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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2007, 04:47 PM
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I'm not new to this Forum, just changed name and e-mail address to be less personal. Didn't make that many postings anyway.

Okay, I need to know if I'm out of line in my feelings or not and only an experienced cruise or T/A can help.

Couple of years ago went on a cruise on RCCL. Loved every second and even wrote a review. Went with twelve others (45 and up) only two married couples of which I was one. The other male in the group took care of the arrangements, cabin assignments, etc. with a T/A he knew locally (we live several states away). He'd been on one previous cruise, none of the rest of us had ever cruised. He did a marvlous job, no problem there.

Now obviously, the T/A commission was nothing at which to sneeze. At the time I thought it strange that the only communication any of us ever received (other than the gentleman who made the arrangements) was a hand scrawled note on a torn piece of paper advising us once everything was paid. No perks of any kind, not even so much as a thank you from the T/A or any contact even after we returned.

We're going again. Same T/A, same guy making the arrangements. This time I wanted more indepth Travel insurance than last time (health issues have arisen) so e-mailed the T/A. The girl called me and gave me a quote and where I could look it up. I did and discovered that I could get tailor made coverage for about half of what she quoted. Nonetheless I wanted her, if possible, to get the commission, so I wrote and told her that I could purchase the insurance directly but I'd use her if she could get a commission on what I'd arranged. I also mentioned that I was surprised that on the previous cruise none of us had ever received even so much as a thank you and although I didn't know what individual handled the bookings last year, thought I'd give her a "heads up." Never heard another word although she knew the situation was time sensitive and I wrote two other follow up e-mails the last of which wasn't super friendly and that finally I had purchased the policy on my own since she didn't furnish me the courtesy of even a reply. I later discover she complained to our mutual friend who handles everything (and I guess they are friends). Guess he got his feelings hurt but this was nothing against him.

Am i out of line if my horns are somewhat twisted at the T/A over this situation? I mean, just my wife and my fare alone is in excess of three and a half grand.

Would appreciate some input. Thanks Loads!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2007, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 17
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I'm not new to this Forum, just changed name and e-mail address to be less personal. Didn't make that many postings anyway.

Okay, I need to know if I'm out of line in my feelings or not and only an experienced cruise or T/A can help.

Couple of years ago went on a cruise on RCCL. Loved every second and even wrote a review. Went with twelve others (45 and up) only two married couples of which I was one. The other male in the group took care of the arrangements, cabin assignments, etc. with a T/A he knew locally (we live several states away). He'd been on one previous cruise, none of the rest of us had ever cruised. He did a marvlous job, no problem there.

Now obviously, the T/A commission was nothing at which to sneeze. At the time I thought it strange that the only communication any of us ever received (other than the gentleman who made the arrangements) was a hand scrawled note on a torn piece of paper advising us once everything was paid. No perks of any kind, not even so much as a thank you from the T/A or any contact even after we returned.

We're going again. Same T/A, same guy making the arrangements. This time I wanted more indepth Travel insurance than last time (health issues have arisen) so e-mailed the T/A. The girl called me and gave me a quote and where I could look it up. I did and discovered that I could get tailor made coverage for about half of what she quoted. Nonetheless I wanted her, if possible, to get the commission, so I wrote and told her that I could purchase the insurance directly but I'd use her if she could get a commission on what I'd arranged. I also mentioned that I was surprised that on the previous cruise none of us had ever received even so much as a thank you and although I didn't know what individual handled the bookings last year, thought I'd give her a "heads up." Never heard another word although she knew the situation was time sensitive and I wrote two other follow up e-mails the last of which wasn't super friendly and that finally I had purchased the policy on my own since she didn't furnish me the courtesy of even a reply. I later discover she complained to our mutual friend who handles everything (and I guess they are friends). Guess he got his feelings hurt but this was nothing against him.

Am i out of line if my horns are somewhat twisted at the T/A over this situation? I mean, just my wife and my fare alone is in excess of three and a half grand.

Would appreciate some input. Thanks Loads!
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2007, 05:11 PM
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Getting a thank-you for my business is not that important to me as long as the service is efficient and communication is of a high quality.

From what you posted, it appears communication is not a strong point for this particular agent and that would bother me. The insurance in particular since you state you went out of your way to offer her the chance to make a little more money. Commissions on insurance aren't much, so maybe she figured it wasn't worth the trouble. But she at least should have replied to you - if nothing more than to decline and tell you to go ahead on your own.

