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-   -   Travel Agents (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/general-cruise-chat/18746-travel-agents.html)

Ptur 11-18-2006 03:35 PM

Has anyone any experience regarding "Vacations To Go" as a TA especially booking from overseas.

Cruise Fanatic 11-18-2006 03:53 PM

Vacations to go is just like any of the online gorillas. Do you really know who your dealing with? Do you really get personalized service? Do you have someone you can call and help you out if problems develop before or during your trip? Do they have experienced people that have expertise in cruising and can match you with the right cruise?

choochella 11-19-2006 04:23 PM

We have used Vacations to Go three times to book a cruise. We have never had any problems with them. The consultants we've had have been very helpful in answering all questions and concerns. I used them in the past because they have had the best deals. We booked once with Travelocity. I guess it's the same with any web based TA. It all depends on the type of service you require. If you are dependent enough to do alot on your own, then a web based TA would be the way to go. They normally have better pricing than some land based TA's. But, if you need immediate service and have alot of questions, it may be better to use a land based TA. I am planning a group cruise for 2008 and will probably use a land based TA just for the serviceability.(spelling?)

Superdee 11-19-2006 05:06 PM

I booked back in august with Vacations to Go. My agent I dealt with was Paul Osborne and he was super. This is basically my first cruise because the last one was 20 some years ago with my ex-wife. I called the poor guy and asked him a hundred or so stupid questions and he was very, very helpful. The rates were good and I got free soda cards for me and the missus and 3 bottles of wine. We sail December 16th and they sent our package DHL Courier 2 weeks ago. I would use them again.

Ptur 11-19-2006 06:01 PM

Thanks Superdee and Choochella for your input. I think we may use them for our next cruise especially the 55+ rates they offer on some cruises. we will be looking for cruises out of LA or San Diego in 2008. you guys are so fortunate having these cruises virtually on your own doorstep so to speak. We have in all about 18hours of travel before we hit LA so at this time we will be considering the western side of the US and Mexico. We may try cruises out of Florida later.
Peter

Cruise Specialist 11-22-2006 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Ptur:
Thanks Superdee and Choochella for your input. I think we may use them for our next cruise especially the 55+ rates they offer on some cruises. we will be looking for cruises out of LA or San Diego in 2008. you guys are so fortunate having these cruises virtually on your own doorstep so to speak. We have in all about 18hours of travel before we hit LA so at this time we will be considering the western side of the US and Mexico. We may try cruises out of Florida later.
Peter
Just a side note, the 55+ rates you get with Vacations to Go, any agent can get for you. A good agent would automatically look for those rates for you while searching a cruise. In fact while speaking to an agent they should automatically ask you what state you live in for residential rates, your age for sr. rates and also if you are military. If this is your first cruise I would suggest that you use an agent that you can feel comfortable calling anytime. A lot of Cruise Specialist Home based agents will take calls up till 10:00 pm or later, a lot of the internet companies outsource their calls to call centers to so called agents who have never been on a cruise before. So seriously who would you rather help you with your cruise, an agent who is knowledgeable in cruising who has been on cruises and continues their education, or a call center where the agent might not have ever stepped foot on a ship??

I have talked to quite a few agents at the various cruiselines, and was really amazed when I found out that some have never ever cruised, but they are out there making recommendations as to which ship to go on etc...

Just my $.02 worth.

LHT28 11-22-2006 11:33 AM

There is only a few cruiselines that offer the 55 discount not all do.

They make money on the over 55 cruisers because they can afford to do longer cruises & more upscale ones. http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo.../icon_wink.gif

ceemonster 11-22-2006 04:54 PM

Ptur

You can get the discounts through any travel agent. My personal opinoin is to use a local cruise experince travel agent. You "will" get the same rate but you will get that personal service also and thats a big part of crusing is the service. My last few cruises I actually booked on the ship and got a great onboard credit. But since you will not be on a ship to arrange your next cruise I do recommend the local agent also the local guy since you live in New Zealand will know all of the leaving and re-entering procedures for your country and will be more Familiar with your airline traffic.

Dwayne 11-22-2006 08:20 PM

I agree about using local agents. But, shop your rate out first. TA's make money on commission based on the cruise rate. Have that knowledge before you call or go in. If you find a good one that looks after your interests as they are suppose to do, stick with them.

If you know Riviera Deck Outside is selling for $449 and Empress Outside is selling for $849 and you ask for an Outside Cabin and are quoted the $849. Then you know they are not looking out for you.

As in every profession there are good people and bad people. Most Travel Agents are good people. They depend on repeat customers.

Ptur 11-23-2006 01:30 AM

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I saw a cruise listed in Vacations To Go took down the details and gave them to my local TA. He came back with an even better price including all taxes and tips.
It just goes to show how useful this chat program is, and the advice which is available is second to none.
Thanks.
Peter


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