Travel Agent - Princes

Old Mar 20th, 2011, 01:38 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Travel Agent - Princes

If you were trying to find an excellent, high-volume travel agent for Princess cruiselines where would you begin?
DebInTN is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2011, 06:30 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,872
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Online? Vacationstogo.com
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 02:56 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But how do you KNOW?
DebInTN is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 06:35 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,872
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personal experience with vacationstogo has been very good, and I would use them again. I have booked three cruises on Princess with vacationstogo. They were helpful and knowledgeable all three times. If you speak with one agent and are not impressed, call again and speak with someone else. One I got was very helpful with suggestions on our first cruise. Another was really good and made special requests to the cruise line about disembarking early. There was one mistake with one of our bookings, and quite honestly, I don't know if it was the booking company or the cruise line, but it was quickly corrected. Booking with them was super easy, much easier than booking airline tickets.

Be sure to ask about any paperwork you have to have filled out ahead of time. The agent told me, but I was excited and only half listening, so was doing stuff at really the last minute on our first cruise.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:18 PM
  #5  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I booked with my Travel agent for the last 3 years. She just booked us on the Golden Princess for an Alaksan cruise in September. She booked us for the Star Princess in 2007. Let me know if you're interested and I will give you her info. I also like cruisesonly.com. But, I have not booked with them. If you use an internet booking site just read the fine print and buy the insurance.

One thing I like about a personal TA vs. on-line, the deposits are usually lower and/or you are not required to pay the full amount at the time of booking. For expensive trips, I can put on lay-away and pay "X" amount per month to her until it's paid. I like the personal service and the tips knowing that's she's been there, done that.
KVR is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:53 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been booking with Alex from cruise.com for 7 years. He offers very good prices and personal service. You can contact him at [email protected]. Tell him spurs sent you.
spurs is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2011, 11:20 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, all. I'll be checking out you suggestions.
DebInTN is offline  
Old May 1st, 2011, 10:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Princess, unless they have a special, is usually the most expensive option. Suggest you post on cruisecompete.com and see who offers you the best price.
boudecca is offline  
Old May 4th, 2011, 06:49 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Second vote for http://www.CruiseCompete.com . Here you select your cruise and get competing offers from various agents. In terms of agent quality, this is the only place I know of that you can read real customer reviews/see agent ratings before deciding if you want to book with a particular agent/agency.
triathlete is offline  
Old May 6th, 2011, 02:44 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
High or low volume make no differences at all. The cruise line control the price regardless who you book with. Where is will amke a difference is what kind of "goodies" the TA will offer: bottle of wine, on baord credit, set of lugagge, unofficial kick back (cash under the table as in: cash back after the trip, or future credit).

The cruise lines even limit the maximum amount a TA can offer for on board credit as well, so there has been more creativity to try to get your business.

With that said, I use cruise complete to get quotes. So far, none of the quotes there were better than what my local TA had offered (as a loyal customer)
Eschew is offline  
Old May 13th, 2011, 08:38 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Echew's advice is largely correct: there are some cruise lines that do limit certain forms of discounting. Currently, these include Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Celebrity.

However, the original question was about Princess. Neither Princess or Holland America put restrictions on the price charged for their cruises: agencies can still offer cash discounts to their heart's content. Additionally, every cruise line allows agencies to offer group space at a discount. The trick is to find an agency holding space at a lower rate for the ship/sail date/cabin you want. (This is easy to find on NCL; much more difficult on Carnival as they are very difficult for agents to work with on group space).

Where volume does matter is that an agency doing a high volume of sales with a particular cruise line generally gets more commission from the line (both on the front end and in annual overrides); has more access to group space it can reserve; and can put a number of individual bookings on a ship together into a group and earn tour-conductor credits (or "TC"'s) which may include money back to the agency or extra amenities they can offer you.

Sorry if this is more than you wanted to know. Bottom line is that sometimes you can find better deals and sometimes you can't, but I think everyone here will agree that it's always a good idea to shop around to see what you can find.

Good luck!
triathlete is offline  
Old May 20th, 2011, 03:59 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, all. I have spoken with an agency who claims to have been awarded top sales award for Princess. Triathlete: I was pretty sure that we wouldn't be able to get much of a discount (Alaska, Balcony) and the agent confirmed that. He explained that because they book so many cabins, they are able to pretty much get everyone the group rates and group perks. We'll see how it works out...
DebInTN is offline  
Old May 24th, 2011, 04:13 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check the Pricness web site and see what the "retail" rate for the same cruise and samew cabin is. There is also discount for repeat custoemrs as well as other "give-away". Don't be ashamed to ask for them. An Alaska mile by mile cruise guide book, a bottle of wine, discount coupons, on board credit, free cocktail reception ... You don't ask, you don't get!

Last but not least, check cruise complete and get quotes and see how close they are with what your agent offers. My agent has been able to offer better rate than cruise complete almost all of the time when you factor in everytrhing.

By the way, once you find a good agent, latch on to them as they are hard to come by.
Eschew is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
james04
Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
8
Jun 2nd, 2010 06:19 PM
cruising
Cruises
6
Apr 29th, 2010 04:01 PM
annikany
Cruises
13
Jul 3rd, 2009 03:31 PM
Kathyngs
Cruises
31
Feb 20th, 2005 04:09 PM
Kelly
Cruises
8
Oct 11th, 2002 09:00 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information