Perks from my agent also aren't a big deal to me, but in my case I've known her for a long time and she "does me right" in my bookings so I don't expect to see a bottle of wine in my cabin on embarkation day.

If I were you I wouldn't dwell on it. You say everything went well on the first cruise and I'd expect the same for the next one. You are already locked in to this next cruise so all you'd be doing is giving yourself an excuse to not fully enjoy it by being annoyed over the agent.

After this cruise, if it still bothers you, then maybe you need to start doing your own bookings with someone else.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2007, 05:39 PM
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Dave,

Not looking for perks or anything like that. And don't worry, the T/A would NEVER spoil my cruise. Just didn't think the "attitude" appropriate. \
One additional thing that I purposely didn't mention. Funny you said "locked in for this next cruise." Maybe.........then again, maybe not. For some reason I checked a couple of weeks after the incident occurred to see how many cabins were left on that particular cruise.

There were some still available......and one of them was mine! Too late to call the T/A or the guy handling the arrangements but I managed to find out that my reservation and another in our party been cancelled! Queried the guy handling the arrangements the next day. He checked and got back to me saying it was an RCCL problem. He stated that it was nothing the T/A did, I wasn't cancelled and it takes time when you reserve a cabin for it to show up as being reserved on the net. All that sounds reasonable to me. The only thing is, my cabin was listed as booked again less than an hour after he notified the T/A of the problem. What would have happened if I hadn't noticed the glitch?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:07 PM
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For what is worth, I have found the RCI's website operation to be a train wreck. However, my experience has been that once I book a cabin it almost instantly disappears from the list of available cabins on all the travel websites. And I have checked most of them within a few minutes of making a booking.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:13 PM
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quote:
Now obviously, the T/A commission was nothing at which to sneeze. At the time I thought it strange that the only communication any of us ever received (other than the gentleman who made the arrangements) was a hand scrawled note on a torn piece of paper advising us once everything was paid. No perks of any kind, not even so much as a thank you from the T/A or any contact even after we returned.


Southern, I'm a travel agent dealing almost exclusively with group cruises. I've dealt with some groups where the group leader handled everything with me, such that I never had any contact information for anyone else in the group. The group leader gave me everyone's name, and eventually, everyone's credit card number. Royal Caribbean does not require I provide an address for the client when I make a payment for them using their credit card. Unless group members have contacted me on their own with questions, I have sent groups off where all my dealings have been with one person.

That said, that's not the usual way I work with groups, as I have everyone fill out an information sheet with contact information, type of room requested, etc. But it's possible that your group leader preferred and prefers to be the only one dealing with the agent.

As for perks, I know that I send a cabin gift to each cabin, but not all agents do that. Royal Caribbean's pricing is the same for groups as individuals. The main perk for being a group usually falls to the group leader unless s/he chooses to share it with the group. If one person is doing all the legwork, s/he may choose, justifiably or not, to keep the perk to himself or herself.

As for the travel agent not getting back in touch with you after your very thoughtful and considerate email, it could have been a rude act, it could have been an oversight (not likely with all the emails you sent) or, it could have been that the group leader wants to be the point of contact and doesn't want the travel agent dealing directly with members of the group.

As for your cabin showing up in the list of available cabins, again there could be several explanations. There is a delay in information showing up on the web site.

In the future, you can ask the group leader to provide you with your individual booking number for your cabin, not the group booking number. When the agent assigns names to a particular cabin, an individual booking number is generated by the cruise line. Having that booking number is proof, at least with Royal Caribbean, that you have been booked into a specific cabin. If you needed to, you could talk to Royal Caribbean yourself about your cabin, once you have the booking number. You would need to talk to the Group Department, as the regular Reservations Department can't pull up a cabin within a group, even with the booking number.

I'm not trying to lay blame with your group leader or with the cruise line. I'm just giving you some scenarios that could have taken place that would have resulted in the circumstances you described.

Sandy
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2007, 02:57 AM
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Thank you ever so much Sandy and Dave. You have both been most informative and it's appreciated. I presume my problem was a a result of a combination of a lack of experience influencing my expectations on my part and possibly some inconsiderate behavior on hers. I guess as in any other profession, there are those who go the extra mile and then there are those who don't. Thanks to the multitude of informed folks on this forum, my education is getting better.

Thanks again!

Thanks again!
 
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