I posted this in another area earlier and got some "generic" answers (book with NCL, book with another TA), which was fine, but what I really want to know is WHY?? Any answers from NCL cruisers or TA's?
"We're trying to decide on a cruise for November or December of this year. We've used the same TA (at a VERY large auto club) for our last two cruises and were happy with her and the prices.
I went in last week with a pile of brochures and questions. One of my possibilities was a cruise on NCL. As part of my reseach I had looked on the "club" website and was surprised that NCL wasn't even listed. When I asked about this and about the cruise I was interested in, she was very evasive. She said she would book it for me if we wanted to go, and quoted me the brochure price.
She couldn't (or wouldn't) explain why she couldn't give me a better price. Kind of a "shrug of the shoulders" thing.
Does anyone know of any reason for this reaction? From reading these boards I can't find any more complaints about NCL than any other cruise line. Is it a commission problem? Or do they just not deal with NCL for their own (unknown) reasons?
I found this very strange!
Thanks for any info."
Going on my 8th cruise in 7 weeks, the 4th one on a NCL ship. Also went on Carnival, Royal Carribean and one cruise line no longer around....I enjoy NCL entertainment, food and atmosphere the best. I think they are reasonably priced and classy/comfortable at the same time!
My2cents; 8 cruises in 7 weeks; boy they must be short cruises!!!
Actually I share your attitude and why Fern can't get a good deal from her agent I do not know. I assume she is referring to AAA. they normally do not offer the best rates: commission has nothing to do with it unless they are getting a higher one from another line, which is possible. Even if this is the case, a good agent will never base recommendations on how much they will make. Booking with a TA offers you a personal contact and beleive it or not a more knowdgable source, or hopefully this is the case. The reps at any cruise line are just like those you talk to at major hotel call centers, they are order takers. Yes, I know, some of you think TA are also. That is so sad. As a TA I can assure you I work very hard to keep up with the industry, we are familiar with all hotel chains, resorts and cruise lines or certainly should be. Do we know everything, of course not, but we try to keep informed? As for pricing, a good TA will be able to meet or beat the price you get from the cruiseline direct. Anyone who wants to book you using the brochure price does not have your best interest in mind. NMNita
I have booked cruises on one internet agency with NCL and then later we were helping a friend of ours book online with the same agency, and they have removed NCL from the list of ships. I wonder why they do not book NCL cruises any longer?
7 cees, i don't have a clue where you live or who you deal with, but the agencies in DAllas, LA, SF, Abq, Denver, Colo Springs and Va still advertise and sell NCL as much as any other line You, obviously had a bad experience with NCL. To make a statement like that is totally without merit. You can post what you want and think what you want, but your facts are not true facts. NMN ita
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Just saw on "Ask CM Staff" a similar question about another TA (an online one, I think). Very interesting. It seems that many TA's aren't happy with NCL for some reason.
NMNita, I always enjoy seeing your input as a TA on many of these subjects. We booked our last two cruises with the same agent and felt that we received very good prices. It just seemed so weird that when I said "NCL" her whole attitude changed! You would have thought I'd said "I want to book a cruise to Hades."!
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Fern, I just don't understand where this all comes from. You are not the only one that has said this, but I still am in a quandery trying to figure it out. The older NCL ships, like the older RCI and Carnival as well as HAL and even Celebrity ships are not the best in the west. They were in their day but we expect certain nicities now day that even 10 years ago did not exist. The newer NCL ships are outstanding. They are every bit as nice as any ships out there: freestyle is still something that does not appeal to everyone even though it may be a coming thing on all lines. As for service the only difference we found between Celebrity and NCL was the sincerety of the servers in the dining room. Though our wait staff on the Connie was wonderful I never felt it was sincere. I got a feeling he cared more about what he might get at the end of the cruise than whether we were really satisfied. I almost think it has to do with a couple of things: where do you live and NCL does not have a true nitch, but appeals to a cross section therefore certain types are a bit turned off. I don't mean for any of this to be taken out of context, I just feel this way. Celebrity is a snob appeal line, RCI is a very active line but not the party atmosphere you see on Carnival. Carnival attracts a busy and younger group, offering the best selection of short cruises, HaL is for the 70 plus crowd, Princess is a Celebrity want a be line, but not quite able to cut it and Costa attracts the Europian crowd. NCL is a little bit of everything, but not a lot of any one thing. No TA shoud show shock at what a client wants to book, but should be there to assist. What I want will probably be opposite of what you want. I just sent a couple (early 70s) to Disneyworld for a week. When they called and told me what they wanted, I almost dropped the phone. I stayed calm, of course had to pick myself off the floor but they didn't see me laying there. Anyway I did the research, got back to them, they were thrilled with what I found for them. Long story they came back, had a blast, rode all the rides and said I saved them a fortune. The wife, by the way has canser and hopefully God will be good to her. if her health holds up they will cruise to Alaska next year cause I did such a good job for them: their words, not mine. I could have showed my shock, but it was their vacation, not mine. Now, of course I want to go to Dizxzyworld. NMNita
I think I know which online agency you are speaking of... From what I know, the owner of this particular agency had made some horrible comments about NCL in a travel magazine, & NCL decided to put them on thier "stop sell" list. Now, he has all his t/a's telling their passengers that the reason they do not book NCL any longer is b/c they do not allow them to discount rates any longer... That is completely incorrect! NCL, Carnival, & RCI have all implemented this new pricing policy that does not allow t/a's to advertise the discounted rates, but they can still offer them with a quick phone call. The agency I believe you are speaking of is in New Jersey, am I correct?