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uscgmouse 01-04-2013 09:35 AM

Using a travel agent? Are there benefits?
So I have never used a travel agent in my life. I tend to scour the internet and find the best prices for myself.

I want to book a December 2014 cruise and have read for that time I want to call a travel agent so they can get me on the wait list.

Small World Vacations was suggested to me.... again no idea.

So I guess my questions is what is the benefit to a travel agent? How do the prices compare to booking yourself through Disney once the cruise goes on sale? Do you pay the travel agent to book your cruise or do they get kick backs from the cruise line? I am just lost. :confused3

Any info would be great.

- Also we are a Military family and never knows what is going to happen with my husbands vacation time. So having the option with Disney to cancel 75 days out and getting our full amount back is very important to us. - Does this apply with travel agents as well?

kcashner 01-04-2013 09:45 AM

Last question first....unless the agency you use has you sign an agreement with them that specifies a penalty for a cancellation, ALL of their work for you is covered by their commission from DCL and there is no fee for a cancellation. There are agencies that charge a fee for a cancel, but most do not. Most have no cost to you beyond DCL's charges. Some charge a fee for booking air--again, most do not if the air is part of a package that includes a cruise.

Benefits--with a good agency, you have their excellent service and experience. In many cases, nationwide agencies also give an onboard credit or other "thanks for booking" perk. You have the benefit of someone who has been on the ships, has many years of experience dealing with travel vendors, etc. On DCL, there is no price advantage to doing it on your own vs. using an agent; the price is the same. Any deal you can find/get on your own can be obtained thru an agent.

In a large agency, you may have specialization within the agency. For instance, there may be one person who specializes in insurance issues, another in international air, etc. while all do general travel bookings.

The agency you named has a good reputation on the boards; I have no personal experience with them. Remember that you "buy" both the agency and the individual agent--make sure you are happy with both. In my book, communication is key. Be sure they work YOUR way, whether that is an 800 number, on line, snail mail, or whatever. The worst case is to have a problem or issue on a Friday night and be using an agency that has M-F daytime only hours! OK, I guess having an agent screw up a reservation is worse. Don't deal with an agent who has not cruised the line....or who has not been to the training that Disney provides. Some agencies can be "sneaky;" if one agent in the office has the training, they all "claim" to be Disney specialists. Shop carefully.

Under normal circumstances, the agent may not seem to do much...but they really can come thru in the tight spots.

BeerManZ 01-04-2013 04:40 PM

Booking through an agent, as stated, probably won't cost you extra and you can receive some great perks (like stateroom credits). With the stateroom credit, I saved $100 by using an agent!

geffric 01-04-2013 05:09 PM

Many years ago, we cruised with another family that had a different TA. They were so unhappy with there TA. Most of what we knew they had no idea..:)our TA was the best, gave us hints, recommendations, great to work with, answered questions day/night/over the weekend.. basically was well worth it and we got a discount and credit from them too..

BTW we are military family and if you regester with the agency , they will get the Military discount for you when it comes out.

Magic3forme 01-04-2013 07:18 PM

We use a travel agent for the extra on board credit. With 2 cabins, the extra credit has been great. :)

super mike b 01-04-2013 09:24 PM

We always use a travel agent. Life is so much easier when you have someone taking care of all the little details. Our travel agent goes the extra mile to make sure that our trips are trouble free. They even call on sail away to wish us a great cruise!

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