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Finding a Travel Agent specializing in Cruises

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I have 0 cruises under my belt; still in the reading/research phase. I’ve always booked my own flights and hotels but wonder if getting a cruise-focused TA might be warranted. I also see that this site frowns on website referrals, so that may make this thread difficult on this site.  But I figured I’d post to see if there some obvious points.

 

Thanks in advance. 

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Unless you have an adblocker working, you will see a lot of ads on this site.  Many are for travel agencies (which is one reason you can't discuss travel agencies here).  Or go back to the home page of Cruise Critic:

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/

 

You will see Find Your Cruise Ship Vacation, and under that Find a Cruise.  Click on the drop down menu under that, and choose a destination.  Or continue across the menu and put in dates, etc.  It will bring up a list of cruises, every one with a link to a travel agency.  Try them out and see what they have to offer.  It won't cost you anything.  Meanwhile, read more here, ask questions, so that you will know what questions to ask the agents.  EM

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Interview any TA that you  work with as to their Cruise Product experience . You don't want just an order taker .

Many of those large online agencies who specialize in cruises , have agents that actually cruise and are certified by CLIA as having completed many hours of training (such as ACC, MCC) on Cruise Products .

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There is also a cruise forum on TripAdvisor where people can freely discuss travel agents. 😊

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Thanks @janetz ... I appreciate the opportunity to discover personal reviews and recommendations and certainly appreciate the guidance to interview potential TAs to see if they're good fits. Almost sounds like getting a doctor!

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Your welcome

Dont get caught up over there though, this is the place to be.  😊

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Ask your friends! We've never used an agent for anything before, ever... but I made a mistake in the booking and we're overseas for work 9 hours ahead of America and RCCIs hold times were 45 minutes plus. I asked on Facebook if anyone I knew had worked with a travel agent (and specifically mentioned cruises) and got some great recommendations -- and some nice talks with people I hadn't chatted to in years. I picked a few, called them, and decided on the most responsive one. 

 

In the end SHE paid ME $100 in OBC to fix my complex problem with the booking, and did it with a smile. 

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I actually met my current TA on a cruise years ago and they are great friends years later. I have them book everything they can for me - airfare, tickets, cruises, Disney World - if they can get it for cheaper they will and I feel better having their expertise before making decisions. There are many things I wouldn't even think about unless they brought it to my attention.

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Thanks everyone. It's weird for me to consider a TA since I love booking my own ground/air travel.  It's almost an art.  But you all raised some great points and, for my first cruise, a TA makes a lot of sense. I will ask around and find one skilled in both cruises and first-time cruisers. 

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We have a travel agent that only books cruises. They offer free basic insurance and tend to have a lower cruise price because they do a lot of group cruises.As an incentive to book with them they offer loyalty points for each cruise booked.These points can be saved and used any time .They translate into on board credit.We used 300 points on our last cruise.

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