How to get the deals, obc,etc

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#1
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
This spring we took a cruise with Celebrity and booked thru our local travel agent. We got a Seniors rate and a stupid coupon book worth zip!
On board the ship, fellow passengers were saying how they got obc, free gratuities, upgrades, you name it. I would like to know how????? But no one seemed to share who they booked with just the upgrades, etc.
Do I book through the companies mentioned on cruise critic when you get the cruise critic emails. The last email received today mentioned very good sales with Celebrity on cruises that we would have interest in. But it was through companies other than Celebrity stating the sale ends soon. Too date, I have never received the Celebrity newsletter with their Wednesday or Tuesday Sales? I know we cannot pm on cruise critic but I do have a pm on trip advisor. I really like to know the good companies? and if they are advertised on cruise critic the companies should be authentic, right? Please no tips on how to buy shares with RCL etc as I just want to know of a company that would give you obc plus obc of Celebrity or RCL or Princess definitely not interested in Carnival. I guess HELP? PS will post on Celebrity thread, too.
#2
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,474 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
You have to do research to find these things. They don't usually just walk up and introduce themselves. Have you done any reading on the Celebrity board? That is your best source on Cruise Critic.
#3
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Please be advised I am trying to do some research and asking for some insights like to which company do you book with (no one can name a tour company as it is against the rules)is it direct with cruise, etc. I have seen several advertised on the cruise critic weekly and asking does anyone use those companies? "They don't usually just walk up and introduce themselves" .....daaaaaaaa! I guess you dont approach cc for information by asking questions according the well seasoned cruiser Bruce.
#4
Pennsylvania
5,736 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We can't recommend (or mention) travel agents on Cruise Critic. I'll just mention that there are websites where you list the specific cruise and cabin class you're interested in and the best price you've seen, and travel agencies bid to book you on that cruise. Frequently many of the bids really aren't any better then the cruise line's pricing, but then you get the one bid that blows the others out of the water. My most recent time I did this I got an offer $500 below the cruise line's sale fare for 2, with an additional $400 OBC thrown in.
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Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#5
North Carolina Coast!, USA
6,001 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Shop for your cruises! You can call different TAs and ask about their rates and if they offer anything. Try to get a TA who does mostly cruises. You do not have to book with them. Tell them you're shopping for a cruise. But make sure you talk apples-to-apples - not apples to peaches. (Tell each the same thing!) Also call Celebrity and talk to them directly.
Some ships have an 'early saver' program. On Carnival if you book 3to 6 months ahead and YOU find a lower price they will meet it. You have to tell them the price has gone down, they won't tell you. If, after final payment date it becomes OBC. On our B2B we had $240 OBC on each cruise because of early saver. We also have a Carnival credit card. When we use it we get points we use for OBC.
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Commodore
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Royal Caribean
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#6
Kansas USA
1,150 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I found an online site that lets travel agents compete for your business. You input your cruise criteria, and they send you offers specific to your requests. Many offer perks like on board credit and discounts. I found a TA that offered $100 OBC and a greatly reduced fare. So far her service has been great.

Just do a google search and you should find several sites that will give you offers.

Also, after I found the TA, I called Princess and verified she was a legit agent, so I felt confident using the online agency.
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Grand Princess 11/04
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#7
south Georgia
1,288 Posts
Joined May 2007
Sometimes it can be as simple as just asking. We have two local travel agencies in town. My husband visited both and discussed what we were looking for, and asked how we would benefit from using each of them. Then he called NCL to see what they would offer. You could reach out further with that, researching online and contacting TA's that are cruise specialists and see what they can offer.
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#8
Greenville, SC, USA
52,275 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
As you know we can't mention TA's on here. I have a spreadsheet where I keep the names of any TA that someone says is a discount one. I have gotten names from many fellow cruisers. Just keep asking.
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Paul
#9
Toronto, Canada
4,119 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
I would recommend that you only use a travel agent that has been recommended, either by someone you know or by fellow passengers......Regardless of any perqs, I think a bad travel agent is worse than none at all, so don't use one based simply on price (i.e. discounts offered).
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#10
Pennsylvania
5,736 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I just checked my most recent booking (the holiday trip to the eastern Caribbean) and the past passenger rate for my stateroom is around $1000 less per person than what you get just by browsing the rates on the cruiseline's site. So make sure you're logged in with the cruise line on their site if you've cruised with them before.

Also, you should understand what other lines are in the same "family" as the lines you've cruised with before. I've cruised with Cunard a few times and this made me eligible for the past-passenger rate when I booked with Princess for last month.

