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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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Default Book with RCCL or Online agent with OBC

I have always boked with cruise line direct...except in 2003, 2004 went with a online/TA had no problem with them. I am booking another cruise missed out on the wow sale that had $50 obc was bummed about that. So I checked back with the company I used in the past and they can do same price with a $100 OBC or a list of items from there OBC store. You ask why not go with them well I like dealing direct with the cruise line incase I have a price drop you have to always wait for them to get back to or there is always the case of them going out of business. I did check the BBB and they have 35 cases against them in the last 3 years but remember they sell alot of cruises so this could be a small amount. Please give your advice???? Thank you
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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I too genarally prefer to book directly with RCCL on their website. However on our cruise in August we booked kind of last minute and I looked online and ended up booking with another online travel site that offered an OBC with the booking. We didn't have any problems. RCCL has changed their price policy and no longer can you call anytime after booking to get a lower price. We leave in a couple days on the Oasis and am lookiing at another cruise in April 2011 we are planning on booking it while onboard so we can combine our C&A discount with an OBC. This is only good if you are booking while onboard one of their ships. I would think that as long as you are looking to book with a reputable agency you should be fine. Plan ahead for your next one and book it while onboard I think it is a better deal as long as you are a C&A member.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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You can call after booking if price goes down but not after Final payment????
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Old October 6th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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You can get a price reduction before final payment, but once you make final payment you are locked into that price. Which tells me there won't be many price changes until after the 60 day mark, when final payments are due...
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Old October 6th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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I am getting ready to sail on Allure in Dec. I am taking my mother on the 7 day cruise of the easter caribbean from 12/12-12/19

This is my very first cruise.

am I understanding that they will offer me a discount if I go ahead and book another cruise while I am on the ship? what would that discount look like typicaly? 10% 20%????

also what does C&A stand?

I am assuming that if you book it online, you need to be prepared to pay the 250.00pp deposit at that time as well?

Thanks so much!
Steve
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:06 PM
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Also,

I started out looking at prices from travelocity and orbitz, and I almost booked through one of those websites. I did put a hold on a trip directly with the cruise line...but I let the hold expire to book the same cruise with a TA.

I can't say that I feel like my TA has done anything "special" for me. While she has been extreamly NICE and pleasent to deal with...she did not get me a better deal then I could have gotten on my own. I did not get any perks from her for booking with her. I ended up booking my own flights because even when I told her "southwest has a deal for 117.00 each way, see if we can get something cheaper, otherwise I would like to book that"...she came back with 2 flights that were 3 times that price. I was going to allow her to book the southwest tickets for me incase she had any incentive for booking them at the same rate and she didnt really seem interested in booking those flights for me so I just did it myself.

While I have found her very friendly and fun to deal with, im not sure if I have gained anything by having worked with her. Although I know that she did gain from working with me. I will be curious to see if there is a note or basket or something in my cabin from her when I arrive on board, but at this point, I really doubt it. I think she simply booked me on the same ship, for the same price and then she was done. we shall see.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonic View Post
I am getting ready to sail on Allure in Dec. I am taking my mother on the 7 day cruise of the easter caribbean from 12/12-12/19

This is my very first cruise.

am I understanding that they will offer me a discount if I go ahead and book another cruise while I am on the ship? what would that discount look like typicaly? 10% 20%????

also what does C&A stand?

I am assuming that if you book it online, you need to be prepared to pay the 250.00pp deposit at that time as well?

Thanks so much!
Steve
C&A stands for the Crown and Anchor society, Royal Caribbeans frequent cruiser club, you can join while onboard your first cruise. Booking while on the ship you will book at the same price advertised online, however you usually will get a reduced down payment requirement (usually 100.00pp for a week long cruise). You may also get an onboard credit. The deals are better if you are booking farther than six months out. The more cruise credits you have (one credit per cruise with an additional credit for staying in a suite, and an additional credit for a 12 night or longer cruise), the better the benefits. Check out all the benefits and the different levels on RCCL's website. You also get discount coupon books for use while onboard.
Just be warned that cruising can be very addicting, once you go on one you will want to go again and again. That's how we became Diamond members so fast and am shooting for Diamond plus (we stay in suites so our credits add up fast). Happy cruising
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Depending on the online agency, I would go with them and take the OBC. There is a very low chance of an agency like Travelocity or Expedia going out of business in the near future. There are other agencies that have an online presence that will give you better service and perhaps better perks and are just as solvent.

