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Old April 26th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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Question Questions for TA- today!

Well I think we have finally made our decision on dates for our cruise next Spring. FOS 5/8/11. I'm pretty excited because my 40th birthday is the next day.

Anyhoo...I am going to visit the TA today and wanted to know if there are any questions I shouldn't forget to ask. We are going to AAA Travel as my Mom is a member. I have heard they are the only ones who charge a cancelation fee, so that is on my list of things to ask.

Also does anyone know (come on felix....!) if the TA's will put a courtesy hold on the cabins before the deposit and also how long they would temporarily hold it before wanting money. We are still up in the air on a few of our extended family members who are dragging their feet. Also do you know the deposit percentage they want to start with (20%?) and if I am the 'group leader' am I responsible for getting everyone's money and handing it over to the TA or do they do that for each person's deposit individually?

As always, thanks in advance. You guys are awesome!

Melissa
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Old April 26th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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I'm no TA. In fact it's been quite awhile since I deposited on a cruise.

I can tell you that as a group leader, you don't have to handle everyone's bookings... that's one of the reasons you get a TA. Each person wanting to book can make their own arrangements with the TA.

Unless a ship is close to selling out you should be able to get a courtesy hold for anywhere from a day to a few days. If you need enough cabins for a group, the TA will be able to hold the cabins for longer.

On just a note of opinion... I've always found AAA to be quite high with their prices, so I would at least shop around for quotes from several travel agencies.

I also suggest interviewing travel agents, just as you might if you were hiring an employee, to get a feel to see if you think you'll enjoy working with them, and if they are knowledable about cruises.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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I agree with Kuki - shop a bit first. Go for the group - then she can hold for an amount of time, depending on the cruiseline you've choosen. With a group you can hold a certain amount of cabins (with princess and rcl - 8 without deposit. Once people decide to start booking into your group then they phone the TA directly to complete their booking. The amt for deposit is the same as for a regular booking. Normally, when booking into a group they usually have 2 days to deposit.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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when u visit AAA, get a price quote, then look either online or another local TA in your area. RCCL does have a group tour office, which you can contact on their 800 #. I just booked a cruise on Freedom for next year. My travel agent said he could hold my rooms for one week, then I will have to submit a deposit. Depending on the cabin, the price is anywhere from $250-500 per person. I have four cabins booked and depending on the type cabin I reservered the deposit will vary. Hope this helps.
cheers
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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when u visit AAA, get a price quote, then look either online or another local TA in your area. RCCL does have a group tour office, which you can contact on their 800 #. I just booked a cruise on Freedom for next year. My travel agent said he could hold my rooms for one week, then I will have to submit a deposit. Depending on the cabin, the price is anywhere from $250-500 per person. I have four cabins booked and depending on the type cabin I reservered the deposit will vary. Hope this helps.
cheers
To an extent, you are correct, however if she is taking out 8 cabins and therefore a proper group, she can have up to 6 months to fill those cabins. Once a name is assigned the deposit will be due then.

As she is dealing with a family group she is far better to deal with a B&M closer to home than either RCL direct or an on-line agency.

If your agent is telling you you have one week then you have named all your cabins. If it is a group and non-named you have much longer and the prices are locked in.

Four cabins will not constitute a group however I would have booked 8 cabins, made a group and see if there are any GAPS available which is a nexe perk for your group of 4 cabins.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Smile

Thanks for all the info. I met with the AAA agent and liked her very much and she is local. We live in a very small town so there aren't many to chose from. One of you said that AAA prices were high, but I thought that RCCI has the same prices for all and they don't discount?

She told me about the Group Department and how they could try and get me some OBC and amenities and stuff, so I feel pretty good going in. She called RCCI while we were there and had them get all prices for the rooms we were looking at. I had been online so I had an idea, but she explained some things I didn't know like the difference between Quads and Couples and Family Staterooms (have to have 5 people). And her price came out to the same as mine did online, so that was good. I'll be happy to hand all the money stuff and deposits and whatnot over to her as some of my family members are on the fence and no amount of prodding seems to be moving them! She said for 2010 they had lowered their required deposit to $150.00, but I don't know if that will stand true for cruising in 2011 or not and I don't know if that was pp or per cabin either. I'll let you know!

Thanks for all the help as always.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Yes, the RCCL prices are the same either direct with RC or through a TA. HOWEVER, I have found that TAs will offer OBCs and other goodies that RC will not, so that's why you may want to shop around. I got almost a $500 OBC for 2 cabins from shopping around online. I used CruiseCompete.com and got a wide range of offers.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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I got all my rates and I'm told they can only hold the inside or outside quads until May 27th of this year and then it goes back into the 'group pool" (so to speak). The other rooms they will hold longer. She says once she has the names to go with the rooms we have 7 days to put the deposit of $250pp on them. So if I understand it correctly... if I put my names on those cabins today, I have 7 days to come up with $1000 for my family of four. If I wait until May 20th I can still get a quad room as long as I pay the deposit by the 27th. I guess I don't understand if they are holding the quads until May 27th anyway, why can't I put my family's names on them now and just make sure I pay the deposit by May 27th? Does that make sense? That's the only thing I was a bit confused on!

