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Online Vacation Center

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Jan 23rd, 2010, 08:52 AM
  #1
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Online Vacation Center

We received an enticing e-mail from Online Vacation Center and were wondering if anyone has had experience with them. They are offering an 11 night Western Mediterranean Fly, cruise and stay deal for $1799 leaving New York for Barcelona on Dec 3. Ports include Casablanca, Agadir, Las Palmas, Funchal and Granada on the NCL Jade. This includes 2 nights in hotel in Barcelona. The add-on from Los Angeles to New York is $250 which is fine EXCEPT that they say the taxes for this flight comes to $200 more for a total of $450. This does not make sense to me. Tax seems atrociously HIGH. Are they trying to get away with something by saying $200 tax for LA-NY round trip. I went onto Kayak and found flight for same time period charging $364 for flight and $21 tax for total of $385 RT. Do they charge a $90 pp fee, as well??

So, any comments or thoughts about honesty of Online vacation Center which is based in Florida. Any comments appreciated. Thanks. JH
jaydh42 is offline  
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Jan 23rd, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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I am not familiar with Online Vacation Center but you know the old adage - If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I have seen things like this advertised and when you sit down with pencil and paper and figure it all out, it turns out not to be such a bargain many times. For this kind of thing, you need to read every little thing and figure out how this will affect your total cost before making your decision.

If they are offering you a more expensive flight from LA, just book your own and take the offer from NYC to Barcelona.

Perhaps someone else has experience with Online Vacation Center and can help you with them.
hsmithcr is offline  
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Jan 26th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Check out the Better Business Bureau website to see if there is anything posted about them.
Dayenu is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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December 3rd is off-season for both cruises and flights from the US. (People here have just finished up Thanksgiving and folks here and in Europe are waiting for Christmas to take time off, so not a lot of demand). Which is all a too-wordy (sorry) way of saying that I would expect to find low prices at that time.

I think I have heard of Online Vacation Center over the years, but so many of these agency names are similar it's hard to be sure. One way to check whether the pricing is good (or, as suggested above, "too good") is to put a quote request into http://www.CruiseCompete.com for the same ship and sail date. You can ask about airfare in the comments, though I've found that not all agencies will quote airfare.

If and when you do end up booking with Online Vacation Center or anyone else, make sure you use a credit card and that it's the cruise line and not the agency that charges the card.

Let us know how it goes!
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Oct 24th, 2010, 09:01 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Run as fast as you can. They are not a bargain, are the rudest people that I have had contact with in the travel industry. The best is Judy Derrow from America's Vacation Center--she is the best!
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Oct 25th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Interesting comment of self-promotion from a first-time poster.

Is it a full moon today? this is not the first ad!
Dayenu is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2010, 01:40 PM
  #7
 
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We used Online Vacation Center for a transAtlantic cruise, Galveston to Rome, on the Grand Princess. No complaints. At no time did I feel our agent there was rude. She was always helpful. Stayed on top of things. We felt we got a nice trip at a reasonable price. Our upcoming trip to Israel is through VacationsToGo. They've done a good job for us. We're on a bunch of travel companies contact lists, so get lots of travel "opportunities." We look at the itinerary, price per day not including airfare, and sites like this one where we can hear from other travelers, when making a decision about a trip. Someone mentioned that you can get some nice bargains during the low season. I agree.
1965 is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2010, 09:59 PM
  #8
 
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I have no idea about the honesty of the company, but the total price seems pretty typical to me for this time of year, not a real bargain unless it is a cruise you particularly want to do.
Do some comparison shopping on other websites. We have used www.vacationstogo.com (not vacationtogocruises) for two cruises. They were very good. One cruise, we booked directly with the cruise line because their offer was better than the discount company.

