I booked through a local travel agency, and it IS nice to have someone to directly email or talk to on the phone. However, I did that thinking she could take care of EVERYTHING for me. As it turns out, I had to book my own air as I'm flying for free due to accumulated frequent flyer milage so I had to book flights through American Airlines website. She was able to book hotel and car rental for me, so that was nice. Next time, I will also go through the agency. My first cruise (with my teenage son) is coming up in July. For the second one (I'm considering cruising alone in 2009), I will call the agent. And, for my 2nd cruise with my son in 2011, I wil also call the agent.
I book the air and excursions, she takes care of the rest. I like that!