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How do you fire a TA?


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I'm so frustrated with my TA that I just want to scream. She has become so unresponsive and unhelpful that I've reached my breaking point. 

My June 2021 cruise was cancelled on April 8. I reached out immediately and asked her to lift and shift. I checked the next day and the cruise I wanted had sold out of my rooms.  Checked with her, no that wasn't ours - she made the request by form and they'll process it when done. I asked her if she could call and lift to my second choice cruise and speed it up, but she said she had to use the form. She said it would take a few days.

A few days pass, no response yet. I email her, and ask her to put a hold on the cabin I want before it disappears, like everybody suggested on this board. She says it's not processed yet and she'll check on it. No mention of putting a hold. Cabins are still showing as available when I check.

A week later, I check again, same begging about putting a hold and calling.  No response, so I facebook messenger royal. They say that the only record they have of my lift and shift is her calling to see if it's eligible for lift and shift. Royal responded it was, but never heard back from her. Royal said that she should call them ASAP and take care of it over the phone.  I immediately sent an email begging her to call them. No response. I check with Royal again about what to do. They say to ask her to call or ask another agent if she can't do it. I send several begging emails, as we've now missed the April 22 lift-and-shift deadline. She finally emails me back today, apologizes as my emails landed in her spam (which seems to always be her excuse) and tells me to just call them myself.

I've already tried! They will not talk to me.  I can't do anything! I contact royal again and they say they'll send her an email to call them, but then I ask about the deadline and they're like, Oh yeah. We'll have to look into this. I haven't had much luck with them ever returning with an update...I remember it took about 4 months of weekly messages about my missing FCC before I finally got a resolution.

Anyway, this is a long saga, but I'm just so frustrated. I have this cancelled sailing and two more sailings in 2022 with her. Is there a process for getting your sailings back or transferring to another TA? Can anything be done with about a terrible TA?

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That's a good question. I get automated emails from her every once in a while from cruise one (https://www.cruiseone.com/travel/HomePage.html) which I would guess is the parent company. From her linked in, it sounds like she owns her own business and is probably the only person working there. I did ask her to have another agent handle it if she was too busy, but she conveniently ignored that too.

 

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I had a similar experience back in 2019 with a rather large online company that I had used a few times. We booked a couple of cruises while on a cruise and told them I did not want that company to manage those bookings, however they did capture the bookings and notified me upon my return home. I decided to let it go and those bookings fell cancelled in 2020. Issues started in trying to lift and shift etc and like Jupiter03 responses were rare and confusing. After months of problems, I found out that you can demand the bookings be returned to RCI and then you can work directly with them any time.  According to RCI the agency can not refuse if that’s your wishes. 
 

On the positive side, after all of that, I found Michelle Cunningham at MEI and the world of travel is a different place now. Through the entire disaster of 2020/2021 cancellations, rebooks, lift & shifts, FCC’s etc she was right there any time I needed her help. She answered calls, texts and emails 7 days a week (I mean even Sundays).  Once you work with a pro like her it will reinforce how important a good TA can be. 

I hope you get things worked out for sure so you can resume enjoying your travel plans. 
 

 

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I'm sorry this is happening to you! If you have booked cruises, you can contact Royal Caribbean and ask for the cruises to be released back to you. If they say no, escalate it. You have the right to take them back.

If you have FCCs (not applied) you can book new with another travel agency or direct. FCCs belong to you, not to the travel agency. 

Good luck! 

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Thank you all for your responses. I didn't realize Royal can just release these back to me. They made it sound like they are under a contract with the TA and that's why they can't speak to me or do anything I request, as it has to go through her. I'll try and see if I can get my TA to voluntarily release this one back to me so I can take care of it.

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Similar issues here. Just gave my soon-to-be-former-TA a 'Last Chance Demand to fix By--" Date else I was sending an email to
[email protected]RCCL.com
With 1) Booking #; 2) Ship; 3) Sail Date; 4) Guests; and 5) Reason why I want it out of the TA and back to RCCL.
If you still get stiffed--Send the email including the explanation you gave the TA a reasonable timeline (Try 72~96 hours of regular [non-holiday] weekday as reasonable).
A normal TA would rather give up, than have to answer to RCCL and still give up. Bad form for them.

