Welcome to our forum. Lot of congenial folks share experiences here, it is also the best one to post pictures on. As far a planning for a cruise, I consider that to be a lot fun, checking out the ship data, ports, excursions, etc. My wife makes the first move by looking at brochures. I then recon the ones she likes on the lines website. If we both like it, I book online. But follow up by calling the cruise line agents to fine tune it and make sure I didn't miss out on something. I have no doubt that TAs are helpful for quite a few travelers, but not for us. Years ago, all the cruise lines and for that matter the coach tour outfits like COSMOS, all required their guests to use a TA. I used to be in the air travel game for years and had close affiliations with agencies. I never had a problem with them then and enjoyed working with that element of the industry.
However, after we began world travel, we had a number of real stressful problems, not only on cruises but coach tours as well which were a direct result of errors and omissions on the part of an agent. There is nothing worse than to be in a travel predicament on the other side of the globe, in an opposite time zone and have to try and get in touch with your agent, who happens to be out for the week and is responsible for the mess you happen to currently be in.
When the day finally came where all lines set up their current systems where one can deal directly with the cruise line it was like a breath of fresh air. Since then, no more grief or unexpected booking disasters. Maybe an agent could get us a better deal now and then but I doubt it and even so, elimination of the "middle man" is worth paying a little more as far as I'm concerned.