Jump to content
,

Should I Use A Travel Agent?


ehong33234

Recommended Posts

Hi, first time cruiser here wondering if I should use a Travel Agent to get the lowest rates and best service on a cruise. I called and got rates direct from Carnival Agent but what are the benefits of working with a Travel Agent?

 

I am in the midst of booking my first cruise and appreciate the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI

 

There are lots of ways to book a cruise.

 

You can book direct with the cruise line.

You can book via an online agency.

You can book with your local in-town TA.

 

The reason to use a TA is that you have a go-to person.

The benefits of a TA are not so much when things go

right, as when things start to, or try to, go wrong.

 

Can you do it yourself? Yep. But like the H & R commercial

says, "Oh, that's right, we used the box. Let's ask the box

what to do?"

 

With a local TA, You've got people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you are really familiar with working with a TA, I would avoid them....you really need to stay on top of everything they are telling you, and double-and tripple check everything.

 

Just read the many, many, many horror stories on these boards about people having TA problems. There's probably 10 horror stories for every good story. Of course, people usually only write about it when something goes wrong.

 

...but when something does go wrong, if you use a TA, they will just point the finger at the cruise line, and the cruise line will point the finger at your TA. In the mean time, you're stuck on board in the wrong cabin, or on the wrong itineray, or with the wrong excursions.

 

If you are comfortable managing the middle-man, and the few bucks you might save are really worth it, then definitely go with the TA...just be aware of what can go wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first cruise, I used one of the lines' PVP (or if you don't know what that is that is the cruise lines travel agent for a lack of a better term) since I had no idea about cruises.

 

After that I have used online TA's as I am price sensitive and really don't need any service other than just booking the cruise. If you are a little higher maintenace, I would suggest either a local TA (one recommended to you) or the lines PVP as I believe you will get better service with those two options.

 

My experience is that sometimes PVP's are a bit higher but you are dealing direct with the agent and line at the same time. TA's may be higher, lower or whatever as some will provide OBC's etc.

 

My complaint are the ones that offer a price match. My belief is just give me the best price you can and if I opt to take it, the deal's done just don't make me get a better price as it's the lazy way out to price match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great information. I too have been speaking with a PVP right now and wondered if that is the most "cost efficient" way of booking a cruise.

 

If using a TA is not more cost efficient, I would definitely prefer to research deals and itineraries myself.

 

Where do all of you book cruises?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We booked our first cruise thru a local TA, one I had used before, plus he's a customer of mine and their office is just around the corner from where I work. We had no idea what we were doing, and they knew more than we about the ships, cabin locations, etc. It was a comfort to have a local person to deal with (which I prefer most of the time anyway.)

 

Our second cruise we booked directly thru Carnival, since we pretty much knew what we wanted that time (especially since it was the same cruise on the same ship a few months later :D ).

 

I'd think it a good idea to use a reputable local TA for a first cruise. Not essential, but might be helpful. Should cost little if any more.

 

Have a great cruise!

JHC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great information. I too have been speaking with a PVP right now and wondered if that is the most "cost efficient" way of booking a cruise.

 

If using a TA is not more cost efficient, I would definitely prefer to research deals and itineraries myself.

 

Where do all of you book cruises?

 

I book directly with the cruise line online.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had the same TA for 15 years and will change hubby before I change him . I get a great service , and he is always looking for bargains forme. Also last year my friends had a big problem , he lost his passport , had to go through hassle of getting a new one,but since it had been lost he needed 3 people that could vouch for him , sadly we were all way at the same time , but my TA wasn't and he stayed at his desk all day waiting for the passport people to call , he saved my friends trip .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our first cruise I booked online with the ships website. Thought I got a good deal.

Next cruise, I did the "cruise compete" I found on this board and got an excellent price from the online TA I used. We have now booked another cruise through him and again got an excellent price. Unlike some of the posts I see - this is a great travel agent who will get a good price and really cares about his people.

I always check on line for pricing and my TA always meets or exceeds the discount for the cruise. And of course, there's always something in the way of a gift from our TA during the cruise. On Board Credit, pre-paid bottles of wine. I just love him. If anyone needs further info, email me at the address below.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Experience more Co-op Holidays
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...