We are still about 5 months away from our cruise when I noticed our price dropped. We called our TA and she looked into it.. Sure enough, we could save about $250 dollars or upgrade to a junior suite for just a few dollars more than our current booking... Guess what, she kept her commission and we have a room that is 25% bigger now. The bad part is we missed getting an Aft cabin by just that much.
ousoonerfanintexas, What travel agency are you with so I will not use them?
My travel agent has gone above and beyond what I expected of her. Case in point:
1) I booked my cruise during a double upgrade promo
2) The cruise price came down so I was able to get a third upgrade
3) A $100 onboard credit promo was offered on new bookings last week. I asked her about that and at first she was told no, but then she was told yes and took it.
So in summary. In April I booked a cruise with a double upgrade so I was on the upper Deck.
Two months later the price dropped and I was upgraded to the Empress deck
Last week, I got a $100 onboard credit added to my reservation
So if I did business with you, I would still be on the Upper deck, but my travel agent has treated me like a king and taken care of me. That is customer service there!
I am not saying I wouldn't try to get the lower price but here is the thing, most of the time it is for new bookings only and the cruiselines are very specific about it if they are not no promblem. Now what will happen is you book a cruise with me in January and put down your deposit the final is due in May. So in February the cruiselines have a super sale OBC discounted prices whatever. Sure enough you call Orbitz here and want what you see we call the cruiseline and they advise it is for new booking only. You call us again and cancel your cruise. Now to be clever you go back on line and rebook it, now May comes along and I find out I just got screwed on my comission. Maybe you called back to rebook and somebody else will get the comission.
So like I tell everybody no rate is guaranteed until you confirm it works both ways but everyday I will get at least 2 calls where the price has gone up. So like I said you agreed to the price and the cruiselines don't have to give you the lower price but probably will if you are outside the cancelation policy.
well in that case sooner it seems to me that your overlord cruise lines are screwing you by saying "new bookings only".
I am not terribly rate sensitive but hey, I don't like to pay more than I have to for something. This would force me to cancel and rebook, or feel really resentful of having booked with you because you can not offer the special. I say this because if you book with the cruise line directly, they will let you cancel and rebook. Rather, if there is no cancellation penalty applicable, there is nothing to stop you from cancelling and rebooking. Then I would probably ask you why you weren't willing to cancel, and rebook me. You would only lose a percentage of the difference in price that is commissionalble. Would you offer to do this, were this the situation? Or would you tell me that it's for new bookings only, sorry, you can't do anything, quote me the cruise lines business perspicaciousness and tell me why they shouldn't give me the price drop?
Unfortunately banker, some agents are in it for the money and not to help their clientsenjoy their experience.
Funny thing is, my travel agent contacted me when the price dropped and asked if I wanted the money or upgrade to the next category cabin.
Now I called and asked about the onboard credit offer that was happening. She told me that that was for new bookings only, but that she would check it out and see if I could get it. She checked it out and said that it was worked out to where I could get it.
I guess it depends on how good your travel agent is and how much they want you to be a repeat customer.
I did find a few better prices by using cruisecompete, but decided to stick with the travel agent I knew and trusted and in the end, I got a better deal anyway.
If you read a few posts above - "Banker's insights into the history of retail travel - Version 1.0" -- my point was that they (travel agents) and we (all of us who service clients) need to be always one step ahead, one step better, more efficient, faster, cheaper, whatever to gain our clients, and ensure their loyalty. The old "I just sit here and customers come to me" doesn't work anymore.
wanman, your travel agent earned your business and your loyalty........Perfect!
No banker I would not cancel and rebook nor would I encourage you to in fact I would advise you this is against policy. If I did a cancel and rebook and was monitored on that call I would loose my job. If people didn't try to cheat the system this wouldn't be an issue. Let me give you an example. My mom and dad both seniors take my wife and I on a cruise the cruiseline offers a senior rate so what I do is book dad and I in one room and mom and wife in the other receiving the senior citizen discount for both reservations. Here is another one I have a LA drivers license though I live in Texas. So I ask for a LA residence rate and receive it though I live in Texas. People really rip off the airlines especially business travelers. Joe has a 6 month assignment he leaves for Atlanta from Dallas every Monday and returns every Thursday, so what he/she does is book the flight ATL to DFW leaving on Thursday and returning on Monday receiving the Saturday night stay discount. If people like this didn't undercut the airlines and the cruiselines maybe travel would be more affordable.
So what you are saying is you would not find a way to hep your clients save money? Is the commission worth that much to you?
The way I look at it, is that the more money that you save a client, the more they will spend on their trip.
