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Old 02-28-2010, 04:11 PM   #1
davisdenyel
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Question DU VS booking with Disney themselves

Dreams unlimited shipboard credit expires today so I am trying to make this decision by today. They gave me a quote exactly the same that Diney online site gave me. Is there any reason why I should not go with Dreams Unlimited? If they are offering $100 per stateroom (I need 2 staterooms) for on board credit why would everyone not book with them? When Disney is only offering $25.00! If I did book through DU if possible would Disney still upgrade me to a better room when they start their upgrades? Or is it only the people that book through Disney that get the upgrades? If I booked through DU and the price drops or a promotion happens will they match the cheaper price? I also wanted a certain deck number can DU put me on that deck? What is the pros and cons booking with DU? And what is the pros and cons booking with Disney themselves? Sorry for so many questions
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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OK, upgrades are not dependent on whether you booked thru a TA or directly thru Disney. The pixie dust falls where it will.

I'm not sure if you are asking about booking with DU specifically of booking with a TA in general as most of your questions are somewhat generic toward TAs although you phrase them as DU.

Your DU OBC is not going to evaporate today. Your quote may expire, but you can do it again tomorrow. I booked one vacation--B2B cruises thru DU. My biggest complaint is that the agent I was assigned to did not respond to e-mails promptly. I knew more about DCL than they seemed to, and I got no service beyond the booking. I'm frankly not certain whether she lied to me or DCL lied to her at one point, but the info I was given was not accurate.

If you book thru any agent, you will make your payments thru that agent. You will be able to do your on line bookings, but you will not be able to talk directly to DCL for any questions--everything will be funneled thru your TA. Some TAs computer track all their reservations and automatically nail any lower prices or specials that you may qualify for. Some TAs provide an 800 number and will talk to you before booking to be sure you get what you want--cabin location, dining time, etc.; some deal only thru e-mail or snail mail or face to face. Some will call DCL on one line while you are on the other. Some will arrange private insurance for you (same prices as *****************) and arrange flights if desired, others will book only DCL insurance and DCL air.

Booking with Disney, you can book on line or by calling them (there is a $25 credit for on line booking!). You can also get $50 OBC for using your Disney Visa card whether you book thru DCL or a TA. After you book, you can call them to be sure you get the deck that you want, request a specific cabin number, or whatever (but a TA can do all that for you). DCL isn't going to help you with anything you didn't book thru them...and they will only handle DCL insurance or DCL air. There's really no downside to booking directly with DCL. However, by booking with my TA, I get their excellent service plus an onboard credit.

OK, small example. I need to check in for my flight on line 24 hours in advance. Um....24 hours in advance, I'm going to be on the Magic, probably on an excursion somewhere. SO, I e-mailed my TA and asked if she could take care of this for me. She'll do the check in, I'll print the boarding pass when I get to the airport. She's probably not going to do it at 23 hours and 59 minutes, but it will be done and I won't have to worry about it.

If I had been on the cruise that spent an extra day at Castaway...causing everyone to need to re-do their transportation home...I would have called my TA (who has weekend and evening hours). One few minute phone call, and THEY would have handled the issues for me. No waiting for 15-30 minutes for the airlines, as people reported.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:25 PM   #3
davisdenyel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
OK, upgrades are not dependent on whether you booked thru a TA or directly thru Disney. The pixie dust falls where it will.

I'm not sure if you are asking about booking with DU specifically of booking with a TA in general as most of your questions are somewhat generic toward TAs although you phrase them as DU.

Your DU OBC is not going to evaporate today. Your quote may expire, but you can do it again tomorrow. I booked one vacation--B2B cruises thru DU. My biggest complaint is that the agent I was assigned to did not respond to e-mails promptly. I knew more about DCL than they seemed to, and I got no service beyond the booking. I'm frankly not certain whether she lied to me or DCL lied to her at one point, but the info I was given was not accurate.

If you book thru any agent, you will make your payments thru that agent. You will be able to do your on line bookings, but you will not be able to talk directly to DCL for any questions--everything will be funneled thru your TA. Some TAs computer track all their reservations and automatically nail any lower prices or specials that you may qualify for. Some TAs provide an 800 number and will talk to you before booking to be sure you get what you want--cabin location, dining time, etc.; some deal only thru e-mail or snail mail or face to face. Some will call DCL on one line while you are on the other. Some will arrange private insurance for you (same prices as *****************) and arrange flights if desired, others will book only DCL insurance and DCL air.

Booking with Disney, you can book on line or by calling them (there is a $25 credit for on line booking!). You can also get $50 OBC for using your Disney Visa card whether you book thru DCL or a TA. After you book, you can call them to be sure you get the deck that you want, request a specific cabin number, or whatever (but a TA can do all that for you). DCL isn't going to help you with anything you didn't book thru them...and they will only handle DCL insurance or DCL air. There's really no downside to booking directly with DCL. However, by booking with my TA, I get their excellent service plus an onboard credit.

OK, small example. I need to check in for my flight on line 24 hours in advance. Um....24 hours in advance, I'm going to be on the Magic, probably on an excursion somewhere. SO, I e-mailed my TA and asked if she could take care of this for me. She'll do the check in, I'll print the boarding pass when I get to the airport. She's probably not going to do it at 23 hours and 59 minutes, but it will be done and I won't have to worry about it.

