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  #1  
Old March 16th, 2011, 01:46 PM
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Default Travel agency, vs click to buy?

The has always been a hot button topic..the travel agent vs buying online. I just read this article,which advises going with, as they call it, a "dinosaur".....and I agree... the one time I booked online with the cruiseline, I transferred it to an agent asap...I love dinosaurs..how about you?


Travel agents: The dinosaur you just might need | Gadling.com
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Old March 16th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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I've done both and still do both. I used one of the big online only agents for a few cruises and have never had an issue. Even though I'm in Vancouver, if I do use an real agent, she's on the East Coast of the US.

I've been lucky in that we've never run into issues on any of our trips so I haven't really had to weigh in on their services. Both have got me price reductions, found me better cabins and respond to e:mail very quickly.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Like Trackypup, we are in Canada but years ago we contacted an agent in Miami via the internet and have been with her ever since-like 10 cruises. We e-mail and chat on the phone a lot-I feel like she is a friend although we've actually never met in person. Kinda like Cruisemates I do extensive research on line prior to booking a cruise, then call my agent when we've made up our mind. Wouldn't have it any other way. Mind you, if she hadn't turned out to be so great I might have tried booking on line.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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For my upcoming cruise I decided to use a TA, other than the $100.00 ship board credit to our cabin Iím not impressed. When using a TA you can only use them if you decide to change things. For instants I choose our cabin and the next week we decided we wanted to move to a different room, same category just a different location on the same floor. My TA said we canít do that so I called Carnival and they said sure you can but your TA has to change it through us. Any and all requests must go through your TA. I do have to tell you the person is very nice but knew very little about Carnival and at one point during our conversation she said to me you know more that I do. Up to this point I personally see no need to book with a TA and probably wonít do it again. Although the $100.00 SBC is nice!
Who know maybe if something goes wrong it will pay off to use the TA. It's whatever you're comfortable with.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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I'm also from Canada . I once used a TA in the US and wasn't happy with the service I got . My local TA (used 2006) has been to us. In some canadian provinces all TA have to belong to a "Travel Insurance" plan.
This is gov't plan that will remburse you if the travel supplier defaults.
Also if an airline fails while your travelling they pay to get you home.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doopydozer View Post
I'm also from Canada . I once used a TA in the US and wasn't happy with the service I got . My local TA (used 2006) has been to us. In some canadian provinces all TA have to belong to a "Travel Insurance" plan.
This is gov't plan that will remburse you if the travel supplier defaults.
Also if an airline fails while your travelling they pay to get you home.
I should have posted this in mine. If I were booking a "Package Holiday" I probably would go through a Canadian Agent for the coverage, but I'm not expecting Princess to do down anytime soon so it doesn't really apply. I also always book my own air. If Air Canada goes down, we're all in trouble
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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:56 PM
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I am fortunate that my best friend is a Royal Caribbean cruise agent. So I book thru him; if I need to change something I txt or email; or I just drop by his house. Very nice; I booked online with Royal once; I like having my friend do everything; it's always nice to be able to reach out and touch someone; especially if things go bad.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 11:47 AM
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Ok, I know I’m far from being considered a true cruiser with only three cruises under my belt. I just don’t understand the big deal here about the importance of using a TA. For people like me this board is a little like a classroom and after reading the reasons why you should buy insurance I now wouldn’t dream of going without. So on my upcoming cruise this will be the first time traveling with insurance and it’s a good feeling just knowing I have it. I’ve come to respect the opinions of many folks on here especially Trip & Mike M.

So now I hope we could shed some light on why a TA? All I’m hearing is if something goes wrong the TA is there for you. What kind of thing are we talking about that only the TA can solve and the cruise line can’t? When I booked my last cruises I did work with a “cruise Planner” and thought she would help me if needed, did I think wrong? I would never use a travel website like Expedia or some other site. Like I said I’ve learned many thing from these boards and I ask these questions because I want to really know other than OBC why a TA is so important. I need for instance…..
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Old March 18th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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For some a TA is a great asset in their corner....simply because they want the TA to handle all their vacation travel plans. For others, they prefer to handle everything themselves. Either way is dependant on each persons wants and needs.

