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Old 10-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
DanceGirl914
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Use a travel agent or do it myself?

Hello all,
Its been a while, and I have to ask your opinion. We are looking to take DD on a cruise next year. And booking it soon so we make sure we get the early dinner seating.
I have gone online to the disney site to price out what I want, and have gone to my travel agent friend to get a price. They are exactly the same, except her insurance quote is almost 300 higher.
I sent in a request to Dreams Unlimited on a whim to see what they come back with and with the exception of the 200 on board credit they are basically the same price also.

So I have never booked a trip myself, should i do it myself through Disney web page or use my friend.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
Bear3412
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Why not book with DU and get OBC?
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
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If you want the OBC I'd book through DU. DCL does not allow any TA to discount their cruises, so you will pay the same price regardless of who books it. If you book through a TA you lose all control of your reservation, except for booking excursions, etc. DCL will not even talk to you about a reservation booked through a TA. You can get less expensive, and generally better coverage, by buying the trip insurance on your own. We use ***************** for our insurance.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
Bonniec
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I used Dreams Unlimited for the OBC. Plus I like that my CC is still charged through Disney. I do have a TA aquaintence but she couldn't offer them same OBC so I went with DU.

I stuck with the Disney insurance even though it was more pricey. We don't have any pre-existings and I wanted the piece of mind that if one of us gets really sick and can't go per a doctor's order (highly likely with my son's crappy immune system) that Disney will credit 100% of it if the insurance denies it. While it's unlikely insurance would deny it anyway, I just wanted that piece of mind and Disney wouldn't honor that if I used someone elses.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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Add another vote for using a TA. Like several of the other posters here, we use Dreams Unlimited for our cruises and have been very happy with their service.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
elainyaeq
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Ta ?

I didnt know about DU at the time or OBC's so i called and booked with DCL myself, no OBC which i think would have been $25,
However, when the FLR rates posted I was able to call DCL direct and grab an upgrade quicker without having to wait for a travel agent to get back with me. I think the OBC is the advantage to booking with TA / DU, Will probably book with DU next time, OBC would have been nice
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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Not to hijack, but is there anywhere that tells you what you can and can't do with a TA? I see a few things here and there on different threads, but can someone direct me, or I will even start a new thread if needed.

Things like can I book an excursion, can I pay online, can I still book Palo, or is the answer no to everything? Does having a linked reservation limit whether or not you can use a TA? Our next cruise is with the inlaws, so it is a thought. Thanks for any answers and thoughts.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyluke View Post
Not to hijack, but is there anywhere that tells you what you can and can't do with a TA? I see a few things here and there on different threads, but can someone direct me, or I will even start a new thread if needed.

Things like can I book an excursion, can I pay online, can I still book Palo, or is the answer no to everything? Does having a linked reservation limit whether or not you can use a TA? Our next cruise is with the inlaws, so it is a thought. Thanks for any answers and thoughts.
In general
TA has to deal with any changes to the reservation, questions about money, changes to rooms/dining/etc. The TA will set up linked reservations for you, add notes to your reservation about needing cribs, bed rails, special dining, etc. If you have a specific dining rotation you ask your TA.

You will have access to do yoru online check in, book your reservations for excursions, nursery services, spa, Palo and Remy.

Your payment will go through the TA, but if you are charging your CC, it should show up as Disney Cruiseline. I would not use a TA that charged it to their travel agency and then they paid Disney as that is ripe for corruption.

The prices is the price. You might see a small difference if the TA was able to hold a few rooms at a lower price. Disney does not allow the TA's to discount cruises. Some TA's will give you part of their commission as an OBC or a cash gift after the cruise. Others might give you some gift. Others might give you nothing.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyluke View Post
Not to hijack, but is there anywhere that tells you what you can and can't do with a TA? I see a few things here and there on different threads, but can someone direct me, or I will even start a new thread if needed.

Things like can I book an excursion, can I pay online, can I still book Palo, or is the answer no to everything? Does having a linked reservation limit whether or not you can use a TA? Our next cruise is with the inlaws, so it is a thought. Thanks for any answers and thoughts.
Like so many of the others who have answered this thread, we use Dreams Unlimited as our TA. Our very first cruise with DCL I made our reservation directly with DCL. I had no problems, but also, I had no "on board credit" (OBC) either. So from our second cruise and all others we use Dreams.

