Pete is basically right in this context...
There are agencies who do all they can to make money on "volume" and that often involves doing things like making a deposit for you in your name and waiting for you to repay them, or else they cancel the booking when the final payment becomes due (assuming you booked a cruise which is fully refundable if canceled more than say 90 days out) and they get their refund back.
What happens with companies like this is "money-flow" problems. There have been many cases where such agencies start borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and soon they are dipping into money they have no right to touch.
This is why you have to be very careful - especially with a booking that is so far out.
I have heard of many cases where people were not notified that a final payment was due - and so the booking was canceled and the deposit was lost, for example. Only a travel agent who does not specialize in cruises would make a mistake like that.
This is why you need a travel agent who is well-establish and who specializes in cruises. As long as an agent plays by the rules and watches his business on a daily basis he will do fine. But a "discount" agency that is hiring people at minimum wage who come & go to handle very large volumes of bookings is a disaster waiting to happen.