BIG DIFFERENCE IN CRUISE PRICES?

Old Jun 27th, 2002, 03:12 PM
  #1  
w wessel
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BIG DIFFERENCE IN CRUISE PRICES?

Can someone explain the large difference in cruise prices between Travel agents and cruise only websites. My neighbor and I want to take the same cruise but he won;t book thru a travel agent because he says it is too expensive. Well he was right, he could get the same cruise 800.00 dollars less than my travel agent. I want the lesser price but I don't want to offend my travel agent. what should I do.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 03:43 PM
  #2  
fellow traveller
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OFFEND YOUR TRAVEL AGENT.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 03:52 PM
  #3  
yyy
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Of course you should buy it online . . . unless you want to find a travel agent who knows how to get it for $1000 less than your travel agent.

There are travel agents and then there are travel agents. I am one but have never, in 8 years, sold a cruise. Because I specialize in other areas (where your agerage agent would be totally lost).

So if someone came to me I would have no idea how to get the lowest price, much less have the knowledge to properly counsel the customer. But there are some out there who would indeed try to be what they are not and you would have this situation.

My advice to anyone who calls me asking about a cruise is to either search online or contact an agency which specializes in cruises or has a strong cruise department. In other words, do your homework before you (1) buy, (2) paint all travel agents with the same brush.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 05:45 PM
  #4  
Peter
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There's a reason why there are 40% fewer travel agents today than in 1990!
Its called the World Wide Web. Your local shopping mall travel agency is in the same category as VHS movies - in five years you won't see any anywhere!

Use your online resources for a cruise, an airline ticket, a hotel room or a rental car. You won't find a travel agent that can get it cheaper.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 06:34 PM
  #5  
love2travel
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Be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Is is the same cabin type, the same date, is your agent using the cruise line's air, are all the port charges and government fees included, does the price include insurance.

$800.00 is a HUGE difference. There are generally some differences from agency to agency, but that seems excessive. Again, just make sure that the comparison is exactly the same. To be fair, call your agent and tell them what you've found, but again, be sure that what you have with the online agency is exactly what your travel agent has or it is not a fair comparison.

Hope that helps.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 09:50 PM
  #6  
Paul Therault
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Sorry to burst your bubble guys but if there was no travel agents there would be no cruise lines, no tour companies, no airlines, no trains, no rental-car outlets, no hotels, no Disney World. Travel would stand still except for the ol' reliable automobile.

Paul
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 03:33 AM
  #7  
cruznut6
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Cruise only agencies and on-line agencies usually purchase "blocks" of cabins from the cruise lines, which allow them to buy and sell at a lower fare. The independent TA can't afford to do this because of cost. If the "cheapest price" is you're only concern, then book on-line or cruise only agency. If you are inexperienced with cruises and have plenty of questions, use your TA. You can also get quotes from various sites and then call your TA to see if they will "match" the quotes. If they can't, try another agent.

Bob
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #8  
Peter
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Use the online resourses to book your cruise to get the cheapest fare. Use these boards for answers to any questions you have (you might want to consider cruisecritic as another board). I don't see what value a travel agent provides. The same goes for hotel rooms, rental cars and airline tickets.

Attention Paul - someone is using your good name again. Even you aren't that stupid.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #9  
Lenore
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We have been using the internet to research and book vacations (hotel, air, cruises, rental cars, etc) for about 4 years now. We've NEVER gotten burned and have ALWAYS gotten exactly what we paid for. Just this week we booked a Thanksgiving cruise. We priced it through MyTravelCo (who we've used for 4 previous cruises), Best Price Cruises, AAA Travel and Liberty Travel. While the price differences from high to low were only $225, we still booked with the lowest one (which was Best Price Cruises this time).

