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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Default Use a TA or not

I am trying to book an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon. Should I try to find a travel Agent or do it online? I live near Greensboro NC.

BTW this will be our first cruise!
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Old July 4th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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You need guidance & good advice from a professional..Book with a TA. I never saw a reason not to. Somebody to watch to see if maybe your cruise price goes down, go to bat for you in an emergency, etc, etc...etc!
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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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I wholeheartedly agree, use a local T.A. to book your cruise. Do your homework before you visit them and check out the ship online, read reviews, look at decks and rooms, etc. My T.A. now has all my requirements in my file, personal information, etc., and has gone to bat for me more than once with cruise lines. If they are a heavy cruise booker, they can offer you perks not available when you purchase online. One of our local agencies even offers complimentary transportation to the port from their office.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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use a travel agency but make sure that the travel agents have the letters "CTC" after their name. This means they are Certified Travel Counselors and have had to undergo intensive training first in order to become certified. And don't be afraid to check them out with the local Better Business Bureau in your area first.


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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Use a travel agent
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Old July 7th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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But, don't ASSUME the TA is giving you the best deal around. I think that depends on your town. Here, TA's just won't or can't beat the online nor Carnie prices.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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we always book with a ta we have the best of lucky with are ta she has
recommended ashore our in costs maya help us with transfer to the ship
and airport we find she is very useful
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Use a travel agent but make sure they are a CLIA trained and certified.

They must be:

ACC: Accredited Cruise Councilor
MCC: Master Cruise Councilor
ECC: Elite Cruise Councilor

The higher the certification the greater the experience in cruising, sales and training and must pass examinations.

All of these councilors have at least been on multiple cruises. The higher the certification the greater number of cruises. Most MCC agents have more then enough cruises under their belt to qualify for ECC but have not taken the coursework or exams for ECC certification

There is nothing worse than talking with an agent or online sales person who has never set foot on a cruise ship.

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Mike
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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another great resource is right here,use our Cruise Shopping feature
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Old August 29th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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My DH and I will be sailing on our first cruise in Nov. We originally booked through the RCCL website, but after reading this thread I transfered our booking to our T/A earlier this week. Today I received a call telling me RCCL was offering a senior citizen's discount for this cruise which my DH would be elegible for but did not get. So, she saved us $120.00. I'm so glad I listened to all the advice! Thank you!

Connie
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Old August 30th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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A travel agent is a good way to go for the first cruise. I booked my upcoming cruise with a different travel agency and I noted that the level of professionalism isn't as high as it is with the agency I booked my January 07 and the next one in Feb 08 with. We got a very detailed itinerary and a bunch of information from the AMA (AAA for you) and I was impressed with their service. When I booked with the Flight Center I got good service, but I didn't get the detailed itinerary or information. I was hoping they would do like the AMA did and give us a flight itinerary, I was wrong. I had to call the airlines and check the flight info and do seat selection.

Moral of the story is, deal with an agency that you know has a good reputation.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 12:27 AM
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Definitely go with a TA - among other things, they often can get a group rate and save you bucks (that does not mean that you have to be involved with the group in any way).

I'd recommend you check the various special cruises that are set up just for CruiseMates (the link is on the home page) - then contact Nancy B. She's saved me a bundle. And, is excellent about returning emails and/or phone calls pronto.
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