So what motivated me to just come out and say this today? Last evening I was reading an article, "How Cruise Lines Fill All Those Unsold Cruise Cabins" and it really got me angry; because it was really just an untrue article that was essentially a promotional piece for Vacations to Go. VTG has built its reputation as a clearing house, a discounter and an internet cruise selling machine and, to be sure, it is very successful...but it is also one of the companies that has caused many cruise lines to clamp down and try to prevent some of its inappropriate tactics.
But VTG - and this article - continue to push things that while "technically" accurate (or maybe near enough?) they are just not substantively true when it comes to you, the cruising consumer. So let's do what I do...take a real look at the truth:
- VTG offers "as much as 80 percent off the full price fare" - I just wrote another article on this. In any other industry claiming 35% off on a product you have never sold at full price would be unlawful. Not in the cruise industry. So if a cruise which has never sold at $10,000 cruise is first offered at 35% off ($6,500), does a ten percent discount off the lowest selling price ($650) make it 45% off? No, it makes it 10% off! And that is how such absurd 80% off claims come to be.
- So when that article says, "Believe it or not, it's possible through a company called Vacations to Go"...you better NOT believe it. Seriously, how can you trust somebody that uses that kind of fuzzy math to get you motivated to buy a cruise? Wouldn't you feel a whole lot more comfortable knowing you got a "good" deal, but not that you got sucked into buying something only because you were told it was a "great" deal?
- VTG is a "trusted partner" of the cruise lines to sell "excess inventory". Guess what? So is Goldring Travel. In fact, just last evening before I read the subject article I wrote about how Goldring Travel offers Seabourn Private Sale Pricing. The fact is there is no magic to it. If you sell a lot of luxury cruises, you get special deals because you have proven you can sell the product. Goldring Travel, however, does it differently...with full disclosure. Granted VTG does sell a lot more cruises than Goldring Travel does, but with Goldring Travel you get a higher level of service and virtually instant responses. And your reason for getting less for the same cost is????
- VTG is subject to the same new anti-rebating and pay full fare policies that most of the cruise lines have put into place. In fact, there is some evidence that because of VTG and some other larger internet-based agencies offering pricing that cause clients to move their bookings from either the cruise lines or other agencies, many of the the cruise lines have severely limited your ability to move your booking from the cruise line or another agency. I have also recently written about this, but briefly:
- If you book a Crystal cruise and move it from one agency to another, the receiving agency has its commission severely cut (and your discount comes out of that commission).
- If you book an Oceania or Regent cruise and move it from one agency to another after 30 days, the receiving agency does not receive any commission.
- On many cruise lines, they no longer allow you to pay a discounted fare, but rather you have to pay the full price and then the travel agency can offer you added amenities such as onboard credits, private transfers, etc.
So here's the deal: From now through the end of June 2012, if you bring my your current (within 48 hours of it being made) confirmed/verifiable written offer from Vacations To Go offer on any Seabourn, Silversea or Crystal cruise I will meet or beat the price (and any the added amenity, if any, with something comparable)...and give you some the best service in the industry. If I cannot meet or beat the price (and comparable added amenity) and the cruise costs $5,000 or more I will give you a check for $100.00. (And, of course, this offer is subject to the availability of the category of suite/cabin and sail date.)
That does not mean you get to go back to VTG or a third agency to engage in haggling. If I meet my end of the bargain, you must book the cruise with Goldring Travel, so I will need your credit card authorization before I quote you. (If you choose to thereafter cancel the cruise Goldring Travel never charges as change or cancellation fee, but you are subject to all cruise line change/cancellation fees and penalties...so use caution...and if you are not sure ask me if there are any first!)
And, by the way, I will not accept the transfer of a VTG booking. I wouldn't want it to take one of my bookings.
The idea is that I want you to understand that there is a hype and there is reality. The reality is that Goldring Travel wants to earn your business....Honestly and with Integrity.
Call me at (877) 2GO-LUXURY or +1 732-578-8585 Internationally or on Skype (egoldring) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.