It has been so long since I've used a travel agent, but I feel the need to do so for our first cruise. I contacted one and she is checking on connecting rooms for me for the ship I want.
However, what other services, things, etc. should she be informing me about. There are so many things I already know from the internet and sites like this...but it just seems that she should be giving me advice step by step. What do you think?
My personal experience has been that travel agents in general no longer provide much service beyond what is needed to get your booking. They simply don't make as much commission as they used to and have to make for it by volume of customers. Trying to get one to even look up alternative dates is regarded as out of the question. Of course, a lot of info is readily available via internet, so I do my own research first....a lot of it....then call our agent.
Make sure they ask and request the dining arrangements you prefer. They won't be able to absolutely guarantee what you request, but at least they should make the line aware of your preference.
They should also ask if you qualify for any discounts,,ie: past guest, military, interline, state of residence, senior citizen, etc.
Like everything, you need to be pro active. If I was a first time cruiser, I would expect to be walked through the process. If you feel you are not getting what you need..mention it..Anything we can help you, just ask.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Make sure you have the proper travel documents (passport preferably) so there won't be any chance of not being allowed to board the ship. There was a poster who missed their anniversay cruise because they were told at the pier they didn't have the proper copy of their birth certificates.
Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened. Gaelic
Well, I like to deal with a travel agency that only does cruises like
Cruise Planners out of North Carolina. They really know their stuff and
are very accommodating. We are using them now for the third time.
Also, ask if any of the agents have sailed on the cruise line you are looking at. Nothing like personal experience and recommendations.
Good suggestions from everyone....you can also ask if they have onboard coupon books good for discounted alcoholic beverages, photos, etc.
Your T.A. has a wealth of knowledge, also look on the Cruisemates home page for lots of information for first time cruisers. She should be walking you through every step of the process. The most important things for me (other than a fair price), is location of my stateroom and dining time. Once she has stateroom information, go to the cruise line's web page and check out the deck plans...you do not have to accept the staterooms she suggests if you do not like their location...have alternatives ready for her to check availability.
Another minor thing I request is a stateroom on the Port side if I sail to the eastern Caribbean and a stateroom on the Starboard side when sailing to the western Caribbean. I know, I know, I'm a weirdo.