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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Default Making reservations

Is it better to book directly with Royal or go through a travel agent?

Thank you.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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You can usually get a better price from a TA, but not always. Shop around.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Have done both... but would recommend a TA especially if this is your first cruise, as they can provide you with more information than what you might be able to get directly from RCI. I booked my first through TA and have booked several directly online without any problems since. Most likely will get more personalized service with a travel agent who can answer questions better.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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We always use a travel agent. She is wonderful and then you really don't have to worry about anything, as they take care of it for you. Even remind you of things you may have forgotten.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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I prefer my travel agent, especially since there trip insurance is half the price of RCI's and covers as much if not more.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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Royal,
If you haven't received my last PM, probably it got stuck in my Out box and not going out. You can e-mail to my address you have.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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I would also recommend a good travel agent, but also shop around for one that you feel will do a good job for you.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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We have found that we got the best rate booking directly with RCCL. They are very helpful, sometimes you do have to wait on the phone to get an answer but you do get an answer. If your TA can meet or beat RCCLs fares and you would feel more comfortable dealing with a local agent then book with a TA
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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I wish I would have booked our cruise through Cruise Value Center - i spoke to Alex AFTER we had booked our cruise and he would have saved us $200 off of what we paid.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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silvercloud- unless you booked a special restricted fare i dont' see any reason why you can't transfer your booking. It would be worth a phone call to the agent you mentioned to save $200.00
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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My only fear, Lisa, is that we had the very last aft stateroom booked and I'm so afraid that someone will grab it before he can rebook. I know it might sound silly - but we would DIE if we don't get that room. (dramatic i know..ha!)

I sure will book thru him next time though or do more research on prices.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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You really do not "rebook". What you do is transfer the resveration from one entity to another.

I have done this several time. The cabin will not be lost.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Hey irish! How the heck are ya? This sounds completely silly - but I'm afraid of hurting this persons feelings - the one i booked thru. Sounds strange I'm sure!!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Silver Cloud, so nice of you to ask. Doing great so far today. How about you?

I know how you feel. I had booked our next cruise through the same agency that we booked with last time. However the TA no longer worked there and we got another one.

This one is not the sharpest knife in the drawer! She could not do anything right.

So, I just took my booking to another agency. She never asked why. I think she knew what the reason was.

Now your case is a little different. What I can suggest is to call the TA and ask if they will meet the lower price. They know that you will walk if they don't. If they don't meet it, just walk.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Thank you! I think I'll just do that! Heck - $200 is $200! That'll buy a lot of little frozen drinkies!
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Old May 11th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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silvercloud: i was going to tell you the exact same thing that Irish Shark told you. As long as you have your booking number you can transfer the booking without loosing anything. Give him a call, ask him if he will still honor the lower price that he quoted you(do you have it in writing?) that would help alot. If he does great, if not then just leave things as is.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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TA prices and RCCL prices should be the same. RCCL no longer permits discounting by TAs. An exception might be a so-called "group cruise" where the TA buys a block of cabins at wholesale and sells them to individuals. Some TAs offset a lack of discounting by offering free gifts, like a bottle of wine, to be delivered to your stateroom. A qualified TA cruise specialist will probably know more about cruising and RCCL than the cruseline employee in Wichita, KS. You just have to pick the right TA. Some large TA's even have blocks of desireable cabins that aren't even available if you go direct to RCCL. If you find a TA you trust, stick with them; you won't regret it.
After you book, you should check the RCCL website occasionally for price reductions in your cruise. If the price goes down, you can call your TA and request a refund for the price reduction. RCCL will credit your account for the amount of the reduction. Your TA should be glad to handle this for you. If not, this is an indication that you DON'T have a good TA.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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We booked our Panama cruise directly through the cruise line at first, because we had to reserve very very early in the morning the day the cruise itinerary was released. We wanted a specific cabin. We THEN transferred the booking to our TA. We had no problems at all.

Our TA does a great job and we get the personal service we can't seem to get through a direct booking with the cruise lines.

But as has been mention on this thread...check out the TA first to be sure you can get the services want.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Potential first time cruiser here.
Been reading the boards for a few weeks now and love all the information and tips everybody passes on.

Reservationwise, I was wondering if there are any websites that you can perform a search for specific cabins when booking a cruise or can you only check for specific cabins through a travel agent?

My Wife is a bit claustrophobic and after reading many threads about the various cabins and balcony sizes, I would prefer to get a cabin with the largest balcony possible to make it seem as open as possible for her.

Thanks for any help and all the help I have already gleened from these boards.

Bill
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Old May 20th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Bill,

Potential first time cruiser here.
Been reading the boards for a few weeks now and love all the information and tips everybody passes on.

Reservationwise, I was wondering if there are any websites that you can perform a search for specific cabins when booking a cruise or can you only check for specific cabins through a travel agent?


I strongly recommend booking through a reputable travel agent in your area who specializes in cruise bookings. A reputable travel agent normally will be able to match any "deal" that you might find on the 'net, but will also provide much more personal service than a web site. You'll also have one point of contact who is responsible for all of your travel arrangements, whom you can hold accountable if the arrangements are messed up in any way. The cruise industry also is not monolithic. Each cruise line has a unique style and each destination has unique attractions, and a knowledgeable travel agent will help you to make choices that will be a good match for you.

My Wife is a bit claustrophobic and after reading many threads about the various cabins and balcony sizes, I would prefer to get a cabin with the largest balcony possible to make it seem as open as possible for her.


The main area of a standard cabin is about ten feet by twelve feet and the head ("bathroom" in landlubbers' lingo) is about four feet by seven feet including the shower stall (about four feet by two and one half feet). The layout is very efficient, though, so there's plenty of room to function. I doubt that your wife will have much problem in the main room, but a person with severe claustrophobia may well have difficulty in the head when showering or using the toilet. If your wife would not be able to deal with using such a small head, there are two alternatives -- (1) an ADA handicapped cabin or a suite. The former are larger and have larger heads and shower stalls to provide enough room to maneuver a wheelchair. The latter have much larger heads with full bathtubs because the higher fares pay for the additional space.

Norm.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the input Norm.....
Travel agent sounds like the way to go.

Bill
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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I am a travel agent, and of course I am bias towards using one, but you should ask a couple of questions before bookking with the TA. You should make sure the TA is knowledgeable in the cruise industry by asking if they have ever been on a cruise and how many they have actually booked. You will then know if she will be able to answer all your questions plus give you some extra tips. And yes, we can take over any booking that you have already booked elsewhere.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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I am a TA and I notice on these boards that many people have the misconception that booking with the cruise line is cheaper. Whatever rate the cruise line gives to you and you GET IT IN WRITING. Meaning you hold the room at the rate they give any travel agent can give you the same rate. When we book a cruise for people we call the cruise line and get the same rate they give you! Even if you book on board we can take over that booking at the rate they gave you. Even if you are a past passenger we get the same promotional rate you would get if you called the cruise line.

The only differance when you book with a TA, especially one who knows there cruises, you get personalized unbiased service. The people who work for the line cannot give you that.
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