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Old 12-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
stitchaholic
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travel agent or through Disney

cruise newby here , what is the best way to book our cruise ? through Disney or through a travel agent ?
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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Find a travel agent that specializes in Disney (I used Small World Vacations) but others have used Dreams Unlimited --- and see how much Onboard Credit you can get. Booking directly through Disney won't get you anything extra.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Please be aware of the guidelines when posting a TA or other website here on the Dis. You must use the full URL of the website you are posting so the board filter can do its job. If a website you post comes up with ****** that means it is a banned website and can't be posted.

www.smallworldvacations.com

Thanks,

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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If you use a travel agent, you get the services of the agent. In addition, many offer an onboard credit or other "thanks for booking with us" gift. The experience and quality of the service you get may vary--there are many excellent agents and agencies and some others.

If you book directly thru Disney, you get no extras (anything you can get on your own, a competent agent should know how to get for you including the on line booking credit). The other point--should you ever have a dispute with DCL, it is a great thing to have an experienced agent going to bat for you!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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I agree what she said.

IMHO A Travel Agent who specializes in Disney is the way to go..I use Dreams Unlimited and have for many years..been very happy !
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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I'd go beyond an agent or agency who claims to specialize in Disney. Talk is cheap and easy, and if one agent has had training, the agency can make it sound like all do. Or, if they are affiliated with a nationwide company, they can try to claim credentials that belong to the parent agency.

What I'd look for--someone who has personally had the training that Disney provides to agents and agencies. Someone who has personally been on the class of ship that I'm considering. Someone who communicates the way I want to --800 number, e-mail, snail mail, or whatever. An office with hours more than 9-5. An office with multiple agents so that if my agent is out sick or at WDW, there is someone else to assist me...and it may help if this is a bricks and mortar office so they can access my file (or maybe I'm just hopelessly out of date!) Someone with many years in the field....you get the idea.

Don't be afraid to ask questions before committing to an agent or agency. It can only result in more satisfaction with the relationship.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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We have always booked directly through DCL. Always book a dummy date while on board.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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It doesn't matter. I've priced through a TA, Disney, DU and smallworld vacations and another one I don't remember the name and they all gave the same price.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetMissy View Post
It doesn't matter. I've priced through a TA, Disney, DU and smallworld vacations and another one I don't remember the name and they all gave the same price.
Disney prohibits TAs to discount rates. Therefore, the rate will always be the same if booking with DCL directly, or a TA.

The difference is TAs have the opportunity to pass on savings to their customers in the form of On Board Credits. Booking directly with DCL will not give you any. Booking with a TA, will result in some form of OBC.

If there's a special that DCL runs (currently $25 OBC for online bookings) or Disney Visa rewards OBC, a TA will be able to pass these along their own OBC.

Some TAs may have their own incentives - AAA currently has a photo package (a credit with Shutters - the DCL photographer company). Or during Disney week, AAA will give you a gift card in addition. Costco gives out gift cards for example.

Some differences could be depending on the cost of insurance. You can get your own insurance or go with a recommended one by your TA. This will make the final price different.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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And different agents can give different OBCs. I do.

TAs can't give reductions on price but we give OBCs to get the business. Otherwise Disney would just keep the commission.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geffric View Post
I agree what she said.

IMHO A Travel Agent who specializes in Disney is the way to go..I use Dreams Unlimited and have for many years..been very happy !
We also use DU for our Disney vacations and are very happy with them. Merrie is our current TA for our upcoming Dream vacation booked for December 2013. We also have a dummy cruise date booked, and when the rest of 2014 is posted we have a request for it to be switched to a December 2014 Fantasy cruise.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnesotaMouseketeers

We also use DU for our Disney vacations and are very happy with them. Merrie is our current TA for our upcoming Dream vacation booked for December 2013. We also have a dummy cruise date booked, and when the rest of 2014 is posted we have a request for it to be switched to a December 2014 Fantasy cruise.
Merrie has helped us too!! She is awesome. Very helpful and quick to respond. We just booked a VGT for Jan 12. She found all of our CC numbers so we didn't even have to send our passport and CC numbers. We also got $150 in OBC this time. It is the little things they can do that save me some time. I can just send a quick email and Merrie will take care of it for me.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:05 PM   #13
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If it wasn't for what AAA offered me in writing, I would have gone with DU..

I'm the type that just uses the TA to get the benefits - I still do everything myself and simply give the TA the details, including the cabin number I see online right before booking.

Called AAA last night to see if they any last minute specials - they offered me a $100 GC and possibly getting the photo package if it gets renewed. DU would only give me $100 so, I'm ahead... But had 12 GCs to use and rewards - told the agent I would go to the office in person. Big mistake.

TA was off today and TA was from AAA central reservations. The office couldn't do anything as they could not access the ressie online. Took two hours of back and forth between AAA central, DCL and the TA to get the payment in the system. This was a new booking for Feb, so payment was needed in full.

Now, the local office did not know what promotion the central office was talking about so they could not redo it - and since we had to do payment via phone, they were afraid I would loose the $25 OBC. First DCL said yes to the $50 Disney visa OBC, they said no (due to KSF - I knew it but asked anyway). In the end, DCL said the $25 OBC is there, the AAA package is there. And AAA said I "should" get the $100 Visa GC since it's in writing in their system. So will see.

I did was VERY CLOSE to cancel the whole thing and go with DU. More than likely next time however.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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I always book on board with DCL but eventually transfer to my local AAA agent. I like controlling my reservation until I know for sure what trip I'm going to take. I like having a local agent to visit and pick up docs in person. The photo package was a great bonus, and the agent understood my waiting until earlier this year to transfer to her. On a side, if I wasn't happy with AAA, I would not hesitate to try DU based on everything people here have posted and their sponsorship of this forum.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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i have used Chrissy at Happily Ever After for all my Disney experiences. Both parks and now on my first ship this Jan. She has seen it all and done it all and answers all my questions. Just love her....she booked my Jan Cruise after midnight for me. i told her what i wanted and she stayed on it till it was available. I booked just 60 out with a Kids Free promo so rooms were going fast. Just LOve her....
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