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AHHHHHHHHH! Thanks to quick work by @AnnetteJackson and Kelley at MEI (and of course, Sharla, even though she's off on her getaway!), I was able to leverage MEI's presence on/sponsorship of this board to snag one of the aft balcony cabins that popped up for the June 4 sailing of Adventure of the Seas! I went from booking myself into an interior cabin on Grandeur a little over a month ago to the exciting notion that I'll get to have a great view as a newer ship with more options for dining and activities sails away and along! It wasn't a free upgrade, of course, but when all is said and done, I'll have spent just $400 extra to be on a newer ship and have an aft view and spacious cabin, plus a little to get myself up to Cape Liberty!

THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH, MEI TEAM!!! ?

Maybe now, I can breathe and take a break from obsessively watching availability and pricing, all while plotting and planning. I tend to get laser-focused on things, and I certainly have been with my upcoming cruise. What a ride -- but oh, my, what a sailing it'll be at the end!

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On 3/8/2020 at 10:03 AM, FManke said:

We are currently using Danette with MEI. Only good things to say about her. I think you cannot go wrong with any of the agents who have received positive reviews here on the blog. Or you can reach out to @AnnetteJackson with a private message if you need some guidance.

Happy cruising!

We use @Danette LeBlanc as well, she has been amazing to me and my wife. I started using MEI Travel because of this board. Thank you @Matt!!!

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@Chadster

We utilize Sharla (MEI) also and vowed to just wait until she returned if we needed anything BUT THEN a previously sold out cabin opened up in the category that I desired for Thanksgiving 2020 on the Odyssey and I was like," rut row" now what?  I knew she would check her emails on Holiday & did not want her to see my name I wanted her to relax! So I private messaged @AnnetteJackson on this blog and she was wonderful, she sent my info to Kelley Hardy with a message to me if I didn't hear from her to reach out and someone else would help while Sharla was away because Kelley was now dealing with this situation as well as her and Sharla clients. I logged off the blog and Kelley was already in my email, she was sweet and kind and did her best to help me while Sharla was away. Kudos to the MEI team, so happy I found this blog and ultimately MEI !

scared scooby doo GIF by Boomerang Official

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@Neesa This is exactly what happened with me! I talked with Sharla about the June cruise on Adventure just before she left, and she told me if I wanted to wait to get back, she'd book it for me. Well, that's when all the madness started, I saw prices on Adventure were really awesome. I didn't want to take something away from Sharla, so I PMed Annette and asked her if there was any way somebody could put a courtesy hold on a cabin for me, but that I could still work with Sharla. Annette had a courtesy hold for me in a few minutes, and shortly thereafter, my connection with Kelley happened, and she's been a champ through it all -- even after I've said more than once "I shouldn't need anything else!", an email has gone out to her because of the fluid situation, and she's always helped me!

Now I'm trying to give them a break from me for a couple of days! ?? Besides, RCCL hasn't got any update on the situation with Canadian ports before July 1, so they can't really do much for me, even if I wanted them to!

MEI has been amazing! Somehow, their training and cool heads are able to handle me and my obsessiveness -- not even my loved ones can do that some days! ??

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I looked at the MEI site and their prices are similar to most for the August 22nd sailing I’m looking at, but a bit pricier than some.  Are they able to work with the price at all?  I’m willing to pay a bit more for great service, but wondering if the price on the website is what you get.  I want o act quick and get a deposit down before April 13th when most people with and FCC will look to book.  RCCL also has some good incentives now, some of which expire March 17th

 

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16 hours ago, ebeck88 said:

I looked at the MEI site and their prices are similar to most for the August 22nd sailing I’m looking at, but a bit pricier than some.  Are they able to work with the price at all?  I’m willing to pay a bit more for great service, but wondering if the price on the website is what you get.  I want o act quick and get a deposit down before April 13th when most people with and FCC will look to book.  RCCL also has some good incentives now, some of which expire March 17th

I find that I use Royal's site directly to price out cruises that I'm looking at and then I take it to my MEI agent to quote it.  Usually the TA can't undercut the cruiseline prices unless they locked in a group rate of some sort. 

