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River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Old Aug 7th 2013, 9:40 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by toopie28 View Post

Did you all pay for trip insurance? Ours is coming in at about $550.00 per person - that seems really high.
Since living in the US we haven't paid for any travel insurance. I figure we are self insured. We both have health insurance that covers us worldwide, all other expenses we can afford to lose if necessary; does that make sense?
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Old Aug 7th 2013, 10:01 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Since living in the US we haven't paid for any travel insurance. I figure we are self insured. We both have health insurance that covers us worldwide, all other expenses we can afford to lose if necessary; does that make sense?
Yes, thank you. I believe our health insurance covers us worldwide too. That was my main concern.
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 7:48 am
  #33  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by toopie28 View Post
Wait, you're a TA??? I went through hell trying to find a good one. PM me your info - I can pass it on.

Regarding tips: I was told about 15 euro a day per person so about 210 euro's. Not bad actually.

I did a lot of research and most of the lines will have then included for 2014 - mine does not (ama). Fine though, got a better discount plus room when compared to the other lines.

I don't drink so the booze is wasted on me - OH will so he can make up for me.

Did you all pay for trip insurance? Ours is coming in at about $550.00 per person - that seems really high.
I have been a TA forever but in Canada I worked as a specialist cruise agent for 5 years and so booked a lot of river cruises. I am hoping to do the same thing here now that we are back in England so I will pass on my details when I have them

Yes a couple of companies are moving toward going all inclusive for 2014 which is great. If you do not really drink a lot, you may not get your moneys worth. It will also include tips and transfers though.

I always get travel insurance even though we are covered through hubbys work. You can never have enough good medical insurance and cancellation coverage if you have to cancel before the trip.
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 2:01 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Don't miss the Rembrandts in the Rijksmuseum -- they have the Night Watch and the Artist as the Apostle Paul, both of which blew me away when I saw them many moons ago. In fact I bought a poster of the self-portrait and had it on my wall until I moved to the US, at which point it went missing!
Would be happy to buy you a replacement while I am there NM.

Robin, we think alike in more than one way.
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 3:17 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Lorry1 View Post
I have been a TA forever but in Canada I worked as a specialist cruise agent for 5 years and so booked a lot of river cruises.
You're not the sole TA on BE. Of long standing is our Cindy (to be found in the lounge) who is a USC based in Savanah, GA and married to a Brit. Hard time for TA's here in the US as most bookings are being done by individual's online.
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 3:57 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You're not the sole TA on BE. Of long standing is our Cindy (to be found in the lounge) who is a USC based in Savanah, GA and married to a Brit. Hard time for TA's here in the US as most bookings are being done by individual's online.
Good to know, thanks.

Yes, it's a very hard time for TA's right now. I have not used one since the days of the internet... however I was advised to go through a TA to try and get a discount (the lines do not offer discounts or price match).

Anyway, I was shocked by the lack of customer service since it is a hard time for them. It took me about 6 times to get someone to book with.

I already did all the research - knew which line I wanted, dates, room, everything - all they had to do was book it. 2 sent me quotes MORE than the cruise site. 4 didn't even call or email me back. It's like, really??? I'm ready to hand over a ton of bloody money!

Anyway, I finally found a company that offered an early booking discount as well as the agency discount.

So I have another question - cruise departs from Basel. They have an added land portion - 2 nights in a Hotel and then transfer to ship. Well I found the same Hotel they are offering for 40% cheaper. It's in Lucerne.

SO - do I book the same Hotel in Lucerne as cruise fellows and get transferred with the rest of them OR book in Basel and make our own way there?
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 4:22 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by toopie28 View Post
Good to know, thanks.


SO - do I book the same Hotel in Lucerne as cruise fellows and get transferred with the rest of them OR book in Basel and make our own way there?
We, four, booked directly with Viking as they were having a 2 for 1 special and thus we paid only 1/2 price each for balconey suites. Also booked our own hotels for the 2 days in Amsterdam for before the cruise. Found a what looks like a lovely family owned and run hotel in an old building with great prices. The problem is that Viking will NOT take us from the airport to our hotel nor from our hotel to the ship because the land portion was not done through them.

PS I love Lucerne. We boated around part of the Lake and got off for a cable car ride to the top of one of the mountains for lunch.
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 4:24 pm
  #38  
 
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You're not the sole TA on BE. Of long standing is our Cindy (to be found in the lounge) who is a USC based in Savanah, GA and married to a Brit. Hard time for TA's here in the US as most bookings are being done by individual's online.
And me. Although I don't actually work as a reservation agent, I work in the Finance department

Originally Posted by toopie28 View Post
Good to know, thanks.

