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Old August 17th, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Default Price drop on "Group Space" through TA

Hi: RCCL is offering a "senior rate" on the first leg of our repositioning cruise next Jan. '09. I have talked to my TA about the lower price and
she will give it to me but I will lose $ 200 in OBC from them. Can I go
to RCCL directly and get the reduction in price credited to my OBC acct?
My TA has been really stubborn and hard to deal with - says as I booked
in their "group space" - I am locked in when it comes to this ?? and also
possibly upgrading my cabin. I have never done "group space" before
so this is all new to me. Thanks.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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When our upcoming cruise announced "senior"discounts I called our TA and she was able to get us the new rate with the credit going straight to our credit card from RCCL. The same thing happened when the C&A discount came out about 6 months ago. We have been credited over $700 from RCCL. You are over 4 months out, have you paid the final payment? If not, see if you can book with at the lower price with the OBC and cancel with the TA unless you booked a specific cabin. The OBC is part of a group cruise booking and it sounds like she added you to it. Good luck.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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With the varying cruise line's pricing policies group space is a tricky issue these days.

At the time the TA booked the group space their price would have been lower than what RCI was offering as it's rack rate. RCI allows no price discounting by travel agents otherwise, so some travel agents will do add-ons (such as free insurance, pre-paid gratuities, OBCs) to make their deals more attractive.

If the price drops it will once again be RCI's policies policies which will determine if they allow the TA to take advantage of the reduction for their previously booked group space. If they note that reduced prices are for new bookings only, then the travel agent has no choice, and you are stuck..... if you still want the OBC.

Individual bookings could get the lower price easily, as they could simply cancel and rebook... but then the individual booking price would have originally been higher than the group rate, and have no OBC involved.

Unless the new reduced price is less than the price you paid, minus the amount of the OBC, you're still ahead in total value of your package. If it's more , you can always cancel and rebook.... which it sounds like your travel agent has offered to do for you.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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I have paid in full as the TA gave me an additional % discount as I used my cc. I would be charged a 10% cancellation fee if I cancelled. Also, I asked about changing my cabin location (same catagory) - just a few
cabins more forward - was told I would have to cancel the original cabin, lose the OBC, lose the additional % discount for the cc, basically be put
in a "guarenteed" situation with very little chance of getting the same cabin for both legs. Funny, when I checked the RCCL site BEFORE making
this request - the cabin I wanted was available. Probably, she didn't have
it in her "group space" and as we had some "issues" earlier in the booking process - just didn't want to deal with me. That's alright - I am already
planning on doing some shopping around next time. Learning a valuable
lesson - and I also want to say a big "THANK YOU" to all the great folks on
the Cruisemates Boards - great info source - keep up the good work !!!
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Old August 17th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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When a TA books you into a "group" booking - the prices are pretty much set in stone. You are getting a lot of other perks by being part of the group booking (ie: the on board credits). Usually, you can not combine discounts from the regular rate and a group rate. If the price reduction is more then the On Board credits then have her change your rate. But If it were me, I'd stick with the group - you may get other perks you don't even know about yet!
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Old August 17th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Yes, I am staying with my original travel plans and this TA - just wish she
was a little more pleasant to deal with - the two couples I referred to her
agency also agree with me. Well, we'll just see when Jan. comes around. Thanks again.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:30 PM
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You should be able to do both an upgrade and qualify for the senior rate. I do groups with RCCL and I re-price people all the time when the prices fall. The problem I suspect is that they had some kind of early booking deal or needed your cruise to make their quota in the last quarter and now if she changes your res, they lose it. I bet the additional OBC came out of their pocket. I told you on your last post that these people were playing games and that I thought some of their policies were fishy. You can try to call RCCL but since you booked with an agent, you will have to deal with customer service and not reservations. You may want to check with rccl to find out if this agencies practices are allowed within RCCL policies. Who knows what other problems you might encounter. This may also be a simple case of an inexperienced agent who has no idea what can be done with the reservation. She may also just be lazy.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 07:13 PM
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How does one know when prices have dropped. Do you periodically
check rates w/RCI? Cause my TA has never told me our rate
has dropped, and we usually book waaay in advance.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 08:22 PM
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Before we got our franchise, I was with my T/A for years because he always watched out for rate changes. It should definitely be the last step before making final payment. Since "RCI" has uniform pricing, a good T/A only has limited ways to stretch your cruise dollar.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Ok, now for sure I check prices w/RCI before making
final payment. Thx for the great advice.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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A good agent will periodically check for you. Sadly most will not and it is up to you. They are either too busy to keep up with pricing changes, or they do not feel the need unless a customer asks. Any cut in the cruise price means a cut in their comission. You can check the fares yourself ont eh rccl website and then if you see a lower price in your category, call your TA and let them know.
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