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Old January 25th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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Default Hi I'm thinking of booking an R.C. cruise

I usually post on the Carnivals board, and just got off a mediocre cruise with them. Noisy cabin (bangs and thuds all night long,) and poor dining room service, we were never asked what we wanted to drink the 4 nights we were there.
My husband and I did a R,C cruise about 6 years ago on the Radiance of the Seas.
I just called to a Sept 2010 dailing and the only prices they could give me at far in advance at R.C was for the Oasis for an inside cabin I was quoted $$729.00 per person, or $815.58 for an outside window.

My question is, am I better off going thru R.C, or a travel agent? Does this sound like a good deal. They are having a special where all you have to put down is $125.00 deposit per person.

I'm anxious to bokk, and have something to look forward to!
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Old January 25th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Those prices are a bit high, but generally if the prices go down (and you keep on eye on them) you can ask for a refund or ship credit. I did just that and saved over $500! However, you will usually have to initiate the request for a reduction.

I would go through a travel agent, but make sure it is one you trust, know or is located physically near you. It is just better to deal with them that way.

have fun...that new boat looks SO GREAT.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Well, I just booked it, but I will also check with a few travel agents, also. I figure I can cancel and rebook if they find a better deal.

$500.00! Wow, that is really good! How do you keep track? Online, or do you just call R.C. every once and awhile?
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Old January 25th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Enjoy your cruise on the Oasis she will be one hell of a ship!!

$729. on the Oasis is a good rate even though it is low season. Freedom ships run about $549. to $699. low season so that is not much of a difference for the mother of all ships!!

I would go with a TA since most of them include the insurance and also other perks.

Enjoy! 8) 8)
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Yep, even though I booked thru RCCL, I figure I will call my agent tomorrow to see if she can do better.
The only reason I booked thru RCCL, is that it justs seems nice if you want to make a chance (even on a weekend) you can call and change or ask a question. On my last cruise booked thru an agent, I could not even call the cruiseline and ask questions, I had to wait to go thru the agent.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmom
$500.00! Wow, that is really good! How do you keep track? Online, or do you just call R.C. every once and awhile?
I kept looking online on the RCL website. I noticed it went down, called the TA and they got me a lower fare.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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One piece of advice. I would insure that my travel agent was a member of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) as they receive special training for cruising (regards cabin location, special advice). If you cruise a lot and have used the same travel agent, they probably are.

Really good TA's while not required to do so, will often themselves keep updated on price reductions (especially if you travel a lot and use your agent exclusively) and notify you accordingly. I understand that some will even make those changes in your favor on their own and notify you after the fact!

Todd
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Old March 27th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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I know what you mean about carnival. I had the worst cruise ever. they were very rude group of people. I called RC and my travel agent. both were the exact same price. So go with whoever you are comfortable with.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmom
Yep, even though I booked thru RCCL, I figure I will call my agent tomorrow to see if she can do better.
The only reason I booked thru RCCL, is that it justs seems nice if you want to make a chance (even on a weekend) you can call and change or ask a question. On my last cruise booked thru an agent, I could not even call the cruiseline and ask questions, I had to wait to go thru the agent.
You have to look for a cruise consultant out there who is on call 7 days a week.

I am surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre they are out there.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
One piece of advice. I would insure that my travel agent was a member of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) as they receive special training for cruising (regards cabin location, special advice). If you cruise a lot and have used the same travel agent, they probably are.

Really good TA's while not required to do so, will often themselves keep updated on price reductions (especially if you travel a lot and use your agent exclusively) and notify you accordingly. I understand that some will even make those changes in your favor on their own and notify you after the fact!

Todd
Actually that is not quite correct. CLIA is assuring that the TA or cruise consultant is properly trained to do his/her job in general and that he/she adheres to certain rules. CLIA is a credibility thing.

But cruise lines have their own customized training, classes, academies, webinars, seminars etc.