Yes, it's a very hard time for TA's right now. I have not used one since the days of the internet... however I was advised to go through a TA to try and get a discount (the lines do not offer discounts or price match).

Anyway, I was shocked by the lack of customer service since it is a hard time for them. It took me about 6 times to get someone to book with.

I already did all the research - knew which line I wanted, dates, room, everything - all they had to do was book it. 2 sent me quotes MORE than the cruise site. 4 didn't even call or email me back. It's like, really??? I'm ready to hand over a ton of bloody money!

Anyway, I finally found a company that offered an early booking discount as well as the agency discount.

So I have another question - cruise departs from Basel. They have an added land portion - 2 nights in a Hotel and then transfer to ship. Well I found the same Hotel they are offering for 40% cheaper. It's in Lucerne.

SO - do I book the same Hotel in Lucerne as cruise fellows and get transferred with the rest of them OR book in Basel and make our own way there?
I've just sent you a PM
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 5:06 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
We, four, booked directly with Viking as they were having a 2 for 1 special and thus we paid only 1/2 price each for balconey suites. Also booked our own hotels for the 2 days in Amsterdam for before the cruise. Found a what looks like a lovely family owned and run hotel in an old building with great prices. The problem is that Viking will NOT take us from the airport to our hotel nor from our hotel to the ship because the land portion was not done through them.

PS I love Lucerne. We boated around part of the Lake and got off for a cable car ride to the top of one of the mountains for lunch.
We did that too - in Amsterdam we stayed at a place called the Hotel Aalders, very quaint old fashioned family run pension with very comfortable rooms and a fabulous breakfast, on a quiet street in a very nice area, all for about 120 euros a night while the hotel the cruise offered was more than twice the price and just a generic "international" type four star hotel. As it happened it was a relatively short walk from there to the cruise company's hotel, which is where we had to check in for the cruise and get transferred to the cruise. Flight and hotels, I'd rather book my own and let the cruise company do what they do best; run a river cruise.

For a flight, I prefer a non stop with reasonable timing; leave it up to the cruise company, and you'll probably end up with a three legged flight from hell that may send your luggage to Singapoe instead of Amsterdam..
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Old Aug 8th 2013, 6:09 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You're not the sole TA on BE. Of long standing is our Cindy (to be found in the lounge) who is a USC based in Savanah, GA and married to a Brit. Hard time for TA's here in the US as most bookings are being done by individual's online.

I didn't think I was for one moment as there are hundreds of people on this site, at least one other is bound to be a TA.
A lot of travel agencies have struggled since the internet and many have closed down or merged with tour operators or each other to survive.
Working in an agency was great before the internet as our only competition was the other high street agents. Many people couldn't be bothered to shop around so booked where they were.

I am amazed agents offer crap service now with all the competition, especially if you know exactly what you would like to book, it makes it so easy and river cruises pay a lot of commission.

Rete, I would book the hotel independent if it is cheaper than Viking. Switzerland is very expensive though but travel by train is fantastic. Viking may still transfer you for a charge if it is the hotel they are using.

Viking's 2 for 1 deals are not all they seem. They significantly increase the brochure cost then slash it in half to make it look good. If you compare with Avalon for example, their brochure price is similar to Vikings 2 for 1 price.

Anyway, enjoy it will be fab!
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Old Aug 9th 2013, 6:44 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: River Cruise OR tour Europe by train

Originally Posted by Lorry1 View Post
I didn't think I was for one moment as there are hundreds of people on this site, at least one other is bound to be a TA.
A lot of travel agencies have struggled since the internet and many have closed down or merged with tour operators or each other to survive.
Working in an agency was great before the internet as our only competition was the other high street agents. Many people couldn't be bothered to shop around so booked where they were.
My eldest daughter was a travel agent and a tour operator. She worked for a company that did Kenya safaris and was lucky enough to have to take the full tour before she could sell one. Rational was" "Can't sell what you never experienced".

From there she did Brazil exclusively and then exclusively tours of Hong Kong, Singapore and Bali. But the internet cut profits for the owners and she married and became a mom and gave it all up.

I am amazed agents offer crap service now with all the competition, especially if you know exactly what you would like to book, it makes it so easy and river cruises pay a lot of commission.

Rete, I would book the hotel independent if it is cheaper than Viking. Switzerland is very expensive though but travel by train is fantastic. Viking may still transfer you for a charge if it is the hotel they are using.

Viking's 2 for 1 deals are not all they seem. They significantly increase the brochure cost then slash it in half to make it look good. If you compare with Avalon for example, their brochure price is similar to Vikings 2 for 1 price.

Anyway, enjoy it will be fab!
Figured all that out eventually LOL ... Hotel has been booked since January.

I know I will enjoy. Thanks.
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