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View Full Version : Travel Agent or Book Direct???


denas
10-21-2010, 09:50 AM
I know there are lots of travel agents out there, but was wondering what the difference was between using an agent or booking directly?? When I first started checking prices, it seems like everyone offered the same price (in the past when I have cruised other lines I found a lot more variation in prices that TAs offered versus brochure price through the cruise line). Now however, I see lots of people who used TAs get onboard credits or suprise upgrades other perks that I don't seem to have booking directly through Disney. I went direct since there didn't seem to be any price difference and I wanted guarenteed connecting staterooms (I had my stateroom assignments when I hung up the phone). I am a USAA member and USAA does offer a resort stay at a couple of different resorts in Mexico if you book through them, but that didn't seem like anything I would do anytime in the near future and I preferred being able to get online and make changes to my own reservation. I also didn't understand that everyone can make their Flounders/excursion reservations online regardless of if you used a TA or not.

Now, I am looking at another cruise and wondering what the recommendations are and what I would expect if I was working with a TA versus going direct. Thanks for all the sage advice from so many of you out there!!!:cheer2:

dursin
10-21-2010, 10:09 AM
I know there are lots of travel agents out there, but was wondering what the difference was between using an agent or booking directly?? When I first started checking prices, it seems like everyone offered the same price (in the past when I have cruised other lines I found a lot more variation in prices that TAs offered versus brochure price through the cruise line). Now however, I see lots of people who used TAs get onboard credits or suprise upgrades other perks that I don't seem to have booking directly through Disney. I went direct since there didn't seem to be any price difference and I wanted guarenteed connecting staterooms (I had my stateroom assignments when I hung up the phone). I am a USAA member and USAA does offer a resort stay at a couple of different resorts in Mexico if you book through them, but that didn't seem like anything I would do anytime in the near future and I preferred being able to get online and make changes to my own reservation. I also didn't understand that everyone can make their Flounders/excursion reservations online regardless of if you used a TA or not.

Now, I am looking at another cruise and wondering what the recommendations are and what I would expect if I was working with a TA versus going direct. Thanks for all the sage advice from so many of you out there!!!:cheer2:
We book direct and then when we are certain we're going to take the trip, I buy the travel insurance and transfer to a TA for additional savings, typically in the form of an OBC. If you haven't chosen a TA yet, I've transfered 3 existing reservations over to this one and have always been more than happy with their service.

http://www.mymagicalvacation.com/

KingRichard
10-21-2010, 10:12 AM
I would be interested in what the surprise extra's might be.

Also could they wait list us for a upgraded room if it becomes available or even have access to that info.

For example a concierge room?

Thanks

denas
10-21-2010, 10:35 AM
We book direct and then when we are certain we're going to take the trip, I buy the travel insurance and transfer to a TA for additional savings, typically in the form of an OBC. If you haven't chosen a TA yet, I've transfered 3 existing reservations over to this one and have always been more than happy with their service.

http://www.mymagicalvacation.com/

So on our upcoming cruise, our final payment isn't due until November 15th (or Oct 30 so I can book 90 days out for Flounders). Even at this late date I could transfer to a TA?? Would they help me figure out which limo company to use from the port?? Right now we are booked in connecting Cat 5 rooms, but certainly wouldn't mind being upgraded to Cat 4 if available, but not even sure how to call DCL to ask for such a thing!! I was going to try the military card (this cruise is to celebrate my husband's 20 years in the army - it was his "retirement" cruise but now he is staying in cuz the economy sucks) but again, when I am just speaking to whomever answers the phone at DCL - not sure how to get this info to them!!! I guess I am still wondering what a TA could help me with - not just for a future planned cruise but for one we already booked through DCL and still have a few outstanding planning things left....
:confused3

denas
10-21-2010, 10:40 AM
That is a good point. The only reason I found out about the Kids-Sail-Free on the cruise I have had booked since last Feb was because I happened to be on the DCL site and saw the banner. I called them and they did honor that for my existing reservation, but if I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have known!! With 3 kids, that saved me close to $2000, so it was a big deal!!!

