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Old 04-21-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
lulusmom
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Booking with a TA vs. on your own

Hi! I have been lurking on this board for a long time now and have just been given the go ahead to book our first Disney Cruise! I have a question about using a TA. My control freak nature is battling with my need to get as many "extras" as possible. When you use a TA, they only control your reservation and changes to it, right? Shore excursions, Palo, etc. can all still be booked on your own??

I want to make sure I'm right about this before I do something I might regret down the line.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #2
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Correct!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Control!

I like having control over my reservation. It is NOT worth the low OBC to have to wait for a response from a TA.

If its midnight and I want to make a change or addition to my reservation I CAN!

I read too many horror stories on here about having to wait for a response or having lost out to something because the TA didn't respond.

THAT SAID, I have read some wonderful TA stories too.

Like I said, FOR ME, I like having control over my vacation.

Good luck
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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The OP is correct that using a TA does not prevent you from booking your own shore excursions, Adult dining or spa services. I've done that for 8 DCL cruises so far (with #9 just a week away) and never had a problem. Book through a TA (like Dreams Unlimited, the sponsor of this site) and use the OBC to pay for a special treat on board.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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I literally just responded to another thread about TA's before I read yours. I, too, am a complete control freak (which is why I read these boards every day).

I requested a quote, got a super quick response, but then didn't like her responses to other questions I had - she didn't seem very knowledgeable. I get much more information from these boards. That said....I apparently just got an unhelpful agent, because so many others report good experiences.

To sum it up for me....my obsession with control outweighs the OBC. Good luck to you!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #6
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I've been cruising a long time and I've always used a travel agent. You may need to depart from your "usual" TA and find one that is a cruise specialist. This is my first DCL and the only thing I couldn't change on my own was adding a one-way transfer to the Disney resort after the cruise. I've had a few sailings be delayed and my TA was able to get me better compensation than what the cruiseline was offering. I just like that extra layer of customer service.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
lulusmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolyninCO View Post
I literally just responded to another thread about TA's before I read yours. I, too, am a complete control freak (which is why I read these boards every day).

I requested a quote, got a super quick response, but then didn't like her responses to other questions I had - she didn't seem very knowledgeable. I get much more information from these boards. That said....I apparently just got an unhelpful agent, because so many others report good experiences.

To sum it up for me....my obsession with control outweighs the OBC. Good luck to you!
I totally understand this!

I'm not planning on making many (if any) changes to our reservation. I've spent the last several months researching what we wanted before we got to this point. That is really the only reason I feel like I could "let go" and use a TA.

Thanks for the responses!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #8
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I use a TA because I like to support small businesses. It's that simple. I don't need one and the OBC is cool, but not that big of a deal. The money is going to be spent anyway, so I'd rather Disney share it with someone. I don't need to make a lot of changes. It's a cruise, not WDW, where I change ADR's, dates, and even resorts often. As a matter of fact, it's not much that I can do once I decide to go but pay and wait.

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
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If you don't like working with your TA, then you have the wrong TA. Ours is fabulous, and has worked miracles for our large extended family. Which is why we keep booking with her, even when just DH and I are cruising. Hopefully you won't need an expert to pull a rabbit out of a hat for you, but it's nice to have back-up when you need it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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We booked our first three DCL cruises without a TA. We got special rates directly through DCL for the first and third, and booked the second while onboard the first. For our fourth cruise, a 9-night Med sailing on the Magic next June, we booked onboard and designated Costco as the TA. We joined Costco a few weeks before our most recent cruise specifically for that reason. We had toyed with the idea of using DU or Small World, but the $350 OBC was not quite enough of an incentive for me to give up control over our reservation. With Costco, we will get a $625 cash card. That dollar amount was substantial enough for me to give up some amount of control.

One thing I like about Costco is that you can call and speak to a live person. We booked a cat 7A for our Med cruise, and then a few days ago one of the "secret verandah" rooms opened up. I was able to call Costco Travel and have them make the change. Actually, the room we wanted was not showing in their inventory list, so the rep called DCL for me and the DCL CM was able to make the change. I had been nervous about not having the ability to make a time-sensitive change by myself, but Costco was able to make it happen. I may end up adding a transfer at the end of the cruise, but that can be done with a simple phone call. Aside from that, I don't plan to make any changes to our reservation, so using a TA made sense for us given the specifics of our situation.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulusmom View Post
Hi! I have been lurking on this board for a long time now and have just been given the go ahead to book our first Disney Cruise! I have a question about using a TA. My control freak nature is battling with my need to get as many "extras" as possible. When you use a TA, they only control your reservation and changes to it, right? Shore excursions, Palo, etc. can all still be booked on your own??

I want to make sure I'm right about this before I do something I might regret down the line.
I turned my short 3-day sailing over to a TA. There isn't much for her to do, but I wanted to see how I liked it. One thing I notice is that on your reservation page, you can no longer see how much you owe on the cruise. And you will also have to make any payments thru them. We had used a TA only once before and it was for a special group sailing we went on. We had lots of trouble getting the on-board credit and it wasn't resolved until two or three days into the sailing. If the TA had not been on the shiop, I don't think we would have ever gotten the credit.

I am a bit of a control freak as well, so I don't know if this one experience is going to convince me if I should do it myself going forward or not.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RweTHEREyet

I turned my short 3-day sailing over to a TA. There isn't much for her to do, but I wanted to see how I liked it. One thing I notice is that on your reservation page, you can no longer see how much you owe on the cruise. And you will also have to make any payments thru them. We had used a TA only once before and it was for a special group sailing we went on. We had lots of trouble getting the on-board credit and it wasn't resolved until two or three days into the sailing. If the TA had not been on the shiop, I don't think we would have ever gotten the credit.

I am a bit of a control freak as well, so I don't know if this one experience is going to convince me if I should do it myself going forward or not.
I used a Cruise Vacation Planner off the DCL line. We were booking our reservation secretly and linking it with our parent's reservation to surprise them. She linked us for dinner and even gave us all connecting Verandah rooms which was great since we could open up and have community verandahs with all our three staterooms. And dad never knew until we sprang the surprise! I could email her anytime I wanted. She helped resolve a post cruise credit card situation, helped us at booking to book with one card while we waited for Disney card to come in the mail and then swapped so we would qualify for OBC and interest free finance. she was very aware of our situation so I never needed to repeat myself. I would use her again in the future in a minute. Great Disney customer service.. Sorry if that takes anything away from the TAs on here. I think being able to check directly with her supervisor about booking one card to another was the only way our family anniversary cruise was ever going to happen. Not sure a non Disney TA could have accomplished that in less than 10 mins...
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulusmom View Post
When you use a TA, they only control your reservation and changes to it, right? Shore excursions, Palo, etc. can all still be booked on your own??
Reminder, If you have a good TA you can use them for advice on things like shore excursion, Palo and ect. You do not have to rely on all the people on the DISboard for advice. I can always call my TA and they have someone in the office that has done what I am thinking about doing. I love the fact that I have someone to call and talk to about my vacation. I also live the fact that I have someone to all and yell "Help"
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