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Thank you all so much for your advice. Thanks for the explicit directions too. I will definitely try this tactic if things don't get resolved in the next week.

I often waffle between whether I'm being too demanding or being a sucker. I've been using the same TA since 2014 and we've had several successful cruises together. She was always very responsive. But ever since early 2020, it's been all downhill. So many problems, so many promises to be patient and she'll send updates. There were never any updates and I would feel like a sucker. At first I'd check every week, then every month. I understand that her business has taken a major hit with the no sail order and I don't want to punish her further, but this response was so terrible that I just give up. It's the straw the broke the camel's back.

I did send her an email asking her to release the booking. She wrote back that she's just been overwhelmed by the hundreds of cruise emails she gets every day. (so..many...excuses) She then said she'll try to get to it today. By get to, I have no idea whether she means "release the booking" or "call royal for the F&S".  Either would be good for me. Since it's Friday afternoon, I don't have much hope. 

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13 minutes ago, jupiter03 said:

Thank you all so much for your advice. Thanks for the explicit directions too. I will definitely try this tactic if things don't get resolved in the next week.

I often waffle between whether I'm being too demanding or being a sucker. I've been using the same TA since 2014 and we've had several successful cruises together. She was always very responsive. But ever since early 2020, it's been all downhill. So many problems, so many promises to be patient and she'll send updates. There were never any updates and I would feel like a sucker. At first I'd check every week, then every month. I understand that her business has taken a major hit with the no sail order and I don't want to punish her further, but this response was so terrible that I just give up. It's the straw the broke the camel's back.

I did send her an email asking her to release the booking. She wrote back that she's just been overwhelmed by the hundreds of cruise emails she gets every day. (so..many...excuses) She then said she'll try to get to it today. By get to, I have no idea whether she means "release the booking" or "call royal for the F&S".  Either would be good for me. Since it's Friday afternoon, I don't have much hope. 

It's your vacation investment.  You deserve prompt service.

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On 4/30/2021 at 9:48 AM, jupiter03 said:

I'm so frustrated with my TA that I just want to scream. She has become so unresponsive and unhelpful that I've reached my breaking point. 

My June 2021 cruise was cancelled on April 8. I reached out immediately and asked her to lift and shift. I checked the next day and the cruise I wanted had sold out of my rooms.  Checked with her, no that wasn't ours - she made the request by form and they'll process it when done. I asked her if she could call and lift to my second choice cruise and speed it up, but she said she had to use the form. She said it would take a few days.

A few days pass, no response yet. I email her, and ask her to put a hold on the cabin I want before it disappears, like everybody suggested on this board. She says it's not processed yet and she'll check on it. No mention of putting a hold. Cabins are still showing as available when I check.

A week later, I check again, same begging about putting a hold and calling.  No response, so I facebook messenger royal. They say that the only record they have of my lift and shift is her calling to see if it's eligible for lift and shift. Royal responded it was, but never heard back from her. Royal said that she should call them ASAP and take care of it over the phone.  I immediately sent an email begging her to call them. No response. I check with Royal again about what to do. They say to ask her to call or ask another agent if she can't do it. I send several begging emails, as we've now missed the April 22 lift-and-shift deadline. She finally emails me back today, apologizes as my emails landed in her spam (which seems to always be her excuse) and tells me to just call them myself.

I've already tried! They will not talk to me.  I can't do anything! I contact royal again and they say they'll send her an email to call them, but then I ask about the deadline and they're like, Oh yeah. We'll have to look into this. I haven't had much luck with them ever returning with an update...I remember it took about 4 months of weekly messages about my missing FCC before I finally got a resolution.

Anyway, this is a long saga, but I'm just so frustrated. I have this cancelled sailing and two more sailings in 2022 with her. Is there a process for getting your sailings back or transferring to another TA? Can anything be done with about a terrible TA?

Here's the FAQ and link to the change request form to have your TA fired. Can I Transfer My Reservation to a Travel Agent? | Royal Caribbean Cruises This is Royal's email for that department when I had to do that [email protected]rccl.com 

Your TA works for you as the cruise line pays a commission to your TA. If your TA has a phone number don't be afraid to call your TA, if the TA doesn't like you calling that's a red flag get a new one. 