Anyway, go on the VTG website and check out their 90 day sticker prices or fill in the show me a bargain place.
This is what I just found.
NCL Jade Dec 3, from Barcelona, inside $799, Oceanview $999, Balcony $1249. That, at least gives you an idea of what you are paying for airfare and the hotel in Barcelona.
NCL Jade Nov 14, inside $609.
They are both shown as currently sold out, but that may not be accurate. I don't know. If you are looking for a winter cruise, you have a lot of choices.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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We've used Online Vacation Center almost exclusively to book all of our cruises. They are really good at putting together package deals--air and hotel. They use commercial carriers and pretty nice hotels for both pre and post land excursions. I definitely recommend them. Alissa is our agent.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 02:50 PM
  #10
 
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I too have been using OVC for quite a few years now and have never had a problem with them. They sometimes feature special rates on dates and sailing's for which they have pre purchased a block of staterooms and give good values on same. And when these pre purchased rooms come close to sail date they go for even better prices. A great deal, if you are flexible enough to be able to wait until almost the last minute. I also found out, a few years ago, that they offer a 5% rebate if you are own 500 shares of their (penny) stock. That purchase set me back about $75 (including brokers commission) and I have received over $500 back on my cruise purchases from them to date. In fact, my most recent booking (a Russian river cruise for August of 2012) was done with a $500 “up front” rebate, so that would bring my total rebate savings more like $1,000. Apparently they have been around for a long time, and I feel comfortable enough to continue to use their services. (although some times I do all of the preliminary research myself and then turn the booking process over to them just to get my rebate)
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 03:07 PM
  #11
 
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Interesting, the last 2 positive posts come from first-time posters!
Dayenu is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 12:25 AM
  #12
 
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Their only posts as well. We'll see.
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Apr 30th, 2011, 08:31 PM
  #13
 
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I am not a 1st time poster. In fact I've been around since at least 2000. I have booked 2 cruises with OVC and Alissa was my booking agent too. The reason for the cruise bookings were that both were really great deals. The last 1 was advertised on RCCL for the same price as OVC, but OVC offered a $100 on board credit and RCCL didn't. I received the same perks that I would have gotten with RCCL but with $100 spending credit by using OVC. The 1st time I booked with them, I also received an email advertising a great rate on Celebrity. Celebrity wasn't even advertising the sale OVC had going! So in my experience they have been honest and a really great deal.
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May 5th, 2011, 10:24 AM
  #14
 
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Dayenu, Jacketwatch--looks like you nailed it. Joined, posted, & disappeared. (Is that like "Eats shoots & leaves?).
triathlete is offline  
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May 5th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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Or hit and run?
jacketwatch is offline  
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May 5th, 2011, 03:47 PM
  #16
 
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I believe Zwho.

And leaving Tuesday
Dayenu is offline  
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May 6th, 2011, 07:22 AM
  #17
 
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Have fun D and yes I too tend to believe Zwho as well. We booked w/ Celebrity for Oct. thru a TA who gave us some OBC which the cruise line would not do.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 06:34 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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OVC is good and dependable. Their offers are for real. Two couples used them recently for Europe cruise with transfers and hotel. The hotel was nice, the cruise was nice and the transfers saved a LOT of hassle. Would use again.
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May 8th, 2014, 09:19 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: May 2014
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The best way to judge a company is by the way they handle customer problems. Online Vacation Center failed for us. We recently traveled with Online Vacation Center. We also had no say as to our flights and they were changed several times. We even had to pay for 'preferred seats' just to assure that we could sit together. They also charged us an extra $400 each to get from west coast to Chicago. Then, we requested a hotel near the city center of Rome instead of one on the outskirts of town and we were charged an extra $149 to stay there. While at the hotel and again on the cruise we spoke to several people who stayed at the hotel and were not charged the extra amount. OVC claims this is not true. One traveler with OVC said that when he requested the hotel in city center, he was told it would cost more but he got upset with OVC and they let him stay at the city hotel with no extra cost.
Coming home, was a nightmare. US Airways took off the 11:55am flight and we ended up on a 4:30pm flight to Philadelphia with an extra stop in Maine. They then gave us one hotel voucher for three adults and kept us overnight. We got home to WA at 3:30 the following day.
Also, when we disembarked the cruise ship for our trip home, we, and other OVC travelers, were put on the wrong bus and dropped off at a bus stop outside the port, and left there to figure out how to get back to the cruise ship. It was a nightmare. We won't be using Online Vacation center again.
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