The answer to your questions - once you book thru Dreams they will handle most everything for you. That takes away any worries you may have. You will receive a Dreams reservation number and a DCL reservation number. You make your payments for your cruise online thru Dreams with the Dreams reservation number, but Dreams forwards the credit card info to Disney and on your credit card statement it says Disney Cruise Line. When the time comes and you have your cruise paid in full, you will make all of your own Palo / Remy reservations, and excursions you want on the Disney Cruise Line website with the DCL reservations number. You also will pick what time you will arrive at the port.

Hope this has helped. Happy cruising!!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
Bonniec
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At least with DU (not sure about others) you can still book your own excursions, Palo, cabanas, etc. if you want to have that control.

I will be doing that stuff myself. I just used DU for the OBC.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceGirl914 View Post
Hello all,
Its been a while, and I have to ask your opinion. We are looking to take DD on a cruise next year. And booking it soon so we make sure we get the early dinner seating.
I have gone online to the disney site to price out what I want, and have gone to my travel agent friend to get a price. They are exactly the same, except her insurance quote is almost 300 higher.
I sent in a request to Dreams Unlimited on a whim to see what they come back with and with the exception of the 200 on board credit they are basically the same price also.

So I have never booked a trip myself, should i do it myself through Disney web page or use my friend.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.
Does your friend require you to get that insurance? Can you shop around for it?
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #12
kcashner
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OK....I would not use your friend. In most cases (unless elderly), private insurance is LESS than thru DCL.

I would use a TA, but my requirements would be that the agent had attended the training that Disney has for TAs and that he/she has personally cruised on a ship of the class I am booking. My opinion is that the best way to know the ship and the "program" is to have cruised yourself. I would look for a full service agency (one who will help with air/hotel/car rental/insurance other than just clicking the DCL button)....if I ask them to do these things, and for one who communicates the way I want whether that is 800 number, e-mail, snail mail, or in person.

There are lots of good agencies and agents and probably more bad ones; a good one is a blessing and can make your life much easier, a bad is just the opposite.

An onboard credit, gift card, or other "thanks for booking with us" gift is a nice perk, but you are shopping for the service!
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #13
moomy-san
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One great reason to use a TA- if there is ANY kind of screw up with your trip (ours was our OBC was missing from our account) she deals with it stateside. Guest services called her from onboard and she dealt with it as we had no paperwork with us to prove we had that OBC. Our TA also dealt with Disney directly when our documents were not going to get to us in time for us to leave with them in our possession. She watches for the price drops and will rebook for us if that happens.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
Sleepyluke
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Thanks for all of the help and opinions. I have done it 5 times myself and found it to be very easy to do. I do like that I can still control the excursions and Palo type stuff while having someone to bounce ideas off of other than on here! May be worth a phone call or email - To DU of course!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #15
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I think with all of the information available now on the internet that just about anybody is perfectly capable of booking a cruise or any other vacation by themselves. Since DCL does not offer any discounts to / thru anybody the advantage of using a TA to book a DCL is for the additional OBC they offer. This is why I use DU. Not because I can't do it myself. I also usually try to book on opening day if I can and it's much easier to let a TA do that for you - especially if you're informed enough to know what category or cabin number you want. Let them deal with the opening day madness FOR you. I've been around long enough to have watched several new itinerary releases on opening day...and I've driven myself crazy over wanting a specific cabin number at first tier pricing. People crash their computer system and spend hours on hold while they drive themselves mad watching the opening day pricing threads. If my TA knows what I want then she can deal with it. Then at least I don't have to spend 2 hours on hold or watch the swimming Mickey on the computer screen while he freezes up. I think that it was especially hard back when there were only 2 ships and more limited choices. I think the pressure is off just a little bit now but still...it's a frustration that can be avoided if you use a TA that knows what they're doing.

OH, and I would (do) book travel insurance on my own through ***************** or a similar trip insurance comparison website. You can compare different policies and they're usually much cheaper.
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