Some people use Travel Agents (TA) when they book a cruise, I have been on several cruises and I have never used a TA, as I always dealt directly with the Cruise Consultants at the cruise line office, my questions are,..is it more advantageous dollar wise to go directly to the cruise line or use a TA, this also applies to booking your own air reservations.
River Symphony 2004
River Odyssey 2008
Volendam Booked for 10-26-09
Bizet Booked for 5- 7-10
If you are not using a good travel agent you are probably spending too much and not receiving the service you want. It isn't always just the price you pay before your cruise but the service you get when problems occur before, during or after your cruise that makes a travel agent a "good one".
I know there are some worthless travel agents out there who give the rest a bad name. I've dealt with them and many have no idea of the product they are selling, the discounts available and they have never set foot on a cruise ship. The same goes for PVP's and Cruise Line Cruise Consultants.
Here is a good article that Kuki wrote on how to find the best price on a cruise.
I have an excellent TA, ans sometimes she finds a better air package as well as saving us money on our cruises.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
We have used the same TA for the last few years...>$12K total.
Im happy with him. One of the few folks I have talked with who know as much as I do.
CCL Inspiration 09
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern 09
CCL Miracle Southern '08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Western '07
PCL Caribbean Princess Eastern '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Western '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern '04
CCL Destiny Southern '01
CCL Sensation Eastern '94
CCL Ecstacy Western '92
CCL Jubilee Eastern '90
You are very lucky. I don't mind a TA who knows less than I do, certainly don't mind one who knows more. But, my pet peeve are TA's who pretend to know it all and/or insist that I will not really enjoy my trip unless I spring for that higher category cabin, or whatever else they think they can sell me. Same for real estate agents.
I am such a pain, because I usually know what I want and what I can afford. It's my "job" to know.
Just to add a different point of view from most posters here, please let my add my 2 cents worth.
I usually do not use a Travel Agent when booking a cruise or for the air fare. I also have never used the airfare provided by any cruise line. My experience has been that it is much easier to deal directly with the cruise line than going through a third party. The same goes for selecting airline prices and the departure times. This becomes especially important if there is any problem and you avoid the delays and usual finger pointing between the TA and the cruise line that ensues. I have yet to talk to a TA who said they had no knowledge of a place that I wanted to visit but have yet to find one who had the knowledge that they claimed to have. The problem is that no TA will admit to having no experience or no real commitment to doing a good job and that is where the problem lies. Finding a good TA would no doubt be a good thing, if you could find one, but I just never have.
The prices that I have found for cruises and air fare have almost been a lot less than going through a TA. One my last cruise I did find an online TA that was offering an onboard credit that would have made the price slightly lower, but I still went with booking direct through the cruise line.
With integrity nothing else matters; without it nothing else matters.