A family group of 14 are going on the Golden Princess in a few weeks. To make a long story short, our TA was not the best by far, and after several complaints, she has offered us $30 above cost on our next cruise. Not having the greatest faith in her honesty, I wondered if there was a way we could find out just exactly what is an "at cost" cruise. I know it would depend on where you were going, etc. but is there a general percentage off that a TA would receive as opposed to one of his/her clients?
There is no real "at cost" price for cruises that I'm aware of. If I were you, I would want to find a new agent. If you are with a large firm you can request someone else by talking to a manager. Otherwise, find out the agency's cancellation policy. If they don't have a cancellation fee, go ahead and get a new agency to book your cruise. You should do a search of different online agencies to get a good feel for what your cabin should cost. Most of these are reliable and if you pay by credit card there is no fear of mishandling. Enjoy your vacation!
Usually, the price Princess sets is the cost. Commission is then paid to the agent. Commissions generally range from 10-16%. Most cruise specialists offer much of their commission back in the form of commission.
Say Princess's price was $1000. Next, suppose your agent is in the 10% range. This means for each passenger, you agent is earning $100 commission. If your agent is saying he/she will only keep $30 of their commission, then your fare for the cruise would be $930. You are getting $70 of the agent's commission back in the form of a reduced fare. If your agent is in the 16% range and is keeping only $30 commission, then your fare would be $870, giving you $130 of the agent's $160 commission back in a lower fare.
It really all depends on what your agent's percentage is. An agent should never charge more than Princess is charging.