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Booking with Ponant or TA?


Becky2010
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We are about to book our second cruise and our first with Ponant. I am still pretty mystified by the world of cruising, and we have never used travel agents in the past. For our first cruise on Silversea, someone suggested I move our booking to a TA, and we did. That was great, and the TA was helpful. For this trip I have been writing back and forth with Ponant because questions keep coming up, and I am still too "hands on" to be patient enough to go through a middle man. The Ponant rep has been very helpful and is holding a cabin for us. If I move the booking to the TA, will that rep lose their commission? Do they work on commission if they work for Ponant? Thanks for any insight!

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We book directly with Ponant mainly because we haven't found a TA that knows enough about the product and (like you) found they were the middleman that weren't adding much value.

 

I do suspect that a TA that works with Ponant regularly could squeeze some sort of additional discount or perk out of Ponant. Make sure they at least get you either the first cruise or referral bonus. I think it's $600 USD either way.

 

Otherwise, I don't know anything about the Ponant agents' compensation plan.

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2 hours ago, AussieBoyTX said:

We book directly with Ponant mainly because we haven't found a TA that knows enough about the product and (like you) found they were the middleman that weren't adding much value.

 

I do suspect that a TA that works with Ponant regularly could squeeze some sort of additional discount or perk out of Ponant. Make sure they at least get you either the first cruise or referral bonus. I think it's $600 USD either way.

 

Otherwise, I don't know anything about the Ponant agents' compensation plan.

Thanks! The TA we used for Silversea gave us a discount on top so I don't know if that's how it works with all cruise lines, or just that! I can ask him, I guess. I have found the Ponant rep to be much more helpful than the Silversea one was, so hopefully that bodes well for the trip!

 

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Ponant (I suspect) does not have a big customer base in the USA so I doubt many (if any) TAs have extensive experience or volume with them. The owner of our agency just happened to know the former Ponant Chair for The Americas through a prior business connection. So back in the BC era when we were first looking at Ponant, he arranged for us to have a phone call with her to answer any questions we might have about booking with Ponant. That was quite a treat...

 

Otherwise, our TA gives us about 10% of the fare as a rebate check, which comes to us after final payment has been made, before the trip: around the time you'd get your "cruise tickets" if such a thing existed any more. No other special perks on Ponant (though they do give some extra perks like additional OBC when we sail on Silversea).

 

And as an example of nobody knowing a lot about Ponant, I told our TA about Ponant's status match program right after reading about it here on CC. She was happy to hear about it and said she'd pass the word around the agency in case others needed to know.

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3 minutes ago, jpalbny said:

Ponant (I suspect) does not have a big customer base in the USA so I doubt many (if any) TAs have extensive experience or volume with them. The owner of our agency just happened to know the former Ponant Chair for The Americas through a prior business connection. So back in the BC era when we were first looking at Ponant, he arranged for us to have a phone call with her to answer any questions we might have about booking with Ponant. That was quite a treat...

 

Otherwise, our TA gives us about 10% of the fare as a rebate check, which comes to us after final payment has been made, before the trip: around the time you'd get your "cruise tickets" if such a thing existed any more. No other special perks on Ponant (though they do give some extra perks like additional OBC when we sail on Silversea).

 

And as an example of nobody knowing a lot about Ponant, I told our TA about Ponant's status match program right after reading about it here on CC. She was happy to hear about it and said she'd pass the word around the agency in case others needed to know.

Thanks! The TA we used for our first cruise did the same, so it was a very nice check that we got back! I guess I will try that again, but the Ponant rep already gave us some discounts, and we did the status match with our Bonvoy account which I think will give us another 7.5% off. I don't know if I can then transfer that to the TA?

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Just in case anyone reads this later - it turns out that the Ponant rep I had been speaking with all this time was in Europe, and she had to transfer the booking to Ponant US. She was very helpful, the Ponant rep in the US has been very helpful, and we transferred the booking to my TA. I have to say that Ponant so far has been vastly more on the ball and responsive that Silversea was with our trip on the Origin. Very excited to embark in 38 days!

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