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Gitmo

Pricing ?

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We are avid cruisers and have sailed many times on Windstar, Oceania, Princess, and Holland.  We are looking at a cruise on Seaborn to Antarctica for 2021.  Does anyone have some tips on getting the best pricing on Seaborn?  

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We have one, she does not seem to know much about Seaborn at all.

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Although this has been discussed repeatedly on this and other boards, it may be worth elaborating a bit for newcomers.

A good TA will give back part of your fare as an on-board credit and/or a physical check.

A TA who is knowledgeable about a particular line, Seabourn in this case, will know about any issues with specific cabins on particular ships. Such a TA will also have good contacts with the company, so will know about any special circumstances or deals before they are generally announced.

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Thanks for the reply, Dave.  Our TA has given us amazing rebates in the thousands of dollars with Oceania.  Discounts, modest rebates,  and OBC galore with the others.  All she will do on this one is discount the fare $1,000 per person, nothing else.  Has that been your experience ?

 

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That actually sounds generous to me - depending on the original price.  The best we have done is with the most well known Agent for Seabourn in the UK, and had 10% or occasionally 11% knocked off the then current price.

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4 hours ago, Gitmo said:

Thanks for the reply, Dave.  Our TA has given us amazing rebates in the thousands of dollars with Oceania.  Discounts, modest rebates,  and OBC galore with the others.  All she will do on this one is discount the fare $1,000 per person, nothing else.  Has that been your experience ?

 

Why is it that people expect TAs to pay for part of their vacation? Not only do they make the booking and traveling process easier should there be a problem some want them to pay them for the privilege of working on their behalf. A $1000 pp rebate seems more than fair. If you want more maybe you should try doing it all yourself and see what you come up with.

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5 hours ago, Gitmo said:

Thanks for the reply, Dave.  Our TA has given us amazing rebates in the thousands of dollars with Oceania.  Discounts, modest rebates,  and OBC galore with the others.  All she will do on this one is discount the fare $1,000 per person, nothing else.  Has that been your experience ?

 

I don't have enough experience with Seabourn to comment. I have a lot of experience with Regent, and the rebate obviously depends on the price of the cruise.  We're booked for a Regent World Cruise in 2021 with an amount from the TA far greater than for any other cruise we've done, but the cruise is also much more expensive than any other cruise we've done. And yes, after paying for this cruise we'll be far beyond bent, and much closer to broke.

One other aside regarding my one 14-day Seabourn cruise, which I loved. We  obviously have some history with our TA, and were traveling with good friends with a lot more experience with the same TA.  The TA comped us a custom tour of Quebec City with a driver, knowledgeable guide, all in a lovely Mercedes mini-van for the four of us. As I and others have said, a good TA has many benefits and no downside for me.

-- David

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

Why is it that people expect TAs to pay for part of their vacation? Not only do they make the booking and traveling process easier should there be a problem some want them to pay them for the privilege of working on their behalf. A $1000 pp rebate seems more than fair. If you want more maybe you should try doing it all yourself and see what you come up with.

Moving on...

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6 hours ago, lincslady said:

That actually sounds generous to me - depending on the original price.  The best we have done is with the most well known Agent for Seabourn in the UK, and had 10% or occasionally 11% knocked off the then current price.

That is good to hear, thank you.  We have done over 35 cruises, many with this TA and were curious if the 10% would be "normal" with Seabourne.

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

Why is it that people expect TAs to pay for part of their vacation? Not only do they make the booking and traveling process easier should there be a problem some want them to pay them for the privilege of working on their behalf. A $1000 pp rebate seems more than fair. If you want more maybe you should try doing it all yourself and see what you come up with.

Wripoo... it seems like you missed the boat on consumerism.  You seem to get "dressed down" often based on your prior posts on other boards.  If you are that unconcerned about saving money,  why post here?  

 

 

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20 hours ago, pauon said:

Wripoo... it seems like you missed the boat on consumerism.  You seem to get "dressed down" often based on your prior posts on other boards.  If you are that unconcerned about saving money,  why post here?  

 

 

You seem to have missed the point of my post. I am not at all interested in saving money which is why I don't think people should expect outsize rebates from their TAs to subsidize their trip. I think a good TA is worth his/her weight in gold and I don't mind paying for it.

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"I am not at all interested in saving money...",  Wripoo; that is a totally different kind of stupid.   Please troll elsewhere.

 

Now back to the OP and what CC is supposed to be about; sharing information and helping others.  I went to the web site that has TA's give you bids on different trips.  I stayed with only Seabourne trips and kept them all in the $22,000 range.  Each "bid" I got emailed were ALL $2,000 to $2,100 off the listed low fare and included all taxes and port fees.    Two also included OBC of $200 or $400.  So, although you got a good price from your TA, it was very average compared to these "strangers" bids.  

 

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42 minutes ago, pauon said:

Now back to the OP and what CC is supposed to be about; sharing information and helping others.  I went to the web site that has TA's give you bids on different trips.  I stayed with only Seabourne trips and kept them all in the $22,000 range.  Each "bid" I got emailed were ALL $2,000 to $2,100 off the listed low fare and included all taxes and port fees.    Two also included OBC of $200 or $400.  So, although you got a good price from your TA, it was very average compared to these "strangers" bids.  

 

I feel I want a fair price, I have a good relationship with my TA and although there is often someone who offers a better price I personally do not think it is worth changing  agents. Over the years and many cruises I find that staying with a reasonable agent who has looked after me, for me is the best deal. I have only had a problem on a cruise once, maybe because my agent is dilligent and checks everything they can before I depart or maybe my agent is just lucky but when I did have an issue it was over a $500 OBC, this was not on my account when I checked in, I e mailed the agent on the day , they confirmed they had organised it with SB but somehow it was missed, the $500 was refunded to my credit card that day, which proved an issue as SB then credited me with the OBC! So for me a reliable agent I know is worth an average price.