dursin
10-21-2010, 11:21 AM
So on our upcoming cruise, our final payment isn't due until November 15th (or Oct 30 so I can book 90 days out for Flounders). Even at this late date I could transfer to a TA?? Would they help me figure out which limo company to use from the port?? Right now we are booked in connecting Cat 5 rooms, but certainly wouldn't mind being upgraded to Cat 4 if available, but not even sure how to call DCL to ask for such a thing!! I was going to try the military card (this cruise is to celebrate my husband's 20 years in the army - it was his "retirement" cruise but now he is staying in cuz the economy sucks) but again, when I am just speaking to whomever answers the phone at DCL - not sure how to get this info to them!!! I guess I am still wondering what a TA could help me with - not just for a future planned cruise but for one we already booked through DCL and still have a few outstanding planning things left....
:confused3
Probably a good idea to transfer the reservation at least 30 days prior to final payment. I'd discuss that with whatever TA you decide to use though if you go that route.

DW2010
10-21-2010, 12:12 PM
We booked through a travel agent to get an OBC. I'm also hoping she'll keep a watch on my reservation in case of a discount.

jilljill
10-21-2010, 12:28 PM
Booking thru a TA or thru DCL does not make a difference if/when DCL hands out upgrades. DCL does upgrades based solely on their inventory needs and it doesn't matter when you booked, who you booked with, or when you pay off your cruise.
If you ask your TA to be on the lookout for an upgrade or to waitlist you for an upgrade then you will be paying for that upgrade if a cabin becomes available for your sailing.

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
10-21-2010, 12:36 PM
I like to book WDW stays and flights and all that on my own- but our travel agent is INVALUABLE with our DCL bookings and I wouldn't book without them (I rebook onboard and list them as the agent, they handle it from there)

My primary reason is for the OBC (or was in the beginning) but also mine seemed to have cheaper prices (not sure why- perhaps booked blocks of rooms?) than what showed online at the time. Now our TA is invaluable because they seem to be able to get things booked sooner on the day dates become available- than I can calling on my own. And they help move things around if we switch rooms, switch dummy dates booked onboard to new dates when they come out at the cheapest possible without me having to call and be on hold for long periods of time with DCL/etc. They help us get the rooms we want, dining times we want, dining/show times we want on Dream, etc. They've also occasionally have been able to let us know when a cat 3 becomes available- sometimes we take it, sometimes we don't- without me having to add myself to a waiting list and deal with that on my own. Also let us know if bargain prices show up for a cruise, if our cruise becomes discounted, helps with pre-stay booking and/or transportation if we ask them to, etc.

Numerous other things I'm sure I haven't mentioned.... and they always make all our changes and talk to us about what would be best/etc. with nothing but always a pleasant attitude. I love our travel agent.... and wouldn't do Disney cruises any other way. :)

*(edited to add: and they always answer emails immediately and/or call once I email and they have a number you can call instead of emailing and they are open 7 days a week. And other things I probably shouldn't list publicly in case they don't do that for everyone. LOL Just love them!)

tearem
10-21-2010, 12:42 PM
Can I switch to a TA even if I have already paid in full?

jilljill
10-21-2010, 12:48 PM
Can I switch to a TA even if I have already paid in full?

Each TA makes their own rules so you would need to check to see if they would accept one that is paid in full.

lexlaw69
10-21-2010, 03:08 PM
I booked thru Costco TA and got a percentage of my cruise price refunded back on a gift card. I think it was like 160.00 bucks on a 3000 dollar cruise. A very good suprise and why I used Costco rather than Disney to book.

jimmiemcinpa
10-22-2010, 07:56 AM
Does the OBC and 10% credit booking while onboard offer a better deal than the OBC from TA?

I know I have seen a thread for this question but who has great experiences with a particular TA and what is their contact information?

Thanks

Jim
:confused3

jilljill
10-22-2010, 08:07 AM
Does the OBC and 10% credit booking while onboard offer a better deal than the OBC from TA?

