first let me say that I didn't read anything about not being allowed to discuss a specific travel agent when registering. That is WHY I registered here and not on some other big community - the other does not allow to name any TA.
So here is my question: I am currently searching for an (online) US travel agent and already got some quotes for a cruise I plan to do.
However I would love to hear some actual reviews on few of them:
cruise.com (well this one is quite popular so the first two are most interesting for me...)
Yes I did google but on some I only found one or two very old reviews.
Hope to get help hear and again - i hope it is allowed to ask here, at least i didn't find anything in the rules. From what I see even travel pros are allowed to post in certain parts of the forum... so i think i am fine
I have successfully used South Beach Cruises they have a couple of different URLS. I have worked with them in applying credit from past cruise certificates and the like. I'm not sure if I would use them in trying to set up something complicated and if they would " be there" in case of emergency. But for simply booking a cruise they have been fine.
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Having been doing this for 11 years and having clients all over the world, I can honestly say that I'm not a big fan of online sites. Most of the time, if you do have the occasion to talk or email someone, they are not certified travel agents. They are simply people who work in a call center and their job is to sell. They usually have not even been on a cruise or to any of the ports, so their expertise is extremely limited. It's all about quantity to them and not quality. I've gotten alot of complaints about two of the three agencies you've mentioned for just that reason.
Anyone can sell, but it takes a good agent to provide good service.
It's best to work with a reputable agent who will take the time to personally talk to you and find a cruise that best fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. After all, they want you happy so that you'll use their services again.
Best advice is get referrals from those you trust, then talk with the agent so you can get to know them and they get to know you. Ask alot of questions! Many travel agents are not cruise specialists - they only sell cruises and haven't experienced them firsthand. Find out how many cruises they've been on, how many different ships, and what ports they've been to. You not only need information about the cruise line and ships you're considering, but you'll also want to get information about where you're going, what to do, what not to do, etc.
The agent should never be in a hurry to answer your questions and be more than willing to spend as much time as you need to help you find the best cruise for you.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!