We allways use a TA. And I must say that she is very helpful and I would not book a cruise any other way.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Always book direct, other than the first couple of times we cruised.
The second cruise I booked I was not a bit impressed with the TA, she knew little about cruising, and made no effort, I had to search for my own information so ever since I have booked direct and don't feel the need to use one again. I would rather have control over my booking than involve a third party.
Our TA is great. We get OBC from the cruiseline, plus the TA and gifts like wine. He always makes sure we get the cabins that are exactly what we need, takes care of price drops and makes sure we know what's going on with any change to the itinerary, etc. We found out our itinerary had been changed from him even before the cruise line listed it....and his service doesn't cost us anything. Why would we go any other way??