I know with the $100 on board credit I get, I will be able to get a couple more pictures, a better shore excursion, more drinks, a better keepsake for my family that I would not otherwise get. It seems that a Travel Agent should work for the client, not for the airline, cruiseline, or their pocket book.
Wanman rules are rules what does this mean to you.Guests who previously booked, cancel, and then rebook during this period are not eligible. See that is another promblem all of you believe you should be an exception to the rule.
As much as it pains me, I must agree with ousoonerfanintexas on this one. At least as far as Carnival's "specials". I get several E-mails from them every week. If you read the fine print at the bottom it does say that you can NOT cancel and rebook to get the better price, or upgrade, or whatever they are offering.
Also, the "special" price they often offer is for a 1A cabin. If you look at Carnival's brochures or online you won't even see a 1A listed! The lowest listed cabin is a 4A. I asked my TA about a 1A. There are only several of this catagory on ships that even have them. They are in the deck plans in a beige color. They're very small, with bunk beds. Not something most of us would want to book!
So, if you see "As low as $359.00 pp", this 1A is probably what you'll get!
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I know a number of people who have booked, even with Carnival directly, through their PVPs. Not only did they receive the difference if the price dropped, at times they've actually been notified by their Personal Vacation Planners (who work for Carnival).
The truth of the matter is there are MANY exceptions to the rules! Carnival themselves make the exceptions... on the "rules" they set (not god). But it takes an agent willing to work for the best interests of their clients to get them the benefit of the exception.
That is the difference between using an order taker and a good full service agent.
As I stated before, when researching my article on this very subject, it was Carnival head office that stated that these situations are reviewed on a case by case basis, and even if a passenger may be into penalty phase, they will often receive an onboard credit for the difference.... and RCI and Celebrity who knowing the information was going to be published said they would guarantee rates up to day of sailing.
The IMPORTANT thing is to have an agent go to bat for you, rather than one who's only interest is commission on one booking!!
As far as rules being rules..... all the cruise lines have a habit of disregarding MANY of the rules they set, including onboard behavior. Much of it is only put in print to act as a "warning label" to protect themselves in the event of legal action.
Carnival can do whatever they want, the airlines can do whatever they want at Orbitz we stick to policy. We don't void airline tickets because you weren't paying attention and booked a wrong date or you booked a "blind fare" and didn't like the flight times. You don't like the fact you will be charged 500.00 to cancel a cruise because you didn't want to get the insurance and you were in a car accident. If we can get the lower price then fine. As I first stated you agreed to the price and if the cruiseline doesn't lower it they don't have to.
So banker I believe by the name you are a banker so let me ask you this. Somebody comes in to apply for a loan you look at one thing, and that is a credit score it doesn't matter if the person makes 250k per year bad credit score you will deny them a loan or get a loan at a 19 % APR isn't that correct? Maybe you don't have anything to do with loans in your department, but I am sure you know the process. So are you going to go to bat for me with a low credit score or do you have policies you have to go by?
If you have read this I am sure you are thinking this is a totally different situation but to me it isn't. If I go to the bank to get a car or home loan if I am approved I should get the lowest apr no matter what. If I sign a 30 year loan contract and the apr drops you should automatically drop my apr but we know I will have to refinance and pay the fees.
Sooner my friend, that is exactly what I would do. Credit is only one aspect of adjudicating an application. The others are security, income, employment stability, residence history, and overall character of the applicants.
If there is bad credit, we find out the circumstances around that poor credit. Was a previous marital situation (divorce etc), job loss, out of school and unemployed, layoff from an employer, health issues (illness) of the applicant or family members. There are many reason why credit falls behind. I have found that more often than not, there are circumstances around the poor rating. Often more than one of these reasons.
Even though it is not exactly my job to do this, but when I meet someone I can decide within 10 minutes if the bank is going to loan them money or not. I always encourage everyone, especially branch managers and loan officers to look at the big picture. I encourage them to go to bat for the customer, try to find way of getting something done rather than giving reasons why it can't.
I would look at the strong income, and make a case that a "schlepp" wouldn't be in that kind of position. I would make a case for strong residence history; not the type of person to jump around a lot - very stable. I would make a case that maybe the income is very low (min wage retail etc), and credit is questionable, but this person is 24 years old and has worked in the same job for 4 years, - employment stability.
These are just examples but I would make a case to whatever is appropriate for that person.
If adjudication was as simple as you put it and that person would be denied the loan, then a computer could do it. That is not the case, a human being needs to make a human decision on another human being's application.
In this case we are talking about acutally deciding. In your case, we are just asking about going to bat on behalf of a customer.