I know I have seen a thread for this question but who has great experiences with a particular TA and what is their contact information?

Thanks

Jim
:confused3

If a TA offers an OBC it can be combined with the onboard booking offer from DCL.
We rebooked our Baltics cruise onboard and rec'd the 10% discount and $200 OBC from DCL and a $600 OBC from our TA.

jilljill
10-22-2010, 08:08 AM
REMINDER

There are only certain TA's that can be mentioned on DIS. If anyone wants to share the website of their TA please remember to type in the full address of the website to know if the TA is allowed to be mentioned on DIS. If you do not type in the full web address or do creative spelling of the web address the mods will have to edit your post and possibly issue an infraction. If you want to see if the web address you are trying to post is valid just press Preview Post before hitting submit.
Thanks for your cooperation.

jimmiemcinpa
10-22-2010, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the help JillJill. I have seen other posts on recomended TA's maybe I will search for those. I have been booking on own and would like to book onboard and get discount then transfer to see what additional OBC i can get.

Jim:)

runskyhy
10-22-2010, 11:59 AM
I like threads on this topic, because it gives me hope one day I'll find a TA of my very own!

I'd sure like to use a TA, too, if for nothing else but for advanced notice and advice. I haven't found one yet that will reply to calls/emails w/in a business day, so I do it myself these days. I know there are TONS of good ones out there, so I hope to find one eventually!

Whatever you decide, have a great vacation!

hart6066
10-22-2010, 12:22 PM
Just wondering if there'd be any OBC for such a short trip--especially when not booking one of the pricier rooms. I already picked out the room and would only really "need" someone to help watch out for discounts. Just curious if there is any OBC for short trip with 2A 2C. Thanks!

budbeerlady
10-22-2010, 01:17 PM
Just wondering if there'd be any OBC for such a short trip--especially when not booking one of the pricier rooms. I already picked out the room and would only really "need" someone to help watch out for discounts. Just curious if there is any OBC for short trip with 2A 2C. Thanks!

I was able to get $25 obc from Disney and $100 obc from our TA for our 3 days on the Dream in October. I think if I pay it all with the Disney Visa I also will get $50 obc. Heck, I am happy with $125!

KSDisneyDad
10-22-2010, 01:57 PM
I like threads on this topic, because it gives me hope one day I'll find a TA of my very own!

I'd sure like to use a TA, too, if for nothing else but for advanced notice and advice. I haven't found one yet that will reply to calls/emails w/in a business day, so I do it myself these days. I know there are TONS of good ones out there, so I hope to find one eventually!

Whatever you decide, have a great vacation!

I've used two separate TAs over the years. My first TA was very good about responding to call/emails. Emails were usually responded to in a manner of minutes (or at most a couple of hours). In the world of blackberries and iphones, I can't imagine not receiving a response right away unless your TA is on vacation him/herself, sleeping or someplace where cellphones should be turned-off (movie theaters, church, etc.).

The only reason we changed TAs was because we met someone on a DCL cruise that we really liked and stayed in touch with. When we found out she was a TA, we used her services as it was nice knowing the person "personally" versus having only transacted via phone or email.

* * * *

We like using a TA because they make it easier for us. I like knowing that they handle everything from getting up early to call-in for our reservations, watching for specials and doing everything they can to make each trip special. Knock on wood, we have never had to ask our TA to help us with a problem, but I know they'll do everything in their power to help you if there is a problem.

There was a thread not too long ago about a person who booked a dummy cruise onboard and then simply forgot to move it before the 75 day window. Disney rules require that if you miss the change deadline, you either have to pay in full and go on the dummy cruise or lose your deposit. I believe Disney may have finally ended up helping her a little, but I don't recall the final outcome. I think she still lost a part of her deposit. Regardless, a Travel Agent would have let you know long before your final payment was due. They would have even known that it was a dummy cruise and moved your booking for you long before the final change date. If it was a cruise you were actually intending to go on, they would have confirmed whether or not you wanted to pay-in-full before the 90-day excursion/Palo/spa booking window for Silver CC members and then offered to book things for you (or you can do it on your own).

denas
10-22-2010, 03:26 PM
I like threads on this topic, because it gives me hope one day I'll find a TA of my very own!