The bigger agencies do this a lot which is why you may find cheaper prices.  But you give up the personal level of service that you would get from working with a smaller agency.  Plenty of folks found this out when they had to sit on the phone trying to get through to a large agency's call center.

MEI can get you the same incentives as booking directly with Royal.  Best thing to do is contact MEI and get set up with an agent to immediately start working with to take advantage of the current RCL promotion.

You can also book yourself directly and transfer it to a TA within 60 days.

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  • 1 year later...
8 minutes ago, Srp431 said:

Jacki York  @  MEI has been great for us. She helped w/ save $1000 on our Christmas 2021 cruise on Allure and helped w/ using  a number of FCC's we had.

We also use Jacki and she has been great!

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8 minutes ago, Natalfaz said:

Wow, thats great to know, can i ask who you use at MEI? 

I use Michelle Cunningham. [email protected]

I found her recommended here on the boards and have been very happy with her service.

One thing to bear in mind is that your cruise pricing has to be in US dollars so the exchange rate against your currency may sometimes be in your favour and sometimes not.

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7 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

I use Michelle Cunningham. [email protected]

I found her recommended here on the boards and have been very happy with her service.

One thing to bear in mind is that your cruise pricing has to be in US dollars so the exchange rate against your currency may sometimes be in your favour and sometimes not.

I live in Spain so will be the same as you Euros😊 how do you do the payments, by card or transfer? 

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12 hours ago, Natalfaz said:

I live in Spain so will be the same as you Euros😊 how do you do the payments, by card or transfer? 

Hello neighbour! 😊

I paid by card. Initially, I booked the cruise I wanted on Royal's US website (you can change the website country at the top of the home page) to get the booking in dollars. When you do that you have to pay the deposit on the website immediately. I then emailed Michelle with the booking number and asked her to take the booking over. She replied within a few hours (remember she's 6 hours behind you so there's bound to be a bit of a delay) to say she was processing it and then in the next couple of days I received emails both from her and from Royal confirming that the process was complete. She also sent me a form to sign electronically confirming the booking was to be handled by her. 

When it was time to pay the balance, she sent me details with a form that I could email back to her and her phone number to call, if I preferred,  to give her the card details. The thing that is different from here in Europe is that she will use your card to pay Royal directly. She does not ever hold any of your money the way travel agents do here, so your card statement will show payment to Royal. For this reason, it's probably not possible to pay by transfer, although you could ask. I didn't bother because I wanted to take advantage of the travel insurance provided by the card.

However, you don't have to book on the website if you prefer not to. Simply send her an email telling her what you're looking for and she'll get back to you with suitable suggestions. That way, you will sometimes get access to group rates that are cheaper than the prices you see on Royal's website.

Sorry if I've given you a ton of information you didn't really need; I just wanted to be as helpful as possible. 😊

 

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7 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Hello neighbour! 😊

I paid by card. Initially, I booked the cruise I wanted on Royal's US website (you can change the website country at the top of the home page) to get the booking in dollars. When you do that you have to pay the deposit on the website immediately. I then emailed Michelle with the booking number and asked her to take the booking over. She replied within a few hours (remember she's 6 hours behind you so there's bound to be a bit of a delay) to say she was processing it and then in the next couple of days I received emails both from her and from Royal confirming that the process was complete. She also sent me a form to sign electronically confirming the booking was to be handled by her. 

When it was time to pay the balance, she sent me details with a form that I could email back to her and her phone number to call, if I preferred,  to give her the card details. The thing that is different from here in Europe is that she will use your card to pay Royal directly. She does not ever hold any of your money the way travel agents do here, so your card statement will show payment to Royal. For this reason, it's probably not possible to pay by transfer, although you could ask. I didn't bother because I wanted to take advantage of the travel insurance provided by the card.

However, you don't have to book on the website if you prefer not to. Simply send her an email telling her what you're looking for and she'll get back to you with suitable suggestions. That way, you will sometimes get access to group rates that are cheaper than the prices you see on Royal's website.

Sorry if I've given you a ton of information you didn't really need; I just wanted to be as helpful as possible. 😊

 

Wow! Thanks a lot for all that info, it is very helpful indeed 🙂

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