There is not alot of difference between Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, or Port Canaveral, since they are all Florida ports. But yes, you can find some differences between these and those sailing out of San Juan or New York or Los Angeles. They just draw a different demographic.
As for how to find a good travel agent, referral from friends is a good place to start. Then interview them - ask them questions; find out how many cruises they've been on, where have they've been, what cruise lines have they've been on, etc, etc. I get interviewed all the time by new clients and I encourage them to ask questions. A good agent will be more than willing to share information with you. They represent you, so it's important to find one you trust and you fell comfortable with.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/13 yrs exp and 48 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!
Your friends may be your best resource, but, when you call and speak with the travel agents, you might find you have a better connection with one over others. For me, I have found this to be true,and the basis of a good cruise, is having a good cruise travel agent, & not the cruise line itself.
Another thing to consider is, that a shorter cruise draws a younger demographic and these cruises tend to have more of a party atmosphere. Great if that is what a client is looking for, but a damper if one isn't.
Good luck,and have a great crusie!
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Last edited by Trip; April 18th, 2013 at 07:10 PM.
I have to say that there is a difference in ports that you sail out of. It may not be in the actual "leaving the port" but in the pre-cruise experience.
Miami is a vibrant and busy city and it reflects that. If you pre-cruise in Miami there are a myriad of entertainment and shopping experiences in the downtown, Miami Beach and South Beach areas.
The Fort Lauderdale is more laid back with shopping and scenic tours available. It is also easier and faster to get to Port Everglades.
Port Canaveral is about an hour away from Orlando and near Coco Beach. It is the most laid back area and unless you want to see Kennedy Space Center or enjoy the beach there isn't much that is "easily" doable.
Personally, I find the most beautiful places for sail away are Alaska cruises. Cruising out of Vancouver, Whittier, Seward or Seattle is breathtaking and something you will always remember.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
All very good information. By all means find a good agent but by the same token don't be afraid to get in there and find information out for yourself. Don't just go by what you are told by someone else. Ask questions of friends and agents. Search websites. No one knows what you want better than you. Enjoy.