I'd sure like to use a TA, too, if for nothing else but for advanced notice and advice. I haven't found one yet that will reply to calls/emails w/in a business day, so I do it myself these days. I know there are TONS of good ones out there, so I hope to find one eventually!

Whatever you decide, have a great vacation!

Since I felt silly starting this thread, I am glad I am not the only one who is finding something useful out from it!!! As I am sitting here trying to type holding child #3, waiting for Child #1 to come home, looking through my inbox at neglected work, and realizing that we don't have milk for breakfast and I am missing a key ingredient from the planned dinner tonight, I realize I need a TA so that I don't loose my mind trying to add "planning a vacation" to the to-do list!!!:eek:

discorsner
10-22-2010, 04:07 PM
Want to pass on and share what I can.... when I started cruising I did not use a TA either. I figured why bother, I was a travel nut anyway, I knew Disney and loved Disney and figured that I didn't need help because I enjoyed researching and finding my own answers.

Since then I have fully realized the benefits of booking with a TA. A good TA is not just there for planning and researching answers to questions, although most can do that well too. A TA will earn your business through some kind of value added to your vacation that is above what you can get from most suppliers.

With Disney, since they do not allow discounting of their cruises, the way that TAs can compete and work hard for your business and appreciation will be to provide excellent service, be there when you need them, think of things that you may not, and also throw in some "extras".

These extras are usually in the form of extra on board credit (OBC) and other things like surprises in your stateroom or a Disney gift card. Since this is really the only way to save on DCL other than special promos from time to time or just generally booking early, it is wise to take advantage of them. You can still plan as little or as much of your own vacation as you wish but you will be taking advantage of getting something extra by having them handle your ressie. It's a win-win for you and the TA.

sullyandsid
10-22-2010, 04:34 PM
We have just booked our first cruise - i did a booking with Disney first and put that on hold. I then waited for the TA to get back to me - they were able to get everything i got - plus I got an extra $100 OBC.

Using a TA was at first a bit dauntin, as we usually book everything on our own through the Disney site - but because of the reviews on here, it gave us the confidence to go for it - and i am now just on the count down and learningn about how to prepare and ghet the best our of our first Disney Cruise.

So thanks to all of you who take the time to post - you have no idea how valuable the information is.

narsibvl
10-22-2010, 04:37 PM
Here was my situation...I was searching for a iternary around christmas time(a last minute decision) and the disney web site couldn't some up with anything that I liked. Went through a TA and he was able to get it for the week before christmas. I believe they have a few cabins reserved for such purpose which is not available for general public. Didn't hear a peep about OBC so far though :(

knitcookwrite
10-22-2010, 05:56 PM
I'm a WDW veteran and can book and plan a trip with my hands tied behind my back and a blindfold on. I can almost get around WDW as easily, but when it came to booking our first cruise, I was totally clueless. We decided to use a TA (that I had worked with on some various Disney related things in the past) because I knew the her and knew that she would make sure we got all the things we needed for the trip done right. The onboard credit didn't hurt either (we actually are getting onboard credit from Disney as well for some reason, not sure why, but I'm not questioning it either). We've never cruised anywhere let alone with Disney, so it was nice having someone hold my hand and guide me through the whole process. The TA also will look out for discounts that she can later apply for us or alert us to special offers (we also have a land package prior to the cruise).

jilljill
10-22-2010, 08:17 PM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/guidelines.htm

The advertisers/sponsors who you see on the DIS are carefully chosen. While we welcome discussion of them as well as other businesses that you have information or questions about, if it's determined that you are using the DIS to promote a commercial venture, you will lose your posting privileges. This includes choosing a username/signature that refers to your business. In addition, links to the company's website will be blocked. Also note that we do not want the boards to be used for solicitations or for requesting referrals. Requests for advertising can be directed to Corey@wdwinfo.com for consideration.

poohs_hunny
10-23-2010, 04:04 PM
If you book online yourself, how do you later go about switching the reservation to an agent? Do you contact DCL or give the info the the agent and have them do it?

ruadisneyfan2
10-23-2010, 05:42 PM
Can I switch to a TA even if I have already paid in full?

