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Old October 31st, 2000, 11:57 AM
Shellyce
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Default Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

I am getting ready to book my first carnival cruise.
I booked my last cruise through an agent, but I'm wondering if there is a way to get an even better deal? Please let me know how you all get the best price you can-thanks!
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Old October 31st, 2000, 06:26 PM
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

Shell,
I personally would always use an agent, as opposed to booking the cruise directly with the cruise line. In the event of a problem, the agent should go to bat for you in dealing with it. If you've booked directly, u are the only one responsible.
The nice thing is now most cruise lines allow you to check prices on the net via their web sites. U therefore have a general idea of what that cruise is selling for.

I would think an agent should almost always be able to beat the cruise line's posted price. If not, keep shopping.

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Kuki
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Old November 1st, 2000, 09:30 AM
hdawson
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

I would never book direct with the cruiseline. Remember, to the cruiseline you are but one cruise. Your TA represents maybe hundreds of bookings per year; so who do you think is more important to the cruiseline. Also, often the TA will shave a little off their commisions to entice you. Further, when a problem developes, the TA can go to bat for you and the TA also offers choices of travel insurance that are not affiliated with the cruiseline and for a much better price. I'm sure there are many other reasons as well.
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Old November 1st, 2000, 09:58 AM
hoytee
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

Hi! We always book through Cruises Only. Laura is the agent we go through. Her prices and service can't be beat! We're cruising the Carnival Victory in April. E-mail me for a phone number and her extension if you would like to call for prices.
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Old November 1st, 2000, 02:18 PM
Phil Flowers
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

I would Say A Travel Agent. If You Are A Member Of Sam's Club Or Live Close To One Go There. The Membership Is Only $30 A Year And You Can Save Hundreds Of Dollars., Through Their Travel Service. Anyway Good Luck And Happy Cruising
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Old November 2nd, 2000, 05:51 PM
RoboCop
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

Shellyce,
In all honesty the very best way to book any cruise is to advertise in Cruisemates in the "I want a cruise" area. Be specific as to what you want, where, and when.
Jim
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Old November 5th, 2000, 11:08 PM
Giovanna
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

An agent is the way to go. I am a TA and this is not a plug for business. You can honestly get better service and someone to defend you if something should go wrong. Another thing is the cruise lines have commissions built into their pricing. Usually the price you get is a the same or higher than the agents rate but the agent can cut their price down based on their commission. I usually call the cruise line as a "civilian" prior to getting my agency rate so that I know what my client is comparing my price to, often times it is a higher price. TA's, in most cases, will work for the client beyond the close of the sale. Most agents will go above and beyond in order to make your vacation the best it can be. With booking directly your service ends after your credit card is approved. For seasoned cruisers this might me fine, but most people want to know that they can call information or guidance at anytime even after the sale. Sorry this was so long. I hope it helped. Giovanna
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Old November 8th, 2000, 08:25 AM
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Default RE: Best way to book: travel agent or yourself?

imho travel agents are the way to go. Especially for new cruisers who will undoubtly have a lot of questions that can be answered by a quick phone call to their agent. My wife and I like cruise to cruise every year. We've cruised about 10 times, and have developed preferences fro size of ships, dining, atmosphere, cabins etc., so we do most of the research ourselves and book with an online agency, for what we feel is a good price. We have used Cruises Only in Orlando for many years. Because they are a discount agency we don't expect wine or a gift from our agent. Their service has been good and their prices great. when researcing cruise prices I always start with a call to the cruise line. It gives you starting point.
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