I can always recommend a cruise consultant who is registered with CLIA and has certifications from cruise lines. CLIA alone is never enough when you look at cruise line specific items.
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Old March 28th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Florida_64 Cruiser,

That sounds quite reasonable then that the client would obtain optimal service by searching for a T/A who is both CLIA certified AND who has additional special training from a cruise line. Can they use the term Cruise Consultant only if they have that extra training and if so, is the use of the term only applicable to those lines from whom they've received such training?

Todd
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:12 AM
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While I do always recommend finding a really good cruise travel agent, all the designations mean only that they took courses. It doesn't mean they are good at the job, though someone trained is better than no training at all.

CLIA itself is just a marketing arm of the industry. If you have a problem with a CLIA agent they will do nothing to remedy the situation, nor do they have any authority to penalize a member. It's a bit like a fraternity or sorority .. but they won't throw anyone out

RCI's pricing policies are very restrictive. They don't allow travel agents to discount from their standard pricing.... but if you shop you can find agents who have group space on certain sailings, which can save you money.

Or agents are allowed to purchase amenities from the cruise line which they can pass on to you, such as onboard credits, drink coupons, etc.... also saving you money.

Your best bet is to shop for a GREAT cruise travel agent! Good luck!
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
Florida_64 Cruiser,

That sounds quite reasonable then that the client would obtain optimal service by searching for a T/A who is both CLIA certified AND who has additional special training from a cruise line. Can they use the term Cruise Consultant only if they have that extra training and if so, is the use of the term only applicable to those lines from whom they've received such training?

Todd
I guess nowadays everybody calls themselves TA or cruise consultant. I guess all you have to do is sign up up with a reputable company and start training.

I called myself cruise consultant in training until recently. The travel business is a hard business to understand. So many variations of certifications, accreditation etc.

I pretty much have set a timeline for myself. Have all the highest levels of each cruiseline within a year (got already 4). ACC (CLIAA) within the next 6 months and the MCC (CLIA) within two years. I have my CCC now (Cruise Consultant Certification) but there are other designations out there such as CTC etc.

After 2 years I will work on my ECC (CLIA) and my travel agent requirements. Most people you talk to are not really travel agents. CLIA calls them cruise travel agents and the better term would be Cruise Consultant.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Cruiser64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
Florida_64 Cruiser,

That sounds quite reasonable then that the client would obtain optimal service by searching for a T/A who is both CLIA certified AND who has additional special training from a cruise line. Can they use the term Cruise Consultant only if they have that extra training and if so, is the use of the term only applicable to those lines from whom they've received such training?

Todd
I guess nowadays everybody calls themselves TA or cruise consultant. I guess all you have to do is sign up up with a reputable company and start training.

I called myself cruise consultant in training until recently. The travel business is a hard business to understand. So many variations of certifications, accreditation etc.

I pretty much have set a timeline for myself. Have all the highest levels of each cruiseline within a year (got already 4). ACC (CLIAA) within the next 6 months and the MCC (CLIA) within two years. I have my CCC now (Cruise Consultant Certification) but there are other designations out there such as CTC etc.

After 2 years I will work on my ECC (CLIA) and my travel agent requirements. Most people you talk to are not really travel agents. CLIA calls them cruise travel agents and the better term would be Cruise Consultant.
You're moving faster than me. I've been doing this for 3 years now. I have quite a number of the same certificates as you and have taken some programs at one of the colleges up here so have my Groups Certification as well. I also had to write a TICO exam this week but that is very specific to Ontario. Effective July 1/09 if we don't have TICO here we can't sell travel. TICO is an excellent program though. It kind of gives anyone who buys travel from an Ontario travel agency (you don't have to live in Ontario) an extra insurance policy in case the company goes bust. It helped a lot of people when Canada3000 went down in 2001 and left thousands of people stranded in Europe.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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We saved about $700.00 going through a reputable TA for two people. $999.00 pp through TA, $1349.00 pp going directly through Royal Caribbean. Even after we booked I was a bit of a sceptic but went on RCI web site, punched our res# in and our names came up and was able to book all excursions through RCI. RCI website even has a timeline that shows us from when we booked till embarkation.

We received our documents, luggage tags, RCI magazine as well as other reminders in the mail. This cruise only agency also called us by phone the day we made the reservation to confirm. If I could mention their name I would highly recommend them!!!

