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Old 01-02-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
Lisa Lisa
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Questions about using Costco Travel

I read the thread about the best way to book a Disney cruise with interest. We have booked both of our cruises directly with DCL, but I'm seriously considering using a TA for our next one. I had been considering using DU, but the generous OBCs with Costco caught my attention, and I like the fact that I would maintain control over the reservation (or at least that is my understanding). I called Costco Travel today, but the person I spoke with didn't seem to be very knowledgeable about DCL. Before I try calling again, I thought I'd post here and see if those of you who have used Costco could walk me through the process.

We will be on the Fantasy in March, and are planning to book a 2014 cruise while onboard. Obviously I will need to become a Costco member first. Any opinions as to whether it's worth it to spring for an Executive Membership? From what I've been able to gather, I would need to designate Costco as the TA when I book and pay the deposit. Would DCL transfer the reservation over to Costco, or would I need to call Costco when I return home? From that point forward, could I make payments on DCL's siite or would I need to make them through Coscto? Would online check-in and booking of excursions, activities, etc. be the same? Anything else I should be aware of??

TIA for any info!
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Last edited by Lisa Lisa; 01-02-2013 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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The one question I can answer is:

Quote:
Would online check-in and booking of excursions, activities, etc. be the same? Anything else I should be aware of??
If you book with a TA, you still retain control of online check-in and the booking of excursions. I went through Dreams Unlimited for my Fantasy cruise, and still did the online check-in myself, and booked my own excursions.

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Old 01-02-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
meajuly5
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Is this true with any TA? Do they advise of obc at time pf booking? I booked with a TA who is a friend who didn't mention obc so I am guessing he doesn't give. He books a lot for me and is fab so I can live without but just curious because other obc seem very significant!
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Costco doesn't give OBC. You will get a nice Costco cash card in the mail about a week after your cruise.

Yes, you will designate Costco as your TA when you book on board. When you get home, give Costco a call and tell them you want to transfer a booking.

We have the Executive Membership and enjoy it. Depending on how much you spend at Costco annually, they mail a check to you annually as a "bonus" for having the Executive Membership.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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I have never used Costco travel for a cruise, but you get a Costco Cash card and the amount is based on the total cost of your cruise.

I am a Costco Executive member and we use it reguarly, we get 1% back on everything we purchase in the store over the course of a year, it typically covers the cost of our membership. Also we have a American Express issued through Costco and we get 3% on gas and 1% on everything else, the kicker is we get 2% back on travel purchases, we are paying off our Disney cruise using the Costco AMEX and will get a nice kick back of 2% for the cost of the cruise.

So if you combine the cash card and if you sign up for AMEX Costco card and pay for the trip using it, nice 2% back on a $4000 cruise would be what $80, it all adds up.

Oh, no annual fee for the AMEX through Costco unlike that Disney Visa that charges an annual fee.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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We have always used Costco to book any of our cruises--usually on Royal Caribbean. On all cruises except Disney (I think that's the only one) they give you onboard credit based on the cost of the cruise. Disney you get the cash card as the previous poster stated. Everything else remains the same--you handle the check-in online, booking excursions, etc. through the DCL website. Having the Costco AMEX with the executive membership is a big benefit as we get two nice checks through the year--one for all purchases with the AMEX and another for our purchases at Costco.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for your replies! The gentleman I spoke with at Costco Travel told me there would be an OBC, confirming my suspicion that he doesn't know much about DCL. While I was envisioning a nice, big OBC, I'm sure I could put a Costco gift card to good use!

I'm not sure whether the benefits associated with the Executive Membership have changed recently, but according to the Costco web site there is a 2% reward for most purchases. I think I'll go for the Executive membership, and I will look into the Costco AMEX as well.

Thank you for all the valuable information!
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #8
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We have a costco membership

and out amex is tied to that also. We get a check from costco annually and also a check from amex annually. We booked our third cruise through Costco and received a $285 gift card shortly after we returned. We were offered a $50 OBC from one of the travel agencies, but obviously booked through Costco.
Costco employees don't seem to know much, but any time i had a question, they would put me on hold, call Disney and get an answer for me.

I'd book through them again, just gotta talk dh into another cruise
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Lisa View Post
The gentleman I spoke with at Costco Travel told me there would be an OBC, confirming my suspicion that he doesn't know much about DCL.
The lady I spoke with kept interchanging OBC with cash card and I think it's because the other cruise lines do give the OBC that it's just habit for them.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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I work for Costco, and have booked 2 cruises with them. This time around, we decided not to use Costco, because they charge you $25 everytime you make a change to your reservation. My last cruise had a kids sail free offer, and in order to get my refund on the 2 staterooms we had already booked, they charged me $50. Also, I had to hold for almost an hour to talk to anyone. I still love Costco Just be aware of the change fee.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melsherard View Post
I work for Costco, and have booked 2 cruises with them. This time around, we decided not to use Costco, because they charge you $25 everytime you make a change to your reservation. My last cruise had a kids sail free offer, and in order to get my refund on the 2 staterooms we had already booked, they charged me $50. Also, I had to hold for almost an hour to talk to anyone. I still love Costco Just be aware of the change fee.
This is quite interesting... I've made 3 different changes, finally ending up with January 19th on Fantasy... I've also changed the transfer destinations several time... Never once was I charged a change fee...

AND>... I still get my $285 post cruise card... They've been nothing but extraordinary and I've used a whole slew of different TA's... Yea they arn't the most knowledgable but, I've never run into said change fee....
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #12
horric29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melsherard View Post
I work for Costco, and have booked 2 cruises with them. This time around, we decided not to use Costco, because they charge you $25 everytime you make a change to your reservation. My last cruise had a kids sail free offer, and in order to get my refund on the 2 staterooms we had already booked, they charged me $50. Also, I had to hold for almost an hour to talk to anyone. I still love Costco Just be aware of the change fee.
The other strange thing is that I've never waited more than 2 - 5 minutes on hold at any time... What in the world??? I hope I never run into any of this with them...
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansjg View Post
The lady I spoke with kept interchanging OBC with cash card and I think it's because the other cruise lines do give the OBC that it's just habit for them.
If you shop at Costco I don't see how it matters if you get an on-board-credit or a Costco cash card. One dollar to spend on the ship is the same as one dollar to spend at Costco. Yes the Costco travel people are not experts on Disney cruises, but if you are reading these boards you can get pretty much any question answered.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansjg

The lady I spoke with kept interchanging OBC with cash card and I think it's because the other cruise lines do give the OBC that it's just habit for them.
Will definitely look into Costco for a possible Alaska land/cruise on Princess. actually. Glad that they will do the obc as I'm quite sure it will come in handy! Thanks for all the info!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by love280mickey View Post
Will definitely look into Costco for a possible Alaska land/cruise on Princess. actually. Glad that they will do the obc as I'm quite sure it will come in handy! Thanks for all the info!
Costco will not give you an on board credit. They will give you a Costco cash card that is only good for shopping at Costco.
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