Originally posted by:
I used a travel agent for this first time to book my upcoming cruise in November. I did all the legwork and just called the guy and said "this is what I want." I wanted to see if he would be able to either get me a better deal, or possible some sort of freebies or upgrades that did not appear to be available to the general public. I was also interested to see if there would be any undisclosed fees tacked on anywhere.
So far I don't see anything different than what I was able to locate myself. Meh. I guess if they TA was able to get me the same price I would have paid anyway and get a kickback from the cruise-/airline, no harm, no foul. The only thing that I find moderately annoying is that, since I originally paid my deposit through a TA, I have to make my final payment through him as well. This is only mildly irritating, as it adds one layer of unnecessary complexity for no perceived benefit. I had previously assumed that I would be able to use my booking number to log in and pay the remaining balance at my convenience, but that does not appear to be the case.
If I had the freedom to pay when- and however I liked, I might have made smaller more frequent payments out of convenience. As it stands, I will probably wait until I have the total final balance and pay it all at once, since making multiple smaller payments would mean calling another human and reading them off my CC info, etc.
It may be that at some point, if there is a price reduction for example, that I might end up with an on-board credit or some sort of upgrade that I might not have been offered as a "civilian", but we shall have to wait and see. :)