Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I book directly with the cruiseline. I don't like having to deal with a middleman. I am a control freak.
Local TA's are not around 24/7 in case of an emergency. The perks that online travel companies offer is not worth being at the mercy of the company's standing with the cruiseline in case there is a problem.
For my upcoming cruise, I booked directly with Carnival. To date, I have received $484 in OBC for various reasons. I got this by calling Carnival directly. Would I have received this much OBC through a local TA? Not likely. Through an online TA? Depends on their relationship with Carnival and whether they felt like going the extra mile just for my benefit.
You make some very good points. We also usually book direct with the cruise line, unless we can find a much better deal from a Travel Agent. We are also control freaks and even skipped a $75, per cabin onboard credit
from a TA, to book our next cruise direct with Princess at the same price.
That said, we would love to find a GOOD local or online Travel Agent, but in years of searching we have had no luck in that department. Not to say there are not some out there, we just have not found one. As you said after all is said and done, the final responsibility falls on the passenger to watch for any additional discounts or onboard credits the cruise line may offer.
At the end of the day it comes down to the personal preference of each of us and I have several good friends who would never consider booking anything on their own.