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Packages for your guests?


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#11 ErinB

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    Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:33 PM

    We went with a TA. Looking back, I don't know if it was our best decision. Our thinking was that we had guests coming from all over the country and wanted everyone to pay a fairly even price. Our concern was that Expedia, etc. only has x number of seats at x price. We wanted to be able to say it is $$$ per person to attend.

    I don't know that our particular agent had ever arranged a wedding before, though she does specialize in group travel.

    It has been great for her to answer all guest questions and take payments. Our guests will have had a total of 9 months to pay without interest unlike the on-line sites where you have to pay in full when you book.

    The down side was that a large chunk of FI's family said they were going and have now backed out, 4 months before the wedding. If we can't find other people to fill our group seats, we lose our deposit money. Right now it's looking like $4000.

    I would say before you make group reservations get a check from each guest and tell them it is non-refundable. That way you have a little extra guarantee. Also be sure you know exactly what the cancellation policies, deposit policies, name change fees, etc. are before you sign a contract.

    #12 MissyR

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      Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:02 PM

      We used a TA and got a group rate - most group rates all you need is 10 ppl to secure the booking and she was able to get a cheaper price then what was offered online. We got three different rates for the three main cities people are coming from - the good thing about a group rate is the free upgrades - some are to first class and we will get the upgrade at our resort as well in terms of room!

      #13 Yari

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        Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:10 PM

        We got a room block on our own (major headache, should have gone with a TA to begin with).

        I am looking for airline deals and emailing my guests as the deals arise.

        #14 Celina

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          Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:09 PM

          We are using a TA. It just seemed easier and people could make a deposit and pay on it throughout the year. He can also answer any of their questions about passports and it takes some of the heat off of us. (Don't we have enought to worry about?)

          We also have some who are making their own arrangements and some who are staying at their timeshares. Although we have to pay for day passes for those staying at the timeshares - we added it to our budget. We figure, they are on vacation too and can stay wherever they want and whatever fits into their budget. We are just happy they have made an effort to come.
          "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

          #15 LadyCheese

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            Posted 17 February 2008 - 12:21 AM

            Thanks ladies for the feedback...I really hope by Tues. my TA has some good news. I dont know why she told us we HAD to reserve 40 seats but I will do a little more research on my end as well. Also, I booked my wedding date at the hotel already so looking at other cities/countries 9as she had mentioned) is not an option for me. What a mess.....Thx again everyone :-)

            #16 rodent

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              Posted 17 February 2008 - 04:43 AM

              I did not want the stress of trying to get guests to commit in advance. I knew people would back out. So I got a TA & told people to contact her to book if they were coming. She booked everyone a package deal of flight + room + transfers through funjet. Her prices were lower than funjet, which is usually lower than travelocity, expedia, etc.

              Every so often she would send me price updates & I'd put them on my website.

              It was great having someone who can deal directly with booking the guests. It was also great that they could just pay a $150 deposit. She can also pass along price drops if prices go down on their package. You can't get that through expedia, etc.

              I have not had to worry about RSVPs or having a certain number of guests. It has been pretty close to stress free.

              I think room block vs. package deal varies on your resort. Some places book up fast so securing rooms is important. Also, some places give lots of perks for a room block.

              I think getting a TA is always a good decision.

              Avoid putting down deposits for your guests. People will always back out. I think over 70 people told us they wanted to go. 4 months before the wedding only 20 are booked. Getting an estimate is really hard.

              #17 LadyCheese

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                Posted 17 February 2008 - 01:47 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Morgan
                I did not want the stress of trying to get guests to commit in advance. I knew people would back out. So I got a TA & told people to contact her to book if they were coming. She booked everyone a package deal of flight + room + transfers through funjet. Her prices were lower than funjet, which is usually lower than travelocity, expedia, etc.

                Every so often she would send me price updates & I'd put them on my website.

                It was great having someone who can deal directly with booking the guests. It was also great that they could just pay a $150 deposit. She can also pass along price drops if prices go down on their package. You can't get that through expedia, etc.

                I have not had to worry about RSVPs or having a certain number of guests. It has been pretty close to stress free.

                I think room block vs. package deal varies on your resort. Some places book up fast so securing rooms is important. Also, some places give lots of perks for a room block.

                I think getting a TA is always a good decision.