If you're working with a travel agent make sure they know your past passenger info for all lines you've sailed so they can find the best price for you.
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Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#11
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by Underwatr
We can't recommend (or mention) travel agents on Cruise Critic. I'll just mention that there are websites where you list the specific cruise and cabin class you're interested in and the best price you've seen, and travel agencies bid to book you on that cruise. Frequently many of the bids really aren't any better then the cruise line's pricing, but then you get the one bid that blows the others out of the water. My most recent time I did this I got an offer $500 below the cruise line's sale fare for 2, with an additional $400 OBC thrown in.

Really appreciate your informative reply. Thanks, maybe some day swing a deal such as yours!
#12
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by Bonnie J.
Shop for your cruises! You can call different TAs and ask about their rates and if they offer anything. Try to get a TA who does mostly cruises. You do not have to book with them. Tell them you're shopping for a cruise. But make sure you talk apples-to-apples - not apples to peaches. (Tell each the same thing!) Also call Celebrity and talk to them directly.
Some ships have an 'early saver' program. On Carnival if you book 3to 6 months ahead and YOU find a lower price they will meet it. You have to tell them the price has gone down, they won't tell you. If, after final payment date it becomes OBC. On our B2B we had $240 OBC on each cruise because of early saver. We also have a Carnival credit card. When we use it we get points we use for OBC.
appreciate your reply and it will be of great assistance for our next cruise. thanks.
#13
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by Paula_MacFan
I found an online site that lets travel agents compete for your business. You input your cruise criteria, and they send you offers specific to your requests. Many offer perks like on board credit and discounts. I found a TA that offered $100 OBC and a greatly reduced fare. So far her service has been great.

Just do a google search and you should find several sites that will give you offers.

Also, after I found the TA, I called Princess and verified she was a legit agent, so I felt confident using the online agency.
Thank you so much!
#14
SK Canada
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Thank you each and everyone for taking time to answer my reply as I sure rely on you people as you really know your stuff. Thanks for helping someone new to this game of finding a great cruise at a good price. Thanks!
#15
500 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Underwatr
We can't recommend (or mention) travel agents on Cruise Critic. I'll just mention that there are websites where you list the specific cruise and cabin class you're interested in and the best price you've seen, and travel agencies bid to book you on that cruise. Frequently many of the bids really aren't any better then the cruise line's pricing, but then you get the one bid that blows the others out of the water. My most recent time I did this I got an offer $500 below the cruise line's sale fare for 2, with an additional $400 OBC thrown in.
I used the same site and actually found an agent that I pretty much used
every since.
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Past Cruises
Celebrity Equinox 5/26/17 Birthday Cruise
Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Family Cruise 5/31/2017
Celebrity Eclipse 1/8/2017
Serenade of the Seas 1/.2016
Carnival Paradise Birthday Cruise 6/6/2016
Celebrity Equinox 11/30/2015
Celebrity solstice Alaska 9/11/2015
Carnival Paradise Family Cruise 7/20/2015
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 5/31/2015
Celebrity Celebrity Equinox 1/2/2015

Carnival Legend Anniversary Cruise 5/4/2014
Celebrity Solstice Alaska 9-6-2013
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - 06-02-2013
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - 2-16-2013
Celebrity Eclipse Christmas Cruise - 12-15-2012
Carnival Legend Family Cruise- 7-1-2012
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - 4-29-2012
Carnival Legend Christmas Cruise - 12-18-2011
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - 5-29-2011
Carnival Legend New Years Eve Cruise 12-26-2010
Carnival Fascination Christmas 12-21-2009
Monarch of the Seas 8-31-2009
Carnival Holiday 4-29-2009
Mariner of the Seas Christmas Cruise 12-21-08
#16
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,394 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We've booked both with big online TA's and with the cruise line, including some of those that are on the email Cruise Critic sends. You can sign up on the cruise lines website if you want them to send you deals, I think.
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SciFi
#18
Pa.
2,725 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
More advise: If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is! Get the quote in writing and make sure there are no additional fees or a booking charge or cancellation charge other then what the cruise line charges. Don't assume anything!
#19
Florida
20,363 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
A great TA...
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We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 29 voyages 661 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 84 Cruises 1118 days

NOT YET SAILED
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam Boston to Rotter 7/18 - 19 days
Prinsendam Amster to FTL 8/18 96 days
Zaandam Antarctic 12/18 - 22 days
Nieuw Statadam Carb. 1/19 - 7 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
Nieuw Statadam 9/19 20 days
Prinsendam 10/19 60 days
#20
Georgia
529 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by akruz
On board the ship, fellow passengers were saying how they got obc, free gratuities, upgrades, you name it. I would like to know how????? But no one seemed to share who they booked with just the upgrades, etc.
They may have gotten all those perks on their own without ANY TA involved. Shareholder benefits for stock owners (just got $100 on my recent Reflection cruise for example). Being a member of Celebrity's Captain Club offers upgraded staterooms when available (I've never requested this myself so can't say how well that works). Some cruise fares offer senior or military type discounted prices, etc.