Travel agents

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Whynd1
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Travel agents

Post by Whynd1 »

Morning all

Looking for a bit of advice.
My travel agent was a cruise specialist and I booked with them for nearly 20 years. Sadly last November they retired.

I am up looking to book a further cruise for 2022 my others have been transferred back to P and O.
Can anyone recommend a good travel agent or doesnt it matter these days and I will be just as good with P and O. Trouble with them is you can never get through on the phone.
Thanks.
Lindsey

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barney
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Re: Travel agents

Post by barney »

I use a firm from Blackpool called Cruise Village.
They tend to do it for a few quid cheaper than P&O direct.
I’ve never had any issues with them.
They do what they are supposed to.
I tend to do my own research and just tell them the details of what I want.

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oldbluefox
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

For years I have booked with Bolsover Cruise Club and have always been very satisfied with their service. They also do a loyalty discount which isn't much but it helps.
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david63
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Re: Travel agents

Post by david63 »

Personally I would never use a travel/cruise agent for any holiday as I have, in general, found them to be useless and more often than not I have known more about the holiday/cruise than they have. But my main reason for not using a cruise agent is that when I did they went bust shortly before we were due to pay the balance for a cruise - to their credit P&O took over the booking and everything went smoothly but there was a fair amount providing the proof that we had paid the deposit etc.

I know that some cruise agents offer a small additional discount and whether you consider that as an incentive is up yo you.

As for getting through to P&O the only times I have any delay is when bookings open, but that is normally only about 20 minutes - not the hours that some suggest. All other times I am usually through in a few minutes. To minimise the cost I always use the Freephone number.

For peace of mind and the ability to deal direct I would use P&O every time, but I do appreciate that others have different experiences.

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towny44
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Re: Travel agents

Post by towny44 »

oldbluefox wrote: 03 Jul 2021, 11:26 For years I have booked with Bolsover Cruise Club and have always been very satisfied with their service. They also do a loyalty discount which isn't much but it helps.
I use Bolsover as well, their loyalty discount has been reduced during covid, and I guess it will take time to get back to the 5% we used to get. But their staff turnover is far lower than P&O, so it's much easier to retain the same agent, who remembers what your preferences are, and of course can also provide the same service on any other cruise line you fancy.
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CaroleF
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Re: Travel agents

Post by CaroleF »

Like Foxy I've always used Bolosover, they were brilliant at getting the cabin I wanted and the agent I dealt with knew exactly what I liked and always called back when she said she would. Usually if it was the first day of booking I would get a call by 10am confirming that the cabin I wanted was booked. I was always able to specify which cabin I wanted and I heard that others who booked with P&O direct could only specify the grade of cabin they wanted, not the number. After John died she was also so helpful in cancelling the cruises we'd booked and sorted it all out with P&O and ensured I got the deposits back that we'd paid. If I decide to cruise again I will certainly go back to Bolsover.

Carole

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Manoverboard
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Manoverboard »

We were locked into Bath Travel ( Hayes ) and / or Titan for many years but increasingly we booked directly with the supplier and regardless of the holiday type.
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Stephen
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Stephen »

Cruise Kings for us, and have been for years.

https://www.cruisekings.co.uk/

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oldbluefox
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

Stephen wrote: 03 Jul 2021, 11:44 Cruise Kings for us, and have been for years.

https://www.cruisekings.co.uk/
I've used Cruise Kings in the past and was happy with them. :thumbup:
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Kendhni
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Kendhni »

We use a local travel agent, the agent knows our preferences and can book what we want if we just tell her the cruise number.
They may not be the cheapest but on a couple of occasions when we had issues, we just left her a message and within a few hours the hotel came to us to advise it had been sorted or, last year, when it looked like we might be stranded due to lockdown, she made sure we got seats on a repatriation flight. Anything that reduces stress is good :)
Last edited by Kendhni on 03 Jul 2021, 12:00, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Travel agents