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Old April 4th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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FINDING A GREAT TA:

Is harder than you think. First of all...most great TA's are very busy...unfortunately they do not have time for a lot of repeat questions from novice cruisers. They are busy answering hard questions from folks who are spending thousands on groups and suites. So my advice is to book with RCI and get all the questions answered and move your cabin around a few times etc. Then call in a TA if they can do something for you. Remember they don't have a lot of margin if you are booking an inside cabin. The best TA's get 15% of the basic cruise fare...so there is not a lot of money to play with. A great TA is worth his/her weight in gold. The key question to ask a TA..."How much business are you doing with RCI?" A great TA will tell you they are doing over 1 million per year...every year. Good luck.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Hey Katmom what Carnival ship were you on Just hoping it wasn't the legend because I'll be on her April 12th
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Old April 7th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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We just got off of Freedom of the Seas in Miami...if you are looking for a good gastrointestinal illness that will allow you an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, this is the cruise ship for you! Two of 6 in our party ended up in quarantine. If you do not leave your stateroom for 24 hours the medical staff is alterted by your cabin steward--at that point they can assume you are sick and demand a stool sample! If you do not comply, you are quarantined until you do. Bon Voyage!

This is our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise and most probably our last. The crew was working 19 hour shifts due the number of people that were ill--the CDC was waiting at the dock when we disembarked. It seems doubtful to me that the ship was thoroughly cleaned and de-germed in the few short hours before it was boarded again.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Katmom,

I wouldn't worry too much about getting the Norovirus. Over thirteen million passengers took cruises last year. Less than 2,700 cases of Norovirus (also known as stomach flu and the 2nd most prevalent virus in the US) were reported to the CDC last year. As an experienced cruiser, I'm sure you're aware of the small risk regardless of whatever ship you sail.

Many cruisers would give an awful lot to sail on the Oasis. Please favor us with a review upon your return.

Todd
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Old April 7th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
if you are looking for a good gastrointestinal illness that will allow you an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, this is the cruise ship for you! .
I was on the Freedom twice with No gastrointestinal illness in fact they were two awesome cruises....
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Navigator Of The Seas x2
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Old April 7th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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We booked our first cruise through RCI in February. So far, I am happy with our choice of ships (Freedom of the Seas) but I wish I had booked with a travel agent. We've only called RC a few times with simple questions regarding our reservations and each time they seemed annoyed and impatient. From reading months of posts, it seems like the personalized attention you'll get from a travel agent would be wonderful.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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I always book through a local agent. Then if there is a problem I can go face-to-face. Same price. Even the discount on the deposit. I used my AAA last time.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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I went on carnival and hated it. poor service, food and personel. I would pay extra for going on royal caribbean. I went with a different agent this time due to the lady I usually book with is in poor health. The new agent didn't know anything. My sugestion would be when you find a agent, ask questions and make sure she or he knows about the cruise lines and ships. If you book with a agent and they do not know anything, royal caribbean will not answer any of your questions. So make sure the agent knows who, what, were, and all. Oasos is going to be great. I am booked on it in Jan 10.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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We booked directly with Royal Caribbean. We had a question about the close proximity of our possible room choice to an elevator--whether there would be noise, etc. The customer service representative said "she was unsure whether there would be noise"...when we asked to speak to a supervisor to help make our room decision, she suddenly became VERY friendly. She looked at the layout of our floor--told us the elevator was not directly across from our room but rather around a corner on another wall--mentioned that our floor choice was probably more quiet as there were rooms above us and below us, rather than public areas. We always book directly with a cruise line, hotel, resort, airline etc. We don't feel the need to pay a middle man. If you are not getting the answer that you need or the service that you deserve, talk with someone who can help you!

As it turned out, noise was not an issue on our cruise last month, but rather the Norwalk virus. Two of the 6 people in our group were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours on Freedom of the Seas. The patients waiting to see the Dr. spilled out of the waiting room and down the hallway. Don't touch anything you don't have to, hope for the best and wash, wash, wash your hands!
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