We are considering booking our next cruise. We have always used a TA. Is there a benefit to booking directly with Royal Caribbean? There will be no flights involved as we can drive to the port.
Thanks in advance for your opinions!!
I don't know why if you've used a TA before and were happy with them why you would even consider booking direct. Your TA may actually save you money. They could have group space, or belong to a consortium that offers specials, upgrades, or amenities. The TA can keep an eye on your booking if the price goes down and make adjustments if allowed. The TA is there to assist you with any questions. Most likely they are much more knowledgeable than the reservation agent at the cruise line. You will get more unbiased information from a TA. Do you really think a cruise line agent is going to tell you the cons of going on the oldest ship in the fleet? If you have problems arise on the way to your cruise you can contact your TA and they can contact the cruise line. Also, using a TA helps local economies.
IMO. I like to book my cruise's with the cruise line's and yes I have used a TA. I like doing the ground work, the reason being,I checkout the ships,port's and ect and form my our opinon and a TA is just another opinon that might give me in what they think I might like.Few problems we have had, the 2 cruise line's have more than taken care of them. DON'T get me wrong, TA's are good for some people, just not me.
I can't think of any reason not to use a TA - Unless you have a bad or crooked one. A good one will be an advocate for you and look out for your interests. Heck, even if I've done my own research I still use my TA. They have always went to the bat for me if needed. Even if I book on board the ship for a special etc., I have them assign the booking to my TA.
I've often heard people refer to the cruise line's various names for their respective sales representatives as agents. They are not agents, they are order takers. Their loyalty is with the cruise line not you as a guest. A TA is just the opposite.
I thank everyone for their thoughts on this subject. We did go through our TA, and booked a cruise for March 2010. Yeah, we are so excited!!! Isn't cruising just the best thing in the world!!!! And it will also make turning 60 much better!!!
I haven't asked my agent for her opinion on which cruise I should take in years. I research it and then have her book it. To me you just can't beat having an advocate. If you book with the cruise line they are keeping what would have been the commission - this is the biggest misconception people have about using an agent as opposed to doing their own direct booking. People think they are saving the commission by booking direct. No, you are not. The price is the same either way you book, but doing it direct means more money staying with the cruise line. Why wouldn't I want to put some money in an agent's pocket rather than letting the cruise line keep it?
[quote]Why wouldn't I want to put some money in an agent's pocket rather than letting the cruise line keep it?
Because 2 times I have got nothing out of 2 different Ta's with 2 small problems. I called the TA's and they said they would call the cruise line and get back to me.Well,they got back to me with NOTHING. I turned around and called the cruise line and twice I got a discount on my next cruise by talking to a supervisor.
Since then, I find no use for a TA,I would rather book my own cruise's and if I have a problem,I'll take care of it my self. 6 cruises later,i have zero problems booking cruise's myself. I am not going to put good money in someone's pocket thats doesn't do anything for it beside's a little paper work.