I know my TA won't transfer a cruise once it's paid in full. I don't know if others will.


If you book online yourself, how do you later go about switching the reservation to an agent? Do you contact DCL or give the info the the agent and have them do it?
Contact the TA and you will need to sign a form, giving permission to turn it over to the TA.

txwdwmom
10-23-2010, 06:54 PM
If you book online yourself, how do you later go about switching the reservation to an agent? Do you contact DCL or give the info the the agent and have them do it?



My TA just had me fill out a form and send it back. The reservation was paid in full already but she was able to service it from that point on and I got the extra OBC from the agency as well. I've used her ever since.

ruadisneyfan2
10-23-2010, 06:59 PM
Most TAs offer a higher obc if you allow him/her to book it from the start vs. transferring it at some later point.
My TA offers double if I let her book it or if I name her as my TA while booking onboard. For a 7 nt cruise, that's $100 difference so it's worth it to me. :goodvibes

dursin
10-23-2010, 09:42 PM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/guidelines.htm

The advertisers/sponsors who you see on the DIS are carefully chosen. While we welcome discussion of them as well as other businesses that you have information or questions about, if it's determined that you are using the DIS to promote a commercial venture, you will lose your posting privileges. This includes choosing a username/signature that refers to your business. In addition, links to the company's website will be blocked. Also note that we do not want the boards to be used for solicitations or for requesting referrals. Requests for advertising can be directed to Corey@wdwinfo.com for consideration.
Isn't it a little more than 'carefully chosen'...ie, doesn't DU technically own these boards?

over50visits
10-23-2010, 10:11 PM
We have had perfect experience booking directly with DCL. It is nice to call them and instantly have an answer and fix or change things on the spot. With TAs you have to call them and wait for them to fix it. Others don't mind this, just that we prefer direct access. And I believe there are TAs who won't even talk to you (they require you to use email). The OBC may be larger and make the inconvenience worth it to you, and some TAs may offer the service of monitoring cruise deals and changes and alerting you. To each his own :)

jilljill
10-23-2010, 11:39 PM
Isn't it a little more than 'carefully chosen'...ie, doesn't DU technically own these boards?

If you have a question on the terminology used in the DISboard guidelines please contact the admins of the board to discuss it with them. I'm only copying and pasting the guidelines as they are written and even include a link so that you can read them yourself which I highly recommend.

txwdwmom
11-06-2010, 10:33 PM
Isn't it a little more than 'carefully chosen'...ie, doesn't DU technically own these boards?



Yup!

GhostlyHitchhiker
11-07-2010, 02:38 AM
We have had perfect experience booking directly with DCL. It is nice to call them and instantly have an answer and fix or change things on the spot. With TAs you have to call them and wait for them to fix it. Others don't mind this, just that we prefer direct access. And I believe there are TAs who won't even talk to you (they require you to use email). The OBC may be larger and make the inconvenience worth it to you, and some TAs may offer the service of monitoring cruise deals and changes and alerting you. To each his own :)

I completely agree with this. I have done both and honestly, I love the idea of a better OBC, but the price difference to me ($25-$75 per stateroom for my last cruise) wasn't worth it. I had to deal with a travel agent for every little thing from a birthday cake at dinner, to special room requests and it just ended up not being worth it. I would much rather spend the extra money to book with DCL direct next time and be able to deal with real cast members to make arrangements as needed for what I needed.

That said, I know there are amazing travel agents for DCL (including DU, whom I neglected to book with because they could not match this *other* TA site and were no better price-wise than DCL themselves).

BUT I would completely recommend them because while I *did* have the time and inclination to make call after call and get what I needed, I know many other people don't have that time and (frankly) stubborn-ness. A dedicated TA will do that for you. I don't like forced advertising as much as the next person, but I've been on these boards for many years. DU is the only TA I would trust if I went with a TA at all.

