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Advantages of booking direct

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30 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

Agree. The couple I met onboard the ship recently were trying to spend the last of their $750 OBC in the duty free shop. I thought that was a generous amount until they mentioned the cost of the cruise was 10 K.  Cruise was for 12 nights. 

If any of that $750 was from a travel agency, there's a good chance they didn't have to spend the part that was. Whatever they had left would have been credited back to the credit card they had on file.

As stated above, we got $1125 from our online travel agent (14 days in a Sky Suite)  and we got that back. We got $600 ($300 for each leg of the B2B), and we had a tough time spending that as we also had prepaid gratuities.

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39 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

Agree.

 

Now you agree that there is no advantage in booking directly? Because I am sure that is what Lovecrusn meant... you are confusing me 😁

Edited by Miaminice

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20 hours ago, drakes2 said:

I don't use the US visa in Europe. I have a home trust visa which I use no FX charges plus cash back. The US Visa is only for large purchases made in the states then I pay out of my USD account.  For flights cruises hotels etc. the first class TD provides the best coverage.  I did have to cancel a cruise last year and was refunded every penny.

Sorry, I misread your sentence regarding the US VISA. I too have a Home Trust VISA, not for the lack of FX fees but because of the free roadside assistance. That said, I always travel with both VISA and Mastercard and it's good to know I have one of each that is FX-fee free.

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20 hours ago, drakes2 said:

Agree. The couple I met onboard the ship recently were trying to spend the last of their $750 OBC in the duty free shop. I thought that was a generous amount until they mentioned the cost of the cruise was 10 K.  Cruise was for 12 nights. 

 

The $750 appears to be about 8%, that seems to be about the average value received as "incentives" to book with TA's.  Beyond this type of incentive, sometimes you can also get a group rate.

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21 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Sorry, I misread your sentence regarding the US VISA. I too have a Home Trust VISA, not for the lack of FX fees but because of the free roadside assistance. That said, I always travel with both VISA and Mastercard and it's good to know I have one of each that is FX-fee free.

Didn't know about the roadside assistance. Good to know as I just recently cancelled my CAA. Thanks for the info. 

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A new reason to book direct - Thomas Cook.  Travel insurance may help a few but most of the folks left stranded will be at the end of the bankruptcy line.

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31 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

A new reason to book direct - Thomas Cook.  Travel insurance may help a few but most of the folks left stranded will be at the end of the bankruptcy line.

That's like saying you'll never drive again since somebody had a car wreck. Name other agencies that went out of business and compare that to the number who still are in business. Things like that happen, no reason to run scared.

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1 hour ago, grandgeezer said:

That's like saying you'll never drive again since somebody had a car wreck. Name other agencies that went out of business and compare that to the number who still are in business. Things like that happen, no reason to run scared.

With both my cars and my cruises I like to have as much control as possible.  Though my experience with TAs is limited, losing control is enough to put me off.

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2 hours ago, cltnccruisers said:

A new reason to book direct - Thomas Cook.  Travel insurance may help a few but most of the folks left stranded will be at the end of the bankruptcy line.

Not really. When I book through my TA, my payment goes directly to Celebrity. If the TA was to go out of business, my booking would still be valid. Of course, if Celebrity went out of business, it would be a mess whether you booked directly or through a TA.

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2 hours ago, cltnccruisers said:

A new reason to book direct - Thomas Cook.  Travel insurance may help a few but most of the folks left stranded will be at the end of the bankruptcy line.

 

I don't know how the rules work in Britain, but someone booking with them in the US with a US credit card has no worries.  You cannot be charged for a service that hasn't been provided.  The credit card company has to reverse the charge, by law.  OTOH if that same US customer booked that same cruise using a debit card then they would be stuck, getting rolled into whatever provision is made for unsecured creditors.  Moral:  always use a credit card to book travel - never a debit card.

Not to mention the fact that reputable TAs in the US don't hold your money anyway, it goes right to the cruise line. So no, the Thomas Cook situation really isn't a reason to book direct.

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22 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

With both my cars and my cruises I like to have as much control as possible.  Though my experience with TAs is limited, losing control is enough to put me off.

 

That is fine, but not a reason to post misinformation like you did about how the bankruptcy affects people who book through a TA.

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Just now, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

That is fine, but not a reason to post misinformation like you did about how the bankruptcy affects people who book through a TA.