If I had been on the cruise that spent an extra day at Castaway...causing everyone to need to re-do their transportation home...I would have called my TA (who has weekend and evening hours). One few minute phone call, and THEY would have handled the issues for me. No waiting for 15-30 minutes for the airlines, as people reported.
Thank you so much for your help! I am basically only saying DU because that is really the only TA I have heard of besides AAA. Anywhere we ever went I always booked things myself. So using a TA would be so very new to me.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:36 PM   #4
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Unless I misunderstood her, my TA (small world vacations) told me that we'd get both the SWV onboard credit *plus* the DCL $25 credit because SHE booked us online through their site.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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Learn the rules of the game before you play

Here's how the "game" is played:

When a cruise is booked, DCL pays around 5-10% commission.

If you book through Disney, they keep most of the commission to themselves.

Some travel agents keep the all of the commissions to pay expenses and generate profit.

The better travel agents, such as DU, keep expenses low. That allows them to share some of the big fat commission with you in the form of On-Board-Credit.


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Old 02-28-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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Be aware, there can be a downside to booking through a TA.
If you book through a TA the DCL website will not allow you to book things like dining reservations, spa treatments and excursions. If you call DCL for help with these things they will NOT help you. It is their policy that if you book with a TA you must book EVERYTHING with the TA. If your TA is busy or unmotivated (read lazy) this can be a real problem (ask me how I know). We never got a Palo reservation on our Magic cruise because our TA spaced out. If I book another DCL cruise I will book directly with them.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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Be aware, there can be a downside to booking through a TA.
If you book through a TA the DCL website will not allow you to book things like dining reservations, spa treatments and excursions. If you call DCL for help with these things they will NOT help you. It is their policy that if you book with a TA you must book EVERYTHING with the TA. If your TA is busy or unmotivated (read lazy) this can be a real problem (ask me how I know). We never got a Palo reservation on our Magic cruise because our TA spaced out. If I book another DCL cruise I will book directly with them.
Sorry, this is not correct. If you book with a TA, you can still do online booking of your own spa, Palo, and excursions, online check in, kid registration, etc. What you cannot do is to see any of your financial info. I've done it several times over the last few years, and I've done it in the last month.

You cannot make any changes to your reservation of make payments without using your TA...and as PP said, if your TA is unmotivated, doesn't answer your e-mails, or whatever, it's not a pretty picture. That's one good reason to use an agent who lets you talk to them before you book. It's also a reason to consider an agent who works in a real office where SOMEONE checks e-mails or phone messages if your agent is out. You are "buying" both the individual agent and the agency. Be sure you are happy with both before you plunk down your bucks.

There are LOTS of good agents and agencies out there, but there are some rotten apples in the bunch also.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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Sorry, this is not correct. If you book with a TA, you can still do online booking of your own spa, Palo, and excursions, online check in, kid registration, etc.
kcashner, I can only tell you that in my personal experience it is correct. I tried to book Palo and spa dates on the website and got a message saying contact your TA. When I called DCL they said we can't help you. They were very clear and very inflexible on this point. They said they were sorry but that's their policy, you have to book those things through your TA. I was able to do online check in and kids club registration.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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Em, I'm in the same situation you are....can only tell you my experience. I was most recently able to book Palo for the EBTA on line. Cruise booked thru TA.

I can't explain our different situations. It is true that DCL can't/won't help you on the phone if you have booked with a TA. They did once put me thru to a depeartmet that deals with web issues though.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmRaDa View Post
kcashner, I can only tell you that in my personal experience it is correct. I tried to book Palo and spa dates on the website and got a message saying contact your TA. When I called DCL they said we can't help you. They were very clear and very inflexible on this point. They said they were sorry but that's their policy, you have to book those things through your TA. I was able to do online check in and kids club registration.
I can confirm kcashner's info. I was booked thru a TA for my December '08 cruise and was able to book excursions and (though I didn't do it) Palo reservations through Disney's website.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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Same here. Used a TA last September. Payments through them, everything else on the DCL website. Using DU for the WBTA this year and will do the same.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmRaDa View Post
kcashner, I can only tell you that in my personal experience it is correct. I tried to book Palo and spa dates on the website and got a message saying contact your TA. When I called DCL they said we can't help you. They were very clear and very inflexible on this point. They said they were sorry but that's their policy, you have to book those things through your TA. I was able to do online check in and kids club registration.
Was you cruise paid in full?
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmRaDa View Post
kcashner, I can only tell you that in my personal experience it is correct. I tried to book Palo and spa dates on the website and got a message saying contact your TA. When I called DCL they said we can't help you. They were very clear and very inflexible on this point. They said they were sorry but that's their policy, you have to book those things through your TA. I was able to do online check in and kids club registration.
I have also used a TA (DU) and they give you your DCL confirmation number so you can access your own reservation. I was able to book our shore excursions and Palo myself once we paid in full. Were you given your DCL confirmation number to use by your TA? I know if I have questions they want me to go thru DU but I usually just call generically and don't divulge that I have a TA and they answer my questions.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:24 AM   #14
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Booking with a TA who gives you a slightly higher OBC--nice.

Having a phone number to call when you need help or answers NOW--priceless.

I pity the folks at CC that extra day who used TAs who would not talk to them. Unusual? Granted. I think of booking with DCL as "insurance." I hope everything goes smoothly, but in the event it doesn't it is nice to pick up the phone and someone is there who can help now. I don't have to wait for a TA To check with Disney, or read my email.
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