I just wanted to tell an NCL story, with a good and a bad side...
I booked a cruise on Norwegian Epic's first 7-day cruise because I really wanted to have time to explore the ship.
Now - since that booking I have been getting phone calls from an "NCL Personal Vacation Planner." In all I have probably had six of these calls, but since I am usually busy I usually just told them I couldn't talk.
Now, I booked the cruise through a travel agent, and I was not contacted by NCL until after I booked that cruise - actually after I was contacted first before I sailed. They act quickly. A lot of travel agents do not like the fcat that NCL contacts their customers directly - that's cutting out the middleman.
So, yesterday when ny NCL PVP called I said to her, "You know, I have a travel agent?" to see what she would say. To her credit I did NOT hear anything like "we'll I can get you better deals." Just the opposite...
She said to me. "I'm sorry, I am looking at a database that does not say that - that would be in a different set of records concerning sales. I am looking at records we get from people who sign up for specials on our web site or expressed interest some other way. I apologize, we really don't want to step on any travel agent's toes here so I will just let you go now."
Okay - kudos to her and NCL for immediately ending the call when I said I had a travel agent. But on the other hand, a knock for giving her leads that do not exclude people who have booked with NCL through travel agents. Yes, I have signed up for specials on the NCL web site because I am a reporter. But I never requested that they contact me by phone. In fact, I prefer to use agents for many things because I know they will not sell my name to anyone else.
NCL should never contact a customer directly who has booked a cruise with a travel agent. If they want to be proactive and contact anyone they should contact the travel agent and ask them if they think the travel agent should contact me.
But I have heard rumors of cruise lines direct sales trying to steal clients even when they knew they had travel agents - and that definitely did not happen in this case.