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2xsin12mths

TA vs booking myself

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Posted (edited)

Since I now book thru the same Cruise Travel Agency that I use to work for , I can tell you that CCL pays close to, if not the best comm. , 16%,  of the Mass Market lines , for Top Producers .

The reason many agencies don't push CCL is the Early Saver rates which may require more work for less comm. if better rates are available anytime up until 2 days before sailing. 

The only cutting of comm. was done years and years ago when the cruise lines stopped paying comm. on cruise line air and then port  charges.

 

Edited by MCC retired

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This topic is an interesting read...

 

Assuming an average 7 day cruise price of $2,150 for a cabin (no port charges), a 16% commission for a top producing TA is only $344.  This doesn't leave much room for a TA to offer a OBC.  

 

It also seems to me that a great majority of folks who read and post to the CC boards would want to control their own bookings (room location, deck, date of travel, ship, and itinerary) by booking themselves (as some have mentioned).  I would not have guessed that many folks on these boards use a TA.    

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1 minute ago, VentureMan_2000 said:

This topic is an interesting read...

 

Assuming an average 7 day cruise price of $2,150 for a cabin (no port charges), a 16% commission for a top producing TA is only $344.  This doesn't leave much room for a TA to offer a OBC.  

 

It also seems to me that a great majority of folks who read and post to the CC boards would want to control their own bookings (room location, deck, date of travel, ship, and itinerary) by booking themselves (as some have mentioned).  I would not have guessed that many folks on these boards use a TA.    

 

Yep. I have had TAs tell me with the $250 OBC they are giving me they are making 'no money' on this deal, yet they do it for some reason. Also had car dealerships tell me they 'are losing money on this deal' hahaha, who knows! (or cares)

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1 hour ago, MCC retired said:

Since I now book thru the same Cruise Travel Agency that I use to work for , I can tell you that CCL pays close to, if not the best comm. , 16%,  of the Mass Market lines , for Top Producers .

The reason many agencies don't push CCL is the Early Saver rates which may require more work for less comm. if better rates are available anytime up until 2 days before sailing. 

The only cutting of comm. was done years and years ago when the cruise lines stopped paying comm. on cruise line air and then port  charges.

 

...and you are incorrect on the commission, totally depends on the agency and production.

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2 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

...and you are incorrect on the commission, totally depends on the agency and production.

Yes , Top Producers !

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Has anyone ever booked through the cruise line themselves and then "transferred" the booking through a TA?  And if so, do they still get the offers that someone else that used the TA for their booking throughout the entire process?

 

I booked direct with CCL for a cruise later in November a while ago, and for farts and giggles,  I used cruise compete to see what other offers are out there for my cruise.  CCL is offering $50 OBC (I have a cove on the Horizon),  when I looked at the offers,  many were offering $150 OBC.  The price obviously has gone up for my cabin, but before I one or more of them,  I was just curious if anyone had the experience of transferring booking and getting more perks.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/19/2019 at 8:32 PM, 2xsin12mths said:

Those who use a TA .....do you think it’s still worth it? Are you getting a better deal then just going on carnivals website and booking yourself? I have used a TA for 10+ yrs but feel like I do all the work. I pick the ship, the dates and the room I want, then I call her and she books it. I don’t feel like the price is any better than what I see online?

She prints and sends my docs but really I can do that. So why am I still using a TA??

( oh and I don’t get any “freebies” as far as onboard credit, a bottle of wine etc. I know some ppl said they get those perks with a TA)

i do my own legwork, book and then transfer to my TA. for 12% off on a cruise, i'll transfer to my TA every day. i don't need someone to book my stuff or choose my experiences. i'll do that myself, but the services offered on transferring plus the overall discount wins in my book to move it to my TA.

 

question, who's giving you 12% off on your cruise? answer, not yourself.

Edited by CA_Cruzing

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4 hours ago, VentureMan_2000 said:

This topic is an interesting read...