                Avoid putting down deposits for your guests. People will always back out. I think over 70 people told us they wanted to go. 4 months before the wedding only 20 are booked. Getting an estimate is really hard.
                Thanks Morgan for the info...I really think I'm going to call her on Tues (this is the next time she'll be in the office) and tell her not to bother booking all those seats. We never wanted to do that but this is the second Liberty Travel we went to that insisted we put a deposit on seats. If you dont mind me asking what kind of verbiage did you use on your website to advice guests to make their own arrangements? TIA

                #18 rodent

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                  Posted 17 February 2008 - 02:17 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by LadyCheese
                  Thanks Morgan for the info...I really think I'm going to call her on Tues (this is the next time she'll be in the office) and tell her not to bother booking all those seats. We never wanted to do that but this is the second Liberty Travel we went to that insisted we put a deposit on seats. If you dont mind me asking what kind of verbiage did you use on your website to advice guests to make their own arrangements? TIA
                  Here is the info from my website. Feel free to snag anything you want:

                  Travel Arrangements
                  Price lists for 3 nights 6/19/08 - 6/22/08
                  -Price is per person based on double occupancy (unless specified).
                  -Prices include all taxes & fees, transportation between airport & hotel, room at hotel, and all meals/drinks.
                  -All flights are morning out and afternoon returns. Flights are non-stop whenever possible and all layovers are in the U.S.
                  -The hotel has standard rooms and suites. The suites have more space, a couch bed, and a stocked mini-fridge. Check with our TA for the cost of upgrading to a suite.

                  Price per person for 3 nights- includes flight, hotel, and all meals & drinks
                  Houston, TX (IAH) - $779 standard room
                  Raleigh/ Durham, NC (RDU)- $794 standard room
                  Corpus Christi, TX (CRP) $1077 standard room
                  San Antonio, TX (SAT) $855 standard room (charter)
                  Austin, TX (AUS) standard room (charter)
                  Charlotte (CLT) $777 standard room
                  Victoria, TX (VCT) standard room
                  Hotel only $269 standard room

                  If you know you will be making the trip to Mexico, contact our travel agent Jane Doe with ourtravelagentwebsitehere.com. Her email address is xxx@xxx.com and her phone number is 1-888-555-5555 ext 555. Mention the Smith/Doe wedding. Let her know which airport you will be flying out of, flight time preferences and room preferences.
                  If you’d like to be notified by email of updates, sign up on the “mailing list” page. Let me know if you would like a city added to this list.

                  We recommend flying in on Thursday, June 19th and flying out on Sunday, June 22nd for a 3 night stay. We are planning an optional group activity for Friday. The wedding will be on Saturday, June 21st. You can choose to stay for a shorter or longer time.

                  It is best to book the hotel & flight as a package. If you only need to book the hotel, then you can do so at any time. The tour operator for this vacation is Fun Jet.

                  No matter how early you book your package, if the price on your package drops after booking, your package price will be changed to the lower price. Jane will notify if this occurs. You can also secure your trip with a deposit (~$150) and pay the rest by April 30th. These are just a few of the perks of booking through our travel agent.

                  Booking a charter flight is ideal. The price is more likely to drop and you will get those savings, even if you have already booked. Unfortunately, charter flights are not available from every city.

                  Jane is great at finding a good travel deal. If you do find a better deal using Expedia, Travelocity, etc., contact her with the exact details of your deal and she can see if she can match or beat the offer. We do not recommend booking your trip using one of these websites.

                  Optional travel insurance may be added. Insurance premiums are due at the time of deposit. Two levels of insurance are available from funjet.
                  Penalty waiver for $69.99
                  http://www.funjet.co....&OAC=&plCode==
                  Complete coverage for $89.99
                  Specials - Funjet Vacations - Special Vacation Travel Package Deal

                  You can also buy less expensive & better insurance through Access America AccessAmerica.com - Travel Insurance for Leisure and Business Travel
                  The Basic package is usually about $40 per person & covers things including trip cancellation due to illness, emergency medical expenses while on vacation, and lost luggage. For about $15 more you can upgrade to the Classic package that also covers cancelling for pregnancy, birth of a family member, or airport closure due to bad weather.

                  Kids stay free at the hotel. A maximum of 3 adults are allowed per room.

                  The closest airport to Puerto Aventuras is the Cancun airport (CUN). You will be transported from the airport to the hotel for no additional cost. The trip will take approximately one hour. The buses are air-conditioned. They usually have cheap beer for sale and entertainment from a tour guide.

                  #19 LadyCheese

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                    Posted 17 February 2008 - 03:05 PM

                    Thanks Morgan, I appreciate the info & help :)




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