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Old August 24th, 2017, 09:39 PM
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Default Self booking vs. Travel Agent

Hello all. When I travel, I tend to still book all my reservastions. I think it's because I tend to do things last minute and have all the moving parts in my brain. Is there any advantage to using a travel agent with regards to cost? Can I find more value using an agent than I can book by myself? Thanks!
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Old August 24th, 2017, 10:20 PM
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Location: Cape Coral, FL
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First, I'll preface my statements by saying that yes, I'm a little prejudice on the matter.

But with that said, knowing what I know now after having my own business for more than 15 years, if I weren't in the business and needed to book a cruise, I would never book directly with the cruise lines or an online site. Almost all of the cruise lines require everyone to advertise the same cruise for the same price. So, while you may pay the exact same amount, you'll never get service other than through an agent. Think of it this way; if you book directly with the cruise line and have a problem - who do you think they represent? An agent works for you, so they will do their best to help with any problems that might arise. Also, should the price of your cruise go down, do you really think the cruise line is going to call you to let you know about it?

Yes, sometimes an agent will get you a better rate or amenities not offered by the cruise line, as they may have group space available to book you in. But anyone offering lower rates without a group is going against the cruise lines policies and places them in danger of loosing their credentials - obviously not someone you want to do business with.

Bottom line is that an agent works for you - they want you happy, because they want your repeat business and your referrals. A good agent does not charge anything for their services, so their expertise is free and it makes sense to utilize them.

The cruise lines and online sites work in quantity, not quality. To them, it's about the numbers and the money. An agent will do their best to provide you quality service while they treat you as a person and not as a number.

Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/16 yrs exp and 50 Cruises on 12 different cruise lines in many parts of the world! VIETNAM VETERAN OWNED & OPERATED. Certified Accessible Travel Advocate. Specializing in unsurpassed personal service to insure you have a hassle-free vacation!
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Old August 24th, 2017, 11:42 PM
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When you deal directly, you are talking to an order taker who may have never stepped foot on a ship....vs a cruise specialist who doesn't charge you for their years of expertise, and will be there for you if any issues should arise...a no brainer...good luck,& bon voyage

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Old August 25th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Location: Palm Coast, Florida
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You are better off using a TA.

If any problems arise a TA can be very helpful. Also a Good TA can get you the best price because that person is working for you.

I have always used a TA and will always will.

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Old August 25th, 2017, 04:37 PM
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I'll chime in as well, always a travel agent....they can get you the best deals...Sometimes they will have a group space that you can take advantage of as well....win, win...

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Old August 25th, 2017, 08:00 PM
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My TA's agency offers free travel insurance to anyone who books a cruise.
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