 

Assuming an average 7 day cruise price of $2,150 for a cabin (no port charges), a 16% commission for a top producing TA is only $344.  This doesn't leave much room for a TA to offer a OBC.  

 

It also seems to me that a great majority of folks who read and post to the CC boards would want to control their own bookings (room location, deck, date of travel, ship, and itinerary) by booking themselves (as some have mentioned).  I would not have guessed that many folks on these boards use a TA.    

 

Everything that you listed, I do control. I email

the TA and tell him the date, ship, room, bed configuration, and dining time. I only book through the TA for the OBC.

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On 6/19/2019 at 10:32 PM, 2xsin12mths said:

Those who use a TA .....do you think it’s still worth it? Are you getting a better deal then just going on carnivals website and booking yourself? I have used a TA for 10+ yrs but feel like I do all the work. I pick the ship, the dates and the room I want, then I call her and she books it. I don’t feel like the price is any better than what I see online?

She prints and sends my docs but really I can do that. So why am I still using a TA??

( oh and I don’t get any “freebies” as far as onboard credit, a bottle of wine etc. I know some ppl said they get those perks with a TA)

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

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On 6/19/2019 at 10:32 PM, 2xsin12mths said:

Those who use a TA .....do you think it’s still worth it? Are you getting a better deal then just going on carnivals website and booking yourself? I have used a TA for 10+ yrs but feel like I do all the work. I pick the ship, the dates and the room I want, then I call her and she books it. I don’t feel like the price is any better than what I see online?

She prints and sends my docs but really I can do that. So why am I still using a TA??

( oh and I don’t get any “freebies” as far as onboard credit, a bottle of wine etc. I know some ppl said they get those perks with a TA)

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

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Just now, dave_k58 said:

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

PS - most TA's and PVP reps work from home.  That's why they keep putting you on hold - to call the cruise line to answer your questions.  I have never, ever, had a PVP  call me about an upcoming special.  Sometimes I will get a call about a $50 deposit special, but I usually just put the whole thing on a card and don't care about that, if the price is still the same

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I use a TA associated with an airline.  I also have the credit card also associated with the same airline.  I earn up to 7X mileage points per dollar spent when I book through the airline's cruise agency. It's allowed us to fly to the east coast to either cruise or visit my aging dad once per year. We booked first class tickets to Miami from LAX and a hotel room with my earned points for our November Crystal cruise.

 

I've used other TAs for the OBC, but I find I value the free flights more than free drinks or a steak dinner on a cruise.

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On 6/19/2019 at 8:32 PM, 2xsin12mths said:

Those who use a TA .....do you think it’s still worth it? Are you getting a better deal then just going on carnivals website and booking yourself? I have used a TA for 10+ yrs but feel like I do all the work. I pick the ship, the dates and the room I want, then I call her and she books it. I don’t feel like the price is any better than what I see online?

She prints and sends my docs but really I can do that. So why am I still using a TA??

( oh and I don’t get any “freebies” as far as onboard credit, a bottle of wine etc. I know some ppl said they get those perks with a TA)

Were I in your shoes, I would stop using the TA and just book myself. Or perhaps email 4 or 5 TAs with your next booking idea and ask what they would offer for the ship, date, and room category. You'll likely get some decent offers of OBC or a reduced booking fare.

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3 hours ago, CA_Cruzing said:

i do my own legwork, book and then transfer to my TA. for 12% off on a cruise, i'll transfer to my TA every day. i don't need someone to book my stuff or choose my experiences. i'll do that myself, but the services offered on transferring plus the overall discount wins in my book to move it to my TA.

 

question, who's giving you 12% off on your cruise? answer, not yourself.

Definitely not the TA I am forced to use for a group cruise. Her cruise price is higher than online but she insists that is the price from CCL. I have asked her to recheck it two weeks later since online prices change and she refuses. Just emails me that “she is sure the price is the same” but if I find a better price let her know. Problem is I don’t know which codes are allowed in group bookings. Not all are. No OBC or price breaks and she is booking for a wedding with at least 15 cabins plus hotel and port transportation. I did the research and chose the cabin. Then she makes mistakes on the invoice. Never again with a TA. 