Fact... a TA can assist if there are flight issues while you are enroute to your destination
Fact... a TA can assist in hotel, rental car, shore excursions, etc....
Fact.... a TA will go to battle for you if something goes wrong during your cruise that you feel should be addresed for compensation after you retrun
Fact.... a TA is able to discuss various cruiselines and their positives and negatives to assist in finding the cruiseline that best fits your needs or lifestyle.
Fact.... a TA can assist in suggestions regarding ports of call you will be visiting

For some.... all of the above is a nice "comfort zone" and provides piece of mind and less possible stress.

Does everyone need that "comfort zone" ??? Probably not, but it is available to you at no charge by the TA.

If a TA is able to provide OBC or perks to you, and does not charge a fee for any of the above services, why would you not want to use the services of a well trained, and knowledgeable TA ?

TA's are multi faceted..... Booking direct with the cruiseline cannot provide some of the valuable assistance that a TA can.

In the end... you have to do what you are conmfortable with, and that may or may not be to use the services of a TA...... It's all a matter of choice !
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Old March 18th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Curtis - thanks for your list. I thing each fact might need to be followed by "a good TA ..."

However, if I'm traveling to a cruise on Saturday and my TA doesn't work weekends they are unable to help me if problems arise in my travel. As others have noted in some cases the TA stands between the traveler and provider. Sometimes this is a help and sometimes it is an hinderance.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
Curtis - thanks for your list. I thing each fact might need to be followed by "a good TA ..."

However, if I'm traveling to a cruise on Saturday and my TA doesn't work weekends they are unable to help me if problems arise in my travel. As others have noted in some cases the TA stands between the traveler and provider. Sometimes this is a help and sometimes it is an hinderance.
The good TAs are available on weekends too, at least via email or a phone call.

I've faced the situation once, where I needed assistance on a weekend. The cruise line offices were closed, the travel agent took care of the situation for me within a couple of hours.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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In most cases those selling cruises for the cruise lines only have an interest in getting you to book on the line they work for.

In many cases they don't even know about much about their own ships, so then you have to contact other departments.

Over the years I've found the biggest source of misinformation provided about ships come from the cruise line office people themselves.

If the cruise line's sales people were as well trained as experienced cruise travel agents, I might recommend them more.

Free expertise of a professional to take care of my travel plans seems like a service I can't lose on.

People can get free or discounted services at such places as barber schools, and even dental schools. Some who make use of them walk away happy, others not so much, and choose to use a professional.

Booking a cruise, and assuring everything is taken care of (even the stuff you may not think of) is more complicated, and more expensive than walking into a shoe store, seeing a pair you like, and buying them.

What the internet does is allow you to find the services of really good professionals, no matter their locale.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
Curtis - thanks for your list. I thing each fact might need to be followed by "a good TA ..."

However, if I'm traveling to a cruise on Saturday and my TA doesn't work weekends they are unable to help me if problems arise in my travel. As others have noted in some cases the TA stands between the traveler and provider. Sometimes this is a help and sometimes it is an hinderance.
I was generalizing TA's with the facts..... A TA just doing their JOB should be able to provide everything I noted. TA's doing their job will have an alternate person to take their calls if they are away from the office, or have a cell phone that clients can contact in the case of a travel emergency. I would not say that it requires the title of a "Good" TA... just a TA that is dedicated to their profession and their clients !

And remember... it's all a matter of CHOICE by the potential client to use a TA or not after they have interviewed the TA to make certain that they will meet their needs.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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Hi friends i just want to say you here that there are many traveling companies which are offers you the b est facility and the luxury Cars and transports for the pick and drop or transferred you but you should pay to the good traveling company for the best and good travel with them .............
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