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About ChinaShrek

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Holland America
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  1. Reality is more complicated. While there are many positive posts about TAs on this board, there are also posts from people with horror stories about dealing with a travel agent that sold their business without telling anyone, refused to release their reservation, went on vacation and no one else works at their office, lied to them, etc. One must weight the pros and cons of Travel Agents. Is saving money worth a possible disaster?
  2. So this would be the main reason not to have a TA then?
  3. I am finding that my TA will not do this if I received a reduced fare from him in the first place. Example: The retail price of the cruise is $3300. I call my TA and ask them what they offer/charge me for this cruise. He says $3000 and no OBC. I say, "Great. Book it!" However, let's say the retail price of the cruise drops to $3100 three months later. If I call my TA, he now tells me that my reservation is still $100 cheaper than retail and they cannot refare unless I want to lose my deposit. Does this make sense?
  4. What am I going to do with the 50 CUCs I saved from my April cruise? I was hoping to use them on a cruise to Cuba next year.
  5. Waiting for the link. . .
  6. I can understand the convenience of wrist bands on the ship but they certainly announce tourist when you are walking around in the port. I like to walk around incognito when I'm in port.
  7. But old threads add to confusion and flaming comments. . .
  8. Unless HAL is running a promotion, you are unlikely to get any OBC from HAL or your PCC. TA's can also process a FCC when you book a HAL cruise through them. In my opinion, it's all about time. Booking with HAL takes some amount of time and transferring the booking to a TA takes time. Many cruisers will want to skip HAL/PCC and just have the TA book it. I have also had several local travel agents say that they are not interested in taking transfers, so make sure your TA will do that!
  9. I wanted to circle back to this thread because my PCC has taken another job with HAL, and I do not have a PCC at the moment. However, I just booked a cruise with HAL through their reservations line and had a wonderful experience. First, I emailed a TA requesting a rate quote on a particular cruise. I am eligible for the casino rate and I wanted to know if it could be combined with the Early Booking Bonus. The TA emailed me back and told me what the casino rate was ($2600). I then asked again about the current HAL promotion. I was told that this rate did not include any promotions and that the deposit was non-refundable. He also said there was only one Casino rate. That didn't sound right, so I then called HAL and asked my same questions. I found out many interesting things about the Casino rate. There is both a fully refundable Casino rate (which can be combined with the current promotion) and a Casino rate with non-refundable deposit (which cannot be combined with the current promotion). I'm not sure if booking with a PCC is necessary but calling HAL was definitely worthwhile. This TA has booked thousands of HAL Cruises but did not know much about the Casino rate or didn't want to call HAL and ask the right questions. I may transfer the cruise to him for some OBC but I like being able to call HAL with questions.
  10. Yeah, I looked at the Rotterdam cruises for next summer. I like HAL's newer ships and the Verandah cabins are cheaper on the Nieuw Ansterdam (although the Ocean Views are much cheaper on the Rotterdam). Another vote in my mind against the Rotterdam is that the Rotterdam actually leaves out of Rotterdam and not Amsterdam for 2020.
  11. Thank you for the advice. I did a 7-night last year that went to Oslo and Flam on the Koningsdam. I had a wonderful time and want to see more of Norway next year!
  12. I am trying to decide between two different 7-night Norway cruises in 2020. Both cruises are on the Nieuw Statendam and both are out of Amsterdam. Two of the ports are the same but two are different. Which itinerary would you select and why? Cruise 1 ports (Departs June 21, 2020): Alesund Geiranger Bergen Eidfjord Cruise 2 ports (departs August 16, 2020): Andalsnes Olden Bergen Eidfjord
  13. This cruise is not a full transit of the Panama Canal. It is only a partial transit. In fact, when I searched for Panama Canal cruises in 2020. The Volendam did not even show up. It is listed as a Caribbean Cruise. However, I am now wondering if this cruise would be better than the full transit? The Zaandam is doing a full transit for Christmas 2020. What do you folks think?
  14. I'm sorry. I did not read the article about prostitution in Cuba before positing. I was quick to jump the gun.
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