I am tempted to use the PVP's just once to see if I get better service. The travel agents I have used all seem nice and willing to help, but sometimes they just blow it. The first travel agency lost the tickets in their interdepartmental mail system (the tickets probably did a tour of the city)
The one I used to book my Triumph cruise was nice, but she didn't know her travel information or anything about cruises. Travel agents should have travel experience....
I went to an agency with a good reputation and went in to book my Liberty cruise only to be told if I was an existing client they were too busy for new clients....Uhm, I was shocked..
Finally, the 9/08 cruise I booked at a well known travel agent chain in Canada and the agent was very nice. They sdeem to be too busy to deal with bookings more than 6 months out. The agent I went to left and the man who is handling it now referred to the ship I was going on as Liberty of the Seas, which is RCI and I am on Carnival Liberty. I'll have to remind him to look at the info instead of assuming....
Next time, I'll consider a travel agent for travel insurance and book the cruise through the PVP or online. Heck, if everything was perfect life would be perfect!!! (Wishful thinking!!!!)
2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
"Travel agents should have travel experience....",,,,,agreed or at least be qualified and experienced to do their job.
Some folks can get away with selling in their jobs, sell you a second hand car or insurance, sell you wall or floor coverings. That sort of stuff, hey it's your own judgement that kicks in regarding the deal, quality and the appeal of what you see.
But this is a persons as yet unknown vacation we are talking about, and that can cost a lot of money that these alleged "TA's" are selling.
I do expect a certain expertise in what they can do for me, but not an expertise in being able to read a screen, and then count off the "deal of day".
Tooooo many people called TA's these days that are actually not,,a big problem
I live in the Midwest and use a travel agent that is on the East coast, has never been a problem. I have her phone number and e-mail address and she ALWAYS returns calls and e-mails the same day if possible. So, don't try to just get an agent in your town, it really doesn't make any difference.
I'd check with the cruisemates staff, but I doubt they would have any agents for Canada or the city I live in, or rather they would be located on the opposite end in the city I live in!!
I'm Canadian. Haven't used a Canadian Travel agent since my 2nd cruise in 1995. I've tried getting quotes several times, and in Canada they don't seem very interested in competing, because they never come close to matching prices.
There is a big consortium in Canada that many agencies are connected to... it's called Encore cruises, and I've found they don't discount any prices.
Canadians who cruise for the most part don't investigate enough in simply finding a good travel agent in the U.S. When you find a good one, things go smoothly, and the prices are better. And you can still phone or e mail anytime you want, so it certainly doesnt matter to me if they are arent around the corner in the local mall, they are close enough to contact.
the best thing I ever did was going through a TA. Infact I got his his name through one of the members here. I was first a little worried about a TA ion the west coast and myself living here in the east coast but the things he has done to help our cruise go smooothly was great. We had to change dates due to scheduling problems. Also we had to change cabins because my wife didn't like bing in front of the ship, both of those problems were solved in minutes. As the person always says "thats why I'm here. He awners all of your emails same day. This guy specializes in RCC cruises. He's the best. Plus he throws in a few things your way like free insurance a bottle of wine. Not bad. If you want his email give me the word.