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On Board Credits from Travel Agencies


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In the past when I have made reservations directly with RCL I would transfer the reservation to CruCon travel agency who inturn would provide me with On Board Credits and some additional perks for the transfer.  Generally these averaged up to 10% of the amount I had paid for the cruise.  I recently made a transatlantic cruise reservation with RCL website and when I asked CruCon about the benefits of giving them the booking I was informed that they would provide 5% OBC of the price paid.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a different agency that might do better than CruCon's offer?  Thanks

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23 minutes ago, ZsOverseas said:

In the past when I have made reservations directly with RCL I would transfer the reservation to CruCon travel agency who inturn would provide me with On Board Credits and some additional perks for the transfer.  Generally these averaged up to 10% of the amount I had paid for the cruise.  I recently made a transatlantic cruise reservation with RCL website and when I asked CruCon about the benefits of giving them the booking I was informed that they would provide 5% OBC of the price paid.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a different agency that might do better than CruCon's offer?  Thanks

My thought would be that an agency that is giving 10% back would not have a lot of incentive to give you very good service (should you need it) - I'm pretty sure that is pretty close to the full commission.  

I used to book through "big box" agencies but the Covid cancellations on both cruises and other travel made me reevaluate that.  I spent hours dealing with cancelling and making sure credits were applied.  Since it costs nothing extra to use a full service travel agent, I made the switch.  I used MEI and I have Grace.  You definitly wont be getting even 5% back in OBC, but you may save a lot of time and potentially more money if they can get some price breaks a long the way or get you into a group cruise rate.  

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I understand you're looking for the best deal, sometimes that might come in some form of "guaranteed" kick back. Honestly, I wouldn't choose an agent for what they may or may not kick back to me. A lot of the time (and correct me if I am wrong travel agents) the thank you gift you may or may not receive comes directly out of their commission. Given no income for the last year+, I don't want ANY of their commission, just their great service.

My agent is Kathy from MEI and she's been great. I don't expect or want anything from her. She provided a service and was compensated accordingly by the cruise line.

I don't know much (okay anything) about CruCon - a quick Google it appears to be a big - don't know your agent on a personal level - agency (although it does have excellent Google reviews). As stated by @wordell1 in these times personalized service is worth way more than $50-$100 (5%-10%) OBC kick back for every $1000 I spend with them.

Again, I (as many here will) suggest any agent from MEI, they all have rave reviews around here.

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I went through a phase where I shopped for "low bid".  Prior to the pandemic I learned a lesson about these types of agencies when the cruise line cancelled a sailing on me.  While most people received the full FCC the cruise line offered I didn't because of how that travel agency was operating.  I can only imagine the world of hurt I would have been in during the pandemic if I had stuck with them.

Shopping by price alone is very tempting.  If you choose that path don't be one of those that complain about travel agencies and poor service.  You made that choice and you got what you wanted - low price (and poor service).    

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There is no amount of kick-back/rebate/OBC - whatever you want to call it that would make me give up the incredible, dedicated and thoughtful service that I get from @michelleat MEI.  What a tough 16 months for travel agents !  Only people who truly love their jobs and their clients would still be around making calls every single day for those of us looking to salvage an otherwise disappointing past year.  I know some people go with the big names for a few pennies of OBC but not me.  I wouldn't give up my wonderful MEI agent for ANYthing.  @ZsOverseasI truly do hope you find what you're looking for but not sure that big OBC is going to happen right now.  

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Another thing to consider...right now Royal is really making good use of RoyalUp.  It seems that many have been successful in upgrading their rooms since capacity is so [intentionally] low right now.  Many of the big box agencies do NOT participate in RoyalUp.  So if you are interested in a chance to upgrade your accommodations at a very reasonable price via RoyalUp, I would recommend that you investigate the Agency to see if they participate.  Many do NOT. 

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10 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Another thing to consider...right now Royal is really making good use of RoyalUp.  It seems that many have been successful in upgrading their rooms since capacity is so [intentionally] low right now.  Many of the big box agencies do NOT participate in RoyalUp.  So if you are interested in a chance to upgrade your accommodations at a very reasonable price via RoyalUp, I would recommend that you investigate the Agency to see if they participate.  Many do NOT. 

RoyalUp is a revenue stream, and personally I put in several bids to see if our cabin will get upgraded. I hope thats the case, but I don't mind it if we don't.

Regarding the OBC - I never really considered it a factor in getting a cruise from a company/agent I trust. Personally I use ADCandT (Anne Atwater), and she has been great and very responsive.

