I would like the opinions of passengers and T.A.s regarding the following question. Thank you.
We have always booked through an on-line company, but earlier this year I decided to share the wealth with an agent in our town to help the local economy.
Our price for the 35 day back-to-back cruise was $5300 p.p. cruise only. When I asked if she would offer any shipboard credit, she said she could give $100 total.
I was thinking that to garner some of our future cruise dollars, she would give $100 p.p. per back to back cruise for a total of $400.
Of course, I don't know how much the commission is for the agent, but assuming it's 10%, deducting the $400 still gives over $600 for her work.
I should add that we knew exactly which ship & itinerary we wanted. We have made three trips to her office to pay the deposit, final payment and pick up tour info. and exchanged 5 or 6 brief phone messages.
We also told her that we have taken over 50 cruises, some of which are on upscale, 6 star lines. This is our second cruise this year.
So, if I can please get some feedback on what you would offer if you are a T.A. and also what some of you pax. have been offered from your T.A., I would really appreciate all comments.
Thank you in advance,
Our TA gets paid by the hour with all commissions going to the owner of the agency. She does get bonuses for meeting certain sales goals, etc. We have cruised previously four times, and for this, our 5th cruise, we used a TA based on a recommendation from this travel board that a TA can actually save you money. We did our own research first, got our best price for our cruise to Alaska from Expedia.com (after checking about a dozen websites). We went to see her, she gave us her best price NOT knowing what I had already found, and she beat Expedia's price by $500.00. Needless to say, she has all of our future business. She did all of the legwork, got the tickets, booked our cabin, got us a $50/person shipboard credit from HAL based on a sale that was announced after we had already made our reservations, confirmed our flights, reserved our seats for us - it was wonderful. We have sinced booked a cruise to the Bahamas for us and two other couples with her, and, once again, she did all of the legwork for us. The savings was sufficient for us to not expect anything more from her. Of course, I'm sure various travel agencies do things differently, but this sure paid off for us.
I have been with the same TA for over 12 years. She works for a large agency. Her commission is pretty small. I have actually seen the invoice from the cruise line showing her commission. She always get me a bottle of wine or two. Her agency sometimes gets deals as with my Oosterdam cruise of last March. Free Pinnacle Grill, two bottles of wine and a free DVD. In fact 2 other couples at my table had the same deal. The bottem line, for me, I just am happy getting a fair price and good service. If you really are looking for a deal, some internet TA's kick back fees. Check around. I prefer to have a local TA who is reliable.