Just my $.02. :goodvibes

NancyIL
11-07-2010, 06:11 AM
While I haven't needed the services of a travel agent, all 3 of my Disney cruises were booked with one. However, we got no OBC for any of them. The first was booked at a group (discounted) rate, and thus no travel agent OBC and no Disney Visa OBC. The next two had to be booked with a particular travel agency (not DU) in order to participate in the sponsoring group's events on the ship - and that agency didn't offer OBC, either.

Most of my cruises have been non-Disney. I have booked some of them with two online discount travel agencies because they had a better price than booking directly with the cruise line. I have booked several inexpensive Royal Caribbean cruises directly with RCI. For those cruises - the travel agency's discount wasn't enough to bother having to go through the middle man.

mattkev2001
12-03-2010, 08:43 AM
We are 4 families looking into a cruise in 2012 and are DVC members. Some families want to use some DVC points while others will pay cash. DVC advises that not only can they not guareentee rooms near each other, their payment policies are different from DCL. DVC requires much more upfront than DCL. DVC did say they can probably link to accomodate dining times.

We would like to book so we can request rooms close to each other and same dining times but want to use some points also. Why does DVC make it more difficult to book a cruise than DCL? Are there better OBCs through DCL than DVC (if any)?

mnrhannah07
12-03-2010, 10:54 AM
I have a few questions myself, we re-booked another cruise while on the wonder last month. We received a $100 OBC and wanted to know a little about DU before I called them. If we did transfer the reservation, can I keep my $100 and add the OBC they offer? Does anyone know what they are offereing for an OBC for a 3 night cruise right now? Does it cost anything extra to me if I transfer it?

ruadisneyfan2
12-03-2010, 05:15 PM
I have a few questions myself, we re-booked another cruise while on the wonder last month. We received a $100 OBC and wanted to know a little about DU before I called them. If we did transfer the reservation, can I keep my $100 and add the OBC they offer? Does anyone know what they are offereing for an OBC for a 3 night cruise right now? Does it cost anything extra to me if I transfer it?

I've never personally used DU but have rebooked onboard many times. The OBC from DCL is stackable so whatever OBC a TA offers is in addition to what DCL offers.
Not sure how DU works, but my TA gives me double OBC if I name her as my TA while I'm booking onboard. If I don't, and then transfer my ressie to her once home, she gets a reduced commission from DCL and that's the reason for reduced OBC to me for transfers.

dbarker
12-04-2010, 09:40 PM
I use a TA b/c I don't have time to do all the leg work myself.

I use a TA that is a Disney specialist.

ssanders79
12-05-2010, 07:19 AM
We like to rebook on board and name our out Dreams agent as TA at the same time. DW just emails her when we get home to make sure it's been done correctly. The more OBC the better as it helps reduce the out of pocket for tipping, sometimes it ends up covering more than just tips. When resident rates come out we receive the refund on our credit card.

We have had an excellent service from our dreams' agent. We would not use DU if we were unhappy.

*WDW*Groupie*
12-05-2010, 08:46 AM
We like to rebook on board and name our out Dreams agent as TA at the same time. DW just emails her when we get home to make sure it's been done correctly. The more OBC the better as it helps reduce the out of pocket for tipping, sometimes it ends up covering more than just tips. When resident rates come out we receive the refund on our credit card.

We have had excellent service from our dreams' agent. We would not use DU if we were unhappy.

I will second this! My DU agent (Merrie) is AMAZING! I originally booked with them for the OBC and have no regrets at all. I highly recommend them to anyone. Since our first cruise we have booked 2 others, both through Merrie at DU. Once you have paid in full, you can go to the DCL website and book dining, excursion, etc. For our med. cruise the OBC credit is around $500.00 and I think we also receive $200.00 from DCL (from booking onboard). To me, that is a significant credit! And the service from Merrie is outstanding!

