My husband and I are scheduled to cruise on the Volendam on the 24th of January. I called my travel agency today to see when I would get my tickets etc. They e-mailed us a letter in November confirming arrangements and said that was all I needed to board the ship. A call to Holland America confirmed that our travel agency was mailed a complete of tickets, etc. at the beginning of December. Travel agency is out of town and is not willing to budge saying too expensive to mail tickets to everyone. Holland America says I will need tickets, etc. to get on board. Holland America rep did phone on my behalf and talk to travel agency manager. She is not willing to send us anything. Has anyone else had just a piece of paper to board the ship? This is my third cruise with Holland America and so far they have been helpful but trouble is with travel agency. I booked a Disney cruise with them last year and tickets arrived a month ahead.
If you arrive at the pier with your booking number, appropriate identification and the means to set up your onboard account (credit card or cash) you will be allowed to board.
The appropriate identification is a passport or birth certificate with raised seal and a government issued picture id, such as a drivers license.
The agency not sending you your documents is ridiculous and I would continue to contact the agency and speak with whoever it takes until you get your documents. Don't ask them to send your documents, demand that they be sent. They are your documents. The most important items in the documents are your luggage tags. Demand that you get them. While they are not required (you can get them from the porters at the pier) they make it so much easier.
Make sure you go online at www.hollandamerica.com and fill out your immigration questionnaire online and also print it out and bring it with you. This will help with your boarding.
I have NEVER heard of an agency not forwarding documents. I would also make sure Holland America is aware that they are not forwarding the documents to you.
One last thing: Next cruise, use a different agency.
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You had better get in your car and drive right over to that Agency pronto, even if it takes you a day to get there and get those documents. You most definitely need them. Your luggage tags and other forms are in there also. This TA/agency should be reported to your local government agency. Those tickets are yours - you paid for them. Threaten them with legal action if you have to. I have never heard of such a thing as it's too expensive to mail them. That a lot of BS.
In this case I would recommend that you tell them to charge your credit card the $15 or so that it takes to mail your docs by Fed Ex or UPS. It would well be worth the cost to me to have my docs in hand.
AND THEN DUMP THIS @@@@@ AGENCY.
With the New Year's holiday this saga will continue on Monday. Holland American rep has promised to call me back then. They are willing to help but it is the TA causing the problems.
The TA told me that baggage tags are not needed as you have to physically check in your luggage at the pier and then tags are issued. I just want to get something in my hands to gloat over until the cruise departs. Would like to know how many formal nights etc. I did book our excursions over the web and fill out the immigration form but just not the same. We used the same agency a year ago for a Disney cruise and we got a wallet full of tickets and information a month ahead. What gets me is that Holland America mailed all the information to the TA at the beginning of December. What do they do with all that stuff. Also told from the Holland America rep that it costs $50. to put a package together.
"The TA told me that baggage tags are not needed as you have to physically check in your luggage at the pier and then tags are issued."
That's a new one to me. Obviously this TA has never sailed on a HAL ship. Tell her/him that you have been informaed by long time Mariners that the bags are taken from you as soon as you arrive at the Pier by the longshoremen, or whatever they are called, and that you NEVER personally check in your luggage. If a tag happens to be missing, they will have extra, but they don't have the time to hand everyone baggage tags and wait for them to be filled out.
This TA is handing you a load of garbage.
As your cruise is a 9 dayer, you could have 2 or possibly 3 formal nights, but that will be up to the Hotel Manager. Usually 7 day has 2 formal and 10 day, 3 formal.
The answer is simple..
Allow the travel agency to charge yoru credit card for sending you all the items.. docs, tags ect...
Then when it arrives, put the charge in dispute with your credit card company...
Explaining to the CC company they refused to send unless you paid ect, they will stand behind you and charge back to the travel agency...
Also.. Instead of a manager, you need to talk to the owner of the agency, you can get owner info from the BBB... And if it's a franchise, then you need to contact the "district manager"
Good luck. Terri
I am a travel agent here in Michigan and I have never heard of such a thing, not sending you your docs because they cost too much to mail? That's nuts, your travel agent is making good money from your booking, they can truly afford the cost of shipping them to you. If i acted in this manner, I wouldn't be in business very long, and by the sounds of it, your TA wont be. It is true that you can get onboard without your docs, there are cruise staff at the ports (where you drop off your bags) with a list of everyone that is on the sailing, they have many extra luggage tags for you to fill out and attach to your bags, just have your proper I.D. with you and you wont have a problem. But in any case, do whatever you can to get your docs from your TA to assure no delays at the ship.
Finally got our cruise documents through the mail today.
Everyone should check with their TA's to make sure they are going to be sent or given their documents. The only reason our TA sent us our documents was because a rep from HAL called his company and talked to the manager. HAL had sent a wallet of documents to our TA on December 1, 2004.
The TA made us wait all last weekend and then he phoned on Monday saying he would send out the tickets just because HAL intervened. This agency keeps all the tickets and says the final payment confirmation sent by e-mail was enough to board the ship.
At least now I have my cruise contract, luggage tags, excursion book and I know that there are 2 formal nights on a nine day cruise. The TA never told HAL we were Mariner members so no buttons, etc. but I don't care. I have since told HAL to mark us down as Mariner members as I love the tiles they hand out.
Gotto go and gloat over the documents. Two weeks and three days to wait!
So glad you got your docs. The Mariner Buttons are useless and I throw ours in the garbage as soon as they arrive. I don't know why HAL bothers to give them out - probably have boxes and boxes of them and want to get rid of them.
Now, never, ever, book with that agent again.
Have a wonderful cruise and enjoy yourselves. You will love the Volendam and the Captain. We were supposed to be on your cruise, but unfortunately had to cancel.
Re: Re: Travel Agency Refuses to hand over Tickets
1) Report this agent to the Better Business Bureau, as well as to the American Society of Travel Agents and Holland America. Their "customer service" skills are severely lacking, which is a shame.
2) When you get to the dock, bring along some preprinted labels (Avery 10 per page should do nicely) with your name, address and cabin number on them - you can pick these up in any computer store and Word templates are readily available at the Avery web site. Then just stick them on the tags, and you're ready to go in a few seconds.