Question - When a cruise line lowers the price of a booked cabin, what is the travel agency's responsibility to the client? Should they notify the client of the price reduction when this occurs or must I, as the client contact the TA? I'm sure any TA worth his/her salt, should immediately notify me, but that does not appear to be the case. OR, should the TA get the client an upgrade. This is all so confusing.
A lot of the time, these prices reductions are for "new bookings" only. For the ones that apply to all bookings...I've been very fortunate with my TA...she has contacted TWICE about price reductions for our Thanksgiving cruise. My advice would be to keep an eye on the prices yourself and if you see a reduction, give your TA a call immediately.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
I would tend to agree with Rick. From my own exeperience, I monitored the Celebrity website constantly and watched prices change. I immediately contact the TA and advised her of the situation. The first price reduction, we made the decission to upgrade, the second price drop we opted for a refund of the difference. TA"s are paid commission, the higher you pay the more commission. Hardly blame the TA however that being said a good TA will monitor and advise you about reductions, save you the money, earning your trust and confidance; so you will do business with them again. Bottom line, its your pocket book, don't loose out.
I am a travel agent. To get my clients the best price and cruise, I book them in a guaranteed cabin. If it's a window they will be guaranteed a window not a specific cabin, this way when the cancellations come up my clients are upgraded. An example is my clients paid $1289.00 per person for a 14 day panama cruise from Miami to LA, on a guaranteed window, they then were upgrade to a balcony between the 2 presidential suites because of cancellations. If you find a good TA they should tell you all of this. Also I tell my clients to try and give me 4-6 months lead time to come up with the best prices. And you only need a small deposit to hold the cruise so you have it locked in. You can always cancel for your money back. Keep asking everyone where the best TA is and keep them, if there any good, there worth there weight in gold.
I'm not a TA, but I've often resolved in my mind that it's unreasonable to expect them to constantly moniter the pricing of each and every client's booking. I'm happy to moniter the pricing on my own and then notifying my TA if and when a price change is to my advantage. My TA has always honored the price change, regardless if it meant staying in the same category for less money, or taking advantage of the lower pricing and upgrading.
I have to disagree with you on guaranty cabins because often people expect the best cabin at the most desirable location. On the 40 something cruises we have sailed we have never got an upgrade to a cabin that was at the location of the ship that we perfer. Many people have certain likes and dislikes as far as being all the forward or back and when you do a guaranty you no have no say where the cabin is located. We have had upgrades, but it seems most of the time the location on the ship did not work for us. ( yah it saved us a few bucks but several times the cabins have been all the way forward) If you don't care where you are located on the ship than I agree with the guaranty, but for us getting the "right cabin" is more important than hoping for the best location or thinking you will be upgraded to a suite. P.S. I used to be in the travel business so I am familiar with selecting and booking cruises.
Okay, as a fellow TA I don't mean to dispute your explanation but upgrades gotten through cancellations? I've never heard of this. Perhaps upgrades because of space left available on a sailing because people never purchased their options (ie, cabins being held coplimentary) but very few people actually cancel their cruise. As far as lead time, the industry has changed in that that getting the best rates at the last minute to "fill the ship" have gone by the wayside. Now earlier bookings can be cost saving and a few months before sailing there can generally be good promotions because by this time inventory control has taken a look at the sailing and has seen what is the availability and where promo's might be effective to fill space, again, this isn't last minute type.
I would like to thank everyone for their input. I agree, that it is up to the individual person to keep checking to see if the price has been reduced. I also agree that the TA, has far too many bookings to be able to keep track of price drops. I have been tracking my cruise and in the beginning when I paid my down payment, the original cost was a little over $691 per person. By tracking the cost, and contacting my TA, we have now gotten a reduction of $190 per person. Not to shabby. The more I cruise, the more savvy I get. Again, thanks for your responses.
We are sailing on the Millie on 9/23, and when I saw the reduction 3 weeks ago online, I called the TA, who knew nothing about it. She called Celebrity ,and they confirmed and cut our costs by $360 each. So, I think my lesson learned is that you must keep up yuorself, don't count on the TA, or Celebrity, to volunteeer it without asking.