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Old 10-03-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
DanceGirl914
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Honest opinion - travel agent or 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.
Looking forward to the prospect of a trip!
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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If there is no price difference in booking your vacation yourself, and you feel comfortable doing so, then I say do your own holiday planning.

That said.....the booking/planning/etc. is as much fun for me as the actual vacation. Its something I enjoy, so I don't mind the "hassle" (which is what others seek to avoid, and therefore go the travel agent route).

Our first Orlando trip (Disney-only) was handled by a travel agent. Our second, third and fourth trips have all been booked by me from start to finish. I have much preferred handling our own reservations and flights.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
minnie mum
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I always book our Disney vacations myself. We have adequate travel insurance through one of our credit cards. BUT I always book our cruises through a travel agent- one who is savvy in the ways of cruises. And because they tend to be expensive trips, we get extra travel insurance either through the TA or through our bank.

I would look very closely at the terms, conditions, and coverage of the Disney trip insurance and compare it to the insurance that you can get in Canada. You get what you pay for with insurance.... It may be worthwhile to pay a bit more for it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
tgropp
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I have booked every Disney vacation myself for almost 20 years using codes etc, but always use a travel agent for a cruise as I could not get it any cheaper myself. For our Feb cruise I went with Dreams Unlimited for the first time due to a onboard credit and a stateroom gift.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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I have done all three.....Dreams Unlimited is excellent....most trips I do myself....however having said that.....the Cruises are a different animal and if I'd never booked one myself before I would be inclined to use a travel agency
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
stefanospops
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The main reason, IMO, to use a travel agent for the cruises is because many will give you an onboard credit. You are going to be spending money on the ship anyways, so why not get something back? I have used Dreams Unlimited for my past two cruises. Truthfully, I do all my own research anyways and just tell the travel agent the room I want and get my onboard credit as a result. DCL has a policy that no one is allowed to discount their cruises so the price on their site is the same for everyone else. Only difference is that through a travel agent they get a commission and they kick back some of that to you in the form of the onboard credit.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
Susan2771
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If you collect aeroplan miles, Expedia ***************** does redeem aeroplan vouchers towards the balance of a cruise which can be a budget saver. A number of offices in Eastern Canada also have a exclusive promotion going on with Disney Cruise Line last month and some have them extended until this weekend. Maybe the cruise you are considering is part of the promotion if you have an office in your area.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanospops View Post
Only difference is that through a travel agent they get a commission and they kick back some of that to you in the form of the onboard credit.
So in order to get your business they take a pay cut? Hmmmm, I wouldn't feel good ethically about that because I know how hard I work for every cent I earn.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
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So in order to get your business they take a pay cut? Hmmmm, I wouldn't feel good ethically about that because I know how hard I work for every cent I earn.
How much would DU be earning in commission to be able to afford issuing the on board credits? If they couldn't afford to do it, they most certainly wouldn't.

OP - I ALWAYS book my own WDW trip but I used Dreams Unlimited for our first cruise for the OBC. Merri - our rep from DU - is wonderful but, because I do love the planning process, I researched everything and made my own excursion and Palo reservations anyway. I bought trip insurance through ***************** because they were recommended here on the DIS and the policy price was pretty reasonable (less than $200 to cover 4 people) for the coverage provided.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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DH and I take out multiple-trip medical insurance from our health insurance company. We are both (healthy) seniors. It lasts for a year. That way, you only need cancellation insurance. Saves a bundle that way.

I have always booked my own WDW trips. Cruises, I use a TA.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #11
taylor3297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tone.def View Post
So in order to get your business they take a pay cut? Hmmmm, I wouldn't feel good ethically about that because I know how hard I work for every cent I earn.
If you use a US travel agent, they can use the on board credit they give you as a business expense on their taxes. So, yes they are using part of their commission to give you onboard credit, but they can deduct the expense on the taxes. Also, the TA is hoping for repeat business.

I help out with a Disney TA and for all of her cruise customers she gives an onboard credit and a stateroom gift. The more cruises you book with her, the more she gives.

She also sends other gifts to her clients that book WDW trips too.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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I know of no travel agent that reduces their commisson in order to offer an onboard credit. Often the agency has a group on that particular sailing and an added perk of the group is an OBC. Sure they can expense it but unless they are the agency owner getting all of the commission the discounting would be most of the TA's share!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:01 AM   #13
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If it is your first Disney cruise, you might want the reassurance of an agent. Even after several WDW trips (some book by ourselves, some with an agent) we chose to book our first cruise with an agent.

Everyone is different
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #14
sstarke
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Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tone.def View Post
So in order to get your business they take a pay cut? Hmmmm, I wouldn't feel good ethically about that because I know how hard I work for every cent I earn.
Indeed. Just as important, I want someone to earn my loyalty through great service, not buy it via an OBC or a gift. I've always been skeptical of companies that 'give away' such perks. What are they compensating for? Maybe I'm just old school.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #15
minnie mum
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Quote:
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Indeed. Just as important, I want someone to earn my loyalty through great service, not buy it via an OBC or a gift. I've always been skeptical of companies that 'give away' such perks. What are they compensating for? Maybe I'm just old school.
OBCs are nothing to sneeze at. You know how fast those little extra charges pile up on a cruise. All else being equal, I'll take the offer with the biggest OBC. Just because a credit is offered, it doesn't mean you won't also receive great service. At least that has been our experience with our TA.
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