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SempreMare

Transferring a direct booking to a travel agent

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Posted (edited)

=== tl;dr Summary: 

The next time I transfer a booking from HAL to a travel agent, I would try this approach: 

1) Request the form to transfer a booking to a travel agent by emailing: World_Cruise_Reservations@hollandamerica.com

3) Fill it out and email it back same address.


=== Context 

I am a first-time HAL cruiser, and only second cruise overall.

 

I followed most of the sage advice of the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts, most definitely) posting in this thread:
"Best Travel Agencies for HAL Good Pricing/Perks"
about: 

- What questions to ask your potential travel agent to make a smart selection decision and avoid some of the pitfalls discussed.
-  What are the benefits and perks of using a travel agent vs booking directly
-  What are the benefits and perks of using a Big Box store vs booking directly

, and yesterday I selected a travel agent.  I'll be very happy if everything happens as promised.  

2 days before my 60 day after initial deposit date deadline, I called HAL to start the transfer.

 

=== Purpose of this topic: 

Share what I learned about the booking transfer process specifically to save others time.

(Am making a separate topic because I have found that it's easier to use the Search function to locate answers when topics are more specific vs meandering.   I don't want to derail the above awesome advice thread about this specific tangent... Nothing against meandering topics in general; they can be fun too! 🙂


=== Travel Agent said to: 

1) Call HAL World Cruise desk with my booking #,  open till 5:00pm Pacific time.
Use the direct # to the World Cruise desk
800-522-3399 
Option 3

2) Give them my booking #,  her name. agency, and local (non-800) phone #.


=== My experience

1) at 4:00pm Pacific time, I called the # above from my land line  
(I live in the hills of Austin; not great cell reception).   Was on hold for 30 minutes.   Music and the occasional interrupt to remind me I am an important customer.  Hello HAL - modern phone wait messages will tell the customer how much time they have left.  After 30 min, I began to wonder if the call was ever going to be answered.

Even though I was multitasking (de-scaling my fave appliance, the Hoshizaki (sonic style) ice maker http://hoshizakiamerica.com/product/c-80baj-ad/ in the laundry room) which made the phone wait seem more bearable, at 30 minutes I decided I'd try another approach. 

 

2) I didn't want to lose my place in the call queue.   So on my cell phone, I called the main HAL # I originally added to my phone contacts after I made the reservation online:  800-976-3834

Holland America agent said he'd get me to the right people to handle my call.  The new wait began.  Now I have 2 phones on hold with HAL.  

However, someone answered my cell phone (call #2) after only 10 minutes-ish.  Yay! 


3) The agent said I'd need to complete a PDF he would email me,  either sign or e-sign, and return to World_Cruise_Reservations@hollandamerica.com

From top of form"
Please complete and return this form to World Cruise Reservations at World_Cruise_Reservations@hollandamerica.com or fax at 206-270-6080. 
If you would like to transfer multiple staterooms, a form must be signed and submitted by one guest per stateroom. Bookings may only be transferred within 60 days of booking creation so long as (a) the request is made outside the Final Payment period and (b) the booking is not paid in full.

 

4) To complete the form, I needed to:
a) Refer to the PDF attachment in the original email from HAL.   Ex:  to find the "Voyage Number"
b) Print out and physically sign
c) Scan it to a SD card in my document scanner.  
d) Email it back.  

 

Today I received email notification from HAL today that the reservation was transferred.  Yay! 

 

Attached is the transfer form as of 2019 05 15

It's always a good idea to first request the latest.  It could change tomorrow.

Transfer Form - Blank.pdf

Edited by SempreMare

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the detailed instructions. We learned about this process recently too. Also of note, I just took a pic of each filled out and signed form on my cell phone and emailed that to the mentioned email address. Worked fine. 

Edited by fatcat04

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I just call my TA and tell her I have a cruise to transfer to here.  I give her the booking number and she handles the rest.  Sometimes I do get an email or call from HAL for verification.

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Ummmmmmmm, being very judgemental here, but that seems like a very lazy TA...............

 

I call up my big box TA, they take the HAL booking confirmation, put me on hold for maybe 10 minutes, verify everything with me from itinerary to OBC, give me their confirmation number, send me an email with a detailed invoice, and we're done.

 

Obviously, I then must use the TA for future questions or changes, but that's fine with me.  They keep detailed notes that make resolving issues pretty easy---like some missing OBC on a recent cruise.  For an upcoming cruise, I did make my FlightEAse air reservation using the HAL website--and the fees appeared on my TA invoice immediately.  My TA also required full payment 10-14 days earlier than HAL in order to avoid any issues.  I get nice $$ perks from them and I find them easy to reach. 

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Wow.. that sounds like a huge hassle.  I always book on board and then transfer to my TA. I just email her the booking number. She calls HAL and takes care of the transfer - and as RocketMan said, someone from HAL calls me to confirm that I'm transferring the booking to the agent. And that's that. I've never heard of all of what you described!

