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Would you advise to book a cruise through travel agent

Would you advise to book a cruise through travel agent

Old May 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Would you advise to book a cruise through travel agent

My husband and I have just started planning our first cruise to the Mexican Riviera for next April.
Would you advise to book directly with the cruise line or a travel agent?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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I would use a travel agent who specializes in cruising. They can help you figure out what type of room you want and can give info that the cruise line might not. Just my two cents.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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More specifically, if possible, determine which cruise itinearies you might be interested in and then pick a cruise agent that specializes in the cruise line (or lines) that sail those itineraries. Most general cruise agents (let alone travel agents) cannot be experts on all cruise lines. It really pays to find one that specializes in a few lines. Also, contrary to most people's intuition, you usually get better prices from the specialty cruise agents than by booking directly with the cruise line.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:50 AM
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Where are you? Most large cities have at least a few cruise only agencies.Pay them a visit.Most travel agencies in malls are leisure travel agents.Pop into one of them.Not sure how you would go about finding an agent that specializes in one particular cruise company.Walk into an agency, ask who is the Royal Caribbean specialist, you'll see a dozen hands go up.Cruise only agents are normally commission only paid, so they are not there to improve the scenery.Best of Luck.Check your Sunday Travel Section in the newspaper.Perhaps there is a cruise show in the not too distant future.Do a little shopping around.You dont have to commit to the first agency you visit.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 04:36 AM
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I would definitely use a travel agent because the couple times I haven't used a travel agent (and because cruising isn't my normal form of vacation - but there are some destinations that scream "TAKE A CRUISE". Because we don't know all the neat things available, we've found that when we didn't use a travel agent - it just wasn't as nice... Have a great time!
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Old May 15th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Definitely use a cruise specialty travel agency for at least your first cruise, but like others said, be sure that they know their stuff. One "cruise only" agency I used for my first cruise had a new agent that assisted me, and I found her lack of knowledge annoying and unhelpful. Many agencies also offer a "freebie" by booking through them - bottle of wine, upgrade, cabin credit, etc. It's worth it to look for these.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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I would use the travel agent. We are have been on many cruises and are very experience travelers. The one time we booked directly with the cruise line we were went in the wrong direction . Long story -- short version. The cruise ship was doing ten day loops our of Rome. The date was set and cleared with three different couples. The plan was to booked the next morning when late that night one of the couples realize that they could not go on those dates. No problem. We just do it ten days earlier -- OK with everybody. A month later realized we were going to Barcelona and not Athens. A travel agent would have caught that. We should have caught it. The cruise line was doing figure eights out of Rome. Still a great cruise and gave us an excuse to return the next year. That one we booked through a travel agent.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:19 PM
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IMO, it's best to check both cruise line and travel agent. Case in point: Today, I booked a cruise on Carnival sailing in October. The Carnival web site had balcony cabins listed at $1009 pp/do. When the cruise was first announced, the rate was $800. I saw a newspaper ad for a travel agent who specializes in cruises only and got the same balcony cabin for $779 pp/do.
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