Thanks for all your comments. I still am confused. I would think that a cruise to the Caribbean in the spring or Alaska in the summer would be something that you could book by yourself but a cruise to Japan and the Orient would be one that I would want the help of a TA. Last week I called the TA that my sister has used before (they want to go with us)and her price was exactly the same as what was on Princess's site (they had the itinerary to Alaska that we liked). I felt uncomfortable asking if she would give me any OBC's or if she was giving a discount.
I have been reading other forums and the following stuck out because she is talking about the same line I want to go on. Here is part of a quote from someone who posted about cruise prices: "Second, you're comparing Princess fares at the equivalent to MSRP. Princess allows TAs to discount fares so with some high volume TAs, you can save 10-20% and get OBC and other perks." This lady mentioned high volume TA's - how do you know if they are high volume. And do "high volume" ones have the time to give you special treatment. I would like to hear from some TA's or this Bonnie about how and when they give discounts. If you are a TA, please post.
My wife and I have talked about this many times and both agree that after we talk to a TA and they spend time trying to help us, we almost feel we have to use them so I really hate to call around - reminds me of getting bids for a house project.
I think this is bothering my wife more than me but she is starting to drive me nuts about it. I'm to the point that I just want to book something.
may be on the next call start the conversation with "Hi, I'm trying to comparison shop this Princess cruise, can you beat XX price?" then see what the TA says. =) (that way you have no guilt, you've been up front)