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Thanks to all for your input on this subject.  Although I have enjoyed the OBC on past cruises I have to admit that each time I deal with CruCon it appears I am dealing with a different agent. 

I will take a serious look at MEI for this and future bookings.  Again, I appreciate this forum and your input.

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Travel agents have really suffered in the last year. How many people have traveled since Mar 2020? I know I have seldom left my house, much less my country. I don't expect to get much in the way of bonus OBCs from my TA for a while. Anything I do get will be a surprise and much appreciated, because I realize the sacrifice my TA made to give me that.

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Another thing to consider...right now Royal is really making good use of RoyalUp.  It seems that many have been successful in upgrading their rooms since capacity is so [intentionally] low right now.  Many of the big box agencies do NOT participate in RoyalUp.  So if you are interested in a chance to upgrade your accommodations at a very reasonable price via RoyalUp, I would recommend that you investigate the Agency to see if they participate.  Many do NOT. 

Are you saying that if we use one of the large TA's (we use cruise.com), we may or may not be able to try out "Royal Up"?  

BTW, our service has been fine and that when cruise.com gives any OBC, it shows up on our account the 2nd day of the cruise.  This means, you can't use the TA's OBC towards any cruise planner purchases.  Therefore, in our case, it goes towards gratuities (we only prepay them if we get notice of an increase). 

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16 minutes ago, baltodave said:

Are you saying that if we use one of the large TA's (we use cruise.com), we may or may not be able to try out "Royal Up"?  

Yes.  Some of the big online agencies do not participate in RoyalUp.  I have no idea whether cruise.com is one of them or not.  CostCo for sure does not participate.  There are others as well.

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This is all really good information to know!

I, too, booked with a TA based on kick-backs and now I kinda feel  bad that they are losing some of their commission to give me this OBC. Service has so far been okay but, now, knowing what I know, I think I may wish to book onboard for that OBC bonus and then grab an MEI agent to handle the booking after.

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Using a TA is all about piece of mind, at least imho. I know as humans we always want to get the best deal. If you are paying a premium for this service, then I can understand expecting some extra perks like OBC but 10% of cruise fare seems high. I use MEI and my agent has been wonderful and not at all annoying. Some TA's insist on sending you advertisements daily for whatever they are selling at the moment.

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On 7/9/2021 at 11:52 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Another thing to consider...right now Royal is really making good use of RoyalUp.  It seems that many have been successful in upgrading their rooms since capacity is so [intentionally] low right now.  Many of the big box agencies do NOT participate in RoyalUp.  So if you are interested in a chance to upgrade your accommodations at a very reasonable price via RoyalUp, I would recommend that you investigate the Agency to see if they participate.  Many do NOT. 

great point on Royal Up -  - people do not always consider all the factors and some find Big Box agencies serve them well - I value
relationships more - it pays you over an over in the long run - many of my new clients this year simply came to us because their current agent "disappeared" 
rough year for some indeed.

 I have also seen big OBCs given, but client is not able to spend all of it - if this happens the agency not the client gets the refund back (whomever paid it) so if you are promised $300 but only use $100, you really only got $100.

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I looked at COSTCO, they offer a really nice "shop card" and some other perks.

I did booked a very pricey Europe cruise with RC on my own in 2019.   What a headache.

Than 2020 happen 

I love the advice on this site so I took it and signed up with MEI.  Poor Kelley got stuck with me.

She is on vacation right now, did not know, but still took the time to answer my questions. ?

I have not regretted it and have really enjoyed her help and guidance.

I'm in the process of trying to get my family and friends to book with her.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/16/2021 at 6:51 PM, starbrat said:

new here what does MEI 

mean? ?

 

On 7/9/2021 at 7:39 AM, ZsOverseas said:

In the past when I have made reservations directly with RCL I would transfer the reservation to CruCon travel agency who inturn would provide me with On Board Credits and some additional perks for the transfer.  Generally these averaged up to 10% of the amount I had paid for the cruise.  I recently made a transatlantic cruise reservation with RCL website and when I asked CruCon about the benefits of giving them the booking I was informed that they would provide 5% OBC of the price paid.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a different agency that might do better than CruCon's offer?  Thanks

If you want to get a quote from an MEI go to RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com on the right hand side you'll see a yellow form to fill out to request a quote from a MEI travel agent. There's no obligation. Looks like this:

 

Screenshot_20210804-165336_Edge.jpg

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