Got a flyer from Princess yesterday promoting some excellent fares for Captain's Circle members. It got me curious...would it make any practical difference if such a trip was booked through Princess or a TA?
As far as I know all cruise line offers are valid for use when booking with a TA. U should have no problems. PLUS, if they happen to be discount coupons... they're normally off the best fare u can find.
Personally, I prefer dealing with a TA who has my best interests at heart as opposed to the big, bad, impersonal, heartless cruise line :>) My curiosity got the better of me this time. When you get these membership-type discounts, is there any advantage going one way or the other?
There is definitely an advantage to go through a TA. The reason why is that my travel agent discounts any rate that Princess will quote you - even with a coupon. Thus, you are paying less for the same cruise and most likely will receive better service.
Besides, if for some reason you have problems with the cruiseline, your TA will stick up for you. With Princess - there is no one to stick up for you if there are problems.
Interesting about promotional fares. We had booked a cruise with Princess and since I'm a Captain's Circle member, I received a brochure that gave a certain percentage off the cruise fare. Nothing specific mind you, just enough information to get me to call Princess. I quoted the fare I already had to the Princess agent. She told me that even using the promotional fare, they couldn't match my TA's price!