This is mine she's with MEI the sponsor of the board. Kathy Geiger [email protected] She's been very helpful, usually responds same day and takes calls and texts. I've been able to contact her outside of normal hours and weekends. Oh and she does place holds immediately for me usually several rooms as we try to figure out what we want.

Hope this helps. Happy cruising!! 

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Thanks for the link. This doesn't seem like it applies in my case, but the email definitely helps and I foresee myself going this route if I don't hear back from her next week. I'm not sure what happens here since the booking was well past final payment and was cancelled by the cruise line. I think the booking # sticks as the cruise moves around. This cruise was originally a Liberty sailing in Mar 2021 that was cancelled by royal due to drydock (which ended up not happening). I was supposed to receive a bunch of OBC for accepting the change and prices have gone up a bunch, so I'd rather L&S if possible. If not, I'd rather just get the FCC reinstated and re-book with a different TA. I've already connected with Sharla for my 2023 cruises and I'm just waiting out these last cruises I've got booked with my old agent.

She does have a phone # and in the past, she was really good about picking up and answering emails. I tried calling her several times last week and it would ring several times, then go to a generic voicemail message that didn't even have her name/agency. It would just say something like "you've reached (###)-###-####. Leave a message at the tone." Maybe it's always been like that, but I've always gotten her on the phone right away in the before times. I keep thinking that she's gone out of business, or gotten a different full time job so she doesn't have time to call, but she claims she's still in business and doesn't have another job. 

 

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2 hours ago, jupiter03 said:

Thanks for the link. This doesn't seem like it applies in my case, but the email definitely helps and I foresee myself going this route if I don't hear back from her next week. I'm not sure what happens here since the booking was well past final payment and was cancelled by the cruise line. I think the booking # sticks as the cruise moves around. This cruise was originally a Liberty sailing in Mar 2021 that was cancelled by royal due to drydock (which ended up not happening). I was supposed to receive a bunch of OBC for accepting the change and prices have gone up a bunch, so I'd rather L&S if possible. If not, I'd rather just get the FCC reinstated and re-book with a different TA. I've already connected with Sharla for my 2023 cruises and I'm just waiting out these last cruises I've got booked with my old agent.

She does have a phone # and in the past, she was really good about picking up and answering emails. I tried calling her several times last week and it would ring several times, then go to a generic voicemail message that didn't even have her name/agency. It would just say something like "you've reached (###)-###-####. Leave a message at the tone." Maybe it's always been like that, but I've always gotten her on the phone right away in the before times. I keep thinking that she's gone out of business, or gotten a different full time job so she doesn't have time to call, but she claims she's still in business and doesn't have another job. 

 

The bottom line is that she needs to be responsive to you and she has not been.  Don't overthink this.  She obviously has something that is preventing her from giving you her full attention.

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12 hours ago, jupiter03 said:

Thanks for the link. This doesn't seem like it applies in my case, but the email definitely helps and I foresee myself going this route if I don't hear back from her next week. I'm not sure what happens here since the booking was well past final payment and was cancelled by the cruise line. I think the booking # sticks as the cruise moves around. This cruise was originally a Liberty sailing in Mar 2021 that was cancelled by royal due to drydock (which ended up not happening). I was supposed to receive a bunch of OBC for accepting the change and prices have gone up a bunch, so I'd rather L&S if possible. If not, I'd rather just get the FCC reinstated and re-book with a different TA. I've already connected with Sharla for my 2023 cruises and I'm just waiting out these last cruises I've got booked with my old agent.

She does have a phone # and in the past, she was really good about picking up and answering emails. I tried calling her several times last week and it would ring several times, then go to a generic voicemail message that didn't even have her name/agency. It would just say something like "you've reached (###)-###-####. Leave a message at the tone." Maybe it's always been like that, but I've always gotten her on the phone right away in the before times. I keep thinking that she's gone out of business, or gotten a different full time job so she doesn't have time to call, but she claims she's still in business and doesn't have another job. 