I personally have never and probably never will book a cruise "online". The TA I now use has an online presence but I will communicate with her via phone and email. I would not feel comfortable or feel that I got the best deal I could have just by clicking the mouse.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 7th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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First I'll qualify by teling you I am a TA.

RCL does not discount any cruises. Some TA's may beholding group space on the particular cruise you are wanting and may put you into that for perks.

If you are dealing with a smaller agency or private agency even if it is with a large corporation, the commission level is not very high for each consultant so, unless the agency is coughing up the OBC there won't be much of that. You can receive a bottle of wine or something similar from most brick & mortor. It is usually what I do for mine as it is the best I can do.

As for the air, no airlines give any commission to TA for booking air. Therefore you may find yourself with a charge of $20-30 from the TA's. If there is a cruise connected with the booking the TA may not charge anything to book your flight. You do have to remember it does take time and there is a cost to the agent associated with issuing air tickets.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Thank you Mike and Felix for the comments! I appreciate them!

As far as the extra charge for the TA booking air, I really did not have a problem with that. Basicly what I told my agent was that I had already researched air fare for the prices that I could get, and if she could get me a better deal then that and also make a commision, then great. if not, if she wanted to go ahead and book me on the flights I found and charge a little extra for the service, then that was great too. My feeling was, since she was already booking cruise, (and I figured not really getting much of a commision for it) that I would be willing to pay extra to just have her book my southwest tickets that I had already found as well. she just didnt have any intrest in it. my thought was more for her than for me.

I am currious to see how she handels the trip now that the booking is done. If she does ANYTHING extra, i plan to send her a nice thank you bonus when I return. and I do mean anything. if we find a note when we get to our cabin thanking me for my business and wishing us well on our trip. that will earn a bonus. Anything that makes me feel as if there was a personal service probided, or weather she just clicked on the same links I could have clicked on, hung up the phone and that was the end of it. my thought is that she basicly had someone who already knew what cruise they wanted, what ship they wanted, what dates they wanted...so it was a quick and easy "point, click, commission" for them and that they will not be providing anything beyond doing what I could have done. I hope I am wrong and that they at least maintain a personal connection to validate why I am a fan of the idea of using TA's.

we shall see.

thanks again for your feedback!
Steve
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Old October 8th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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Is there advantages to booking in a group??? And also what are the disadvantages to being put in a group???? I am more concerned that a online cruise company will bait you in with these so called OBC only to find out when your cruise arrives the OBC are not there???
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Old October 8th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missemo12345 View Post
Is there advantages to booking in a group??? And also what are the disadvantages to being put in a group???? I am more concerned that a online cruise company will bait you in with these so called OBC only to find out when your cruise arrives the OBC are not there???
There are advantages to booking into a group. If there are perks you will get them. Regular bookings to not normally have much, if any, perks. If you are dealing with a reputable company you will have nothing to worry about. If you have any doubts about the company, don't deal with them.

The big companies do not "bait" you with an OBC. They won't be in business long if they were to do that.

Have you cruised before? You can't go into a deal with the idea you are being ripped off before you even book. You need to do your homework before you book.

You have a lot of questions to be asking as well - do they charge for changes, do they honour price reductions that you may be entitled to, does the OBC go away if you get price reductions, do they charge to cancel?

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

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Old October 8th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Even though you may be booked with a group, the basic cruise is the same as if you were not part of a group. You can choose to do activities with the group or not, totally up to you. So, if you can get a few perks or some OBC by booking within a group cruise, I'd go for it.
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