Self booking Vs Using a Travel Agent

Hello fellow cruise addicts. I turn to you once again for your guidance advise and a general poll. How many of you use and/or find it easier using a travel agent compared to yourself booking all the parts of the cruise?

I'm exploring my next cruise and my head started spinning once I started to look into the different flights, hotels and planning and price comparisons to figure out which is the best bang for our buck. Just curious how many use a travel agent. Although I have cruised before, each time, someone else has done all the planning, and I was along for the ride. My props to you self planners....

Tags: travel agent Next cruise planning

67 Answers

My personal opinion, and it is just that, is that I prefer to book my own. That way I am in control of my own fate so to speak. I watch the cruise sites, the air lines, and the hotel booking sites religiously for the best deals and when I feel that it is the best possible deal, I book immediately. Personally I think I missed my calling as I have done this for friends as well and they are very happy with the $$ I have saved them. As well, I provide them with a tidy little folder with all their travel docs in them and their itineraries.

However, if you really do not have the desire to chase the dollar, so to speak, then a travel agent is the best way to go.

Like Askeegan, I have help friends get good deals as well. When I retire from this job, I will be working in the travel industry. That being said though, I will admit to using both.

On out Princess cruises I did the pre cruise research, then went to see a very good friend who knows us well to do the actual booking, She save us money.

For NCL, I go directly to "my guy" there. For the Bermuda Cruise he's the one to deal with and has yet to let me or anyone else down.

So , this is my suggestion. Do the pre cruise work and research, get your prices and budget set, then go see a good reputable travel agent to finalize. At worst you pay the same. At best you get a better deal, maybe an OBC, maybe an upgrade. Couldn't hurt to try.

Oh and another point I might add from my perspective is doing all the research, planning, booking, etc. gets you all that more excited for your upcoming trip. Happy

I tend to use one web site to book most of my cruises and then I do the air and land portion through other web site's. That way I get to pick the flight times and hotels. On my last trip I scored good price on non-stop round trip air L.A. to Orlando and a 600 Sq. Ft. hotel suite for a great price near the port. It would have been much more and nowhere near as nice a room if I went through the cruise line.

For the shuttle and information on the port I had posted here and other members gave me great information on attractions and what shuttle to use.

For me part of the fun of the trip is putting it all together.

Half the fun is the planning and looking and trying to figure out what to book, where and when. The first few cruises we did the leg work ourselves and then booked through an agent. We did not find much advantage to that so the last few we booked directly. It just takes out the middleman. Besides .. I love cruising through the cruise sites and doing the leg work. When you have to wait a year for a cruise you need something to feed the addiction to avoid withdrawal.

So true.

I have assisted a few friends book great cruises, both with an agent and without. It is like living/ cruising vicariously through others

Oh that is one of the problem, my excitement is interfering! I did think this morning as I was continuing to scourer for flights and hotels that I could be a travel agent as well (I have nice highlighted, color coded and symbols to boot for my notes), but also wondered if a travel agent could save me more $$ or get better deals then what I am finding as well...

TA's and travel websites each have contracted hotels and air lines that they get more $$ for sending you to. They are not really there to gt you the best deal, they are there to make $$. I look at a few sites before I book as not all of them have the same hotels and flights. Also you can call some of the web sites and get a live person to get some combo's that are not listed on the site.

Being a bit of a control freak, I tend to book through the lines.

I like to book my own vacations, but I have recently found that when I let someone else do it. I get room credits etc. You cant always get that when you book directly with the cruise line itself. Recently, I've been booking with American Airlines for my cruises, I get the room credits etc and I don't have to pay the deposit up front. I am also an American Airlines member as well as a RCCL member. I earn air miles as well. Now I only use American Airlines when flying to Europe, but Jet Blue when flying south for a cruise. It's been working for me. As you probably guessed, I earn Jet Blue miles as well.


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