She is giving each room a $100 OBC if I get 8 rooms booked and also 1 free "person" (not including taxes/port charges). I think the price I have is pretty standard, but I was wondering how low people have seen this ship/itinerary go. We are on Freedom 5/8/11 in an inside quad for a price of $739( plus $83 taxes). Once I get the deposit on there, I will be checking quite frequently for drops in price and maybe I will get lucky!

As always, thanks for all your help!
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 03:47 PM
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I asked my travel agent directly about freebies., obc, and how he gets paid by RCI. He said that by booking with him RCI will give him a rebate of such, so he will apply whatever he gets from RCI towards obc for our staterooms. He said if you book directly with Royal Caribbean, you don't really have any advantage, so thats the deal.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:03 AM
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When you book as an individual a TA can hold the reservation for a few days (unless its past final payment time).

If you get a group together the TA can get group space up to 16 cabins without deposit (RCI has the 'deposit' or 'no deposit' choice) until the first recall/option date which is a few months before departure date.

Once a booking is made or a cabin allocated you have to make a deposit within a few days (depending on cruise line between 7 and 14 days).
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:13 AM
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I'm not an agent, but as I understand it, with group space on RCI, if they want to. 30- 45 days of the original booking of group space they examine the group, and will only leave cabins in the group equal to the number that have been deposited on.

At least this was the way it worked a yr. or so on a group we were going to do for CruiseMates.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
I'm not an agent, but as I understand it, with group space on RCI, if they want to. 30- 45 days of the original booking of group space they examine the group, and will only leave cabins in the group equal to the number that have been deposited on.

At least this was the way it worked a yr. or so on a group we were going to do for CruiseMates.
You have 6 months from original booking if you have 8 cabins. After that you can add any cabins you want to the group but they must be deposited and the rate they charge is the current rate.

If you are booking a large group there is a deposit per cabin from the get go.

And yes, if you have of say 15 cabins booked they will allow you to hold 15 more cabins within your group but if you have 25 vacant cabins they will pull back 10.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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I asked my travel agent directly about freebies., obc, and how he gets paid by RCI. He said that by booking with him RCI will give him a rebate of such, so he will apply whatever he gets from RCI towards obc for our staterooms. He said if you book directly with Royal Caribbean, you don't really have any advantage, so thats the deal.

RCL does NOT give rebates. If your TA is putting you into an existing group and that group has GAPS you will be entitled to them. A lot of TA's have groups and will put anyone into the group even if they aren't part of the original. That's usually a win-win situation.

As for telling you RCL gives him rebates - they don't.
__________________
Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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I got all my rates and I'm told they can only hold the inside or outside quads until May 27th of this year and then it goes back into the 'group pool" (so to speak). The other rooms they will hold longer. She says once she has the names to go with the rooms we have 7 days to put the deposit of $250pp on them. So if I understand it correctly... if I put my names on those cabins today, I have 7 days to come up with $1000 for my family of four. If I wait until May 20th I can still get a quad room as long as I pay the deposit by the 27th. I guess I don't understand if they are holding the quads until May 27th anyway, why can't I put my family's names on them now and just make sure I pay the deposit by May 27th? Does that make sense? That's the only thing I was a bit confused on!

She is giving each room a $100 OBC if I get 8 rooms booked and also 1 free "person" (not including taxes/port charges). I think the price I have is pretty standard, but I was wondering how low people have seen this ship/itinerary go. We are on Freedom 5/8/11 in an inside quad for a price of $739( plus $83 taxes). Once I get the deposit on there, I will be checking quite frequently for drops in price and maybe I will get lucky!

As always, thanks for all your help!
The cruiselines does not hold triples or quads for a long period of time. That's why you have a short deline. As for not naming them yet it's simply your TA keeping your money in your pocket as long as possible. She's basically telling you why pay sooner than you have to.

My only question to her - where is the $100 coming from. If it is through the GAP points then you will not have to have 8 cabins booked as they don't take away the GAPS. However you do have to have 8 doubles booked for the TC.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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My question, and maybe this has been discussed before, but how can the online TAs offer such large ammenities/OBCs?

I've talked with local TAs and they never offer much of anything in the way of OBCs...maybe $50-75. Every offer I got online was for at least $200-$300/cabin for a $1200pp booking.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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my travel agent told me he will get a kickback from Royal; when he gets it he will apply it to my obc.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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my travel agent told me he will get a kickback from Royal; when he gets it he will apply it to my obc.

Very interesting since it is RCL practice to never give kick backs and I"m inclined to believe RCL. At the same time, where is your TA getting this money if RCL is not giving him an illegal kick back.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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my friend is a certified agent with RCI.
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