In all the years of cruising my travel agent always sent a basket filled with wine & goodies! Just switched travel agents & book 3 cabins from a mini-suite to inside cabins....no one received anything....Are travel agencies cutting back??? Just curious!! Thanks
I have been on 7 cruises and have booked at least 2 with each agent I have used. To date, we have never received anything. I just booked my 2nd with my agent at cruise.com for January, so we'll see about that one.
I have always received something from my travel agents. Once a basket of all kinds of snacks to have with drinks,almost always a bottle of wine, sometimes flowers and basket of fruit or even a gift certificate to be used on board. Helen.HOT!HOT!HOT!
5th cruise coming up and so far no gifts, sometimes not even a thanks or a nod of the head (if I was picking up docs). So I soon learned business is business and unless you personally know your TA and are friends, don't expect anything. Just be thankful that there is no screwup in getting reservations, the docs, etc.
Patty, cruise.com (I use too) probably won't but with the lower prices they give I don't mind - I'd rather the $50-100 off TA price per preson...
My TA always gave me a gift and so now I buy the wine myself to be in the cabin on arrival - $23 for Asti Spumanti on ice from Bon Voyage... By the way - my TA has quit being a TA and is a mom now - that is why I now book myself or with Cruise.com... Debbie
My TA too always sends me a small gift, usually wine, until my last cruise on the Rhapsody. It was tough for me to "discretely" ask her when I returned. I was more afraid she got charged for a gift that did not arrive. Turns out she did not send a gift this time because we got such a great discounted rate there really was not much commission paid to her. I agree. I would rather get a super rate and good service over an token gift.
Asked our travel agent to can the gifts as they were never used. Wine, photo albums, canvus travel bags with their logo are of little use. Guess the good stuff is a thing of the past with the changes that have taken place, i.e. how commissions are structured or the lack of decent commissions these days. Still have my parents leather travel carry-ons that they received as gifts in the 70's from a cruise they took. Great bags and have held up for over 25 years..........
It was a good idea to ask when you are used to receiving one from a particular TA - I did one time and she got her money back - it wasn't ever delivered but she bought it. I told my sister in law what I did right before she left so as to expect it - good thing because they didn't have any photo albums left (what she had asked for) and she got a credit in the gift shop... A great deal is better to me too. Debbie
Probably not a good example since my T/A is my aunt, but every time we've booked anything with her, we've always gotten something. On our cruise it was a basket of snacks which was much appreciated! Sometimes, you just don't want to hit the buffet when your on your balc. in your robe and all you really want are some chips or cookies.
At Sandals, she sent a plate of chocolate dipped fruit. Again, very appreciated as the food was so bad (even so, it was a great vacation!)
We usually get a shipboard credit ($200 this time), a bottle of wine AND a great rate. Don't know how this happened, but I think they messed up. I never expect anything, so if something shows up on our account or at the door, we're happy. The best thing to do is send yourself a bunch of stuff! It's always fun to get! I'm with the others - I'd rather have the rock-bottom price and a simple thank-you for the business from the agent.
I remember this being discussed on the cruise2 BB some time ago. Several T/A's put in their thoughts. The general consensus was that if they cut significantly into their commission to get you the best price, that should be gift enough. I have to agree. Now I look back on the cruises booked with our gift-giving former T/A and think I probably paid too much!
You might want to ask the TA- I did on one long cruise when we came back- the TA wanted to know about the ship-- she said she sent champagne -if she did we didnt get it -I told her to ask for her money back- The next crusie we booked through her she told me in advance - just in case we didnt get it again-- which we did. I do like have a nice surprise waiting for me or even delivered while on board. Other TA I've used give a better discount-- -to me its almost a toss up -- discount works out as a better value -- because the gifts are way over priced IMHO.
Get a load of this one! Our TA, last year, gave us a complementary bottle of champagne. There was a note in our cabin saying to pick it up or have it with dinner, at our convenience. We sort of forgot about it during the week, but later decided we would have it on our last night with dinner. When we got to dinner, we asked for it and they said it had been brought to our cabin. Well, when we got back to our cabin, there was no champagne in sight. We asked the stewart and he said we would have to contact the dining room. As luck would have it, they were closed so we lost our bottle. (I don't drink champagne, but would have shared with our table mates, or brought it home) I just wonder how many people this happens to and who got the champagne??????? I definitely prefer getting a discount such as we are getting on this cruise coming up.
We have spent lots of $ with our TA who is a friend of a family member. Have taken our kids & grandkids (total of 9 ) on 3 with #4 coming up the end of May. We received a box in the shape of a ship with 6 cans of coke & some crackers, and some choc. covered strawberries.
I do ALL my own research on and would call my agent and tell her the line, date, cabins, and cruise tours. The first two cruises we received wine or a framed photo portrait. The third cruise, with an additional cabin booked for my parents, nothing! I switched agents.
I know travel agents are hurting lately, but an easy, annual, guaranteed commission of $700 to $1400 deserves a gift.
Our best gift, quite a while ago on our first cruise, was a stretch limo ride to the airport (we are a $50 cab ride away...) My kids loved that one.
I'd never received a gift for all the agents or travel I did as a single person. Never expected one. On the Sea Princess in January, we got a bottle of wine and were thrilled by the gesture. We had booked through a new agent at a large chain, she had matched another chain's $200 rebate and followed reductions with Princess, thrown in our passport photos for free and when we got home, there was a welcome home card!! All this for one measly inside cabin at a ridiculous rate...guess where we'll go again next time? Still wouldn't expect anything as a gift as the service was pleasant, patient and economical.
I send a goodie box to clients when I send their cruise documents. Depending on ages of the people sailing, [toys for kids] but some of the things I put in are waterproof cameras, plastic shoe bag to hang over bathroom door to hold toiletries, suntan lotion, afterburn lotion, toothbrushes with travel holders, gloves for Alaska cruisers [if going later in season] Disney dollars [for Disney Cruise] and rolls of gold 1.00 coins. People love to get the box and shows a little more thought and care than a bottle of wine.
Would much rather get a good discount than a gift. Got a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine (one for cruise and other for anniversary) for first cruise from former TA--nice gifts, but we got lousy service and no better price than anyone could have gotten. As a matter of fact, I read on one of the boards that the prices had dropped--contacted her and she didn't know about it. She then called the cruise line, and they gave me an upgrade. Switched TA's after that--good discount, but better than that, personal service.