Post by LadyPCruiser »

We use Sovereign Cruise Club - always very helpful

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Ray B
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Ray B »

We have always used Fred Olsen Travel for our P&O bookings, the service we have received has been exceptional. One of their staff at Jarrolds Norwich branch has been booking our cruises for over 20 years.
One day I may try a Fred cruise, but at present we are well booked ahead.
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Ray Scully
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Ray Scully »

barney wrote: 03 Jul 2021, 11:25 I use a firm from Blackpool called Cruise Village.
They tend to do it for a few quid cheaper than P&O direct.
I’ve never had any issues with them.
They do what they are supposed to.
I tend to do my own research and just tell them the details of what I want.
Barney we have been using Cruise Village (ex Savensail) for nearly 20 years. Great service, and when there has been the odd problem, always sorted

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Stephen
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Stephen »

Ray B wrote: 03 Jul 2021, 14:18 We have always used Fred Olsen Travel for our P&O bookings, the service we have received has been exceptional. One of their staff at Jarrolds Norwich branch has been booking our cruises for over 20 years.
One day I may try a Fred cruise, but at present we are well booked ahead.

The same with Cruise Kings, and we can often get a bit more OBC than what P&O are offering. :thumbup:


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Re: Travel agents

Post by Quizzical Bob »

There are pros and cons to agents. Last February we had just started our Princess cruise from Sydney to Singapore when two days in the captain told us that we would be terminating in Perth. There was a group of four who got on at Melbourne to find out that they would be getting off seven days later.

It being a weekend and having a half day time difference to the UK made it almost impossible for them to get anything done. With no chance to consult with them their agents rebooked their flights home from Perth via Sydney. One customer rang his daughter at 4 in the morning and gave her the job of dealing with the rearrangements.

We decided that we should stay a week in Perth and hire a car. I booked the return flights on my phone whilst watching the echidnas having their lunch in a Melbourne wildlife park. We had a wonderful few days staying in a hotel on the beach in Scarborough and touring around Western Australia.

There’s something to be said for being in charge of your own arrangements.

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GillD46
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Re: Travel agents

Post by GillD46 »

I would recommend Go Cruise with Jane, which comes under the umbrella of Fred Olsen. Jane (Chadwick) has cruised for about 50 years herself, and continues to cruise, and she is the most knowledgeable person I know where cruising is concerned. The service she provides is truly exceptional and she somehow manages to arrange things that the cruise lines say are impossible. And she ALWAYS has your back.

I would NEVER, EVER, EVER book myself, or with anyone else.
Gill


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Whynd1
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Whynd1 »

Thank you all for your replies.

As I am usually a solo cruiser I think it's more practical for me to book through an agent.

Lindsey

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Stephen
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Stephen »

Whynd1 wrote: 03 Jul 2021, 18:05 Thank you all for your replies.

As I am usually a solo cruiser I think it's more practical for me to book through an agent.

Lindsey
At the end of the day Lindsey it’s your choice and a bit like insurance companies, you only find out how good they are when you need them. :thumbup:


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Whynd1
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Whynd1 »

I have decided to use Bolsover.
Going to pre reg for the Aurora Canaries cruise in April.
Will meet up with friends.
Cant come soon enough.

Lindsey

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oldbluefox
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

Good choice Lindsey 👍
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kaymar
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Re: Travel agents

Post by kaymar »

We've always found them to be very pleasant, helpful and knowlegeable, Lindsey, I'm sure you'll be fine with them.


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Whynd1
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Whynd1 »

Just heard from Bolsover, that my cabin has been secured, they will ring later with details. Excellent service.
I have seen the P and O website is down for booking this cruise this morning so am pleased I left it to a ta and did not go it alone so to speak.

I see the whole of the England one day cricket squad has had to go into isolation for a breach of the protocols, so an entirely new side will face Pakistan on Thursday in Cardiff.

