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17 hours ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

I agree Towny, when you deal with the same consultant you do build up a relationship but I still preferred the 'old way'  when agents had more flexibility to offer discounts , I guess the cruise lines were aiming to maximise profits by encouraging people to book direct but having read recently that 'personal cruise advisers'  are now a thing of the past ( with P&O at least ) it might encourage more people to book with agents rather than direct which hopefully will be a win win for us the passenger.

TAs do have flexibility to offer discounts it was "trialled" a few years ago where P&O cut the commission so that virtually all TAs were quoting exactly the same price give a pound or two. But this was scrapped and went back to the commission based sale and all TAs can vary the price of the cruise depending on how much of the commission they want to give to customers. That is why if you contact TAs you get different prices and like I said on an earlier comment in the last week I have been offered between 0%-5% discount on top of the price quoted by booking with P&O direct for the same cruise.

 

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1 hour ago, sinbad10 said:

TAs do have flexibility to offer discounts it was "trialled" a few years ago where P&O cut the commission so that virtually all TAs were quoting exactly the same price give a pound or two. But this was scrapped and went back to the commission based sale and all TAs can vary the price of the cruise depending on how much of the commission they want to give to customers. That is why if you contact TAs you get different prices and like I said on an earlier comment in the last week I have been offered between 0%-5% discount on top of the price quoted by booking with P&O direct for the same cruise.

 

Yes I'm aware agents offer a different price to the cruise line which is one of the reasons I don't book direct, it sounds as if you did ok though,  I wasn't aware P&O had gone back to the commission based sale I was under the impression all agents had the 5% to work with and we would be offered something between O% - 5% or am I misunderstanding what you are saying, I can't say I've noticed much of a variance in prices between any agents but of course there is cash back with Bolsover so every little helps.

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3 hours ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

Yes I'm aware agents offer a different price to the cruise line which is one of the reasons I don't book direct, it sounds as if you did ok though,  I wasn't aware P&O had gone back to the commission based sale I was under the impression all agents had the 5% to work with and we would be offered something between O% - 5% or am I misunderstanding what you are saying, I can't say I've noticed much of a variance in prices between any agents but of course there is cash back with Bolsover so every little helps.

On the cruise I quoted earlier in thread the price difference between Bolsover which works out at 3% discount to 5% with another cruise TA  which works out at a saving of £150+ and some TAs have quoted me a  price excatly the same with no discount as booking direct 

Edited by sinbad10
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16 hours ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

Yes I'm aware agents offer a different price to the cruise line which is one of the reasons I don't book direct, it sounds as if you did ok though,  I wasn't aware P&O had gone back to the commission based sale I was under the impression all agents had the 5% to work with and we would be offered something between O% - 5% or am I misunderstanding what you are saying, I can't say I've noticed much of a variance in prices between any agents but of course there is cash back with Bolsover so every little helps.

Hi DQ.

In your case I would ask Bolsover if Cunard refer your onboard booking back to them? you would get extra OBC from Cunard ?....Davybe

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Started cruising in 2007 and have been on 30+ cruises since. Only one was booked with a different TA to Bolsover, that was Iglu who had a really good deal that could’nt be beaten. Nothing wrong with Iglu, but I have always been very happy with Bolsover’s service and , like Mitch, I am only 15 minutes away from their office and can call in any time if I need to.

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On 9/23/2018 at 7:44 PM, sinbad10 said:

On the cruise I quoted earlier in thread the price difference between Bolsover which works out at 3% discount to 5% with another cruise TA  which works out at a saving of £150+ and some TAs have quoted me a  price excatly the same with no discount as booking direct 

I actually spoke to multiple agents regarding a cruise earlier this year with P&O and I was advised the same situation by all. P&O do still apply the 5% flat commission to all agents but it's up to the agent as to what they do with it. P&O do try to monitor this apparently and control the discounting to prevent overkill but at the end of the day, agents will do as they wish to get bookings, which undoubtedly works in our favour.

