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Old 12-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
Steamboat Girlie
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What are the benefits of using a travel agent vs. Disney cruise website?

The price I was quoted was exactly the same for both the Disney website and the travel agent.
Can someone help me to see the benefit of using the TA vs. going directly through the website?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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The vast majority of people who book with a travel agent do not do it for price but for service.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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I'm trying to find out what those services are. TIA
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #4
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The price of the cruise itself is going to be the same whether through Disney or a travel agent. The difference comes in the perks offered. A travel agent will throw in a variety of perks, such as prepaid gratuities which can add up to hundreds of dollars, free hotels pre and post cruise, gift cards, you get the idea. Often times American Express, Discover, and other credit card companies will offer pretty nice cash back rewards for booking travel through them. You just gotta shop around for those perks.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #5
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For us its the onboard credit the TA gives. We've gotten between $150-300 on board credit for each cruise we've been on and booked through a TA. Disney doesn't give you that much for booking.

Also it's nice when you want to change a date of a cruise. I told our TA last month we wanted to change our april 2013 cruise to april 2014. She had us down to change it once the dates opened up and she took care of everything for me today. It worked great since my 3 year old and 5 month old have the stomach bug and my 2 year old was going crazy all morning b/c we can't leave the house.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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Many TAs give an onboard credit, shopping gift card, or other "thanks for booking with us" gift. That my be the incentive to try one, but it is service that has gained my repeat business.

What a TA can bring you--real person communication on their 800 number. Someone to talk to who has actually been ON the ship (or the class of ship) you are considering; who has experience in the ports, who has been at Port Canaveral, etc. In addition, I would not use anyone who had not been to the training that Disney offers to TAs.

A good TA has a lot of experience--Disney and otherwise. They will help with air arrangements, transportation, etc. This is more important to me on overseas trips/cruises, but it is always useful. OK...real situation...I've flown from my home airport to O'Hare and am told that my flight may not be leaving that night. It is great to have someone to call who has more experience with this than I have! My TA will go little "services" for me like doing my Palo reservations when THE day hits while I'm on another cruise. They find flights for me at the same price I"d found but with better connections. They can advise me re insurance purchase and how to make a claim. They are there to talk with when I have a question.

It is really a million little things that make my life easier....and then they pay me for allowing them to do it with an OBC.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
JimGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamboat Girlie View Post
The price I was quoted was exactly the same for both the Disney website and the travel agent.
Can someone help me to see the benefit of using the TA vs. going directly through the website?
I booked my cruise through Dreams Unlimited, they offered a $150 shipboard credit for booking through them fo rmy price category. Free money for jsut booking through them, if I would have booked through Disney only, I would have only gottena $25 shipboard credit.

So that is basically it in a nutshell, plus TA's know a lot more than I do and you also have someone to bounce questions of off as you await your sial date.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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I couldnt work with a travel agent, Im the compulsive planner!

I can find the same rate, or better myself, and I can move things if I need to.

In the case of a cruise, I aready know what date, cabin, dining, etc I want. I just transfer the booking to a travel agent to get a credit.

This has to be done with the TA processing your deposit. You can put a hold on the cabin you want, then transfer it to your TA and they process the deposit and payments.


In our case we have been using Costco, where you get a Costco cash card that is about 10% of your cruise cost.

With DCL cutting out the on board booking discount for suites, this really works for us.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billinaz
I couldnt work with a travel agent, Im the compulsive planner!

I can find the same rate, or better myself, and I can move things if I need to.

In the case of a cruise, I aready know what date, cabin, dining, etc I want. I just transfer the booking to a travel agent to get a credit.

This has to be done with the TA processing your deposit. You can put a hold on the cabin you want, then transfer it to your TA and they process the deposit and payments.

In our case we have been using Costco, where you get a Costco cash card that is about 10% of your cruise cost.

With DCL cutting out the on board booking discount for suites, this really works for us.
We don't have Costo around my area but does BJ's or Sam's club do anything with Disney?

I used Small World this time around. A nice small OBC and she looked into discounts since the cruise went KSF. Which was nice. But I don't feel like a was tampered the way others describe.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
dcheels
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What travel agent do you use daisy112878?

Last edited by dcheels; 12-07-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamboat Girlie View Post
I'm trying to find out what those services are. TIA
I sent you a PM.

TA's do all the work for you. You let them know what you would like and they book it for you. You don't have to wait on hold or deal with Disney's website. Quotes, changes, any reservations...we do it all. Onboard credits are a major plus!! They do vary by the TA based on your cruise amount less taxes, fees and insurance.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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Our trip we are leaving on next week was the first that I used a TA for. I didn't get onboard credit. But she did throw in complimentary transfers from the hotel in Orlando to MCO and it was really so simple. She also made us each a goodie bag of useful things for the trip. (Think, color packs for the girls on the plane and over the door hangers for our stuff in our rooms) I will surely use her again. It was so simple!
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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We are in a difficult situation with a cruise right now and it is great having a TA in the corner fighting your side! Plus the OBC - that made a lot of difference on our last cruise.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #14
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Smile

This will be our 4th cruise using a MAGNIFICENT travel agent!
Carol @ Cruise Planners is amazing. (please PM if you want her info)

She always gives us extra OBC and even gives a referral credit to her existing customers. So when my sister-in-law referred me to her, she got $25 or $50 in additional OBC!

We have received fresh fruit and fresh flowers in our room on separate cruises as a thank you. She can add days at WDW for us in a snap and has travel suggestions galore! She handles the transfers too.

My sister-in-law booked our 2013 on the ship for us and got us 10% off, a reduced deposit, and $200 OBC. Then we all transferred our reservations to Carol (for safe keeping!) and received an additional $200 OBC!

She handles it all for us now. When I'm ready for final payment I can make any changes and do it all over the phone or through email. She has answered questions for me about other cruise lines as well.

Once you have a TA, you'll never go without one!
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