For the first 5 years of cruising with Carnival, we booked through a Travel Agent. (hubby always used the same Travel Agent for all his single cruises in the 1980's and 1990's)
Then in 2003, we had a small issue on a cruise and "Uncle Bob" wrote me that he was "hand picking" a PVP to contact me with a offer on a future cruise.
That PVP did indeed call .... we took them up on the offer .... and used him for 7 years until he left to become the Director of Sales for Oceania.
He was wonderful. We still stay in touch on Facebook....and will be having drinks when we come down for the Blogger's Cruise in January.
Before he left, he gave me the name of the PVP that covered for him when he was on vacation....who is also wonderful. (In fact, I am hoping he will come on the 2 day cruise on the Breeze in November).
BUT now we are trying something a little different. When possible, we book with our PVP and then transfer it to a Travel Agent who has become a cruise friend over the years.
That way my PVP still gets credit as does the Travel Agent.
There used to be a lot of incentive for cruisers to use Travel Agents because they could "kick back" part of their commission to reduce the price of the cruise or in the form of OBC.
Carnival kinda put the lid on this a few years back because (naturally) the larger Travel Agencies were able to kick back more than smaller ones.