Kencad MOM
01-01-2011, 08:36 AM
Is there a difference in cancellation policies when booking w/ a TAvs Disney directly??

lmhall2000
01-01-2011, 09:12 AM
Is there a difference in cancellation policies when booking w/ a TAvs Disney directly??

Our first cruise I used DU, our second upcoming cruise I have done it myself...I'm really a DIY person anyway and like to cut out the middle man...I was still having to give all my information (flight/passport etc.) to the travel agent...then waiting a few days to see that everything was put in okay...I'd rather just do it myself and know right away.

The OBC was what motivated me to use a travel agent ($500)..I think for anything less than that it would not be worth it to me.

If you use a travel agent, at least with my experience they want your final payoff earlier than Disney does (by about 2-3 weeks)..I noticed no differences in cancellation policies.

Another reason I like booking myself is that if a special comes up, I may not hear from them for 1-5 days and have missed the special..that happened on our first cruise...I went ahead and did a dummy hold on the special, but it took over 24 hours for agent to respond, and when she did there were NONE available! We had to be 'typing' at the same time (because this agency uses no telephones) so that I would release my dummy hold so she could then see it and rebook it herself. It was a hassle, but it saved me over $1300.

I like going on to Disney and seeing immediate changes..if I want to upgrade my room, I can, I don't have to wait and see if it's available. The big drawback to doing it yourself is that it can be a pain entering in all that information...I have entered our flight info in 5x, finally had Disney enter it in for me, and it still gives me an error code...Disney assures me it's 'in' there but the system acts like I have not filled it in yet...the system has glitches, but anytime I've needed to call Disney, the wait has been less than 5 minutes and unbelievably they've all been sooooo accomodating and outstanding, I wish I could give them all high reviews! I've spoken to 5 different reps by phone and emailed 4 different ones...all have been literally so happy to help...and as perplexed as I was about why it's not working..:)

Tara

OrangeCountyCommuter
01-01-2011, 11:30 AM
I am continually amazed that folks would use a TA that does not have a phone service and a 24/7 Emergency service.


As a frequent traveler when you are standing at check in and discover you have an issue you need to be able to contact your TA IMMEDIATELY not a few days later. Remember the TA owns the reservation up until you begin the trip. So if there is a late crisis you need to be able to contact them ASAP!


If you use DVC points for part of your cruise I wouldn't use a TA. I looked into when we did a family reunion tour, most TAs would "assist" but you could tell that since they weren't getting commission on the DVC rooms you were a low priority (I didn't think they should get commission on the other rooms if they weren't willing to help me make sure things were linked etc so I did it myself. )

ruadisneyfan2
01-01-2011, 12:00 PM
Our first cruise I used DU, our second upcoming cruise I have done it myself...I'm really a DIY person anyway and like to cut out the middle man...I was still having to give all my information (flight/passport etc.) to the travel agent...then waiting a few days to see that everything was put in okay...I'd rather just do it myself and know right away.

The OBC was what motivated me to use a travel agent ($500)..I think for anything less than that it would not be worth it to me.

If you use a travel agent, at least with my experience they want your final payoff earlier than Disney does (by about 2-3 weeks)..I noticed no differences in cancellation policies.

Another reason I like booking myself is that if a special comes up, I may not hear from them for 1-5 days and have missed the special..that happened on our first cruise...I went ahead and did a dummy hold on the special, but it took over 24 hours for agent to respond, and when she did there were NONE available! We had to be 'typing' at the same time (because this agency uses no telephones) so that I would release my dummy hold so she could then see it and rebook it herself. It was a hassle, but it saved me over $1300.

I like going on to Disney and seeing immediate changes..if I want to upgrade my room, I can, I don't have to wait and see if it's available. The big drawback to doing it yourself is that it can be a pain entering in all that information...I have entered our flight info in 5x, finally had Disney enter it in for me, and it still gives me an error code...Disney assures me it's 'in' there but the system acts like I have not filled it in yet...the system has glitches, but anytime I've needed to call Disney, the wait has been less than 5 minutes and unbelievably they've all been sooooo accomodating and outstanding, I wish I could give them all high reviews! I've spoken to 5 different reps by phone and emailed 4 different ones...all have been literally so happy to help...and as perplexed as I was about why it's not working..:)

Tara

Not all TAs are this way. I can make final payment on the due date if I wish. I usually do it earlier if I want to book excursions, Palo, etc. online since cc members can but only if paid in full.
If you are a cc member, esp gold or platinum, you are missing out on one of their better perks if you wait until 75 days prior to make final payment.

