Originally Posted by Kuki
While I always recommend cruisers use qualified cruise specialists to book their cruises, I think a blanket statement such as above is truly disingenuous. and wrong!
One might find some one who has not ever been on a ship.. and all the rest, but to even imply all of the above quote always applies just seems like overzealous marketing.
There are some outstanding travel agents, and also some who are just out to make a sale, and aren't interested in providing any follow up service.
I would never consider labeling all of them as the latter because I may have encountered one who qualified.
As posted by CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association), the average person answering the phone with the cruise line or an online site:
1) Works in a call center
2) Is not a travel agent
3) Has worked for the company for less than 6 months
4) Has never even seen a ship or been to any of the ports
Not my words, but theirs. If you want to call them wrong, go right ahead.
But call it what you like, this is directly from the association that all the cruise lines belong to and any reputable travel agent belongs to. And while there may be some who do not fall within their statements, their investigation showed this information to be more true than false.
And I did not say nor imply ALL travel agents are this way. My suggestion was to find a reputable agent who does not fall within this category. And there are alot of very reputable agents and a great number of wonderful cruise specialists. CLIA is just referring to those who work at the call centers of the cruise lines and large online sites, and I was simply passing along their information. Not 'overzealous marketing', but just posting the facts as stated by the largest cruise industry association.
Overzealous marketing is like one website posts; Save 75% off last minute cruises. They don't offer anything that anyone else can't offer and they make it sound like they are so much cheaper. If you read the fine print, the 75% off is referring to the brochure rate. No one, and I repeat, no one sells cruises for the brochure rate, not even the cruise line. And since the majority of the mass market cruise lines require everyone to sell the same cruise for the same price, their claim of 75% off last minute cruises is tandamount to false advertising. Yet alot of first-time cruisers belief it. Not that's overzealous marketing!
It's like going to an auto mechanic and asking him to work on your motorcycle or airplane. They may all have wheels and an engine, but they are entirely different machines. As with anything else, it's best to see a specialist. And when dealing directly with the cruise lines or these large online sites, they represent themselves, not the passenger, and are interested in your money. An agent represents you and is interested in your business.