I intend to book my trip online @ the Royal Caribbean website, after asking a company rep via telephone about some document issues I was advised that it would be to my advantage to book directly with RCI via telephone. The reason explained was that a travel agency would take over the online booking(even thought I am @ the Royal Caribbean website) and I would thereafter have to deal with the particular agency re; any changes, problems etc. and not be able to deal with NCL directly. Though my costs would remain the same, the agency would receive a commision on the booking. Any suggestions or words of wisdom? Thanks.
Donna & CA Cruise, I understand where you are coming from. But what happens to people like me who live in small towns where TA do not do much booking on cruises. They do not get great deal. I have been working with a small TA in town. They are wonderful people but the truth is they do not do enough business for any crusieline to gvie them a dgood deal. I am organzing a group of 50 for a wedding on a new years eve cruise (freedom of the seas). I was considering booking the group on my own. DO you guys think I am nuts? I just feel like I will be ablet o negotiate it better. If I give it to a TA. RCCL will never speak to me directly which stinks. So The truth is I hav eno idea what will be better for all of us. I like the idea of ar eal person I can chat with but the thought of not being able to negociate soemthing if necessary dries me nuts. Any suggestions from people who have organzied groups would be appreciated. Thanks!
I've been using a travel agent that is not local to me, but delivers great service, always there to answer a question either by phone or e-mail and I think thats equally important. If you want a number, just e-mail me, I'd be happy to give you her number.
I booked my cruise on line and I am still able to call RCCL anytime I want, and I have. I have changed my stateroom catagory and location several times, and called with other questions. I have booked both my upcoming cruises on line. If you book through RCCL via telephone, you cannot access you reservation online. If you book online, you can access your res online anytime you want and even make changes, add/delete options without calling them, change stateroom or you can call them as well. It is nice to be able to look up res online just to get that excitment going sometimes. If you want, you can transfer online reservations to a travel agent, but as far as I know, you don't have to.
Thanks for the tips. I ended up booking my trip on the RCI website and printed up my seapass and thus far seems hassle free. I think my costs would be the same either way. Though I appreciate the hard work of travel agents I have never used one that did not tell me I had to book the same day I called them..... OR ELSE...I would lose out on the great deal they offered me.
I'm with Donna. Use a good TA. I live in Atlanta so TAs are everywhere and I was thinking about booking straight thru RCCL. (Same price as I'd seen on most TA websites). However, my parents were quick to point out that TAs (good reputable ones) built their business by giving you that special 'personal' touch that RCCL doesn't really have the time for. I called their TA (recommended by Clark Howard-the Money Saving guru from Atlanta...he's on radio/TV) and wow! Someone to call me back-be friendly-plus my mom said every time they've booked with this TA, they get some type of "goodie" waiting for them in their room upon arrival on the ship! So, that's the route I took. If you want the TA name & #, email me and I can advise. They only book Cruise vacations-
My travel agent is in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We live in southwest Ohio. We have never met our TA (will meet her for the first time in February on Millennium). I have booked our last eight cruises through her agency. She has ALWAYS gotten us a better price than we could have gotten through the cruise line's website. Plus, there's always some extra "goodies" we get that we couldn't get from the cruise line.
Using a good travel agent gets my vote every time.
Serenade of the Seas b2b January 2016
Serenade of the Seas b2b January 2017
We have never used a travel agent. Never found one for any trip that could beat the price I was getting on my own. Close they could do was almost match the price, while some where even a few $100's higher? Guess thats how they make the commission.
We always book directly with RCI, like to do it that way best. Incase of any problems, they handle them, and have done so nicely. Instead of me having to get a third party to do so. But to each his own, good luck.
Building a relationship with a Travel Agent has a huge advantage over going direct. I am not a travel agent, but I do beleive in their services. I can care less how much commission they make nor is it my or anyone elses business. The truth is, travel agents do not make a ton of money.
People who cannot look beyond their pocket book get short changed in life. I think I paid about $50 more to go through a travel agent and for their services and advice I got in return, it was well worth it. These people deal with Travel on a regular basis, they know the ins and out to it and can offer you a multitude of choices.
I always choose value added services when I make purchases that need advise, I always beleive that quality is the cheaper way to go over the long run.
I never pay anything more when going through a travel agent. A good travel agent gets paid by the vendor, ie RCL, not the consumer. My travel agent has always given me the same price as the vendor would. The reason I like booking myself now is for one reason.
You have already booked your cruise through a travel agent, but the cabin you really want is already taken. Time goes by. Its Saturday afternoon, and you are playing around on RCCL's website. You notice that the aft cabin you REALLY want has become available. It being Saturday, your travel agent is gone for the weekend, so you call RCCL. They tell you that you can not go through them and you MUST talk to your travel agent. You wait until monday, call your travel agent, and by that time the cabin you want is already taken, again. Had you booked directly through RCCL, you would have had that cabin you wanted.
Again, I always like to book directly through the vendor as this has happened to me, and it will never happen again.