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Gitmo, I shop around. Prices for the same cabin on the same cruise can vary enough to make the effort worthwhile. I have a short list of online agencies I will use and will check the direct pricing by the cruise line, too. I have not booked with the same travel agent twice, although I have used the same companies. I have not had a good, steady travel agent since 1991 and quit checking with local agents in about 1996. My agents have been order takers, I don't ask for advice. My modus operandi is to book a refundable fare I can live with and then check and recheck prices until final payment is due.

 

I suggest you ask for an airfare quote from the cruise line, I have saved thousands by booking open jaw foreign flights with them, sometimes their prices are unbelievably low.

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11 hours ago, whogo said:

Gitmo, I shop around....

If price is the main issue, I guess this makes sense.  Personally I'm more in the camp with rl787 and value my continuing relationship with our TA.  And, as I mentioned above, sometimes the relationship leads to lovely perks.

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21 hours ago, pauon said:

"I am not at all interested in saving money...",  Wripoo; that is a totally different kind of stupid.   Please troll elsewhere.

 

Now back to the OP and what CC is supposed to be about; sharing information and helping others.  I went to the web site that has TA's give you bids on different trips.  I stayed with only Seabourne trips and kept them all in the $22,000 range.  Each "bid" I got emailed were ALL $2,000 to $2,100 off the listed low fare and included all taxes and port fees.    Two also included OBC of $200 or $400.  So, although you got a good price from your TA, it was very average compared to these "strangers" bids.  

 

I certainly hope you don't find an agent who gives you a big rebate. I'd hate to run into to you on a Seabourn ship.

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5 hours ago, DavidTheWonderer said:

If price is the main issue, I guess this makes sense.  Personally I'm more in the camp with rl787 and value my continuing relationship with our TA.  And, as I mentioned above, sometimes the relationship leads to lovely perks.

Exactly right. I f something goes wrong during your cruise a good TA is invaluable and far more important then saving a few bucks.

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1 hour ago, wripro said:

I certainly hope you don't find an agent who gives you a big rebate. I'd hate to run into to you on a Seabourn ship.

You can buy me a martini.   

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On 11/1/2019 at 12:37 PM, wripro said:

Exactly right. I f something goes wrong during your cruise a good TA is invaluable and far more important then saving a few bucks.

 

Good Lord.  You do realize that there are excellent travel agents that will both work for you and save you money.  

Edited by Nachosdelux

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1 hour ago, Nachosdelux said:

 

Good Lord.  You do realize that there are excellent travel agents that will both work for you and save you money.  

Indeed,my TA does both

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On 10/31/2019 at 5:34 PM, whogo said:

Gitmo, I shop around. Prices for the same cabin on the same cruise can vary enough to make the effort worthwhile. I have a short list of online agencies I will use and will check the direct pricing by the cruise line, too. I have not booked with the same travel agent twice, although I have used the same companies. I have not had a good, steady travel agent since 1991 and quit checking with local agents in about 1996. My agents have been order takers, I don't ask for advice. My modus operandi is to book a refundable fare I can live with and then check and recheck prices until final payment is due.

 

I suggest you ask for an airfare quote from the cruise line, I have saved thousands by booking open jaw foreign flights with them, sometimes their prices are unbelievably low.

Best advice yet.  Here is what I did:  

 

We used the web site that someone told us about above.  Our TA could not match the internet best offer.  We took it to a local large TA.  She matched the lowest price and matched the substantial OBC.  The result was about 13% off the Seaborne sale price for first time Seaborne passengers.   I have travel insurance in case something goes wrong.  Simple process and thousands of dollars saved for more fun !   Happy sailing !

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@Gitmo The one thing I'd say about using a travel agent who is familiar with Seabourn (or whatever cruise line you're looking at) is that they can give you valuable advice regarding your booking. Awhile back, we were considering whether to take a suite on Deck 5 of the Odyssey, I wanted to better understand the "part metal veranda railing" on that deck; my travel agent was able to quickly add to that limited description Seabourn provides, as well as send me a few personal pictures from the outside and inside which immediately helped clarify my choice. For another example, on some suites directly under parts of the pool deck on some ships are known to have noise in the morning from cleaning and deck chair moving, so a TA familiar with the ship can advise you of suites you might want to stay away from. You shouldn't need to give up a good price in order to get a TA who can offer that kind of specific knowledge.

 

We just this week booked an Antarctica cruise for next winter. We very much wanted to do it on Seabourn, but after a lot of back-and-forth with our TA, we booked on Silversea. (Not to get sidetracked on that: we wanted a smaller expedition ship and in itinerary which included South Georgia Island, and Seabourn's itineraries on the Venture were unfortunately too long and too expensive for us.) Any TA can read the brochures and online info, as I can, but a TA that has been on the ships and works regularly with the cruise line can provide you more information and sometimes get additional help from the cruise line. Another example: Silversea was offering a 10% early booking discount expiring October 31, but we weren't prepared to pay in full for the discount last week; our TA was able to get Silversea to give us two additional months to make payment and still receive the discount. I don't know if I could have found a bigger rebate from going to a large agency or shopping around on the Internet, but I feel I got a very good discount (rebate plus shipboard credits in excess of $1,000 per person) plus valuable information working with a TA that is deeply knowledgeable about the cruise lines I'm asking questions about. 

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Gitmo, sounds like you have done well....... I hope you have a Hawker's licence!!

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