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tarheel618
12-26-2010, 11:38 AM
What is the benefit of booking through a TA like Dreams Unlimited as opposed to booking yourself?

Also, if you book yourself can you turn it over to a TA?

remlap
12-26-2010, 11:44 AM
you will pay the same price no matter how you book. Booking through a travel agent like DU means they will leave an On Board Credit on your ships account to spend while on the cruise. Other travel agencies such as Costco or AAA will provide different but less valuable things in your room.

You can book direct with Disney and then transfer, but due to the Disney commission structure, you will most likely get greatly reduced benefits from your agent.

scootch
12-26-2010, 12:17 PM
The prices do not vary. DU gave me onboard credit, so that is why I booked with them last time and this time too.

kcashner
12-26-2010, 12:24 PM
The benefit of booking thru a TA is their experience and their service--so make sure you choose wisely. You are choosing both the agency and the agent. Then, in addition to great service, some TAs will give you a "thanks for booking with us" gift in the form of an onboard credit, gift card, or other item.

A good TA should be able to get you ALL the benefits you could get booking on your own--onboard credit/discount for on line booking, using a Disney Visa, etc.

OK, so what should you look for in terms of service? Does the TA you are looking at track all their reservations on their computers so that if a price reduction occurs they can nail it for you? Do they track your eligibility for any discounts (FL res, military..sometimes Canadian residents, Georgia residents). Will they arrange air travel outside of DCL air (or use it if you wish?) Will they recommend or sell insurance (again, giving an option other than DCL's product?) Will they talk to you before, during, and after a booking--on the phone, on line, or whatever your preferred method of communication is? Do they have hours 8-5 or "extended hours?" Do they have someone staffing the office for emergencies? Remember that these emergencies don't occur 8-5 usually!

I've done more than 20 cruises on DCL, and I choose to use an agent. Not because the agent knows the ship better than I do (they probably don't), but they do know hotels, airlines, etc. It doesn't hurt to have someone else on your side when DCL bills you twice for transfers (it was in the package AND billed to my credit card after the fact), when a hurricane hits and you are already at WDW--and you need a room for 2 more nights. Or how about when you get to your connecting airport only to be told that the connecting flight isn't going to leave till the next morning (YIKES). Yes, I've had each of these situations and more. It never hurts to have a professional there to help, even if that help just consists of listening! Most of the time they have solutions/ideas that I wouldn't have thought of.

hortontrio
12-26-2010, 12:38 PM
Last year we booked straight through DCL this year we booked through Dreams Unlimited, only because we got $100 obc. Thats the ONLY reason we can see to book through a TA...we havent heard a word from DU at all, we make a payment they say "Disney got it" and thats it. Not a single word....so id say its worth just getting the extra obc but not at all impressed with DU...Id like to hear from them, just little once a month emails saying..."8 more months, or something like that" nothing major, just a short note would be nice~~ just my opinion!!!
Regardless 8 months until we go to Castaway!! WOO HOO:banana::banana::banana:

gailg3horses
12-26-2010, 12:44 PM
Onboard Credit!!!! I don't need the ta to do anything for me, since they give me the dcl reservation number and I can log in and do it all myself after booking. I have booked both of our dcl cruises with dreams unlimited and will continue to do so for the onboard credit. Makes it worth it when you get to do something, like feed the stingrays at CC, or buy pins onboard, and use the credit. :cool1::thumbsup2

AmandaRG
12-26-2010, 01:40 PM
For me, it is my first time doing anything Disney. I love being able to talk to my TA (who just got off of a cruise and will be heading out on the Dream next month!) and get great info. OBC is a bonus, too!

tvguy
12-26-2010, 01:46 PM
With a TA I get an expert doing all the work for free, and the bonus of an OBC.
Of course, not all TA are the same, but a good one will have the experience and resources to get you the best prices on the cruise, air fare, hotel and rental car.
We literally tell ours " we want to go here"......pay for the trip, and then take the trip. The TA takes care of everything else.

vassello
12-26-2010, 01:54 PM
We've booked thru AAA and Costco. The price is the same regardless but both have been very helpful with advice. With Costco we get a store credit to use which helps towards groceries, etc. when we return. :thumbsup2

mlipreston
12-26-2010, 02:50 PM
If you have already booked through Disney and put down a deposit can I transfer the booking to a travel agent and still get the extra OBC?

Donald_Quackers
12-26-2010, 03:36 PM
If you have already booked through Disney and put down a deposit can I transfer the booking to a travel agent and still get the extra OBC?

As remlap stated above, you can transfer the booking, but you won't get the same OBC that you would have if you had booked with them in the first place.

kcashner
12-26-2010, 05:48 PM
As remlap stated above, you can transfer the booking, but you won't get the same OBC that you would have if you had booked with them in the first place.

You can transfer a reservation, but the TA will not get the same commission as if they had booked it originally. Thus, some TAs will not accept transferred reservations, some will give a reduced OBC (reflecting their reduced commission), and some will give their normal commission and hope to gain your future business. Bottom line, it's up to the TA at that point.

AmandaRG
12-26-2010, 06:18 PM
If you have already booked through Disney and put down a deposit can I transfer the booking to a travel agent and still get the extra OBC?

Find a few that are Disney experts and ask them if they accept transfers and what credits they offer for transfers vs. new bookings (some might not do differently).

jakespop
12-28-2010, 07:46 AM
With regards to the onboard credits:
Can you provide an example of what they are? Is it a straight $ value?
are the available anywhere or only in certain locations?

Potential 1st time cruiser so we are very new to this

mmouse37
12-28-2010, 07:50 AM
With regards to the onboard credits:
Can you provide an example of what they are? Is it a straight $ value?
are the available anywhere or only in certain locations?

Potential 1st time cruiser so we are very new to this

Every TA is different...most offer at least $50 but some go much higher depending on the category you booked and length of cruise.

MJ