That said, I would always be dubious of an agent giving away their full 5% commission in order to get a booking. It seemed the whole commission change with P&O came on the back of Gills going under quite a few years ago now. That had a major impact on the market and because of that the system seemed to change.

If an agent is actively giving away their full commission, I'd be concerned about their longevity in the market, unless they have unlimited cash reserves.

I, like many others have commented, try to combine the two wherever I can. I look for price but I also look for service and Bolsover have ticked these boxes well for me for many years now. Like most people, i still actively look at pricing to see what's out there but I always check Bolsover to make sure they're approximately on par and if they are, I'll go with them. I trust them and they've been excellent over the years for me.

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7 hours ago, sammy sun said:

I actually spoke to multiple agents regarding a cruise earlier this year with P&O and I was advised the same situation by all. P&O do still apply the 5% flat commission to all agents but it's up to the agent as to what they do with it. P&O do try to monitor this apparently and control the discounting to prevent overkill but at the end of the day, agents will do as they wish to get bookings, which undoubtedly works in our favour.

That said, I would always be dubious of an agent giving away their full 5% commission in order to get a booking. It seemed the whole commission change with P&O came on the back of Gills going under quite a few years ago now. That had a major impact on the market and because of that the system seemed to change.

If an agent is actively giving away their full commission, I'd be concerned about their longevity in the market, unless they have unlimited cash reserves.

I, like many others have commented, try to combine the two wherever I can. I look for price but I also look for service and Bolsover have ticked these boxes well for me for many years now. Like most people, i still actively look at pricing to see what's out there but I always check Bolsover to make sure they're approximately on par and if they are, I'll go with them. I trust them and they've been excellent over the years for me.

I find it hard to believe that some TAs are giving away all the commission they receive if it is only 5% to customers so in effect they will not make any profit on the sale so what is the point of selling the cruise in the first place. Dont think any TA would give you the true commission that they receive from P&O or any cruise line as that would be very business sensitive and confidential.

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12 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

I find it hard to believe that some TAs are giving away all the commission they receive if it is only 5% to customers so in effect they will not make any profit on the sale so what is the point of selling the cruise in the first place. Dont think any TA would give you the true commission that they receive from P&O or any cruise line as that would be very business sensitive and confidential.

Your right we will never know what the agents get.or how they buy the cabin's.Some years ago a well known agencies told a forum ,that they had to allow the cruise lines access to their bank account and just took the money out when it was due?.This left them with empty cabins as the client had not paid on time,hence the differnce settlement dates from cruise line to agent?

They could also bulk buy cabins and get a bigger discount or commission, that may still apply the more they sell the more they make.

When P&O cut the commission to 5% those small agents who just bought a cabin as requested by a client ,lots went bust, I had a friend who closed her business when the commission rates dropped....Davybe

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I wouldn't know but I would take an educated guess that TA receive a fee based on how many cruises they sell for whichever cruise line, another guess would be that the 5% gives all agents a level playing field ( I have no idea if all cruise lines operate the same )  some may give the customer slightly less to enhance their profits but as Davybe says we will never know and tbh if we are happy with the price quoted it isn't really our business and we do have the option to shop around if we wish to, I have on occasion booked via a US travel agent and received far greater discounts than with a UK agent at other times they don't come close to the UK agents so it's all swings and roundabouts.

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14 minutes ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

I wouldn't know but I would take an educated guess that TA receive a fee based on how many cruises they sell for whichever cruise line, another guess would be that the 5% gives all agents a level playing field ( I have no idea if all cruise lines operate the same )  some may give the customer slightly less to enhance their profits but as Davybe says we will never know and tbh if we are happy with the price quoted it isn't really our business and we do have the option to shop around if we wish to, I have on occasion booked via a US travel agent and received far greater discounts than with a UK agent at other times they don't come close to the UK agents so it's all swings and roundabouts.