 

Hi @jupiter03. I *think* the idea of suggesting the above is that AFTER you get your cruise released back to you, you can then transfer it to a reputable agency. I agree; @Sharla or the other agents at MEI will not let you down. I hope this helps.

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On 4/30/2021 at 1:48 PM, BarbieBell said:

I had a similar experience back in 2019 with a rather large online company that I had used a few times. We booked a couple of cruises while on a cruise and told them I did not want that company to manage those bookings, however they did capture the bookings and notified me upon my return home. I decided to let it go and those bookings fell cancelled in 2020. Issues started in trying to lift and shift etc and like Jupiter03 responses were rare and confusing. After months of problems, I found out that you can demand the bookings be returned to RCI and then you can work directly with them any time.  According to RCI the agency can not refuse if that’s your wishes. 
 

On the positive side, after all of that, I found Michelle Cunningham at MEI and the world of travel is a different place now. Through the entire disaster of 2020/2021 cancellations, rebooks, lift & shifts, FCC’s etc she was right there any time I needed her help. She answered calls, texts and emails 7 days a week (I mean even Sundays).  Once you work with a pro like her it will reinforce how important a good TA can be. 

I hope you get things worked out for sure so you can resume enjoying your travel plans. 
 

 

I too am fortunate to have Michelle handle all my bookings.  She is truly amazing! 

 

FWIW, you might reach out to her and see if she can "claim" your booking from your current TA.  I don't know if she can do this with individual TAs, but I have booked direct with RCI before and then emailed her and Michelle has handled switching the booking over to her.  She has also done this for me with Adventures by Disney trips.  She definitely knows what she is doing and makes everything seem so easy.  (I'm so sorry you're dealing with a TA that is not Michelle.)

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5 hours ago, twangster said:

I've come to realize I'd make a bad TA.  Everytime a client asked for a cruise booking I'd be like... "That's a nice cruise. I better book that one too!".  Then I'd be on cruises all the time and never available to service my clients.  

Isn't that why people become TA's to cruise at a discount? Way back when working for an airline it was for the free flights, deep hotel, car and cruise discounts. Fly out to another state in the morning for breakfast and catch the next flight back. When DIA opened we flew in that morning walked around the airport and hoped right back on the same plane back home. Those were the days!!  

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2 hours ago, 12thman said:

Isn't that why people become TA's to cruise at a discount? Way back when working for an airline it was for the free flights, deep hotel, car and cruise discounts. Fly out to another state in the morning for breakfast and catch the next flight back. When DIA opened we flew in that morning walked around the airport and hoped right back on the same plane back home. Those were the days!!  

During this shutdown any free TA cruises have been hard earned.  

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@twangsterthey definitely have been. My TA is working on my cruises today, told her it could wait but she's still working it, very happy with her. Don't know how any of them survived the last year and this year with limited income from travel commissions. 

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2 hours ago, 12thman said:

Isn't that why people become TA's to cruise at a discount? Way back when working for an airline it was for the free flights, deep hotel, car and cruise discounts. Fly out to another state in the morning for breakfast and catch the next flight back. When DIA opened we flew in that morning walked around the airport and hoped right back on the same plane back home. Those were the days!!  

We don't really get discounts on travel. There are times we can go on an inaugural, or hotel discounts, but more times than not I pay full price for cruises (including the Blog group cruises) and other travel. It's not worth the hassle for free travel, especially now with COVID. 

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13 minutes ago, Sharla said:

We don't really get discounts on travel. There are times we can go on an inaugural, or hotel discounts, but more times than not I pay full price for cruises (including the Blog group cruises) and other travel. It's not worth the hassle for free travel, especially now with COVID. 

WHAT!!?? Sorry I'm not interested in being a TA then. Don't work well with the theme the customer is always right. I'm not a PC person you will know where you stand with me. (good or bad)

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17 hours ago, 12thman said:

WHAT!!?? Sorry I'm not interested in being a TA then. Don't work well with the theme the customer is always right. I'm not a PC person you will know where you stand with me. (good or bad)

It's a job. It's hard work. Don't get me wrong, there are fun things about it! But especially this year it's been incredibly difficult. Not all will survive. I still have days where I wonder if it's worth it and how long I can keep it up.
Here's to better days ahead!

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