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Shari3
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Danette from MEI has helped our family on the last 4 cruises ... She has ALWAYS found discounts for our family and treats us like royalty ... quick reply and helpful to the max .. can't stop recommending her.

Danette Le Blanc, ECC

Independent Vacation Planner

ECC--Elite Cruise Counsellor
Office:        214-308-3087
Toll Free:  888-887-6223

Affiliated with MEI-Travel & Mouse Fan Travel® 

 

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Sharla Manglass

@ MEI has saved my family money twice since I booked. She is so kind and informative, the education she afforded me has been invaluable. Her contact information is [email protected] Direct Line 706-742-5358. Quickly responds to emails even after hours, I never expected that. She also treats us like family!

Can't say enough about Sharla!

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  • 3 months later...
On 11/21/2019 at 5:20 PM, QuiqueCorleone said:

Danette from MEI has helped our family on the last 4 cruises ... She has ALWAYS found discounts for our family and treats us like royalty ... quick reply and helpful to the max .. can't stop recommending her.

Danette Le Blanc, ECC

Independent Vacation Planner

ECC--Elite Cruise Counsellor
Office:        214-308-3087
Toll Free:  888-887-6223

Affiliated with MEI-Travel & Mouse Fan Travel® 

 

+1 for Danette! Repriced our cruise, twice, without even asking, as all good TA's should do and has saved us $1400!

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On 11/21/2019 at 6:16 PM, Shari3 said:

I am sure this has been asked before but I can’t seem to find my answer. I am looking for your MEI travel agent recommendations. Thanks all!

I'm sure if you do some legwork you will find some awesome deals on your own with some perks. I like the flexibility and the control I have with making travel plans. 

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5 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

I'm sure if you do some legwork you will find some awesome deals on your own with some perks. I like the flexibility and the control I have with making travel plans. 

I booked this last cruise on my own, but then turned it over to Danette at MEI. She has caught some of the deals I might have missed, although I am looking at the sales a couple of times a week. Saves me the leg work and is an advocate for me if I need one. And the best thing about it, is that it is free, as she is paid a commission by RC. It's a win-win.

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5 minutes ago, FManke said:

I booked this last cruise on my own, but then turned it over to Danette at MEI. She has caught some of the deals I might have missed, although I am looking at the sales a couple of times a week. Saves me the leg work and is an advocate for me if I need one. And the best thing about it, is that it is free, as she is paid a commission by RC. It's a win-win.

I like doing it on my own.  Haven't seen a better deal than what I can get. For example, 7 day western carib 279.00 interior solo traveler , incl grats and 125 obc. Just takes patience and persistance. ?

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16 hours ago, princevaliantus said:

I'm sure if you do some legwork you will find some awesome deals on your own with some perks. I like the flexibility and the control I have with making travel plans. 

Using a good agent is not about booking things on your own. Anyone can book a cruise, it's not difficult.

The true value of a good agent is saving you time. It frees you up to do something else, costs you nothing extra, and when there is a problem (like when RC messes up), my goodness, does it help!

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On 2/29/2020 at 10:09 AM, Allanpc said:

I recently booked a cruise directly with RCCL and now I'm curious. What benefits might I expect if I were to move it to a travel agent like MEI? It is a 1 bedroom aqua theater suite.

Yes and a free excursions LOL.

I am with @princevaliantus on this one........

I have done both. Booked on my own and used a travel agent. I saw no realized benefit to using a travel agent. I read post of the millions of $$ that travel agents save so many posters. Its never happened to me.

It can take some time and patience to book but I dont mind that at all. I would say on average total time from research of where we want to go to finding a deal that works for us is probably a couple of hours. Have I screwed up before? Yes. But I have had a travel agent book me plane tickets to Dayton, OH when I asked for tickets to Daytona Beach. Stuff happens.

People mention that a TA repriced and rebooked trips for them. I can do that with either a few clicks on a website or a call to the TA's at Royal.

For something like a grand vacation trip to Europe for a couple of weeks of many countries and flights, hotels, trains, etc. I can see value of having someone with tribal knowledge but for a cruise? Not really. For most its a closed ended vacation. Board this day and exit on this day. Royal does all the planning in between for you. That is a benefit of staying loyal to Royal. You know what to expect from experts and they have wonderful staff to fill your days and nights with activities and excursions that you can pick and choose literally from a menu that is delivered to your cabin daily.

I have no idea how many people actually belong to this board (it really is the best!!!) but there is a wealth of information here from a lot of "amateur TA's". So many people here with so much experience and a willingness to help others out with information is amazing. A well traveled persons thoughts and opinions and real life experiences are just as valuable to me.

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21 minutes ago, whenismynextcruise said:

People mention that a TA repriced and rebooked trips for them. I can do that with either a few clicks on a website or a call to the TA's at Royal.

I'll always look at prices but waiting on hold and dealing with agents who probably have not even been on a cruise... Over it. I like that I can find a deal and let someone else wait on hold. Or, waking up to an email "hey, repriced your cruise" without even asking! 

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On 11/22/2019 at 11:46 AM, tdcackler said:

I'll put in a good word for Kathy Geiger - Kathy is a great TA and I recommend her to all my friends.

+1. Randomly selected via the affiliate link here, she's been great so far. Repriced two cruises without asking.

