Take it from a 22 cruise's passenger! BOOK YOUR OWN CRUISE DIRECTLY WITH THE CRUISE LINE!
The Cruise Line is there 24/7 or they have Voice Activated Mail, so you can get info! Once you place your deposit, the Agencies "love you". Once you have paid your "FINAL"! It's don't bother me--the tickets will arrive TWO weeks before the cruise, and SURPRISE! We are going on a cruise, but there seems to be a little problem, we got the wrong cabin! They don't care! Or, better yet, you have to catch three planes to get from L.A. to Miami if the TA is doing your Air thru the Cruise Line--do your own AIR!
The level of service is geared to the "bottom line"! A standard 7 day cruise gives any Agent about 10%. He can skim that a little if he really has to meet quota for that month or has a few extra bucks to spare!
I stopped using Travel Agents (TA's) 4 years ago because of the their incompetence and attitude as described above. Dealing directly with a cruise Line, and you can get any answers right away, not 2 or 3 days from now! Major problem, speak to a Supervisor or Manager Immediately! Eventually, you'll like a Cruise Line and become a Repeat Passenger, and have a "membership number", and this brings the "Perks", and the Cruise Lines Reservations Agents see this everytime you call in for information or to book a cruise or to shop prices! Prices might be $50 higher, but if there's a problem, it's between the Cruise Line and me!
Let me know if I can answer any other questions?