If you book while you are on board there is a shipboard credit on your next cruise. The amount depends on the lenghth of the cruise. You can book any time not just the last day. Incidentally, when you get home you can transfer the booking and the credit to a TA if you use one.
I booked a cruise for my parents while onboard -- the agent searched and got a great rate, was knowledgeable about cabin location -- didnt get shipboard credit because he found them an insanely low senior rate -- i paid the deposit onboard, also paid for their tips -- and transferred the booking to an agent i have used before --
It helps alot to know exactly what you want -- i had the dates, and specific ship in mind . It seemed alot of people were just shopping , I wish i had thought about a future booking for myself , it was very easy
I agree that it helps to know what you want in advance. Also, I didn't have to tranfer the booking because they gave my agent credit immediately and faxed him the booking info for follow-up with me when I got home. The key to this is to get the onboard credit and if there is a price reduction, your T/A can get that for you too. Mine got a great air discount without me losing the ship credit.
I have a few ques for those more informed on this if you don't mind---does the onboard agent work for the line or an independent company--? if it is transferred to your home agent who gets the commission?. One more: are these the lowest possible rates--our TA always gets a rate lower than brochure early booking but how would the on board rates compare? A shipbard credit is a lovely thing but the rate is the most important item. I also wonder if they check your prior history to see how much extra you spend before quoting a price--sort of like the gambling resorts where hi rollers are comped...
Good Questions. I believe the agent on board works for the cruise line so when the booking is transferred, my TA gets the commission. Also since this is an agent I have used for years, she checks to see if we can get a better rate. She also watches to see if the rates go down and we get the reduced price. Having said that, I am not her only client so I watch the rate too and call her if it is lowered. Most times she found it too but it doesn't hurt to do this yourself.
The on board agent doesn't check your spending habits, at least not at the time of booking. We were sitting there looking at the screen while he looked for the cruise we wanted so we would have seen it. Of course, we have no way of knowing what he did after we left, but we were booked by then.