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Well I did call Carnival today, just to see "why" I was not receiving Carnival's emails for their promotions.  They checked and said I had unsubscribed to them, and it is possible that I did it years ago.  They did reactivate it for me, so hopefully in the near future, I will see some Carnival special coming through that we might book for next year.  If not, I will probably still go through the TA.

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3 hours ago, dave_k58 said:

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

Those bosco TAs are awesome. I’ve moved ALL my travel to them for cruises, land vacations and car rentals. No one has beaten that deal for me. No one. Added value with their credit card and exec membership too. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

Definitely not the TA I am forced to use for a group cruise. Her cruise price is higher than online but she insists that is the price from CCL. I have asked her to recheck it two weeks later since online prices change and she refuses. Just emails me that “she is sure the price is the same” but if I find a better price let her know. Problem is I don’t know which codes are allowed in group bookings. Not all are. No OBC or price breaks and she is booking for a wedding with at least 15 cabins plus hotel and port transportation. I did the research and chose the cabin. Then she makes mistakes on the invoice. Never again with a TA. 

Wrong TA. I’ve booked with my PVP in past and while he’s super nice, I prefer the 12% discount. 

 

My family cruise last summer started at $5200 for 4 people. With price changes and my method, we cruised for less than $4324 total, for a 8-day S Carib Vista Cruise out of Miami (balcony on deck 7, mid ship). 

 

To to each their own. YMMV. 

Edited by CA_Cruzing

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Posted (edited)

Having the Best cost basis is attained using a comparison of multiple Travel Agencies. Cruise Compete started and is the Best worldwide.

Edited by AAAAmerican

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, AAAAmerican said:

Having the Best cost basis is attained using a comparison of multiple Travel Agencies. Cruise Compete started and is the Best worldwide.

 

I’ve done that quite a bit and there’s one agency that always comes out at least 50% better than anyone else on the OBC. This last time I just went to them directly and they offered me more than the previous quotes. But nothing wrong with comparing.

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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1 hour ago, AAAAmerican said:

Dear Saint Greg,

 

Yes comparisons are vital to save.

 

Wth Cruise Compete they have always provided the Travel Agencies a way/method to Compete for business including all Fees/Taxes etc..

 

I like to, even once i get competing bids, to compare what other benefits each ASTA agency provides.

 

ASTA does require 1/2 million $USD Bond so kinda like SPIC.

 

Only one big problem is with RCL :NYSE firms as they say "You paid too little" , so they are not providing the REQUIRED Shareholder Benefit, as shown in the 10K. I hope someone reports the abuse !!!

That is kind-a like going into a Giant Supermarket saying you paid too little and no coupon usages allowed.eeh.

 

 

 

BTW: Did you know 3 years in a row a NewJersey Lady has been Carnivals largest booking agent worldwide. It is an ASTA Agency too.

 

 

 

I’ve read and reread this post ten times trying to understand what you are saying or point is.

 

So, can you please clarify your point(s) and objective in your post? I’m thoroughly lost. 

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I always do a mock booking to see what my price would be.  Then I call my PVP.  My PVP always saves me money over what I can do myself. Just for the cruise though, flights are cheaper if I do them myself. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2019 at 10:24 PM, dave_k58 said:

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

Comedy hour is now is session, you are joking...right?  

Edited by jimbo5544

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On 6/21/2019 at 10:17 PM, dave_k58 said:

 

I would bet that most TA's don't know half as much about cruising as the average visitor to Cruisecritic. Most don't know the differences between the ships, ports, cabins etc.  They can, if they feel like it, give you a cut of their commission as some sort of OBC.  A major big box club store has the best prices and the most perks, as far as I can figure out.