Lindsey

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oldbluefox
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

I've always found that if a problem does occur the travel agent will sort it for you rather than you having to deal with the cruise line direct. They always seem to have better contact with them than we as individuals can achieve.
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Esprit »

Bolsover for us too for this month's Silhouette cruise.

I did go direct to Princess last year for our 2020 Enchanted Princess cruise. That was cancelled with a further two more attempts cancelled. Now have a replacement cruise for 2022 on Regal Princess with nothing extra to pay and all my OBC intact. They did a great job so I'm glad I went direct with Princess.

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

We've done it both ways but more recently cruise Bolsover. We find them very friendly and efficient and when we booked a 2022 Iona cruise on the first day of booking they were the ones getting up early to secure exactly the cabins we wanted!

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Manoverboard
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Manoverboard »

I went to Bolsover once ... just saying :sick:
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GillD46
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Re: Travel agents

Post by GillD46 »

Manoverboard wrote: 06 Jul 2021, 13:21 I went to Bolsover once ... just saying :sick:
Us too MOB. Just the once…..
Gill


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Re: Travel agents

Post by Quizzical Bob »

Manoverboard wrote: 06 Jul 2021, 13:21 I went to Bolsover once ... just saying :sick:
Let me guess, it was a load of Bols and you're glad it's over?

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Manoverboard
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Manoverboard »

Quizzical Bob wrote: 12 Jul 2021, 14:59
Manoverboard wrote: 06 Jul 2021, 13:21 I went to Bolsover once ... just saying :sick:
Let me guess, it was a load of Bols and you're glad it's over?
Pretty much so ... ;)

We lived on the edge of the Peak district at the time and taking the scenic route we thought a trip to Bolsover to check out a Travel Agent could be a good way to spend an occasional afternoon. I'll say no more as it would spoil the surprise for anybody else thinking of doing the same ... :wave:
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

There are some 'interesting' villages in those parts. Hadfield had the dubious honour of being the village chosen to be that God forsaken hole in The League of Gentlemen otherwise known as Royston Vasey. It certainly put the place on the map. I wonder if any of you have been there.
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Manoverboard
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Manoverboard »

We know the region very well.

There are also some very ' interesting ' roads, Mobietta developed her driving skills on them. We used to say that If you can drive in them thar parts you can drive anywhere.
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Ranchi »

Re: Hadfield.
Is that the one near Glossop? If so, then the Commercial Inn used to serve a topping pint of Boddingtons in the mid ‘70s. As students we used to make pilgrimages there from Aberdeen - a prodigious hitch hike for a few pints! There was also a pub near there called the Church - I’m sure quite a few folk wandered out of the house on a Sunday with the words ‘that’s me off to church!
Didn’t realise its link to Royston Vasey - apparently the real name of Chubby Brown ( not a fan, I’m afraid.)

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oldbluefox
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Re: Travel agents

Post by oldbluefox »

Ranchi wrote: 13 Jul 2021, 11:15 Re: Hadfield.
Is that the one near Glossop? If so, then the Commercial Inn used to serve a topping pint of Boddingtons in the mid ‘70s. As students we used to make pilgrimages there from Aberdeen - a prodigious hitch hike for a few pints! There was also a pub near there called the Church - I’m sure quite a few folk wandered out of the house on a Sunday with the words ‘that’s me off to church!
Didn’t realise its link to Royston Vasey - apparently the real name of Chubby Brown ( not a fan, I’m afraid.)
Do you recognise any of these places Ranchi.
Must admit I am a real fan of the programmes but alas, not Chubby Brown.
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Re: Travel agents

Post by Ranchi »

I’ve just spent a bit of time on Google maps & it is the same Hadfield. I also see that Royston Vasey was also partially set in Alston - which was a stopping off point on our Scout trips to the Lake District. I’ve never watched League of Gentlemen but I shall make an effort to see some on catch-up.

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