Just to be clear - we heard the bad news about the travel agency, not cruisecompete. I believe the original post included cruisecompete because that is where many people heard about this agency. We have said before that if you are going to use CruiseCompete (just as we said when we had a similar feature in Cruisemates) that you need to verify the authenticity of the agency before you do business with them, and with any agency you should always verify that your deposit and final payment go to the cruise line.
We heard that Holland America just happened to contact some of the agency's customers directly when they noticed final payments from more than one of them had not come in on time. Kudos to HAL for noticing an unusual situation and taking direct action.