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Travel Agent pros and cons?


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38 minutes ago, TMatl said:

I called RC and put a deposit down for a cruise in 2023 but nothing more.  Can I still use a TA when I’m ready to book?

If you put down a deposit, you are booked.  You may transfer it to a TA as long as it's within 30 days of booking.

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You know....I. had a TA with my first cruise in 2007...Carnival Holiday! LOL! Local company. I wasn't thrilled about it the moment I booked thru them and liked it even less right up to the cruise.  I made up my mind to learn everything I could about cruises/cruising via the Internet and do everything myself.  That's exactly what I've done.  I actually enjoy doing it myself and I know things are being done correctly. I can't see me ever going back to a TA. 

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16 hours ago, steverk said:

Sorry  Matt. Didn't mean it that way!

Yours are good too, but not as in death 

No worries, I'm just teasing you.

I've met Danny a few times. Great guy and very nice.

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We had a lot of our cruise canceled due to Covid and we took the FCC.  Keeping track of all the FCC was a nightmare.  We would apply a certain amount to a new cruise but for some reason Royal would only apply the amount they wanted and reissue us a new FCC...Or they wouldn't apply an FCC at all for some strange reason.   Our only saving grace was our TA...He tracked all our FCC's, ensured they were applied correctly and made sure we got to use them all.  We will only book a cruise by using a TA.

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1 hour ago, Cheryl Chubokas said:

Could someone give me Emmy ice phone numberCould someone give me Emmy ice phone number

Did you mean M.E.I.?

There isn't just one phone number, as they are all individual agents.  You can fill in the yellow form on the home page and one will contact you. I usually just email my agent, Michelle ([email protected])

***** EDIT: Sharla kindly let me know that there is a general number (425-396-7505) but she also said the fastest way was to fill out the yellow form. Thank you, @Sharla!  I didn't know.

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7 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Did you mean M.E.I.?

There isn't just one phone number, as they are all individual agents.  You can fill in the yellow form on the home page and one will contact you. I usually just email my agent, Michelle ([email protected])

There is a call center phone number, which is 425-396-7505. But the easiest/fastest way is to either contact an agent directly or request a quote on royalcaribbeanblog.com or mei-travel.com

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Last year I advised a friend to read through this forum because he's very new to Royal.

When he asked me about TAs, I couldn't really give him much help. But I suggested he read through this since a lot of TAs do post on this forum and that may give him an idea of who to contact.

Fast forward to a week ago. He told me he contacted an agent and was very responsive - usually within a day, sometimes within a few hours. He was so impressed and he asked to book. But now the agent hasn't responded to any of his emails. It seemed really strange to me. I told him that there may be an emergency or something, but I assumed the agent would put a email auto reply if that's the case.

I feel bad that I suggested for him to contact the TA. Not sure what can be done.

So definitely do your homework!

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5 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

Emmy Ice, I like it!

She's the voice to text spokesperson for MEI

Ice, Ice, Emmy, do do do do-do do do... LOL

We're using a cruise travel agent for the first time since our honeymoon in 2000. We used one then because it was a complicated trip and she did all of the flights and transfers and hotels, etc.

The four cruises we've been on since then, I've booked and managed myself and was happy doing so and I was VERY skeptical about using a TA this time (I'm just using a Royal TA assigned when I emailed a question). BUT, I've been happy so far! She was able to move us from one cruise to a different one (the original one I had wanted but was pretty expensive when I tried to book so we chose an alternative and then the price dropped on our first choice) with no hassle, and she was able to find us additional discounts and an onboard credit plus picked us really good rooms that weren't showing online. I'm still able to do everything I want to do myself on the website/planner/app.

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First, I have to join in the Danny chuckles. My husband and I were watching his Coco Cay tour video last week and by the fourth or fifth time he went into a cabana and demonstrated the cooler table and the coffee table with safe like they were brand new, we were laughing so hard we could barely speak. He'd get to a new cabana and we'd be like, "But I need a place to store my valuables while I am in the water. Do you think this cabana has a table with a conveniently located safe too?" They are definitely super thorough tours! 😁

Anyway, TA thoughts/question. We've used the same TA for years and lately it seems like they are very difficult to reach and a bit unresponsive. Obviously, travel agents have gone through so much over the past two years and I'm totally all about cutting slack on just about anything. If it takes her days or weeks to get back to me, as long as nothing urgent/time sensitive is involved, no biggie. But...

Over the past couple of months, doing occasional mock bookings for our upcoming Oasis cruise, I have twice found sales that reduced our overall fare by about $700 each time (about $1400 total). I contacted our TA about the first one and she eventually responded and was able to do the reprice, but seemed very impatient and annoyed about it. I wouldn't have bothered her for like a $20 price difference, but for $700 FCC? Um, yes please. (Also, I see many people here and on other boards talking about how their TAs alert them to repricing/deals on cruises they've already booked, etc. Our TA has really never done that.) At the same time, I was booking a new cruise for August and she told me she was too busy to do it and I should book directly. (Which I did, fine by me.)

On this latest reprice attempt, I just found the deal on Friday near the end of the business day, wasn't able to reach the TA before they closed, can't reach them on the weekend and it looks like this particular sale is ending tonight unless Royal extends it. So we're probably out of luck, which is a bummer. We've already made final payment but there's a lot I could do with $700 OBC! I sat on hold with Royal for a while Friday evening to see if there was anything at all we could do, but of course the TA has to make any change and they couldn't help. 

Anyway, I do recognize the value of having a good TA, in the cruise world particularlyIt sounds like everyone here is really happy with MEI. Am I expecting too much from the TA we have now, or would we likely get better service with MEI? 

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5 hours ago, Writergina said:

First, I have to join in the Danny chuckles. My husband and I were watching his Coco Cay tour video last week and by the fourth or fifth time he went into a cabana and demonstrated the cooler table and the coffee table with safe like they were brand new, we were laughing so hard we could barely speak. He'd get to a new cabana and we'd be like, "But I need a place to store my valuables while I am in the water. Do you think this cabana has a table with a conveniently located safe too?" They are definitely super thorough tours! 😁

He could have edited that one a little better!  😉 He did that because he cut out thT section in to its own video for each cabana type.

Have you seen his ship tours? They run an hour per ship then he has additional videos for each suite type.

Like you said, very detailed. They're also well photographed, which is unusual for tour videos.

And just so we're clear...Matt does a great job on his as well. This is especially true if you don't have 2 hours to spend in front of youtube!

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On 2/27/2022 at 4:22 PM, steverk said:

He could have edited that one a little better!  😉 He did that because he cut out thT section in to its own video for each cabana type.

Have you seen his ship tours? They run an hour per ship then he has additional videos for each suite type.

Like you said, very detailed. They're also well photographed, which is unusual for tour videos.

And just so we're clear...Matt does a great job on his as well. This is especially true if you don't have 2 hours to spend in front of youtube!

That's kind of what I figured, that he would do some cuts so he needed to repeat some of the content for each cabana, but it was hilarious watching it over and over again. We love his ship tours as well, especially when I'm feeling like super-obsessing about cruising (which gets more and more often as my next sailing approaches). And yes, I love Matt's videos as well! Honestly, my kids just roll their eyes at me now when I nonchalantly say, "Hey, maybe we could watch another cruise video?" 

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