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andy_man

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About andy_man

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Toronto, Canada

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  1. Exploring Brimstone Hill Fortress is the only thing that I'm interested in doing while in St. Kitts. It looks easy enough to get a taxi from the port to take me out to the fortress. I want to spend as much time as I want to fully explore the fortress. However, how do I get back to port once I'm done exploring? Will there be taxis waiting at the fortress grounds? Can I call a taxi to come pick me up?
  2. Browsing through Carnival's FAQs, I noticed that there are different policies/rules when cruises depart from Barbados. 1. Service Gratuities (Tips) For cruises that begin in Barbados, all gratuities are pre-paid and automatically added during the booking process. This appears to be true. When I booked my cruise on the Carnival website, the checkbox for Gratuities is mandatory. There is no way to uncheck the checkbox. 2. Dining Room Seating Options 'Your Time' Dining is the only option offered on Barbados roundtrip cruises. In other words, it looks like there is no such thing as Early/Late Dining Assigned Seating. What I'm trying to understand is... Why would a Carnival cruise that originates from Barbados have different rules from any other Carnival cruise? (eg. like one that originates from Miami) Any theories on why Carnival would have these different rules?
  3. And I agree @Flatbush Flyer, you must look at the "net daily rate" when comparing cruise prices.
  4. Yes, I see your point. (Note: I can't change the original poll/post without forum admin help.) I kinda made the assumption that if you chose the 1st option, this means that in your experience, you didn't find a TA that would remit any monetary benefits. So, instead of, I book directly with the Cruise Line Company. I don't use a Travel Agent. you can infer it to mean, I book directly with the Cruise Line Company. I don't use a Travel Agent (because they never saved me any money versus booking direct). :)
  5. Interesting. If I'm reading this right, could one say that, the higher the price/day, the higher the travel discount percentage?
  6. I am (and I'm sure others are) genuinely curious as to how much money people are able to save by booking through a Travel Agent. The purpose of this poll, is to get a real-world sampling of what these savings look like. When I say Savings, I'm referring to any actual dollars and/or On Board Credits (OBC) that your Travel Agent gives you. What percentage did you save versus booking directly with the Cruise Line company. I understand that your savings may vary from cruise to cruise. For some cruises you may get a whopping discount and other cruises you get nil. The question is, what would you save on a typical (median) trip. Thanks for participating in the poll.
  7. Hi @RevCindy. I'm also a first time cruiser and have similar questions to you. Have a look at the thread I posted here. How do Cruise Line companies work with Travel Agents to their mutual benefit? When phoning travel agents, I've had absolutely no luck in finding one that will give me any discount to improve on the cruise line's posted price. Since there seems to be no benefit with booking with a travel agent, I will be booking directly with the Cruise Line.
  8. Well, I've struck out. I've now directly phoned three different travel agents to see if they can improve the same posted rate that I see everywhere. Nope. All they are offering is the exact same price that I see if I were to book directly with the cruise line Getting an actual discount on a cruise seems like a fairy tale to me. :)
  9. I've done a lot of traveling in my life, but I've never gone on a cruise before. I'm brand new to this board. This is my first post. I'm very green to the cruising vacation lifestyle. So I'll start by saying 'sorry' now, as I launch into some maybe obvious questions. I'm excited and currently researching and looking forward to booking my first cruise. But first, let me begin by saying.... ... the Cruise booking process is weird. When I book a regular vacation, consisting of flights and hotels, I do online comparison shopping of various travel websites to find the best deal. Very often an aggregator site will help me find the cheapest flight. Also, there are several online travel websites that points you to highly discounted hotel rooms. However for cruising... ... there doesn't seem to be any price difference. Cruise Line website. The first obvious place to start, would be the Cruise Line's website. I did that and got a quote. Great. Next. It's time to start comparison shopping. Online Travel Agents and websites. I visited several online travel agent websites to price compare. What? This is shocking. All of the prices look practically the same. i.e. within a few dollars of each other. A couple of travel agents may, for example, offer an additional incentive of a $25 on board credit. That's the only difference. This is baffling to me. This leads me to all kinds of questions. Why are all of prices, essentially the same? Why is there no competition? Are the travel agents not allowed to compete on price? Are they only allowed to give very minor incentives to book through them? If the prices are all the same, why would I bother using a Travel Agent? If the only thing a travel agent can offer me is an additional $25 on board credit, why would I bother? At that rate, I might as well book directly with the cruise line. It's simpler. I would keep control my booking. There would be no need to utilize a middle-man. Why would the cruise company redirect me to a Travel Agent? On one of the Cruise Lines websites, they have a webpage to "find a travel professional". In other words, it looks like they're potentially sending me to a Travel Agent. I'm already on their website. Wouldn't they rather that I book the trip directly with them? Why do people transfer their booking? I also read somewhere about transferring a booking from a cruise line to a travel agent. Why would I bother? I've already booked the cruise with the cruise line. What incentive would I have to transfer this booking to a travel agent? I guess all of my questions amount to the following. I don't understand the cruising business model. In other words, How do Cruise Line companies work with Travel Agents to their mutual benefit? Thanks for any thoughts, Andy
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