Jump to content

Benefits of TA?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

We recently booked a RC cruise on the Anthem. Is there any benefit to adding a TA? There are 8 of us so it was rather expensive - not sure if there is anything to gain by adding a TA now.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If everything goes smoothly and you are all booked, maybe not.  But if things don’t, a good TA can shoulder a lot of the heavy lifting for you.  They will make the phone calls & get your problems fixed.  Additionally, a good TA will also watch for price drops and get your fares adjusted.  I really like mine and I used to be an uberplanner (ok still am).  I figure out a couple of options, email her & she goes to work!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites


On the flip side, if you have something that needs to be done or changed ASAP, you can call RCL and get it done immediately on your own ….. if you have a TA that’s hard to get in touch with, or that takes days to do what you ask, you could miss out on a price drop or anything else you might need done ASAP.

To me personally, not having control of my own reservation isn’t worth it, unless I’m getting OBC or something else from the TA for using them.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, JSavRN said:

Hi all,

We recently booked a RC cruise on the Anthem. Is there any benefit to adding a TA? There are 8 of us so it was rather expensive - not sure if there is anything to gain by adding a TA now.

Thanks!

@Matt posted an article which you can look at.  This will maybe answer your question you may have. 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TA's can sometimes access group rates not offered by Royal direct but this varies cruise to cruise.  TA's can sometimes offer cabins not available on Royal's site.  This occurred recently when my TA could book an aft balcony on Odyssey that just wasn't available through Royal direct.  It was hard to believe until I saw screenshots, there were actually a number of aft balconies I could pick through my agent that were not available through Royal direct.  In this case if I didn't use a TA I would never have known these aft balconies were available.  

As a frequent cruiser the benefit of using a TA is more for when things don't go right which during this pandemic has been every cruise.  

The only impediment is when you see a specific cabin and want to switch to that cabin.  In that case you can't call Royal, you must go through your agent.  The cruise planner works the same regardless which way you go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only downside is that you can’t speak directly to Royal. However if you have a great TA (like @Sharla) that’s not an issue. She’s lightening fast! 
 

I used to book through RC. I went the TA route when we were looking at booking odyssey for Italy/Greece. With hotels, flights etc., I didn’t want to mess with it plus I wanted someone in my corner if something happened pre-cruise, cruise, post-cruise etc. 

We booked a 3 night on Mariner to test her out (?) and haven’t looked back. 
 

The major upside to having a good TA-all this cancellation/FCC/OBC Covid garbage was handled so professionally. 
 

Last, you’re supporting a business, someone’s livelihood. It doesn’t cost you anything for their service and the benefits are numerous. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently switched to using a TA after years of booking directly or using the big box websites.  My experience with trying to resolve cancellation issues with cruises and other vacations was terrible - I spent hours on the phone.

 

I switched to MEI, which a lot of people here use.  They a highly professional and knowledgeable about cruises. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, wordell1 said:

I switched to MEI, which a lot of people here use.  They a highly professional and knowledgeable about cruises. 

I couldn't agree more. I've worked with two MEI agents, over the last 2 1/2 yrs. They've had to L&S a cruise twice, without a hitch. On top of that, I'm one of those OCD planners that checks everything all the time and MEI has consistently beat me to the punch with price drops, saving me $1200 in total.   One of the major benefits of using a TA is that it doesn't cost you anything, or at least it shouldn't. If your TA is charging you a fee, find another one. But, truth be told, I would pay a fee to MEI, if necessary. That's how impressed I have been with their service. Don't tell them that. ?

 

Happy Cruising!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The benefit to booking with a travel agent is that you have an advocate in your corner to help you plan your trip. This means: 
 
- You have someone to continue to look for and apply discounts should any be released (which is very often with RCI), so that you do not have to spend time doing the same, or potentially missing a better offer. 
- You have someone to help you navigate the Cruise Planner program.
- You have someone to help you make your dining reservations if you'd like. 
- You have an expert in all things cruising and travel to help you plan the best vacation you can. 
- You have someone you can come to directly to ask questions to instead of spending time looking around on the internet for your answers. 
- You have someone to turn to should something go wrong while you are traveling. 
 
