones opinion of this new offering from Carnival? From what I read you are not allowed any name changes and if you cancel you lose your deposit. I'm hearing you can take booking insurance but what does that cost?
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:41 AM
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While it is true that you cannot make name changes, you may use your original deposit on a different cruise date or ship or combination thereof within a year of the original date for a small fee. I personally see it as being best for someone who knows when they want to go on a cruise. I booked early saver and had to change the date and didn't have much trouble, except from my pos travel agent.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:35 AM
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I also had to change the date and the cost was $ 50pp..It was 4 of us so that cost me $ 200...But if you know when you can go then it works..With us my DH had a job emergency and could not go..so we are all rebooked on the Dream..
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Well my hubby and I don't change cruises much. AND HE BETTER NOT TAKE MY NAME OFF THE BOOKING. So early saver has worked well for us so far we have $120 ship board credit from early saver booking.

However, my TA is starting to become a pain in the bass. He is claiming we can't put in anymore early saver requests, because it's a change in reservation and he will have to charge us. Since the price has not gone down again this isn't an issue. But we will have a fight on our hands if the price goes down again. I wouldn't use a TA, but I booked with rewards points so I was forced to. He is unhappy because everytime the price goes down his comission is decreased. If you book with a TA you have to go through the TA for the Early Saver request. If you are booking Early Saver and don't need a TA don't use one in my experience they are worthless.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:32 PM
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I resent the implication that all travel agents are worthless. There are two types of travel agents out there.

1) Travel agents who are only out for their bottom line. Unfortunately there too many in the industry who are so shortsighted that this is all they see. Avoid at all costs.

2) Travel agents who genuinely value their clients and will do everything in their power to keep them happy, even though it may cost them in the short term. They see the value of building a repeat customer. These are the travel agents you want to seek out, though they are few and far between.

The problem with booking direct is if a disagreement crops up between you and the cruise line, you really have no recourse. Never underestimate the value of a good travel agent, and you can ever overestimate how truly worthless the bad ones are.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I resent the implication that all travel agents are worthless. There are two types of travel agents out there.

1) Travel agents who are only out for their bottom line. Unfortunately there too many in the industry who are so shortsighted that this is all they see. Avoid at all costs.

2) Travel agents who genuinely value their clients and will do everything in their power to keep them happy, even though it may cost them in the short term. They see the value of building a repeat customer. These are the travel agents you want to seek out, though they are few and far between.

The problem with booking direct is if a disagreement crops up between you and the cruise line, you really have no recourse. Never underestimate the value of a good travel agent, and you can ever overestimate how truly worthless the bad ones are.
My experience is they are worthless to me. I can find any information I need quickly. I know how to handle disagreements between me and the cruise lines without a TA. For someone not good at searching the internet or dealing with the cruise lines a TA is helpful. For me a TA is worthless. I only use them when using my rewards point. I planned my trip through Italy without a TA. Other had used a tour company and had many complaints. I used Yahoo italy and looked at the sites in Italian. It helped me understand some Italian and find information not found on Yahoo USA.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 01:47 PM
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I get where you are coming from. I experienced that same problem with the last travel agent I used. All I am doing is asking you do not lump me, a future travel agent(really just waiting on the funds to finish setting up), with those who like to charge excessive fees for what is essentially something included in their commission. I have no plans to charge any service fees aside from a modest credit card transaction fee if needed. I consider it the responsibility of the suppliers to pay my salary.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I get where you are coming from. I experienced that same problem with the last travel agent I used. All I am doing is asking you do not lump me, a future travel agent(really just waiting on the funds to finish setting up), with those who like to charge excessive fees for what is essentially something included in their commission. I have no plans to charge any service fees aside from a modest credit card transaction fee if needed. I consider it the responsibility of the suppliers to pay my salary.
It sounds like you will make a good TA. Good Luck with your new business.

I do think people should know about my experience with early saver booked through a Travel Agent (TA). If the TA doesn't want the early saver booking and the effects it may have to his commission. Then the TA should have refused to book early saver in the first place. To take my early saver booking then say we can't use the early saver portion of the booking is a huge problem for me. I checked Carnival before I booked to make certain the early saver request could be put in every time the price went down. But now my TA doesn't want to honor that part of the booking. If the price deceases again he will have a fight on his hands. And I will get the On Board Credit (OBC) I deserve. :evil:
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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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I think the issue here with TAs, I hear some of these low priced ES bookings, the TA is only making maybe $15 on the booking and if the price drops, costs them more work, so now many want to charge to make any changes, that used to do for free.

Im in the boat, that for ES rates, when there may be many rate changes, Im booking direct so I can do it myself and dont need to feel guilty asking a TA to do it for me for so little money they are making.

It gets even more complicated when that TA discounts, like Costco discounts 10% of the commisionable part of the cruise fare. .. so any changes after they have been paid the commission, it has to be refigured and sent back to Carnival they told me. If not for the discount, I wouldnt have booked with a TA, so its a catch 22.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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I ran into an issue with my travel agent when I transferred my booking. I do think though that too many agents worry about the money from one booking when they should be focusing on repeat bookings. As for my business model, it is built entirely around good personal service. I chose to become a travel agent because I need the flexible hours it offers and you can make good money from it if you treat your customers right. I even know about one travel agent in California that makes over $1,000,000 a year in commissions by catering to the film/entertainment industry.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I even know about one travel agent in California that makes over $1,000,000 a year in commissions by catering to the film/entertainment industry.
I hope you dont have stars in your eyes going in. People with lots of $$$ are booking the more expensive cruises, thats why commissions are so high and he is making big bucks.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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That is her specialty and I am not expecting anything like that, though I do want to have clients from budget to luxury. Simply put, I am willing to work for the wealthy and my colleagues in the entertainment industry as well as the average Joe/Jane. Why rule out any business at all if you don't have to?
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