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Booking direct with Costa Cruises or Travel Agent?


Raj.K
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I have booked all my Costa Cruises directly with Costa, but booked RCI and MSC mainly via Travel Agents who give me a discount on top of any loyalty discounts. 

 

Like other cruise companies, can a booking made direct with Costa be transferred to a travel agent, with the Costa Club discounts? 

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The following is answered from my European experience, within the EU I am free to book with the Costa branch that offers the best rate or with every travel agent regardless in which member state he is seated. Outside the EU things might be different.
 
During the pandemic the Costa branch where I had booked a cruise that was cancelled had to close down and communication was impossible. I tried to change the date of the cruise with both travel agents from the same country and another country‘s Costa branch, both were unable to help me. So transferring an existing booking is not possible.
 
It is very different if you make a new booking through a travel agent. The agent can give you out of his budget whatever he wants. On top you will get all benefits of your club membership. Make sure that the travel agent immediately puts your membership number into the booking, just to be sure that you will be billed the correct amount in case of an club discounted cruise from the very beginning.

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A cruise was cancelled during the pandemic and so I have a voucher for the deposit plus onboard spending credit via a voucher.

 

I am told by Costa that the voucher cannot be used with a Travel Agent and the On board credit will not be available if the voucher cannot be used. So they say that if the travel agent is offering a good price, I can ask for a refund of the deposit and directly book with the agent. 

 

So it turns out I need to workout what's best value for money.

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Sounds similar to my case, just that at some point Costa gave free cruises as extra if I booked again within a given timeframe. Exactly this limited time was running out in my case. In the very end the right Costa branch called me back. I suppose that in this case you need to book directly with Costa if you decide to take the OBC and your TA will remain out of this booking.

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34 minutes ago, At7Seas said:

Sounds similar to my case, just that at some point Costa gave free cruises as extra if I booked again within a given timeframe. Exactly this limited time was running out in my case. In the very end the right Costa branch called me back. I suppose that in this case you need to book directly with Costa if you decide to take the OBC and your TA will remain out of this booking.

Thank you.

 

I'll wait to hear from the TA and take it from there. It seems the TA price will be better even if I don't get the OBC. Will wait and see.

 

I went on Costa in 2019 for the very first time (last minute booking) and so only a balcony cabin was available. I was to have tried their Grand Suite in 2020 but this was the cruise that was cancelled.

 

I wanted to try the Grand Suite to see how different it is to MSC's Yacht Club and RCI's Grand Suites. We have only cruised in Yacht Club with MSC (10 cruises and so Diamond Members). If the price is close to MSC'c I may as well just get the refund from Costa and not bother booking with Costa again.  

Edited by Raj.K
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I’ve booked both ways , direct and through an agent. I’ve made next cruise bookings onboard with Costa , and they have been extremely helpful, allowing me to choose any agent of my choice , if I wish. 
I have never tried to transfer an existing booking.. suspect you probably can’t , especially if it was made some time ago.

If the booking is of a moderate value, I now leave the bookings directly with Costa. Their phone service is generally excellent, and allows me to pay balance later… agents generally want it much sooner. If it is a higher value suite booking, the savings of going via an agent may be worthwhile.

 

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