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Posted (edited)

I think the process has changed. We too used to just call up the big box but now they need the form  filled in first!  

Edited by bennybear

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

I think the process has changed. We too used to just call up the big box but now they need the form  filled in first!  

 

This is my experience as well.  

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Can I ask the experienced HAL cruisers a question here related to transferring of a direct booking to a TA.  

I booked with HAL earlier this week and now am looking into transferring this to a travel agency for some OBC or perks ... or whatever they may give me.  

Does the agent down at HAL that booked it for me lose any commission if I transfer a booking?  I asked her and she said, "well, you won't be able to deal directly with me anymore"....but I wasn't sure if that meant she was losing out on commission for her or not.  Depending on what an agency can give me, I am apt to choose to transfer it.  I just hate leaving money (or perks) on the table.  

 

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10 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

I just call my TA and tell her I have a cruise to transfer to here.  I give her the booking number and she handles the rest.  Sometimes I do get an email or call from HAL for verification.

 

When did you last do this? 

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2 hours ago, Moriah said:

I just email her the booking number. She calls HAL and takes care of the transfer 

 

When did you last do that @Moriah

 

2 hours ago, Moriah said:

Wow.. that sounds like a huge hassle. 

 

This sounds like a huge hassle? : 

1) Request the form to transfer a booking to a travel agent by emailing: World_Cruise_Reservations@hollandamerica.com

(or just use the one I attached to original post)

 

2) Fill it out and send to same address.

 

What I was told to do and described in original post - yes, a hassle with a 1 hour (non-trivial!) time cost

The 2-step simple way - no (if it works!) 

 I don't know if HAL makes a note that you called as part of the verification process.

 

I wonder  why did HAL change the process?  That would be an interesting question to know the answer to. 

Maybe HAL switched to the signed form route because they experienced the cruise reservation version of Telco account slamming.   

 

I'm not making this up - this is the process described by both my TA *and* the HAL agent who finally answered the World Cruise reservation desk agent who is responsible for booking transfers.

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7 hours ago, SempreMare said:

 

When did you last do that @Moriah

 

 

I did it in September— apparently things have changed. Still think it sounds like more of a hassle now, but it is what it is. I should be thanking you for the info instead of sounding like I thought you jumped through hoops unnecessarily. Sorry about that. 

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We too had to do phone gymnastics which ate up time but once we had the correct form it was just fill it out, sign it, and send it in. We got the email confirming within an hour. I did get a call asking why we were transfering, I guess quality control maki g sure our PCC was doing her job. I had no issues with her. We normally book with our HAL PCC but are trying a TA who was recommended to us this time. We shall see. She has been a peach so far. Our PCC has always been great but I have wanted to find a good TA who works for us for some time. Hoping it all goes smoothly. 

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Is there a time limit on transferring from PCC to a TA? 

Leaving this Saturday on a 7-day from Montreal to Boston.

Also, have a 14-day Carribean cruise scheduled for this December which was booked 2-1/2  months ago. 

Nice to get on-board credits and speciality dining!  

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Sixty days from booking is the new rule. I'd work on getting the Caribbean one transferred now as there has been grandfathering going on for cruises booked before the April implementation of the new rule--but who knows how long that will be allowed.

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When you transfer a booking to your big box TA, do you then get the perks (OBC, paid gratuities) and lower fare that the TA offers when you initially book with them?

 

I was just comparing a cruise on HAL's site with the big box site, and the fare was several hundred dollars higher on HAL, in addition to the perks offered at the TA site.

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7 minutes ago, IPB4IGO said:

When you transfer a booking to your big box TA, do you then get the perks (OBC, paid gratuities) and lower fare that the TA offers when you initially book with them?b

 

I was just comparing a cruise on HAL's site with the big box site, and the fare was several hundred dollars higher on HAL, in addition to the perks offered at the TA site.

I just tried a booking on HAL and big box for the first time.  You have to be careful as the big box fare was non-refundable deposit, but it was less than HAL, plus you got some additional OBC.

 

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If you TRANSFER  it is exactly the same as you had with HAL in terms of perks and deposit refundable or not,  With ADDITIONAL OBC.   

 

If you are booking directly they have access to both refundable and non refundable fares.  So up to you what you choose.  

Edited by bennybear

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3 hours ago, bennybear said:

If you TRANSFER  it is exactly the same as you had with HAL in terms of perks and deposit refundable or not,  With ADDITIONAL OBC.   

 

If you are booking directly they have access to both refundable and non refundable fares.  So up to you what you choose.  

Good point - thanks for the correction.  I was trying to say that when comparing prices, you have to be sure that you are not comparing a refundable with a non-refundable fare (very easy to do when using websites.)

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I’m planning on transferring my booking to a big box store to get the OBC. The cruise is still more than a year away and flights on flight ease are not yet available. Will I be able to use the HAL website to find flights and book them if I have transferred my booking?

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