The first thing I read was an email (actually a series of emails) from someone who had booked directly with Seabourn and then contacted me after he had made final payment and was having some frustrations and questions that had not been fully answered by the Seabourn Reservations Department. (If you do not know, the Goldring Travel website and this blog are filled with information and, as a result, I do get many inquiries from people that "found" me too late.) He wrote:
I am a first time cruiser on Seabourn and went ahead and booked my cruise directly with Seabourn using their web site and on line tools. As this cruise is a 25th anniversary trip, I wanted to be sure I got the exact dates for the trip, so I booked the cruise well in advance. I have noticed that the pricing for the cruise keeps changing and special offers come out that are confusing relative to what I paid for my suite.
Then I read an online review of a first time Regent Seven Seas cruiser who had an almost identical experience (but which was exacerbated by Regent's false pitch of "free", "free", "free" as you shall soon see) who wrote, in part:
There are some things I didn't know but wish I had, and I also want to review the ports and excursions as most were very enjoyable.
That Regent Seven Seas couple:
- Didn't get the flights they wanted
- Didn't get the hotel they wanted
- Didn't get the private transfers they wanted
- Paid for a tour they never should have taken
- And, most importantly, spent their cruise learning of how Regent let them down and all the mistakes that were made! (Not a great cruise experience, huh?)
We've returned from a fantastic vacation. The entire party loved Istanbul (we saw the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Spice Market, underground cisterns and even got roped into a "rug show" though no one bought).
My clients received:
- Great Pre-Cruise Information including alternatives and options
- A Discount
- A $300 onboard credit
- The perfect flights
- Private transfers in a Mercedes Sprinter upon arrival in Istanbul
- A perfectly located boutique hotel in Istanbul with all the amenities at a very reasonable price
- Knowledgeable and accurate guidance on how to see Istanbul on their own (no need to sell them an inappropriate tour as was done to that poor Regent Seven Seas couple)
- A fantastic private guide in Athens (mid-cruise)
- Private water taxi transfers in Venice
- A stay in Venice at one of the best hotels in the world (my opinion) which is not only beautiful, but right on the Grand Canal and across from the Rialto Market and provides superb, understated, service
You are investing thousands of dollars in your holiday. Cruise line reservations agents have a very limited pool of resources...and travel experience and alternatives are not included!
Regent Seven Seas approach is to make it easy for travel and reservations agents to sell because they are designed to not let them think...just sell. Less time spent on a booking makes for an easy sale...and, as you can see, it is at your expense. (And, seriously, how many travel agents look to a future relationship? Most just want to get the commission on the deal in front of them.)
My clients know I want to book their travel for the rest of their life. You are investing your time, money and loyalty in Goldring Travel, and Goldring Travel respects that and, as I say to every client, "Thank you for allowing me to earn your business!"
So whether you are interested in a great deal, great service, something a bit more unique or a combination of all three (Yes, that is the correct answer!) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on (877) 2GO-LUXURY or +1 732-578-8585 or my local numbers in London or Brisbane.