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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:29 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by goin' cruisin':
Quote:
Carnival even dropped their rates on the cruise that I am taking next month, and I just emailed my Travel Agent with the new rates that Carnival was listing, and she contacted Carnival...and informed me that we were given a $200.00 credit on my credit card since the rates had dropped. Now, that is customer service!!

I went through a travel agent for our first cruise, and booked well in advance. Our cabin price dropped twice during the interim, which I caught on various web sites. After informing the agent, we received credits to our credit card for the appropriate amounts.

When you mention "Now, that is customer service," maybe I'm expecting too much, but should'nt the travel agent be on top of price drops and should'nt the agent be calling you and advising you of the good news? It would'nt seem to be that difficult to have a tickle system on your clients to run a price check on a monthly basis.

I respectfully throw this question out to the TAs on this site. Am I expecting too much as a customer?

Thanks for enlightening me.
Goin cruising,
Yes it is more difficult then you may think. An agent that is working from the home may not have as large a clientele to keep track of. But an agent that works in a major agency could easily have 100 plus bookings to track. They are answering the phone giving quick air quotes to some, and other air quotes can take more time when they want you to "Check this date, or how about this date", "well what about this date". Then someone walks in the door and wants to go somewhere, but hasn't got a clue where they want to go, but they always want it "Cheap". One hour later you may have checked five destinations for them and they walk out saying "I'll get back to you." Time for the agent to check email. Oh look, here's a request from someone, a family of 14 people who want to go to Hawaii not until June of 2008. But they want a quote now, of what it might be. They want a nice hotel with ocean view room, 2 bedroom suites with kitchen, and nice amenities. But ofcourse they are on a limited budget and want the best bang for their buck. Phone rings: Client comlains they think their credit card was over charged. You pull their record and go over all the charges that you already went over once before. Phone rings: client needs to change their air ticket that you just booked yesterday. Phone rings: Client wants to know "Can you provide travel insurance on the cruise that I have booked?" "Did you book that cruise with this agency?" "No, I booked it somewhere else."!!!! Guess what the answer to that question is. Phone rings: Client calling from the airport, their flight to Rome for their 12 day Italy tour was just cancelled due to a snow storm up in New York. What should they do? Phone rings: Carnival cruise line calling, we need to go over the group booking you have on the Victory. While on the phone with Carnival a clients walk in, they need to make a final payment on their trip. Meanwhile another client walks in, they need to pick up their documents for their cruise, they have a few questions. Manager needs to see you about the booking you made two days ago. Phone rings: client has some questions about passports. Here comes another walk in, "I got this coupon in the mail for a cruise of $299 can you tell me what date I can go to get that rate?" Phone rings: "Can you send me a brouchure on Tahiti?"
I could go on and on of what can happen in just one day in the life of a Travel Agent.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:36 PM
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The cruise line is not going to inform you if the price drops below what you have paid--why would they? But it would be nice if your travel agent did; but don't count on that either; it would mean cutting their commission.
You need to check the cruise lines website frequently to find out about price drops.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:52 PM
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Well Joan, Jean just emailed me their rates and guess what...they are actually the cheapest! You were right on the nose, and I appreciate the referral. Their quote is $182.00 lower than my original quote of $1,602, and around $20-$60 lower than the others submitted. I guess I take Jim C's advice and check Carnival's on THU and see what their "One Day Sale" rate is and go with the lowest.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-19-2007, 08:26 PM
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Are you the travel insurance and all taxes are in there?
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:01 AM
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Here we go again!

There is no Travel Agent allowed to offer lower rates than Carnival, unless is a charter or special event.

Past Guest is a great rate. But if they add a Resident rate that is lower for your state you can switch to that if is before final payment date.

I am waiting on the same. Now, they may not include the upgrades for the same price. But the Category price may go lower.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 06:18 AM
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IslandCruz,

We have used this travel agent for the past 4 cruises, and she has beat Carnival's rates every time., with all extra fee's included., except for the optional travel insurance.
Why do you say that travel agents are not allowed to offer lower rates?
Carnival has always been higher than her rates....I have checked with them every time.
She is with a Travel Agency that specializes in Cruises, maybe that is why the lower rates....I cannot say why they are lower, but I am sure as heck not gonna argue with her & pay Carnival's higher rates!!
Joan
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 07:26 AM
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Hi Joan,

It is Carnival's policy and they are pretty strict about it.

What is your sail date, ship, cabin category and state? I bet I can call and get the same rate.

I think you should use a Travel Agent, and you have a good one, but the rates are the same they can offer.

IslandCruz
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmsettles:
IslandCruz,

We have used this travel agent for the past 4 cruises, and she has beat Carnival's rates every time., with all extra fee's included., except for the optional travel insurance.
Why do you say that travel agents are not allowed to offer lower rates?
Carnival has always been higher than her rates....I have checked with them every time.
She is with a Travel Agency that specializes in Cruises, maybe that is why the lower rates....I cannot say why they are lower, but I am sure as heck not gonna argue with her & pay Carnival's higher rates!!
Joan
Joan, Island Cruz is correct Carnival does not actually allow us to discount their cruises. BUT, there are ways to get around it, such as paying directly to the cruise company you are working with by check or credit card, they then in turn will pay directly to the cruisline the total price minus their commission. Your agent might be kicking part of her commission back by doing it this way. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity strictly forbid any discounting what so ever..if an agent is caught discounting with them they can loose their booking privledges with them again...not worth the chance for me..of course we can give onboard credits to make the difference up.

A lot of agents work with host agencies and they split commission with their hosts, so when they discount they are actually giving up part of their pay. Some agents have no problem with this, others work hard and give great personal service to their clients and do not discount. I personally will not get into a price debate with potential clients..I give our best price and then let the client know what I will do for them also, which includes monitoring the price when possible and I am available to them to answer any questions and also will help them pre-register on line with the cruiselines. If all the client is looking for is the cheapest price, then I know that next time they get ready to book they will not necessarily use me again, because price is all that is important to them, which is ok.

I personally do not discount, we get some of the top prices with the cruislines because we have so many agents with our company..I explain it this way...if you are working with a company and someone comes to you and asks you to work for less money because so and so down the street is, would you give up your pay to get that persons business? What if you are working at Wal-Mart and shoppers come in and tells Wal-Mart if they dont drop their prices they will take their business to Target..so your boss asks you to take a pay cut so they can keep these potential shoppers, knowing that if the price is cheaper at Target anyway that shopper is going there anyway?? would you give up part of your salary??? That is what happens when we are asked to discount..give up part of our pay..I personally work very hard for what money I make ..I give 200% of my time to my clients and I also work most days from 8:00 in the morning until some nights as late as 11:00 pm. I am also available most week-ends for my clients. I do not get paid by the hour..so based on the hours I put in I probably work for way less then most of you do. I am sure other agents on this site can also share some of the same things here.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:04 AM
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I appreciate the information, because I had heard that TA's could not beat the Cruise Lines direct price. I completely understand why a TA would not want to cut into their own pocket. When you book with a TA, I imagine that you are using their expertise and knowledge.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:56 AM
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Actually based on the TA's sales they can match Carnival's price. Any advertised price Carnival has we also get. A TA is paid by the cruiseline not by the client. If you book directly with Carnival then the agent you booked with gets the commission, if you book with an outside agent who also represents all cruiselines then that agent gets the commission. Basically its what level of service you want from your agent.
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