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Old 09-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
DisneyFamilyWI
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Travel Agent Perks??

I'm using a travel agent for our Disney dream cruise. I was told to use a travel agent because you can get perks, but she had yet to offer any perks! What's the point? She gets commission and she isn't doing anything more for me that disneycruise.com could do for me. Anyone get any perks? I also asked for hotel tips or deals before and after with little to no help and no "deals"... Smh
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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Some offer an OBC
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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Not all TAs will offer you anything. It is one of those things you need to shop around for.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
jdb in AZ
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Our travel agent has managed to get us booked on sold-out cruises, given us discounts (tho not on DCL since that's not allowed) notified us of special pricing (again, not on DCL) given us generous onboard credits. On one extended-family cruise she accompanied us, came bearing gifts, and insisted on babysitting some of the younger kids so their parents could enjoy a day on shore.

She's also fought battles for us when a cruise line wouldn't book us as they had promised (long story.) She took it up the food chain all the way to a vice pres and managed to get us the right rooms, as well as a complimentary meal for the whole family (at least 30 people that cruise) at their upscale restaurant as an apology.

We could book our own cruises, but we'd rather have our TA in our corner -- it's a pleasure doing business with her.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:51 PM   #5
Deluzy
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Like any type of travel, whether to use a TA or which one to use depends on your needs. Some offer OBCs and give little to no servicing. Some do not offer OBCs, but offer a lot of services (advising on the cruise, pre- and post-cruise transportation and accommodations, cruise tips, etc.). There are some in the middle (may send gifts, offer other services, etc.)

I compare it to getting a hair cut: you can go to the barber shop for $7 or go to a fancy salon for $40. Both ways you end up with a hair cut, but salon will often times provide more services (wash, style, water/coffee, etc.).
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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Some agencies offer an onboard credit, a shopping card, a gift upon boarding, a coupon pack good for stuff on the ship (photos, specialty coffee, floats on Castaway, etc.) IMHO, the best deal is either an onboard credit (so I can spend the money as I wish while on board) or a shopping card to a store I actually use. I never did understand the concept of sending a fruit basket to my cabin when there is food all over the ship and I can't take it home....and I'd rather determine what to spend the money on rather than having a coupon for a coffee that I might not buy.

However, these perks are generally known up front (at least the credit/gift cards). Many come from national or on line agencies...local agencies don't seem to offer as many.

When you choose an agent/agency, you are shopping for both their experience and any perk.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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YEs but a travel agent will be there (well most of them) by a facebook message, text or call..where as a website will give you a toll free number and a hourly paid person to "assist you" if possible.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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You have to ask BEFORE you book if they offer any special on board credits or rebates or special gifts.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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YEs but a travel agent will be there (well most of them) by a facebook message, text or call..where as a website will give you a toll free number and a hourly paid person to "assist you" if possible.
Some agencies who are primarily nationwide or have a big on line presence also have a team of trained, hard working agents ready to speak with you on the phone and happy for your business. Some of these are actually small, family run operations who have learned to make use of the internet.

Others (and I wouldn't think of using these) are nothing more than a phone line. Sure, I might click on their web site to look up flight possibilities, but I wouldn't book with them.

I always used to use a local agent until my agent retired and the person I was "supposed to" use in her old office didn't know as much as I knew. Sorry, I like a real person who has "been there, done that." In travel, the "been there" is especially helpful. And, frankly, I LOVE to hear "I haven't done that, but let me transfer your call to Joe Blow because he has."

A good agency/agent is a true blessing. A bad one.....no comment.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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I get $50 shipboard credit from my TA. At least once a week my TA send me a newsletter about lower price cruises, discount resort prices, perks at the parks for meals, etc. They are also very good at finding me the best price when I book cruises.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:59 AM   #11
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This is our 5th Disney vacation and the first time using a TA and I'm so glad we decided to use one.

She has handled everything so well and is very good at replying to my emails - especially when I was figuring out cabins, categories, etc. I would look up stuff on the Disney site, and then email her with my questions, needs, wants, etc. She has been looking out ever since we booked - we also booked our before stay with her too. When a new room discount came out, she automatically priced out the difference and emailed me before I even knew about it! We already ended up having a better deal.

I recommend shopping around and using the TA you feel most comfortable with and see the value that works best for you. Some prefer a TA they can call, some want to see their TA in person. Some want a Disney specific TA, some want a cruise specialist TA.

For me, it was the reviews from others that sold me on the travel agency that I ended up using - that and a pretty nice OBC too!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
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YEs but a travel agent will be there (well most of them) by a facebook message, text or call..where as a website will give you a toll free number and a hourly paid person to "assist you" if possible.
Yeah right...

It depends on the TA...
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFamilyWI
I'm using a travel agent for our Disney dream cruise. I was told to use a travel agent because you can get perks, but she had yet to offer any perks! What's the point? She gets commission and she isn't doing anything more for me that disneycruise.com could do for me. Anyone get any perks? I also asked for hotel tips or deals before and after with little to no help and no "deals"... Smh
I'm using Dreams Unlimited and am getting an OBC. It depends on what cat you book to determine how much you get for 2012 cruises or how much your cruise costs for 2013 cruises. In addition our TA has answered all the questions we have and changed our reservation for us twice now (decides to do a 7 day instead of 4 and then changed categories) and she always responds really quickly. Though I'll admit if it wasn't for the OBC I'd probably just do it myself, but it is nice having someone knowledgable on your side.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaAndMatt View Post
I'm using Dreams Unlimited and am getting an OBC. It depends on what cat you book to determine how much you get for 2012 cruises or how much your cruise costs for 2013 cruises. In addition our TA has answered all the questions we have and changed our reservation for us twice now (decides to do a 7 day instead of 4 and then changed categories) and she always responds really quickly. Though I'll admit if it wasn't for the OBC I'd probably just do it myself, but it is nice having someone knowledgable on your side.
That's why I went through them as well. Beth is great! But honestly, I had done all my research and knew what I want. But I used them because of the OBC. I like that they aren't an official TA or whatever that means on their web site. I.e. everything is still booked through Disney with your credit card. I know I need to go through them if I need to change anything but I can still schedule all my own activities and excursions. It was a nice alternative for me because I like to do all my own planning and didn't need a TA to do everything. They get the commision and I get an OBC.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:56 PM   #15
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I think you would still be able to do those things if you went through a TA. TA will give you your Disney reservation number and then you could log in to DCL and book those.
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