CHOOSING A TRAVEL AGENT..or...WHY DO YOU EVEN NEED ONE?

OK...you're a newbie...mebbe you've cruised once, or never...everybody starts someplace..you can get advice from lots of sources...sometimes from people who don't know what they're doing either. Cruiseline websites and deckplans can be daunting...until you get used to them. T/A's can speak in tongues..sometimes you have a ton of questions and they don't have a ton of time..NEXT!!...you bump into people who claim to get all kinds of "stuff", either from the cruiseline or their T/A..and you got what? Sometimes you meet folks with a better cabin or packages that you didn't know existed.... Lets all remember what it was like in the beginning...your best advice?

28 Answers

My family and I use Vacations To Go! We have the same agent every single time and he is fabulous! Even sends us onboard credits on Bon Voyage day! So far he's gotten us an upgrade to a Mini Suite (my first Suite ever!), free air fair, 3 free meal upgrades, and free 4th person passenger (my niece is going with us for free!). Sometimes, he's able to get us free drink packages too! Plus, we do have someone travelling with us that has arthritis in both knees and a heart condition....our TA has been able to get us rooms near the elevator to help accommodate this.

We do too (For 10+ cruises) but never got the perks you're mentioning. We picked up another TA in addition, but he's a 1 person shop, and don't think we'll be going back (just not a very friendly). Have 6 more booking lined up: 3 w/VTG, 1 - sole proprietor guy, and 2 - with the line directly. We'll see how things pan out over the next 18 months. If I knew a proactive, knowledgable TA, I'l definitely give them a try. Right now for either TA, I've had to call to tell them about the price drops. So figured I'd try doing it on my own for a couple.

We have used the same TA for about 10 years or so. I drove by her office on a regular basis, so one day I stopped in and had a conversation. When I left I knew that I had found one of the good ones. She has booked all of our travel since. I do all of my own research and then I give it to her to book for us. Often, I will even tell her specific cabins we are interested in. She always renegotiates for us if the price drops and we always get extras, above what the cruise line offers.

We have referred several people to her, including both of our sons, when they were ready to book cruises on their own. In answer to your question: a newbie should ask seasoned travelers that they trust, "who do you use to book your travel." Find a good TA by asking friends for recommendations, then talk to the TA to find out if they are a good fit for you.

We have worked with the same travel agent for about 30 years, and too many trips both cruising and non-cruising to count. Great convenience no need to spend hours online or calling cruise companies, hotels, etc. While I'm not sure I'm always getting the "best" deal we always get some perks. This is especially true for non- cruising trips where items like free daily breakfast and evening drinks are nice. She is also great for arraigning private tours, and other forms of transport when needed. The real benefit however is when things do not go as planned. Several times in the past we have been routed by bad weather. An agent is always available, and one call gets us re-booked on an appropriate flight and a hotel reservation if needed.

When picking an agent decide what is important to you and find someone whose style matches yours. An yes we have lunch with here yearly.

We have a great TA. We’ve had bad ones, and I’ve done many bookings myself. Now, we’re grateful for ours.

Dream Vacations in Orlando. 1-800-345-8190.

good info is always worth sharing. Regardless of the moderators.

Half the fun for me is doing all the research myself, with room locations and prices. So I have never used one and have never been disappointed with my room selections.

We have two excellent ones, so we let them take care of things. We still do the research for cabins, etc. A lot of people complain about their TA, so I can see where they would be soured on them.

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