 

I can’t speak for all travel agents but can certainly speak for myself.  I’ve been on close to 30 cruises and most certainly know the difference between ships, ports, cabins, etc. 

 

In response to the original question about using a TA, it depends on what type of traveler you are.  TAs are very helpful putting together multiple types of travel experiences - most people don’t want to spend HOURS/DAYS researching and building their trips and then worrying if they put all the pieces together correctly, got the correct visas, have all their transfers, etc.  They’re also an excellent resource if something should go wrong, as was previously mentioned in this thread.

 

If, however, you’re looking for a dirt cheap trip and hoping someone will give you a bunch of OBC/discounts, a TA will most likely only do that if you’re a close friend or they’re hoping for future, more lucrative, business from you.

 

As for the big box stores extreme rebating, the travel suppliers should be ashamed of themselves for doing business with them.  Rebating is simply discounting and that’s against most suppliers policies.  While I understand the advantage from a monetary standpoint, I wouldn’t want to have to rely on some online agent at the big box store if I got hurt in a foreign country, missed a flight, or had a travel supplier go bankrupt mid-trip and leave me stranded.  That’s not worth a $300 in-club gift card to me.  Plus, travel agents are small businesses (even the ones that work for large agencies are typically independent contractors) and I like to support small business every chance I get.

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10 minutes ago, ilovetexas said:

As for the big box stores extreme rebating, the travel suppliers should be ashamed of themselves for doing business with them.  Rebating is simply discounting and that’s against most suppliers policies.  While I understand the advantage from a monetary standpoint, I wouldn’t want to have to rely on some online agent at the big box store if I got hurt in a foreign country, missed a flight, or had a travel supplier go bankrupt mid-trip and leave me stranded.  That’s not worth a $300 in-club gift card to me.  Plus, travel agents are small businesses (even the ones that work for large agencies are typically independent contractors) and I like to support small business every chance I get.

Except most of that is opinion and hyperbole. If all you get out of bigbox is a "rebate" then you've failed to take advantage of their services. That's on you, not them. As for getting hurt, missed flight, or travel supplier going BK, one would buy a travel insurance policy.

 

TA's can guide you on those but any traveler spending real money on any trip will and should buy travel insurance that meets or exceeds their needs. One would be foolish to buy an expensive trip and leave it unprotected. Why not rip into the carrier (Carnival, for example) for offering and selling a minimalist travel insurance policy? I think you'd find more support for that argument than the one you made.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, CA_Cruzing said:

Except most of that is opinion and hyperbole. If all you get out of bigbox is a "rebate" then you've failed to take advantage of their services. That's on you, not them. As for getting hurt, missed flight, or travel supplier going BK, one would buy a travel insurance policy.

 

TA's can guide you on those but any traveler spending real money on any trip will and should buy travel insurance that meets or exceeds their needs. One would be foolish to buy an expensive trip and leave it unprotected. Why not rip into the carrier (Carnival, for example) for offering and selling a minimalist travel insurance policy? I think you'd find more support for that argument than the one you made.

98% of what's on these boards is an opinion, yours included.

 

Of course one should buy travel insurance.  Always.  But when vacations start to go sideways, it's always good to have a TA to make phone calls, help move reservations, etc. as opposed to having to do it yourself.  Your insurance carrier isn't going to help get you on another flight after you missed yours, try to re-book you on another island when you decide the DR isn't safe, call your All Inclusive resort when you paid for a full ocean view and they stuck you in a city view, rearrange your flights when your ship loses propulsion power (or there is a flood at your home port) and you can't make  your flight home, etc.  TAs provide a wealth of experience, information and assistance and if you opt not to use one, that's your choice.  That's not hyperbole, that's the life of a travel agent.

 

If you've had luck with booking on your own then transferring to a big box stores for the discount, and no bad experiences, that's great.  If you ever choose to travel with one of the suppliers who doesn't do business with those stores, I hope you choose to use an independent travel agent and have an excellent experience there as well.

Edited by ilovetexas
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