I am not saying that banks are this way, and that all bankers do what I do, but it is a more and more competitive environment and this is the way it is going.
Shouldn't have got me started talking about banking, I can go on forever!
Grin Buddy,,,,ooops it's went quiet from a certain party.
You are doing yourself no favours here sooner and like Banker, most others see the bigger picture. So I dont know what I'm talking about,,,fine.
This is not a personal attack, so please let me say this.
Todays business market is split. One you get those who care about their customers and continue to offer the best deal they can get for them and still make a profit. Against those that offer a one off hit service, that will gain income initially, but as people get wise to the lack of service and dig deeper into what they get, will not return.
One market is constant, and one relys on new blood to make it turn over and that will eventually dry up.
I know who my money and service is going to.
What really bothers me is why you feel you have to justify every action taken in the bulk internet, or call centre market? Its as if they made you spokesman for a market you have no control over, own a share in,,what are you all about?
Banker you may do that and that is great however as I have found out it all comes down to one thing policy I know I had bad credit at one time and I explained everything I was on drugs bad relationships and actually had 2 years of good credit but it still came down to policy with banks it was unless your credit is this, we don't lend to you. The car agents went to bat for me and found someone that would give me a loan at a generous rate of 24.99 %. Again it was policy and I was 23 so this is what I got.
Now David again what makes you think you should be an exception to the rule?
OK, When you get a loan, if you get a 8.99% APR on a new car loan and the next year it is down to 5.9% APR, you can and most banks will let you refinance. I know that they do this because my bank did this for me.
Now are you saying I did something wrong by doing this? Are you saying I am a cheat and a fraud for allowing my bank to do this for me because I asked for it? Are you saying my banker should be fired because he, God forbid, helped a customer and provided excellent customer service?
Fact of the matter is that in my opinion, your travel agency (I am not bashing you personally here so please do not take it that way) does not care about their customers, only the bottom line. Forget the customer, grab their money and move on.
Like I said above, I found a better price on my cruise before I booked it, but I know that my travel agent will (and has) taken care of me, and through that, she knows I will book through her again and again and she will get more money that way. Big deal if you loose $5 or $10 by getting a customer a lower price, that amound may turn into $100 or $200 on the next sale.
One question I have for you, does your Travel Agency send a gift to their cruise customers? Mine always gets us something as a suprise. Last time is was a $15 gift certificate for pictures. That is not something that we expect but enjoy and it makes us know that she really cares and appreciates our business.
Wanman O.K. Aggies rule better than the Longhorns. Of course you can refinance a loan but at least at my bank you are charged a refinance fee. Over here at Orbitz we don't send gifts to customers because we have to many.
Mostly with us the cruise price doesn't go down but a new promo is being offered. So lets take the cruise I am booked on that leaves on 04-15-06 on the Splendor of the Seas. Now I booked this and got an early booking special for an oceanview stateroom and cost 175.00 a person the price won't go down but now RCL is offering a free shore excursion can I get that...of course I can if I am willing to pay the rate the cruise is now which is 575.00 a person. I will explain this to a customer and of course they won't like it but I think that is fair there is a saying you can't have your cake and eat it too.
A cruiseline will offer the customer the lower price if they are outside of penalty if they are inside I will call the cruiseline and ask for the lower price and they say YES or NO. If they refuse because this "new price" is for new booking only there is nothing I can do. The TA's don't have as much power as you might think it is all up to the cruiseline.
A good TA has a good relationship with the cruiselines. I am starting to think you don't Sooner and due to the "policies" of your agency that might be out of your control.
The fact remains that a good TA will call the cruiselines, go to bat for their customer and try to get the lower rate. Many posters (including me) have done this many times and love their TA for this and other great services.
You still seem to want to justify why you don't go to bat for your customers. Again, I feel fortunate to have a TA who truly does seem to care about my repeat business. In this day and age, good customer service is hard to find. Kuki summed it up best:
"That is the difference between using an order taker and a good full service agent. "
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I agree with Dorothy. My TA has ALWAYS managed to get me shipboard credit when the price of the cruise has dropped and I have paid the higher rate. And, I have checked it out with other cruisers on board to see if I really got a good deal and I did! A good TA is worth her/his weight in gold!
I have no doubt that ousoonerfanintexas is a good travel agent, I am not saying that at all, I feel that his company is not there for their customers, but for their own bottom line.
I have no doubt that if I asked my travel agent to have the Captian come to my hotel and pick me up personally and carry my bags to the cabin, she would do everything she could to get it done, even though we all know that would not happen. To me it's all about Customer Service and at least trying to help the customer out.