As for entering passport, flight info etc., just b/c I use a TA doesn't mean I don't have access to online check in. :confused3
I've always still done this myself with no error problems and prefer to. When my TA books it, it's with "passport info on file" or something like that. So once I pull up my ressie, it has all of our passport and cc member info already in there. I just enter flight info.

The only thing I can't do online is make major changes. If I wanted to change cabins or upgrade and I see what I want online, I capture it by booking it as a new reservation by putting it on hold with no deposit, then transfer that res to my TA by faxing a form to DCL and she changes it all. Not a big deal at all.
I've only done that once and most changes are a matter of adding transportation, waitlisting for early dining, etc. Nothing urgent.
I've never used DU and my TA is available by phone but not 24/7 of course. I can leave her a message if she doesn't answer and she gets back to me within a reasonable time.
She even sent my kids personalized Mickey fleece blankets from the Disney store for Christmas and a stuffed Captain Mickey last year.
Sometimes we chat on the phone so long about cruising, it's like talking to a friend. I've used her for about 7 cruises now and still love her. :goodvibes

QCTodd
02-08-2012, 06:11 PM
Well here's my story I booked with a TA and received no discounts or OBC and now after finding this site I see that I have all kinds of places that offer some kind of special or OBC. What are my options now?

DisneyDee27
02-08-2012, 06:27 PM
I may transfer my Med cruise to DU for the OBC. I booked my first two DCL cruises on my own. My third is booked through a TA and I'm contemplating moving the fourth one as well.
I love gaining knowledge from these boards :thumbsup2
Deepirate:

ruadisneyfan2
02-08-2012, 06:34 PM
Well here's my story I booked with a TA and received no discounts or OBC and now after finding this site I see that I have all kinds of places that offer some kind of special or OBC. What are my options now?

Hmmm... unless your TA has been truly unethical in how he/she is handling your res, it's not good etiquette to request to DCL to take control of a res back from a TA.

With our 1st DCL cruise we booked through AAA and I learned more here than through the TA. No help whatsoever. We knew we wouldn't bother with them for the next time.

2disneycruzrs
06-01-2012, 11:26 PM
Based on this string and knowing (a) I'm a DCL veteran and (b) I'm not making changes to our ressie, it looks like I will only benefit by transferring my ressie to a TA. The TA offers a decent amount of photo credits, and I'm already getting $150 in OBC due to my status and my 10% booking on board discount. I never realized I could get my re-book benefits AND the TA's.

Has anyone had any issues with doing online check-in, Palo, and excursion reservations themselves once a ressie is with the TA? I can still access my ressie online, correct?

Am I correct in understanding the only thing I can't do if I use a TA is make payments through the website?

Thanks!

ruadisneyfan2
06-01-2012, 11:50 PM
Based on this string and knowing (a) I'm a DCL veteran and (b) I'm not making changes to our ressie, it looks like I will only benefit by transferring my ressie to a TA. The TA offers a decent amount of photo credits, and I'm already getting $150 in OBC due to my status and my 10% booking on board discount. I never realized I could get my re-book benefits AND the TA's.

Has anyone had any issues with doing online check-in, Palo, and excursion reservations themselves once a ressie is with the TA? I can still access my ressie online, correct?

Am I correct in understanding the only thing I can't do if I use a TA is make payments through the website?

Thanks!

Booking activities online is no different if you have a TA except maybe that I make my final payment a couple days ahead of time just to be on the safe side.
If you're booked with a TA, you can't make payments or cruise reservation changes directly with DCL or online. You can however make changes to Palo, excursions, etc.