Earlier this year we were researching a trip to Hawaii, but could not find good deals on the internet because we wanted to fly into Honolulu, but leave from Maui. In this case, Liberty Travel was able package the trip and arrange all the elements we wanted for considerably less than we could find on the internet.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #10  
JP
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Of course people will stop traveling when there are no travel agents, Paul. Just like they stopped driving when self-service gas stations were invented.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #11  
love2travel
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All the businesses lenore mentioned are travel agencies that employ travel agents - they just happen to have an online presence.

Just always be sure you are comparing the same things.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 10:55 PM
  #12  
Paul Therault
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Knock-knock who's there? I didn't say people would stop traveling. In so many words I said travel agents perform are a great asset and the majority of travelers use them. There will always be people that like to spend hours on the net to save a few bucks. Travel agents really do not need these types anyway. There is no money to be made.

There is room for everyone in this large world. Same as there is room for the small mom and pop grocery stores.

Service is the key. If your travel agent is not giving you the service go somewhere else.

Cruise ships would be dead in the water without travel agents to fill them. I gave you the example with Renaissance. How else can it be proven.

Paul
 
Old Jun 29th, 2002, 04:20 AM
  #13  
cruznut6
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Good example Paul. I don't know why you would even try to explain it to him. He obviously thinks everyone uses computers, buys everything on-line and the on-line sites are all experts. Yes, I book using on-line sites now, but learned plenty from local TAs first. And yes, some of them weren't too bright or knowledgeable. You'll never get Peter to admit that most cruises are still sold by local TAs and even the internet sites are travel agencies. I guess he thinks they're the people working at them are all experts. Now you can get nasty, Peter.

Bob
 
Old Jun 29th, 2002, 07:09 AM
  #14  
Peter
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Paul, question: Does your travel agency have a web presence and can travelers book thru your website? Or, must your clients call or fax you in order to book a cruise?
 
Old Jun 29th, 2002, 11:35 AM
  #15  
love2travel
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What makes the difference? An agency is an agency whether you call, email a request for a quote or book it online.
 
Old Jun 29th, 2002, 05:10 PM
  #16  
Paul Therault
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Never in million/zillion years own a website. To own a website means hiring 20 people to answer phones, 3 attorneys to handle the suits (foghorn made me go deaf ... my wife slipped on the slipperty deck and fell overboard, etc.) to sell $399 cruises, put up with abuse that one experiences here and take 3 years to turn a profit if not bankrupt first.

You can please 200 people but you can not please 2,000.

'Nuff said.

Happy cruisin'

Paul

 
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 06:51 AM
  #17  
DeDe
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I booked thru "www.bestpricecruises.com" because they had the best prices for the ship (Explorer of the Seas) that I wanted to go on. But the actual booking took place over the phone. Ask for Judie E. So you see, she was my travel agent - and I was able to call her anytime. She came recommended and now I recommend her. Our cruise was wonderful by the way and I would book with her again. Good Luck!
 
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 09:16 AM
  #18  
Trudi
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you may be able to find cruises cheap online, but I can assure you that there will be a Travel Agent booking your cruise, not a computer! w wessel's Travel Agent just doesn't have the right tools, to get the same or better price than the "online agency"
 
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 09:49 AM
  #19  
Peter
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OK Paul - one final question for you. Do you consider the "on-line" travel agent that DeDe used where she saw the rates on the web, then called Judie E. to book the cruise, a travel agent? Is she in the same class as you and your agency agents?
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #20  
n
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Why is there always a constant bashing of Travel Agents on this site? you must know that not everyone has hours of time to spend planning their vacation trips. There are busy professionals out there who earn more income during the time they they would spend in front of their computer researching and organizing, e-mailing, waiting for return e-mails, finding the lowest prices, comparing apples to apples, etc. They would much rather have a travel agent do all this. There still very much is a need for them. And no I am not a T. A. and personally I find travel planning and research a hobby and enjoy sopending the time to do this. One downside I have found, however, is sometimes I burn myself out on a place with all the info. I have uncovered and feel like I have already been there and done it!
 

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