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Cozumel Wedding November 2013 - TA or not?


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#1 chickky311

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    Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:57 AM

    Hi everyone!  I am in the beginning stages of planning my wedding, which will be held at Mr. Sancho's in Nov 2013.  I have already hired Cozumel Wedding Planner and we have the ball rolling on that already.  We will be staying at Cozumel Palace, and this is where I need some help!  I've been communicating with Palace Resorts group booking department, and they have quoted me group prices which I can secure with a deposit, and the deposit would be the cost of my own room paid in full to reserve the rest of the rooms.

     

    I got an email from one of the TA's on here (Teresa at Vacations 4 Less), with an offer to help me with my travel bookings.  She quoted me basically the same prices, with the difference being that I would have to pay a percentage up front for all of the rooms as a deposit, instead of paying for my room in full like Palace Resorts was asking.

     

    I really have no idea which option is better.  What exactly can the TA do for me that I can't do for myself, if the prices aren't any different?  My other question is this:  how far in advance did you brides start booking things like hotels and airfare?  I know that airfares are not published until 330 days in advance, so I'm wondering if I should hold off on sending out the hotel info to my guests until the airfares are published, so that they can look at package deals (hotel + airfare)?  Or are we better off informing everybody now, and just going with the group rate at the hotel and leaving the guests to find airfare on their own?

     

    I want to get the best rates for my guests, but at this point I don't know if there will be good deals a few months from now on packages, or if we should just start the group booking process with the hotel now?  Or should I let the TA do the booking for me?

     

    Has anybody on here used a TA for booking group travel?  Did you go with reserving a block of rooms at your resort?



    #2 Moments That Matter

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      Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:22 AM

      Congrats chickky311! and welcome to this forum community :) it's a great resource for all your planning needs, and I wish you all the best with finding all the info you're looking for......enjoy your planning process and have a magnificent wedding 

       

      here in Cozumel ! 


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      #3 janette34

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        Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:22 AM

        When I first started planning my wedding I had planned on doing everything myself, then my aunt who is a TA offered to take care of the bookings for me which I'm glad she did.  As the bride you are going to be focused on dresses, menu options, music selections, invitations, etc. etc. etc and this is one thing you can have someone else do for you.  Having a TA gives everyone in your group a person to go with questions on flight times, hotel amenities, etc.  I booked our wedding almost one year in advance (late April of 2011) and in September my TA called and told me that had cancelled our flight so I had to re-book for a week earlier at that point of my planning I don't know if I would have been able to handle the stress of contacting everyone and explaining the issue so she did it for me.  For me I found there was many perks to having a TA and lot less stress. 



        #4 AllieH

        AllieH
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        • Wedding Date:November 5, 2012
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        Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:34 AM

        I agree with Janette - having a TA has lessened the stress of getting everyone to book, and then to make their final payments. I've only had minimal involvement, when she's asked me for additional information.

         

        It really depends on how many people you have, or think you'll have going with you. If it's only a few friends & family, you can probably handle it on your own. Any more than that, I'd highly recommend a TA.

         

        Shop around for the TA's if you don't already have someone in mind. They have different procedures, sometimes different perks or deals they can offer.

         

        My TA handled all the payments from our guests, and to the resort, she is setting up the shuttle transportation from the airport to the resort (included in our group rate, and everyone sends her their flight info), she's sent out final travel documents, and handled any special requests. She helped guests find & book airfare if they wanted her assistance with that too.

         

        And my favorite perk is that she gave us an upgrade to a swim up suite.

         

        If all of your folks are coming from say 1-3 airports, you may get a better deal by waiting to book an air + land vacation rate vs. purchasing them separately.

         

        Our guests are almost all coming from different airports, so we could not take advantage of a bundled rate. We booked our resort in late January, for a November wedding. Most of our guests booked airfare in July-August.

         

        Hope that helps! Good luck with all of your planning.


         

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        #5 chickky311

        chickky311
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          Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:57 AM

          One thing that the TA offered that I liked a lot is that the deposit I would have to put down for the block of rooms is much less with her than what the resort quoted me.  (Booking directly with the resort they wanted me to pay for my own room in full as the deposit for all the rooms….versus with the TA I only have to put down a 10% deposit on the total # of rooms).  She also told me that with a TA, my guests can pay for their rooms in installments, instead of one lump sum payment up front. 

           

          I’ve done some research on packages (resort + airfare) and I haven’t found anything quite as cheap as the group rates I can get by reserving a block of rooms.  The TA told me that she can bundle the group rate with airfare at the time of booking, if that’s what my guests want to do.  So unless somebody here has any other recommendations, I think that’s what I’m going to do.  Secure the block of rooms at the group rate, and give my guests the option of booking the flight with their room or separate.  Does this sound like a good plan?

           

          There’s so many decisions that I never considered before…I wish I knew if I was doing the right thing.



          #6 Lyman

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            Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:07 AM

            yes, chickky311 - that does sound like a good plan. I know how overwhelming it can be to have so many decisions to face that you hadn't even thought of before. What I've found works for me is to write it all down - and revise as I go - then just take one step at a time.......all the best! you're doing great and I wish you a perfectly wonderful wedding !



            #7 mandjphoto

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              Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:05 AM

              Hi chickky311,

               

              I would recommend using the TA.  When I planned my wedding in Cozumel my now husband, Michael, and I tried to do the bookings and it drove us nuts.  Our guests kept changing their arrival and departure dates.  If you can push that responsibility onto someone else do it.  I would also recommend letting your guests deal with their own flights.  Best of luck with your planning!

               

              Jennifer



              #8 chickky311

              chickky311
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                Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:26 AM

                Jennifer,

                 

                Can I ask, where in Cozumel did you have your wedding?  We have ours booked at Mr. Sanchos, but I'm just curious about other brides' experiences with other locations.  I ended up choosing Mr. Sanchos becaus I've been there and I liked it alot for a wedding, also I didn't like the fact that our resort didn't have any secluded/private area for the wedding ceremony.

                 

                Thanks!
                 



                #9 misschris

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                  Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:01 PM

                  I am getting married there next week - we are all cruising with Carnival, so we won't have too much time on the island.

                  I'll let you know how it goes!

                   

                  On the initial topic, I would suggest going with an agent, hands down! It has been a nightmare for me to keep up with everyone's plans, and that's just for an all-inclusive cruise for 26 and a couple of flights. I can't imagine hotel rooms, flights, transportation on the island, and all the additional events like dinners and parties that you have to contend with when you stay there several days.

                  Take it from me, a complete control freak: you'll have enough to worry about - let someone else do it!

                  Shop around - "interview" a couple of people, and let your heart guide you. If you don't feel confident that they can help you in your first communications, find someone else!

                  Like mentioned in another reply, agents have the ability to give you bonuses or freebies, so ask about that to.

                   

                  Christina



                  #10 BrideDD

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                    Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:01 AM

                    We haven't decided if we want a TA for our May 2014 wedding in Cozumel. My fiance and I are staying in a rented house, and we didn't see the discounts offered on group rates to be any better than what they could get individually online. 

                     

                    Though, if my family decides they want to stay at the same resort maybe blocking off rooms for them isn't a bad idea. Anyone know anything about this?

                     

                    Thanks!






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