And the best part is, we provide all of this for FREE to you. You get our concierge level service at no extra charge. The difference when you book with me is the difference between information and expertise. Anyone can look up information on the internet. When booking your trip with me you know you have an expert in your corner that can help tailor your trip to your desires and make sure you see everything you want to do!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, JSavRN said:

Hi all,

We recently booked a RC cruise on the Anthem. Is there any benefit to adding a TA? There are 8 of us so it was rather expensive - not sure if there is anything to gain by adding a TA now.

Thanks!

I've always used a TA on the more complex cruises like family/group and overseas.  Really help when you're trying to get several cabins together and located where you want. Even on most domestic departing cruises I'll use one as they can watch for the better deals for regulars.   When you find a good one stick with them, like a good mechanic,  they'll take care of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my cruises the sale opened up on the cruise planner, by the time I looked at the excursions which was pretty quick after someone said there's a sale but hadn't been announced by Royal my excursion was sold out. The other offerings didn't interest me so I asked my TA if she had a trusted tour operator which she did and now have an excursion very similar to the cruise planner for less money. No searching the internet or asking for suggestions just a link with a tour operator she trusts. She has much to loose if this goes bad because she could loose my bookings if this tour operator fails to get me back in time.

I've had my cruise cancelled and she took care of everything no issues. My time wasn't spent on hold with Royal and no aggravation for doing the leg work. That's why I use MEI she is quick, efficient, reliable. 

If you booked the cruise less than 30 days ago can can transfer the booking to any travel agent and they will get the reservation. You can relax and if anything comes up just let your TA know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, 12thman said:

If you booked the cruise less than 30 days ago can can transfer the booking to any travel agent

60 days, and not paid in full for Royal Caribbean reservations. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 12:12 AM, JSavRN said:

There are 8 of us so it was rather expensive - not sure if there is anything to gain by adding a TA now.

 

A good TA is worth their weight in gold...No stress or headaches.  We have booked cruises while on board and as soon as we returned home, we transferred them to our TA.  If we have a question or need something done...It just takes an email!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 7:28 AM, RockerDom31 said:

Just keep in mind too…it’s not just about having a Travel Agent. It’s about having a GOOD Travel Agent.

A GOOD TA will work with you in good times and bad.

Also, you mentioned you booked “recently”. I believe you have 60 days from booking to transfer to a TA.

 

On 6/24/2021 at 7:37 AM, Jill said:

The only downside is that you can’t speak directly to Royal. However if you have a great TA (like @Sharla) that’s not an issue. She’s lightening fast! 

I used to book through RC. I went the TA route when we were looking at booking odyssey for Italy/Greece. With hotels, flights etc., I didn’t want to mess with it plus I wanted someone in my corner if something happened pre-cruise, cruise, post-cruise etc. 

I came here to say basically this! A GOOD agent can be worth every penny. My agent was travelling last week on the inaugural sailing of Adventure, which I didn't know it at the time. I sent an email about an upcoming final payment & about another cruise - wanted to switch, blah, blah, blah.

Kathy from MEI not only had her 'auto reply' stating to expect a delay in response, due to out of office, WHY she was out of the office AND someone to contact if it was an emergency. I decided it wasn't an emergency and patiently waited.

Once she replied, I had her full attention and not only did she answer questions thoroughly (giving me way more info and answering questions I didn't know I had) but handled the cruise with upcoming final payment AND booked the cruise I was looking at, IN the room I wanted, for LESS! (Let's not forget, while onboard Adventure).

Like you @Jill I decided to use a travel agent because I wanted to do a group thing December of 2020, also while I was at it, I gave her my September 2020 cruise. The December cruise I was hoping to get a bunch of friends and make it a group rate, and having run a group thing myself once, wanted no part of doing that again LOL!

Kathy, for the last two years this upcoming September, has been amazing and treated me like I've sailed 10000 cruises with her, yet, due to the pandemic, I've sailed ZERO.

TL;DR: A good travel agent is worth way more than they are paid by Royal Caribbean and at $0.00 cost to you, it's a no-brainer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 11:46 AM, smokeybandit said:

In the covid era, a good TA is probably more valuable than ever.

Couldn't agree more. There is a litany of threads over past 15+ months of people who came onto these boards seeking help because they booked on their own and were lost in dealing with what to do next following a cancellation, billing issue, FCC question, or some other shutdown-related problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...