For our cruise last year, we booked through an online TA. While adequate, they did not really seem to add anything or save us anything in either time of money. We could have booked ourselves for the same or less. I realize that when things go wrong, its good to have a TA in your corner, so we are looking for a local TA that we can see face to face.
What is the best way to find a reputable local TA? We checked CLIA and it seemed the few they found in our area work out of their home in residential neighborhoods. Is this typical of the TA business? I think I would be more comfortable knowing they had an office as their place of business.
We found another local TA that has a website and office, but was not listed by CLIA.
I know word of mouth is best, but we have not been able to dig out any recommendation from friends. Any guidance on making a choice?
April 1, 2006 - Serenade of the Seas - 7 days to the Southern Caribbean
October 8, 1984 - NCL Sunward II - 3 day cruise to the Bahamas
Unfortunately belonging to CLIA is not as much of value indicator as people think.
CLIA is an industry organization that basically acts as a training ground and public relations arm for industry.
There really is no governing body on agents other than "the law of the land" (government).
I don't see an advantage in finding a local agent. For 11 years all my cruises have been booked with Internet based agencies (who could also be brick and mortar offices local to their area)
The key is finding a good one who is easily accessible via email and phone calls, and is helpful, and service oriented.