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rinker250 September 19th, 2013 07:35 PM

Personal Cruise Consultant
 
Can anyone recommend a good cruise consultant for NCL?
The one we used for years seems to have disappeared.

storybookcruises.com September 19th, 2013 08:28 PM

It's always better to use a reputable travel agent, preferably a cruise specialist. Their services are free and can provide information on all the cruise lines, not just one. Plus, if you have any problems and booked with the cruise line, who do you think they represent. An agent represents you and should you have any problems, they have contacts not available to you. And lastly, while their prices are going to be exactly the same as what the cruise line charges, often they have specials not being offered by the cruise line that can get you a better rate.

Pete

rinker250 September 21st, 2013 06:52 AM

Makes sense but our original agent from 6 years ago is gone and I really don't know how to find a "reputable" one.
How about an on-line service?

storybookcruises.com September 21st, 2013 10:32 AM

I don't recommend an online service for the same reason I don't recommend booking directly with the cruise line. There was a study once done and they said that when you call the cruise line or one of these online sites, you're talking to someone who: 1) works in a call center; 2) is not a certified travel agent; 3) has worked in the cruise business for less than 6 months; and 4) has never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. So, their knowledge and experience is limited to selling not sailing. They usually don't even look at a deck plan to see where your cabin is and you could end up in an undesirable location. Plus, they often don't spend any time explaining all the details to help make your vacation hassle-free.

Being a small business owner, I'm obviously prejudice on the matter, but a reputable agent will look after you because they want you happy and want you to use them again. To them, you're not a number. When you're talking to a perspective agent, ask them alot of questions; how long have they been in business, how many cruises have they been on, where have they visited, etc. Are they a Cruise Specialist or just a general travel agent? Are they an independent agent or do they belong to a national consortium? Check out their website - is it professional looking? Are they available when you need them? Do they respond quickly to your calls or emails? Keep in mind a good agent doesn't have to be local. I have clients all over the world and most of them I've never met and with some of my international clients, I've never even talked to them. I have one couple in So. Africa that has been with me for more than 8 years, book 2 cruises a year with me, and I've only talked to them once.

But it really is important to find someone you feel comfortable with that you can build a good working relationship with. Sort of like finding a good auto mechanic, doctor, or any other professional.

Pete

Dave Beers September 21st, 2013 11:18 AM

My agent is in Texas and I am in Alabama. I think I've talked to her on the phone 3 times in the 14 years she has been our cruise agent. She handles my bookings via e-mail. Always looks out for my best interests. I 'met' her on line in a travel forum years ago.

Try searching for agents by using the CLIA website. Enter your address and you'll see a list of nearby agents, if you prefer someone local. The CLIA site seems to be down as of the time this message was posted. Try it later if you get an error screen. Probably doing server maintenance.

Bentnail September 21st, 2013 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise planner (Post 1485121)
I don't recommend an online service for the same reason I don't recommend booking directly with the cruise line. There was a study once done and they said that when you call the cruise line or one of these online sites, you're talking to someone who: 1) works in a call center; 2) is not a certified travel agent; 3) has worked in the cruise business for less than 6 months; and 4) has never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. So, their knowledge and experience is limited to selling not sailing. They usually don't even look at a deck plan to see where your cabin is and you could end up in an undesirable location. Plus, they often don't spend any time explaining all the details to help make your vacation hassle-free.

Being a small business owner, I'm obviously prejudice on the matter, but a reputable agent will look after you because they want you happy and want you to use them again. To them, you're not a number. When you're talking to a perspective agent, ask them alot of questions; how long have they been in business, how many cruises have they been on, where have they visited, etc. Are they a Cruise Specialist or just a general travel agent? Are they an independent agent or do they belong to a national consortium? Check out their website - is it professional looking? Are they available when you need them? Do they respond quickly to your calls or emails? Keep in mind a good agent doesn't have to be local. I have clients all over the world and most of them I've never met and with some of my international clients, I've never even talked to them. I have one couple in So. Africa that has been with me for more than 8 years, book 2 cruises a year with me, and I've only talked to them once.

But it really is important to find someone you feel comfortable with that you can build a good working relationship with. Sort of like finding a good auto mechanic, doctor, or any other professional.

Pete


I highly agree with you. I booked with a on line site one time and only one time and had nothing but problems, I have never talked with the little nome since.

rinker250 September 23rd, 2013 01:36 PM

Well Pete,
Are you interested in helping us?
We'd like to cruise on NCL's Jewel out of NOLA to the Carribean on 11/24/13. We have spoiled ourselves with pretty good sized suites on our last few cruises and would like to continue.
If not the Jewel, then the Sun to the Carribean in cabin 8002.

Please advise
Thanks

storybookcruises.com September 23rd, 2013 06:03 PM

Dan - I sent you a private message. Thanks for asking!

Pete

Travelbuggs September 28th, 2013 12:54 PM

Looks like you are already hooked up, but if in future you need a PCC at NCL, mine seems to be very good. He is quick to respond to messages left for him and will call back even on his days off. We often choose our cabin with his help and he makes sure we are getting the best rate. Once booked, we sometimes check around with other web based TAs or the TA department of our big box warehouse club. If we find a better rate and more on board credit, we then transfer the booking to the TA. Have always had good customer service with them and never a problem.

For future reference, Frank Levesque, Personal Cruise Consultant
877-416-9722 ext 4171

mermaid954 December 19th, 2013 05:18 PM

I have been working with Lacey Malone at NCL. SHE IS AWESOME! Hope this helps 954.514.4399 (Direct) | 877.416.9722 Ext. 4399


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