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  1. Just thought I'd share my experience here regarding my cancelled booking. I'm a bit of a travel aficionado and normally book all my travel directly without EVER using a TA - I also work in Logistics. However one day back in December I came across a good deal on Expedia for the 3 Night Perfect Day cruise for April on MARINER. Little did I know that that what Expedia had in inventory was also available in inventory - a studio cabin. I was under the impression at the time that studios could only be booked via a TA. Figures out eventually after getting the runaround, studio inventory is also available via the RCL call centre. Long story short, cruise gets cancelled - TA requested my FCC & tax refund on Mar. 11 for the Apr. 3 cruise. RCL didn't process supposedly till Mar. 18, and its now May 17, no return of taxes yet. I had to chase the RCL post cruise dept to manually generate an FCC for me as others on the cruise already received theirs. Getting a straight answer from RCL Corporate Guest relations regarding tax refund has been less than stellar. If a TA books a cruise, the RCL call center refuses to disclose financials to the client - but TA now has their own plate full and is willing to follow up regarding refunds or FCC's. I did all the legwork myself. I think anyone who books a cruise if they know what their doing and has a logistics or frequent travel background should never use a TA. Dealing with a middleman to get a cruise line to talk to the client directly is super inconvenient. TA is more interested in generating new sales rather than maintaining and following up on old ones. Rather, put the onus on me to figure out policies myself, but RCL does not want to talk to me as its an agency controlled booking. Long story short... booking a cruise with a TA is a BIG HASSLE. I will NEVER book a cruise through a TA again ever. It has been less than stellar. On one occasion a post-cruise rep let it "slip" about the financials that were to be refunded thereby proving that RCL does have access to financials and at their discretion depending on the agent you get... CAN SEE the financial info on all TA bookings but as a matter of protocol (depending on how it affects the agents metrics) will not release that info and refer you back to the TA. Officially RCL claims they have no access to TA bookings and can only see your 'name' - but this just proved otherwise. Stuck in refund limbo now, with TA who refuses to follow up. For those of you in the same boat, TRY to get the agency to 'release the booking' even though its past final payment. [email protected] is a good place to start, send in your Reservation ID and request and see if RCL can release the agency control back to client directly, this can take weeks to process as well.
  2. After having called RCL daily regarding refund follow up's per my previous posting (again expert with follow ups and work in logistics)... please note that ALL agents are generally cross trained. Originally I had to wait on hold up to 2 hours to speak to Customer Service (Corporate Guest Relations based in Manila). Some key points to note when calling RCL about how your call gets routed: Sales & Reservations -- US based (up to 8 pm PST) 1-866-562-7625 Corporate Guest Relations (Customer Service) - Guatamala - 1-800-205-9812 / 1-800-256-6649 RCL resolutions (escalated calls) & Post Cruise Dept - (also handles Guest relations during overnight hours) - 1-800-256-6649 * Generally the US Based sales agents can troubleshoot existing reservations so if Customer Service has a long hold time (more than 10 minutes) - one can generally get through to sales (MAKE NEW RESERVATION line) with less than a 5 minute wait. They can often modify or update reservations and deal with FCC's. Of course they prefer not to do this, but there's a way less wait time to speak to the sales agents who are also cross-trained. Phone line has less static than offshore. * When calling 1-866-562-7625 - in the unlikely event where even the Sales / New reservations Line is engaged for more than 10 minutes, one can also pres EXT 3 (If you are a guest working with a TA or a TA); then press EXT 1 (for new bookings). It routes directly to customer service and you get through before people on regular customer service, TA's get priority - however the Guatamala Customer Service team that picks up has no idea if one is a TA or not. This routing option is way faster than calling and waiting on hold. * If all else fails, call in the overnight hours repeating the above point - basically after 10 PM PST - you will get someone in Guatamala for Sales or Manila for Post-Cruise. This is the time where they tend to be the most helpful due to low call volume. Some pointers thought I'd share for others. Here are some key points
  3. This is our first time using a travel agent, which I decided to do after listening to about 10 podcasts. 😂. Well, lo and behold she called me earlier this week. Our cruise went down almost $800!!!! Such awesome news and reinforced to me to always use a travel agent for cruises in the future!
  4. I have an existing cruise reservation that I would like to transfer over to MEI. Does anyone have a specific travel agent at MEI they would recommend? I have had some bad luck with some other agencies in the past. I would like to find a good agent that will check in with me when new promotions come out and potentially save me some money.
  5. To make a long story short, I have an on-line booking and was looking to move it to my travel agent. I have had a Crown and Anchor account for years. All of the sudden, it said my log in was wrong (which wasn't). I couldn't retrieve my recovery as I haven't had that email for years. I created a new log in but now I cannot pay on-line. I called RCI and they couldn't get it fixed either. I can call and pay over the phone but that is kind of a hassle for me I feel like. Are they any of you that call in your payment directly to RCI? I don't know if I can even transfer it to my travel agent anyway. Any suggestions please.
  6. For those who have ever vacillated over whether or not using a travel agent was in your best interest or not, let me assure you that a GOOD travel agent is priceless. I have proven that to myself this week with the disaster that Royal Caribbean created with its cancellation of the Empress sailings in March and April. As everyone now knows, Royal Caribbean cancelled 6 sailings on the Empress of the Seas, due to sail beginning in late March through mid-April. Dan and I were booked on the April 11, right, smack dab in the middle of that cancellation cluster. It was a psychological blow to us as well as a potential logistics nightmare. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS I had Michelle Cunningham with MEI as my advocate. I can say, without any doubt, I would have killed myself, Dan or someone on the other end of the phone line before I managed to get it all straightened out if I had had to do this by myself. Imagine. 1800 passengers times 6 sailings. Over 10,000 people are trying to either rebook or cancel their cruises. No thanks. Not only did Michelle manage to salvage our cruise but she saved our $1,000 OBC that Dan had earned on our Allure sailing (from Club Royale), which was in real danger of going bye-bye. Our out-of-pocket costs, as a result of this monumental BLUNDER - that was 100% Royal Caribbean's doing - is only going to be ~$200...which will be some airline change fees that RCI is too damn cheap to reimburse us. Thanks to Michelle's diligence and persistence, we were able to get $200 of the $400 reimbursed. She got us rebooked on the sailing of our choice in the same room that we original had (Owner's Suite 8506) for the same price. Actually, we got a $28.68 refund so she actually got us money BACK on the resked. ...and let me assure you, she did not do this without considerable interference from me ! We changed our minds, and changed them back again at least twice, not to mention the numerous emails that I sent, inquiring as to her progress over a 48 hour period. She never complained (at least, not directly to me although she would have had every right to do so !) and came through like a trooper. EVERYTHING has been rescheduled...the cruise, the hotel, the excursions, the airfare. Everything. We couldn't be happier, considering. This is all the result of excellent service from Michelle and no thanks WHATEVER, to Royal Caribbean. So Michelle....thank you for everything you had done for us over the past 72 hours. You are a gem, a great friend, a consummate professional and a credit to your Agency.
  7. Hi Everyone! Taking Matts advice I've been trying to find a travel agent located in Australia. So far, they either don't reply to emails or don't actually read the email before replying. I really want to book Ovation through an agent but I'm running out of time. I live in Melbourne but I'm happy to use email and phone so any recommendations around Australia would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Luke.
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