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Old February 16th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Default travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

We are thinking about going on the majesty from charleston and I was looking up prices and called my travel agent in town. The prices off itakeatrip.com and cruisesatcost.com and cruisevalue.com were the cheapest I could find. Do not know anything about either company. I checked under BBB and one was listed and one not. The price difference from my local travel agent verses the internet is 75.00 for the first and second and within a few dollars for the third. I have always booked my cruises with hometown ta but was wondering if anyone has had any experience with these 3 companies. Was wondering if something happened and I needed to get in touch with t.a. would the internet company help as much. I got a different price when I called each company and asked for a price 2 companies were higher than internet price and cruisevalue center was lower on the phone. Dont know whether to be safe and book locally and pay more or these companies good. Anyone who has used them let me know your experience with booking over internet. Thanks

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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

Hi,

I realize that internet prices may be somewhat lower, but I always feel safer booking through my TA.

In the possibility of an error, the TA will be there to correct it. I'm not sure about an unknown entity at an on-line discount site.

That's just my opinion.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

We just booked last week for the NCL Dawn for March 7th trip. My husband researched on line for cheaest price. Our doc. arrived and there is a different price that what he was told. I am waiting to hear from agent. Will let you know what is going on when I hear from her. In the past, we have booked about a 6 cruises from online places and never had a problem. I have never used the companies you got prices from.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

I am going on the NCL Wind March 04. I booked my cruise online with cruise and vacation depot. I was very pleased with the agent that I had, Daniel. What was quoted to me on the phone is what came to me on my paperwork. Also, we got an extremely good price for the cruise. The Wind is sold out, so I guess it was a popular boat/time to cruise. I would book online again. Suggestion, go to your local library and get a few cruise books. They make suggestions of different online booking places and they are independent from any of their recommendations.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

I have booked directly thru the cruise line using their online service. Some usually offer online discounts. I have also used the travel service thru my wholesale club (ie Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's wholesaler). I found them to have the best price on my last three cruises. All booked thru online services.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

It's really up to how comfortable you are with using someone that isn't really there! Oh, I know most of the on line agencies will assign you a live agent, but it isn't like booking with your hometown TA. The other side of the coin is where will you get the best deal, how many times have you cruised and what do you expect. I do like the idea of using an agent in case of a problem. You have someone (hopefully) on your side. We do still use the company I used to work for, but next time think we will try the internet. It's like booking your tours on your own versus using the cruiseline. Most of the time you will be better off on your own, yet, some are not at ease doing it that way.

good luck and let us know what you decide and how is works.

NMNita
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Old February 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM
JimInBuffalo
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

I made the mistake of booking directly with NCL in Miami for our cruise on the Dream in March. I waited almost on hour on hold and it took another hour for the clerk to make the reservation. She called me back later that night to say that she made a mistake and couldn't give us the night in New Orleans that I had asked for (THE MESSAGE WAS LEFT ON OUR ANSWERING MACHINE).

I called back the next day, waited for an hour on hold, and then it took two hours to re-do the reservation. I still did not get what I wanted, paid the same amount and was so frustrated that I just wanted to get off the phone.

Problems with NCL's reservation system: 1) not enough people to answer the phones 2) clerks are not knowlegeable-the ones I talked to kept putting me on hold while they talked to their supervisor to get advice 3) make mistakes and then will not do anything except say they are sorry.

We are Latitudes members and when I faxed a letter to their Customer Service, I got a call (again on our machine) telling me that the fax needed to go to another office which was upstairs from the machine I faxed my letter to. They could not walk it up there. Latitiudes Custome Service does not do anything until after the cruise is completed, so they told me.

Finally talked to a Reservation Service Supervisor (5 days later) who told me that he wanted to correct the problem by giving me a cabin upgrade ( you all know what that is worth) and that they would set-up a night in Miami instead of the night in New Orleans that we were originally told we had. I may be geographically challenged but it did not sound like they knew what they were doing. I want a night in New Orleans, BEFORE the cruise.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

There may be additional charges with dot-com companies, that could add up. Some are 'processing fees,' 'administration fees,' 'handling and/or mailing charges,' to mention a few. DON'T give your credit card until you've gone through the whole booking process to see exactly what the bottom line is.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

I booked my last cruise with cruisevalue over the phonee and they were excellent. Just like a travel agent. Had many phone calls with my agent, Diane, all satisfactory. Just booked again with them for the Veendam next February. (Can't wait that long--would love to also take the Majesty this summer...)Prices do seem to be the lowest around with them. Good luck!

__________________

Norwegian Majesty, Bermuda

Veendam, Western Caribbean
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Old February 26th, 2004, 08:08 AM
pliscinski
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

I booked through http://Cruisevalue.com and received the best price I could find anywhere. You have to remember that most websites DO NOT include port charges and taxes with there quotes. I researched for days before making my final decision about a month ago. Im leaving march 7th on the dawn and still havnt found a better price.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

Are there still travel agents?

I book everything online and have used Travelocity the last two times. They have the easiest website to navigate and give you the exact total price upfront. Also, they show which cabins are still available so you can choose the one you want. Finally, they currently have a MasterCard special that saved me $150 on the last booking--I couldn't find that with any other service.

When there was a price drop after booking my first cruise with Travelocity I called them and they were able to get me a rebate. Normally, it only takes a couple of minutes to reach their telephone reps and, so far at least, they have all been very knowledgeable and helpful.

Zoomer
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Old March 20th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: travel agent in hometown or booking online, ? which?

i,v done all but first cruise online
most with cruise411.com never had trouble.
did get raked hard with local t/a
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