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Travel Gripes! Gripe about cruises or getting to one.(airlines, taxis)

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  #1  
Old February 24th, 2004, 12:47 PM
kahliasmom
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Default how do I know if I can trust online TA

I am looking to find a really good price on a cruise in the next couple of weeks. How do I know that I can trust the online agency. There is this one that only deals in email and doesn't have a phone number. I linked up to in through one of these cruising websites and I would think that the website would find them to be reputable before allowing them to advertise on their website. Anyway, should I stear clear of an online TA that only deals by internet and doesn't even have a phone number. I know that noone can post specific online TA, but can someone either email me the names of reputable ones or tell me where I can investigate them myself. Thanks.

Jeaniene
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  #2  
Old February 24th, 2004, 03:49 PM
McCall
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

I would not deal with an agency that only does email. there are several good online agencies that have full phone support. you will see many of them listed in posts here and on other cruise boards.
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  #3  
Old February 24th, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

Why don't you go and sit down face to face with a local travel agent? Seriously.

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  #4  
Old February 24th, 2004, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

Over the years I've had some great luck with online TAs, and some poor luck! That's also true of local TAs.

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for knowing who gives great service to go along with the great prices.

There is NO ruling body that governs Travel Agents which has any clout, or can sanction TAs in any way.... other than the police, if they actually break the law.

Fact is becoming a travel agent can be as simple as choosing a name, and buying a business license, or purchasing a home based franchise for $399.

CLIA .. the Cruise Line Industry Association.. though they offer courses, and pass out cruise councilor designations, in reality is simply a marketing arm of the industry. So, they dont guarantee anything either.

Both online and in person you're going to find GREAT agents and LOUSY agents. So, really people's recommendations and satifaction ratings are likely the most reliable source.

Getting those opinions online is fraught with danger as well, because you don't know if the recommendations are coming from legitimate past customers, or the agents themselves.

Even advertisers on the web sites are not scrutinized. Here at CruiseMates I believe all advertisers must be licensed to sell in all 50 states... but the site does not have any other quality control conditions in place.

So.. there's no easy answer. BUT, when you find a great TA, who takes care of your needs, and offers excellent prices, you'll know them.... and likely cherish them!

I'm always equally as leary of the agents who say they charge a bit more but provide better service than anyone, as I am of the agents guaranteeing they always have the lowest price.

The other thing to consider, of course, is that everyone is a good agent until something goes wrong. It's the agents who go to bat for customers who have had problems, and helped them resolve them to their satisfaction, that I'd seek out.

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Old February 24th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

i took a deep breath and used an on line only ta for my march 03 cruise because they were cheaper then my reguar ta and since i do all my planning all i really need is someone to cut the tix. after reading many positive reviews i took a deep breath and booked wtih them -- called hal 24 hrs after getting my confirm from the ta and confirmed that hal got the deposit which they had---------had to have surgery and had to cancel the cruise and they returned by deposit in full as fast and as promptly as they received ----------rebooked with them at a later date for our dec 03 cruise booking 3 cabins and it went off without a hitch --they respond faster then my old ta whose office is a mile away and it would take her days to reply ---they are in fla and i am on the west coast and i wrote them on a sun nite at 9pm fla time and had a response within 30 minutes----------lets see how fast your local face to face ta responds on a sun nite

currently booked on a march 21 cruise and i am already in posession of my tix and they are all in order --------------also after i booked there was a price reduction and after writing them i received an adjusted bill with no problems----some of the cruise boards dont like it when you post a tas name and address so if you are interested in knowing who the ta is please write me direct and put cruise mates in the subject line

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Old February 25th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

Check your eami for a suggestion.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/howtobuy/

Please read my article about online cruise agencies here. We recommend that you:

Ask the agent for their professional credentials: CLIA and ASTA identification numbers. Then go to the web sites (click links above) for these organizations and check the agent's credentials. For CLIA you will need the agency's zip code.

Ask if the cruise line (not the travel agent) will be charging your credit card (it should). Get a confirmation number for your booking, and then go to the cruise line website to verify your booking.

You can also check your credit card account online to see if your card was charged properly.

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  #8  
Old February 29th, 2004, 01:50 PM
libby libby is offline
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I have been researching various online cruise agents and would like to know which agency you have been using. It sounds like a responsible and reliable company.
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  #9  
Old March 1st, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

Best way is to ask others who they have used and what their likes and dislikes were. If several people use and trust someone then it's most likely safe to use them. Or ask the TA or online company for references.
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Old March 7th, 2004, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: how do I know if I can trust online TA

I booked a cruise wiht carnival directly, after checking with several ecruise companies. They gave me the best price and the most help with my questions
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