CruiseFish Forum

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    joined Dec 2012
    post 11/45
    cruiser #12839
    What is a reasonable response time?

    This is the first time in many years that I've worked through a travel agent. I'm wondering just how responsive I should expect a travel agent to be? My cruise is not for four months yet, but I am in the midst of making decisions about flights, hotel, excursions, transfers, etc. My travel agent will go days without responding to my communication. I'm trying not to wear him out...just getting the essentials accomplished. Even when I email him a reminder after four days silence, I get nothing (so far). 

    Is it normal for travel agents to act like this? Or did I pick the wrong travel agent?

    joined Aug 2012
    post 7/18
    cruiser #11276
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Great question.  Personally, I always book myself with the cruiseline directly.  I use the phone, not online - this way I am talking to  a person.

    the problem with a TA is exactly what you describe.  If you find a price drop here on CF, you want to capture it, so you call your TA, and if he takes 3 days to get to your email, or phone message, the price drop could be gone.  I have grabbed price drops from CF notifcations.  My cruise next week - I saves close to $500 in total over 2 cabins.   But, I was able to call the cruiseline myself.

     

    Now ,I understand that if you use big online agencies like Expedia, or Travelocity, that you can talk to any TA there, and they will take care of you if your own booking TA is not available.

     

    joined Dec 2012
    post 12/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    I wish that were my situation (self-booking). I used an agent simply because Holland America will not honor price drops with individual customers--only through agents. If I had a really on-the-ball agent, he/she would monitor those price drops for me. Not the case here.

    joined Aug 2012
    post 8/18
    cruiser #11276
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    On March 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM, wlsmith wrote:

     

    I wish that were my situation (self-booking). I used an agent simply because Holland America will not honor price drops with individual customers--only through agents. If I had a really on-the-ball agent, he/she would monitor those price drops for me. Not the case here.

     

    Really???    I know that if you book through an agent, the cruiseline will not talk to you about price drops - you have to go through the agent.   But, are you saying that if I booked directly with Holland America - I cannot call them to grab a price drop?   I find that quite odd.

    joined Dec 2012
    post 13/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    I self-booked with Holland. Then the price dropped and I called them. They wouldn't talk to me about dropping the rate on my booking. Then someone suggested I transfer my booking to an agent, which I did. And the agent promptly got me the price drop. The latest price drop...my agent has not got me the drop so far...he's not responded to me about it. 

    I was really surprised at how Holland handled this. I've not seen this situation mentioned before in forums, so I have to assume this is a relatively new policy.

    joined Dec 2012
    post 14/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Is it coincidence that my agent called me a few minutes ago with answers and resolution on all issues? :smile:

    Perhaps Cruisefish has a bigger audience than postings suggest.

    FL, United States
    joined Apr 2010
    post 14/141
    cruiser #163
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    I always book direct with the cruiseline but I would say that the agent should get back to you within one day

     

    Cape Coral, FL, United States
    joined Jul 2010
    post 4/10
    cruiser #2484
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    No, that is not normal for a travel agent to react to your requests that slowly.  I would find another agent!  I have booked both ways - through an agent and directly with the cruise line.  Either way has worked well.  My TA always gets back to me within 24 hrs. or less.  However, I  book my own flights, hotels and excursions and just use the TA after the initial reservation, to get price reductions for me and link reservations with other passengers for dining.  Also, they will deal with the cruise line if any "issues" arise.

    I'm not aware of any TA who monitors pricing for you.  I have always found it is best to do it yourself.  That's why CruiseFish is such a great site! :lol:

    Largo, FL, United States
    joined Oct 2012
    post 13/23
    cruiser #11970
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    I make sure all my customers have my personal cell number and tell them to call or text at any time. If I am busy or sleeping I call back as soon as I can. Normally within a couple hours. I know you are not doing this but some blame all agents for the actions of just a few.

     

    Just for knowledge Carnival price drops do not have to be taken care of before the price changes again. Cruise lines keep record of when prices are certain levels. With Carnival Early Saver the agent or Carnival rep needs about 5 minutes to complete the price change request. Keep track of the category, the new price and the date you saw it. Within a couple days you will receive the change confirmation. Most of the time in minutes.

     

    joined Dec 2012
    post 29/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Wow, that is great to know. Thanks. On the one hand, I've probably stressed over some price changes when I should not have...and HAL has popped the cork on some big price drops on weekends. On the other hand, I have to say that you sound a lot more responsive than my experience has been through a number of issues on this cruise. Two or three days to get answers...sometimes having to email or call a second time to get a response. And this is with a big-name travel agency. I know you didn't post here to try to sell your service, but I'll be inclined to look for an agent like you next time around.

    Largo, FL, United States
    joined Oct 2012
    post 14/23
    cruiser #11970
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Thank you I appreciate you saying that.

     

    Many agents are like me and are affiliated with large companies but are really their own company using the big brand name to attract business and take advantage of the marketing made available at a reasonable price. I have a full time day job and do travel after hours and on the weekend. We are really small. When you are ready to book your next cruise look around a little there are many agents out there exactly like me.

    joined Dec 2012
    post 30/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    I just thought I'd check here incase anyone has seen my travel agent.:rolleyes: We are very close to cruise week, and he is four days AWOL. Sure glad I have my boarding documents all in hand.

    Largo, FL, United States
    joined Oct 2012
    post 16/23
    cruiser #11970
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Anything someone here can answer for you?

    joined Dec 2012
    post 31/45
    cruiser #12839
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    We took an upgrade on the HAL Oosterdam to guaranteed SZ. HAL gave us an SS cabin assignment right under the Lido deck and not honoring a preference submitted for side of ship. So I wanted to ask the agent if the cabin assignment is final. We can live with the side of the ship we are on, but are concerned about Lido deck noise overhead. 

    Largo, FL, United States
    joined Oct 2012
    post 17/23
    cruiser #11970
    Re: What is a reasonable response time?

    Thats sometimes the problem with guarantee rooms. We have been lucky all but one time. We were right under the kids club. Only the last night was loud when trying to sleep.

    Hopefully your room is towards the back, If so I wouldn't think the restaurant would bug you too much.

    As for whether you are stuck hopefully your TA will get back with you soon. It might require another upgrade to move. Hopefully the price has dropped so it doesn't cost you much.

    I did a quick search for Holland upgrade policies without any luck so far. I am sure a little more time would work but it's 2:30 am and I need some sleep. If I find anything I can link you to in the morning I will let you know.

     

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