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NextCruise vs. Travel Agent


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@RFW63050 NextCruise has the same exact prices that any Travel Agent can access and also the same as you can access yourself directly booking through Royal. What NextCruise offers that the TA can't is some onboard credit for booking with NextCruise. This OBC amount varies depending on booking refundable, nonrefundable, cruise length, room category. But the cruisefare will be the same.  NextCruise also may offer a reduced deposit for some cruises, where you may be able to only put down $100 versus a $250 deposit for 5+ night cruises.

If you use NextCruise you can still assign the booking to your TA of choice and get any additional incentives that TA may offer!

Unless you are cruising very soon, it isn't always to your advantage to wait until you are on a sailing to book a cruise as the prices may increase between what they are now and when you are on a sailing.

NextCruise also sells open bookings where you get some OBC for purchasing (which is really fronting the deposit) but then you have some time to actually use the booking number on a cruise once you are off the ship. 

@Matt actually just released a podcast dedicated to NextCruise which you may want to check out: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/podcast/episode-454-nextcruise

 

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9 minutes ago, RFW63050 said:

Is there a great savings by booking while on a current cruise (by using NextCruise)?  Of can the same benefits be obtained from a Travel Agent?

The benefit of using Next cruise is the reduced deposit as well as onboard credit. You can however, do both. You can book with Nextcruise (or purchase a next cruise certificate) and have the booking moved to you travel agent. 

Something to keep in mind is that some of the larger travel agencies buy group space at a great rate and then these cabins are sold through thier various agents. If you book one of those cabins the reduced deposit is not valid and you have to pay the difference of the deposit. 

I have actually decided to stop using Next cruise with Royal as I find there program doesn't really offer much benifit compared to other lines.

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For us the best benefit to booking with next cruise is the up to $300 OBC.

We booked with NextCruise and then had it transferred to our TA and ended up with almost $700 OBC between the two of them.

But really that's it. NextCruise bookings don't have any cheaper fares, they abide by whatever sale is currently running and you don't have a dedicated TA once you get off the cruise to reprice or struggle with any Royal changes. It's really just the OBC I think that makes it worth it, to me.

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2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

@RFW63050 NextCruise has the same exact prices that any Travel Agent can access and also the same as you can access yourself directly booking through Royal.

This isn't completely true. I used a TA for the first time in over a decade for a July B2B b/c they had access to some sort of TA/Friends & Family sale. The prices on the RC site were a couple hundred dollars more per leg at the time.

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Thank you everyone for the quick responses.  Clears up the questions I have.  I will be cruising at the end of August and looking for a follow-up cruise next January.  So, I have a little time yet.  Thanks again.

 

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3 hours ago, OCSC Mike said:

This isn't completely true. I used a TA for the first time in over a decade for a July B2B b/c they had access to some sort of TA/Friends & Family sale. The prices on the RC site were a couple hundred dollars more per leg at the time.

You are correct. I guess I should have stated "public" advertised prices. The TA Friends & Family prices won't be published for public sale anywhere. They're also not combinable with other discounts or eligible for the shareholder credit

A TA can also secure pricing early on when bookings are released and hold a block of rooms and then sell them at that lower price so you may be able to beat the current pricing that way as well. 

I usually book the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruises while onboard for the extra NextCruise credit. The price I get onboard doesn't matter because when it transfers over to the group sailing my TA can adjust my price to reflect the group booking prices. Not all TAs can pull NextCruise bookings into an exist group booking like this, though.

 

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29 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

I usually book the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruises while onboard for the extra NextCruise credit. 

I didn't realise you could book those at Next Cruise. I have not had the opportunity to do one of the group cruises but that's a handy little snippet to file away for future use. 🙂

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I used Next Cruise for my next cruise. The selling point was that the OBC could be applied to the cost of the cruise AND your regular travel agent gets credit,  so I will also be getting a Costco Cash Card after the cruise (plus the 5% cash back from Costco for the Visa). Pretty much a win win. 

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We booked with NextCruise when we were on Harmony last week.  We got the $200 deposit (2 guests) and $100 OBC.  Went back to the room and had it transferred to MEI, she emailed me the next day to tell me she got us $550 in OBC.  So, I don't think you necessarily get a better deal but it's convenient AND transferring to a TA is worth it. 

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