Some large US agents book group space at a preferential rate and can pass the lower cost on to their clients.  I have booked several times with a particular representative of a large online TA and he knows our preferences.  We were looking at a particular cruise and he asked if our dates were flexible.  When we said they were, he suggested the same cruise three weeks earlier because they could add us to a group and save over $1000.  I was doubtful about the implications of joining a group, but he explained that it was actually a group of cabins not a group of people and we wouldn't even be aware of the others in the group.  We also received some OBC and a specialty restaurant dinner.  He told me that they could buy extras from the cruise line at a reduced rate depending on their sales volume.  The OBC was not refundable because the cruise line participated in the cost.

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On 9/22/2018 at 7:50 PM, sinbad10 said:

Perhaps you could get a good rapport with your regular agent  and you can build up a relationship with them but they can only give maximum discount that company bosses allow and there is always a chance that another company are happier passing on more of their commission not make so much profit and so give better discount.

If you find a TA who gives you more than 5% discount on a cruise, except for when a cruise line is desperately trying to sell a turkey cruise in which case every TA will be offering more as well as the cruise line, then do let us know because I aint found one yet.

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12 hours ago, towny44 said:

If you find a TA who gives you more than 5% discount on a cruise, except for when a cruise line is desperately trying to sell a turkey cruise in which case every TA will be offering more as well as the cruise line, then do let us know because I aint found one yet.

I have never said that any TA has given more than 5% but it does vary up to that amount by different TAs.

 

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Like I said previously a current cruise I am looking at with Cunard is £7000 for a couple and with their 5% discount makes it £6650. I then have had 2 quotes from 2 of the biggest cruise TAs one is offering me a further 5% discount equivalent to £332.50 and the other is offering 3% which is £200. So as you can see a difference in booking the same cruise with different cruise TAs is £132.50 which is a considerable sum of money in anyone's mind so doesnt always pay to stay loyal.

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4 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

Like I said previously a current cruise I am looking at with Cunard is £7000 for a couple and with their 5% discount makes it £6650. I then have had 2 quotes from 2 of the biggest cruise TAs one is offering me a further 5% discount equivalent to £332.50 and the other is offering 3% which is £200. So as you can see a difference in booking the same cruise with different cruise TAs is £132.50 which is a considerable sum of money in anyone's mind so doesnt always pay to stay loyal.

 

4 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

Like I said previously a current cruise I am looking at with Cunard is £7000 for a couple and with their 5% discount makes it £6650. I then have had 2 quotes from 2 of the biggest cruise TAs one is offering me a further 5% discount equivalent to £332.50 and the other is offering 3% which is £200. So as you can see a difference in booking the same cruise with different cruise TAs is £132.50 which is a considerable sum of money in anyone's mind so doesnt always pay to stay loyal.

 

4 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

I have never said that any TA has given more than 5% but it does vary up to that amount by different TAs.

 

Since you know what TAs can and will give, then you will know when you have the best deal. I know  this is currently 5% with P&O but only 3% with the RCI group, but no idea with Cunard.

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2 hours ago, towny44 said:

 

 

Since you know what TAs can and will give, then you will know when you have the best deal. I know  this is currently 5% with P&O but only 3% with the RCI group, but no idea with Cunard.

Cunard are offering 5% for past passengers but the figures quoted in my earlier thread are discounts are on top of what the cruise line give you.

Edited by sinbad10
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I didn't realise that you can get extra discounts on top of what the cruise lines are offering. We've always paid the same price currently showing on P & Os website less any discount offer (currently 10% for past passengers for 2020 cruises). Incidentally am I the only one who doesn't like the 5% deposit offer? I prefer to pay the usual deposit so that the final balance isn't so blooming big. It's not as though the extra deposit money is earning a lot of interest in the bank these days.

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3 hours ago, 2torts said:

I didn't realise that you can get extra discounts on top of what the cruise lines are offering. We've always paid the same price currently showing on P & Os website less any discount offer (currently 10% for past passengers for 2020 cruises). Incidentally am I the only one who doesn't like the 5% deposit offer? I prefer to pay the usual deposit so that the final balance isn't so blooming big. It's not as though the extra deposit money is earning a lot of interest in the bank these days.

Yes you possibly are, I prefer to hang onto my money until the last possible moment.

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