What I posted was how the pecking order for bankrupty works in the US.  No misinformation - if an individual needs relief directly from Thomas Cook they are probably out of luck.  UK laws may be different but since US laws were based on them probably not.

 

I did find in reading about this tonight that the UK has some sort of government travel insurance that may help those affected.

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10 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

I don't know how the rules work in Britain, but someone booking with them in the US with a US credit card has no worries.  You cannot be charged for a service that hasn't been provided.  The credit card company has to reverse the charge, by law.  OTOH if that same US customer booked that same cruise using a debit card then they would be stuck, getting rolled into whatever provision is made for unsecured creditors.  Moral:  always use a credit card to book travel - never a debit card.

Not to mention the fact that reputable TAs in the US don't hold your money anyway, it goes right to the cruise line. So no, the Thomas Cook situation really isn't a reason to book direct.

My primary debit card and credit card are one and the same.  I've been reimbursed for disputes no matter how it was used.  We don't use it for cruises, though.

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1 minute ago, cltnccruisers said:

My primary debit card and credit card are one and the same.  I've been reimbursed for disputes no matter how it was used.  We don't use it for cruises, though.

 

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I decided today to book with a TA after hearing all the great stories of OBC etc, on this threat. I am booking a 7 day cruise on the Edge in a suite. I don't belong to any bigbox stores so I picked out the largest online cruise travel agents. My results have been less than stellar. The first agent offered $65 pp off the price and the best offer was $150 obc pp- far below the 6-10% rebates I hear of on this thread. I will be booking direct with Celebrity.

Edited by morfred
mistake

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3 hours ago, cltnccruisers said:

With both my cars and my cruises I like to have as much control as possible.  Though my experience with TAs is limited, losing control is enough to put me off.

 

That’s your choice, my choice is to save as much money as I can and still control my reservation and that’s what I’m doing. I figure over $15,000 over the last fifteen years.

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11 hours ago, morfred said:

I decided today to book with a TA after hearing all the great stories of OBC etc, on this threat. I am booking a 7 day cruise on the Edge in a suite. I don't belong to any bigbox stores so I picked out the largest online cruise travel agents. My results have been less than stellar. The first agent offered $65 pp off the price and the best offer was $150 obc pp- far below the 6-10% rebates I hear of on this thread. I will be booking direct with Celebrity.

I do not think that you have found good agents. You should be getting a much better deal than those.

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11 hours ago, morfred said:

I don't belong to any bigbox stores

Maybe you should consider joining. The one we use has an excellent travel website that shows exactly what additional perks are available. For a randomly selected 7 day cruise on the Edge in March 2020, suite guests receive a cash card from the big box store valued at $545 to $3,660, depending on the level of the suite. This is on top of whatever perks Celebrity offers at the time of booking. You also get an annual cash back from the store of 2% on your purchases, including cruise bookings.

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I used to book direct, but haven’t in recent years.

However, our last cruise was on Royal Caribbean, who after all are the umbrella company for Celebrity cruises.

Just a week before embarkation, we were still getting Royal Up e mails inviting us to put in a bid to upgrade our cabin. We declined as we thought that the one we choose was in an excellent position ( we were later proved correct, we didn’t have a LIFEBOAT below us, so we had superb views).

On the Tuesday before we embarked, Social Media was buzzing with stories of potential passengers being contacted by Miami and being asked if they would be prepared to go on a later cruise, as our sailing was overbooked and there wasn’t a cabin for them. At least one couple took the offer and booked a Norwegian cruise leaving Southampton the following day, as he was self employed and had made arrangement for his work to be covered.

At first, this was just for guaranteed cabins that had been booked direct.

Later, it appeared that it was for people living close to the port.

However, a couple who lived in Spain and had already travelled to England told us at breakfast the first morning that they had been contacted but, actually had a cabin number, so the common denominator was that it was direct bookings only, not via a TA.

At our Meet & Mingle the lady from Spain asked the cruise Director about the overbooking problem. She was told that there were actually 500 LESS PASSENGERS on the cruise than last week, but the problem was that no one was willing to share cabins. The previous week had still been the school holidays, so many cabins had 4 occupants.

Passengers were turned away at the port.

SO, I won’t be booking direct again. 

Edited by upwarduk

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