I would like to say my TA was good, and she is in a lot of ways, but when it comes to "checking" for discounts on cruises, once you have signed up, the answer is NO. That is why I "check-up" on my own. This way, if there is a discount coming, I will make sure I get it. If they don't tell us, then it is MORE money in their pocket.
We were thinking about going again in April '08 and our PVP (Dave) at Carnival just happened to call me and gave $50/pp discount for early booking. I guess it was either a one-day sale or he needed to make a booking...anyway, we made the deposit in July, so that was 9 months in advance with a choice of the exact stateroom and plenty of time to make the payment. This is cheaper thatn our cruise in May '06, so I guess it paid off!
As a TA, I let my clients know that if the price does reduce, I will TRY to get the discount, there are times you do not qualify for a reduced rate. For instance, if it is a one day sale and the fine print states for NEW bookings only..then chances are you will not get the reduction. I tell my clients to call me and remind me to check for them, if I checked every booking I have made that is all I would get done in a days time..so I let my clients know..if you see the price go down, or you want to know if it went down, then please call me and I will see if you qualify for it. I love getting either the reductions or upgrades for my clients...and they love it also. Not all TA's will refuse to get the reduction for you...some are just so busy they do not have the time to check each booking. As far as the commission lost...its usually not that much..but even if it is, the best policy is to try to get the reduction for your client..this way you will have a loyal client.
I just had clients that booked an inside guarantee on a HAL ship, when their documents came they had been upgraded to an Oceanview..well last week, I received an email from HAL that for an additional $79.00 total per person they could upgrade to a balcony cabin. They were ecstatic..they saved about $300.00 per person by booking the way they did.
Of course this is not usually the norm, but its great when it happens.
Sounds like a good deal. Actually Carnival had called me not too long ago, but I told him I had a TA, and he was nice about it, and said, if I have any other questions, to feel free to call him.
Going through the line itself is alright, but I like going through the TA, that way if anything goes wrong, and it has in the past, I can contact them then, and get the situation resolved, or make sure they will reinburse me one way or another. I'm sure the line would too, but I feel more "comfortable" with them close by, for as they say, "Word of mouth is your best customer." This is true. If an agency wants to keep in business, they will TRY their best to work things out with their customers.
I forgot to mention, even though they gave you that discount, keep "checking" on prices, to make sure the rate has not gone down some more, since it is 9 months out, as it could, and they should give you a credit or something for that, if it does.
Actually my TA is not bad, although when I found that "checking" with the cruise line itself, might save you money, I emailed her about this. I could tell she was a little "unhappy" about this, so I decided to email the owner of the company. To make the long story short, when she emailed me back, her "wording" was a little more friendlier.
Also, to say the least, on our last booking, she got us a (I didn't feel right about it, but everything worked out)handicap balcony room, which was very nice. I did tell her we would be "more" than glad to move, should they want us to, but they never ask us to move.
I remember when you were dealing with your agent about reductions in prices. Glad it all worked out for you. I hear the handicapped rooms are really nice and a bit larger then the standard room..so you did alright.