Doesn't anyone besides me use their TA to book hotels as well as the cruise? My TA is fantastic. She now knows exactly what kind of places I prefer, and has gotten me some very good deals. She has associations TAs and TA groups in other countries that have proved to be valuable in getting recommendations.
In Rome we stayed in a small hotel a block off the Via Veneto; quiet, clean, comfortable. We had been encouraged off the ship in Citavecchia an hour earlier than we expected, but the car (also arranged by the TA) was already there waiting for us; but we got to the hotel at 10:30 a.m. Like most places, check-out there was at 11 and check-in normally not till 2 or so. The concierge was trying to explain this to a gentleman when we arrived, and getting a hard time in response. The gentleman was not at all happy to just leave his luggage, as we expected to do, and go wander around the area till lunchtime. Once he finally left, and we stepped up, I think the poor concierge was expecting to have to go through it all again. We assured him we just wanted to leave our luggage, and handed over the confirmation sheet, which had the logos of both our TA and the local association on it. He punched a few keys on his computer, muttered to himself a bit, and then handed over a key with a whispered, "Please don't let HIM know."