I decided to try a travel agent because of organizing a small group cruise for my wife's, ummm, "29th" birthday. Not sure we will get the minimum cabins but Kathy has been very helpful in putting together a strategy and all my options. So helpful, I passed her a cruise that's just 'for us' to manage as well.

I tried to manage a group cruise on my own once, back in 2015/2016 when we got married. Dealing with the groups department... Ugh. They are your best friend until you hit the minimum booking, never heard from again. Took multiple emails and phone calls to get the simplest tasks done (like out of town bags for guests). It was a lot of hours and work. Our wedding planner doubles as an agent but didn't use her because I know people like to do it on their own... Single biggest mistake. Never again.

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2 hours ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

I'll always look at prices but waiting on hold and dealing with agents who probably have not even been on a cruise... Over it. I like that I can find a deal and let someone else wait on hold. Or, waking up to an email "hey, repriced your cruise" without even asking! 

I think you nailed it.

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On 2/29/2020 at 4:11 PM, Jill said:

We use Sharla at MEI. I had always booked myself in the past but this past year I moved our Symphony cruise to Sharla, booked a Mariner and just got a group of 8 to book Odyssey to Italy/Greece 2021! Sharla has a great group rate. ? 

Hi!  Just some questions about group rates ...

1/  When you transfer to a TA and are offered group rates, do I contact only the TA for questions afterwards? 

2/ Can I still book my own shows when they open up on the cruise planner? 

3/ If I have a dining room location/special needs request, do I go through the TA only, and not RCI?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, raahc said:

1/  When you transfer to a TA and are offered group rates, do I contact only the TA for questions afterwards? 

2/ Can I still book my own shows when they open up on the cruise planner? 

3/ If I have a dining room location/special needs request, do I go through the TA only, and not RCI?

You can still book all your own shows and dining and have control of the reservation via the Cruise Planner. 

The only things you need to go through your TA for is if you want to change rooms, get a quote to upgrade/downgrade, add people to the booking, change to a different sailing date, etc. 

While your TA can assist you with the Cruise Planner and special needs request, you will still have your reservation number and be able to do all of that online.

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21 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

You can still book all your own shows and dining and have control of the reservation via the Cruise Planner. 

The only things you need to go through your TA for is if you want to change rooms, get a quote to upgrade/downgrade, add people to the booking, change to a different sailing date, etc. 

While your TA can assist you with the Cruise Planner and special needs request, you will still have your reservation number and be able to do all of that online.

Thanks so much Ashley!  

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1 hour ago, Jolly Ogre said:

+1 for Danette! Repriced our cruise, twice, without even asking, as all good TA's should do and has saved us $1400!

I think this is super important to note, that "all GOOD TA's" should do this.  We have TA (not an MEI agent), and I had to repeatedly reach out to her, to ask her to re-price when I would see others saving money on our fb group.  Once she acted like it wasn't a thing. Finally after pushing her, she did it and saved us a few hundred.   But, I am certain if I had another agent, we could have saved more.  And, she only did it after me practically begging her to do it.  She also didn't know how OBC worked.  SOOOOO, I have learned a lesson! I will only use a TA in the future who comes recommended from this blog!!

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4 hours ago, Lovestotravel said:

I think this is super important to note, that "all GOOD TA's" should do this.  We have TA (not an MEI agent), and I had to repeatedly reach out to her, to ask her to re-price when I would see others saving money on our fb group.  Once she acted like it wasn't a thing. Finally after pushing her, she did it and saved us a few hundred.   But, I am certain if I had another agent, we could have saved more.  And, she only did it after me practically begging her to do it.  She also didn't know how OBC worked.  SOOOOO, I have learned a lesson! I will only use a TA in the future who comes recommended from this blog!!

You're not wrong, and it's why I always try to explain how not all TAs are the same.  

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  • 2 years later...

When I tried to call Danette it took me to a call center that had nothing to do with MEI travel. Has she switched jobs? Does anyone have an MEI agent they would recommend today.  When I requested an Mei agent through the website they gave me one but she is very non-responsive and I seem to be doing more work than she is.

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37 minutes ago, Klinkor said:

When I tried to call Danette it took me to a call center that had nothing to do with MEI travel. Has she switched jobs? Does anyone have an MEI agent they would recommend today.  When I requested an Mei agent through the website they gave me one but she is very non-responsive and I seem to be doing more work than she is.

I'm not sure Danette is still with MEI.

@Beci may be able to help get you assigned to someone else or see who was supposed to have taken over for Danette? 

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14 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

I'm not sure Danette is still with MEI.

@Beci may be able to help get you assigned to someone else or see who was supposed to have taken over for Danette? 

Danette does not show up on their website as of 08/27/2023.  She must have move on.

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1 hour ago, Klinkor said:

When I tried to call Danette it took me to a call center that had nothing to do with MEI travel. Has she switched jobs? Does anyone have an MEI agent they would recommend today.  When I requested an Mei agent through the website they gave me one but she is very non-responsive and I seem to be doing more work than she is.

Hi!  Thanks for the post so I can help! Danette did leave the industry quite awhile ago, and I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your assigned advisor.  Sometimes it's a matter of communication issues but I'd like to diagnose the problem In the meantime, I'm happy to help address this and assign an advisor who is a better fit. Would you please send an email to me directly at [email protected]

Thank you for the opportunity!

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