Thanks for forwarding me the article about cruise prices. I have also found it better to book with a travel agent, rather than the cruiseline, because an agent is "your advocate". If an agent wants you as a repeat customer they will do everything they can to make your cruise booking and cruise vacation an enjoyable one. You will most likely tell your family and friends about how good this agent was. If on the other hand, you happen to deal with an agent that isn't your advocate, you will tell your family and friends not to book with this person! As the saying goes, "word of mouth is the best advertising".