Legit online travel agency?

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Oct 30, 2016
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#1
Hello~

I saw an Online Travel agency on Facebook (Caribbean Breeze Travel). I haven't found anything bad about them, and the reviews seem to be good. It looks like they are licensed, but I don't see any CLIA or other accreditations. How do I know if they are legit and if I should book a cruise with them?

Thanks!
 

Neil Maley

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#2
Go to asta.org and do a search for their name. If they are an ASTA member they are legit.

I checked them and they are not members but they are a home based agency. They are affiliated with two small host agencies. You also can't rely on reviews they have on their pages- they could be writing their own reviews. You can do a google search for complaints about xyz company and see if you find complaints.

If you want to deal with a home based agency, do yourself a favor and search for one that is a member if Asta.org (American Society of Travel Agents). You can go to travelsense.org and do a search for an agency near your home that specializes in cruises. If you have an issue with the agency you can file a complaint with ASTA if there are any issues.
 
Oct 30, 2016
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#3
Thank you for your response. They have a FB page and a website.
https://www.caribbeanbreezetravel.com/ Https://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanBreezeTravel.LLC/ I didn't see their name come up on ASTA, but maybe I was doing it wrong? I sent them a FB message asking if they were affiliated with CLIA or ASTA. No response yet. This is probably a stupid question, but does it make a difference if they are not members of the above groups? Please let me know what you all think. Thanks!!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,698
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
Thank you for your response. They have a FB page and a website.
https://www.caribbeanbreezetravel.com/ Https://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanBreezeTravel.LLC/ I didn't see their name come up on ASTA, but maybe I was doing it wrong? I sent them a FB message asking if they were affiliated with CLIA or ASTA. No response yet. This is probably a stupid question, but does it make a difference if they are not members of the above groups? Please let me know what you all think. Thanks!!
They are notemebets of ASTA, I checked.

Being a member of Clia means nothing- Clia is s card mill. Ask if the are an ACC with CLIA. That is an Accredited Cruise Counselor and means they have had training on selling cruises and they have also sold a certain number of cruises and been certified as having completed the training.

Why are you so intent on this agency? There are thousands out there affiliated with legit agent groups like ASTA that have your back of something goes wrong with a member agency.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#5
Maddy, in our experience, online travel bookers are an iffy choice when planning travel. They tend to "take your order" and offer nothing substantial to you. A real travel agent who specializes in cruises is who you want to deal with.

I have always booked my own travel, but two years ago I used a real TA to book an Alaska cruise, something that I could have easily done myself. She came up with so many extra goodies for us I am still amazed. My watch stopped in Seattle before boarding. I used my 'shipboard credit' to obtain a new one. We drank gallons of champagne compliments of a special beverage package, our laundry was done whenever we wished it. So I will never again book a cruise without a TA, a real cruise specialist TA.

You and I can get together tomorrow over the phone and produce a website and a FB page with all kinds of cool stuff on it. We could offer any & all kinds of discounts and upgrades and extra goodies that we wish, but those things may or may not materialize. This is NOT the way to book a cruise! Travel Agents earn commission from the cruise lines. This is a good thing ... a good TA will earn her commission putting together a great cruise for you. The online booking agencies know that everyone is obsessed with price these days, so they tell you what a bargain they can get for you ... rarely do they provide it. I am glad you contacted us before giving your money to an entity on the internet.
 
Likes: mmb
Oct 30, 2016
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#6
Good points. I guess I got sucked into the idea and promises of onboard credits and gifts. Thank you all for your advice and input!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,698
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
Good points. I guess I got sucked into the idea and promises of onboard credits and gifts. Thank you all for your advice and input!
There are many travel agents who offer perks for clients, they are not the only ones. Many large agencies can have groups they can book you into that give you those perks.

When an agent offers all those "perks" - it is a push to sell to you. A good agent sells their service. And if an agent is advertising all those OBC's blatantly and get caught by a cruise line some cruise lines may suspend them from selling. Some cruise lines limit the amount of rebates that an agency can give and will suspend an agency that violates their terms.

Go to travelsense.org and find a travel agent from that site.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,112
7,992
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San Francisco
#8
Good points. I guess I got sucked into the idea and promises of onboard credits and gifts. Thank you all for your advice and input!
Yeah, everyone gets 'sucked in' and that's why they do it. These entities spend their money on research to find out what components of a website will really rake in the clients. Legit travel agencies spend resources teaching their agents how to do the best for their clients.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jul 27, 2016
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#9
And if an agent is advertising all those OBC's blatantly and get caught by a cruise line some cruise lines may suspend them from selling. Some cruise lines limit the amount of rebates that an agency can give and will suspend an agency that violates their terms.
I would hope that ASTA would urge all their members to boycott any cruise line with such blatantly anti-consumer policies.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,698
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www.promalvacations.com
#10
That is not ASTA's duty - that is for CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) to handle. But it doesn't benefit the cruise lines to not allow this - the cruise lines do not want anyone selling their cruises for less than what they are selling it for. It is not a bad policy for those of us on the back end.

But in fact it is to keep all people selling a cruise charging the same amount. Sandals does this - if you buy a Sandals vacation directly from Sandals or directly from me - it's the same price. That is what the cruise lines want so that fair is fair. And ASTA is not going to go against a policy that tries to keep agents in business.
 
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