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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:29 PM
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Default Seeking recommendations of travel agents

Hi everyone! *waves*

First of all, I am new to the forums here, so hi! I am so thrilled to have found this place.

My spouse and I have been on one cruise once before, and we are ready to do it again.


In the past, I had an idea that travel agents were pretty useless in this modern day of the internet. I couldn't understand why anyone would want one. But then, I found a thread on this very forum that made me realize that I had been totally wrong. I had totally misunderstood what a travel agent even is. After some consideration, I feel that I need one. Or, at least, I would like to try one.

So, I thought I would ask here for recommendations. What travel agent do you feel I should use? Or, what travel agent do you use, and why? What will this travel agent you are recommending do for me (or, what does this travel agent do for you)?

A bit about me and my current plans:
- I am married, and I intend to cruise with my spouse. I have no children or other extra people to take along - it is just the two of us.
- I live in the USA.
- I would prefer an agent who is comfortable with electronic communication, such as email or AIM. I have nothing against the phone and I know how to use one, but I prefer to handle as much business as possible on the computer screen.
- I have already picked out the cruise I want. I have already picked out the cabin class I want. In fact, assuming it is still available at the time I book, I have even picked out the exact cabin I want.
- I have not made any final decisions about booking shore excursions. I intended to get the cruise booked first, anyway.
- This will be my second cruise.
- I am happy to be more specific if you would find my answers helpful in any way; I am simply trying to give only the facts that seem relevant in order to not bog you down in details before you give me your thoughts

I just wanted to thank you all in advance for taking time to read my little post (and maybe answer?)
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:37 PM
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First I would make personal (face to face) contact with a TA in your city or town.

If you go to the CLIA site you can search by location . TA on the CLIA site are

cruise specialists. Link to CLIA attached. I found my TA thru this site.

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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:42 PM
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Hi Whatie,

My name is Chef Matt. I was on Hell's Kitchen Season 4. Im hosting a cruise with Cruise Mates and my travel agent Nancy Bogert(The best in the industry).
Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates
This is my second cruise. My first was months before we got married. I love ships and boy was it fun. I thinking cruising is the only way to go.
Please check out the info for my cruise and the ship. Nancy does deal with all cruise. she is as I said the best.
Chef Matt
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 02:54 AM
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Just wanted to say hi and thank you to the first two people who responded

Chef Matt, I've seen you on TV! You're pretty cool

A Halloween cruise sounds like a brilliant idea, actually. I like the concept of a group cruise, too.

Hi doop!

*sits back and waits for more responses*
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:33 AM
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Hi Whatie,Hello and welcome to CruiseMates. This is the BEST cruise info website on the internet. Full of great info for the first time cruiser and the seasoned cruiser too. To top off all that the people who are members here are the best. Always willing to give advice and a helping hand. They make great friends too. You came to the right place. Welcome again.

Laura
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Hello again from Lakeland, Florida, and a BIG welcome to Cruise Mates. I don't think we're allowed to recommend particular travel agents on line here, as there are a couple that advertise, etc., on Cruise Mates. (Certainly understandable!) The TA that Chef Matt suggested is one of those, but she is EXCELLENT, so you might want to give Nancy a call. I've got a gal, who I've been using a lot of years as well, and you're right, in that if you've got a good agent, he/she will take VERY good care of you, in ways that you'll probably never think of on your own.
Good hunting, and I know you'll find an excellent agent! Hope to see you aboard one of these days.

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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Welcome to Cruisemates!

I'm sure you will find a good deal of helpful info here on our boards....I would also suggest contacting Nancy, she does a lot of our group cruises and she'd be happy to answer any of your questions as well, she is very good about getting back to you via e-mail, phone, etc.

Feel free to continue to ask away here, you find some friendly cruisers willing to give your their opinions and knowledge...

Happy cruising!
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:58 AM
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There are many excellent cruise agents out there. When looking for an agent make sure they are CLIA certified and that they are also have MCC (Master Cruise Consultant) certification. This means they have been on a number of cruises sold many cruises and no the product and the different cruise lines. There are many agents out there that have never been on a cruise or only been on one or two and call themselves experts.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask the perspective agent about the cruises they've been on and the different lines. Remember they will be working for you and that they are not doing you a favor by booking your cruise.

It makes no difference if the agent is three blocks away or three thousand miles. Many "brick and mortar" agents have a strong Internet presence and will give you equal or better service than someone down the block.

Always pay by credit card, not cash or check, and make sure the charges to your card are by the cruise line and not the agency. This is very important. If an agency/agent goes under for any reason you could lose your reservation because the cruise line has not been paid. An agency that does this is a big red flag and should be avoided.

The best recommendations come from satisfied customers. We cannot name names but people are free to PM you with a recommendation.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:23 AM
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I would definitely NOT recommend my TA .I've only heard wonderful things about the TA mentioned on this thread and will definitely contact her for my next cruise .

The reason I went with my current TA is because we have face to face contact .I've always had that with respect to booking cruises ,land and sea .However ,in talking to friends and relatives I've found that the majority of peopple do not use neighborhood TA's and have wonderful results .
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Old September 5th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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Hey! Sorry it took so long to get back here; sometimes life comes at you fast!

I just wanted to give a special thanks to everyone who welcomed me to these boards and/or answered my question. You really are a great bunch!

Sounds like the people's choice is Nancy, so I'll be contacting her. Thanks!!!! I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old September 7th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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So... any OTHER recommendations?

If you are afraid to post a specific name, please send me a private message

Thanks!
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