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Old 01-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #16
EDH Family
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnits View Post
I can assure you I am not a troll. I am just new to the boards and new to cruises in general. I am here just like many others to get tips and advice from some of the very knowledgeable and helpful people that are here. I did do a search on the topic and did not find anything recent. I have been lurking for about 2 weeks now and had yet to see the topic covered except a thread comparing Small World vs. Costco. If there was something I do apologize for wasting your time and having you read a post you felt was unnecessary.

To everyone else who replied: Thank you all so much! I really appreciate all the advice and your recommendations!
No need to apologize, but there have been TA's that toot their own horn in a similar fashion. To each their own.. You will hear stories positive and negative from all TA's so it's a preference.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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I use a TA who is "censored" if I name them on the boards. Perhaps it will be helpful if I tell you what I look for in a TA. There are many out there who meet these requirements.

First, remember that you are "buying" both the agent and the agency and be sure that you are happy with both. Next, I would not consider someone who has not personally been on one of the ships in fairly recent years (Disney makes it quite easy and inexpensive for TAs to cruise). They need to have personally taken the training that Disney provides to agents. Be careful here--some agencies with multiple offices will have one agent go to training and advertise that 'we" have done so. Look for an agent that communicates the way YOU want, whether that is an 800 number, e-mail, snail mail, or whatever. I like an agency that has extended hours. 9-5 may not be when I have time to deal with travel matters; it is helpful that they have some evening and weekend time available. I like that they have an 800 number 24/7 for emergencies while I'm traveling; I'd never dream of abusing this number, but it is great to know that it's there "just in case." While I like having one agent that I talk with most of the time, it is also great to have an office staffed with others who can pull up my file and assist if my agent is unavailable (after all, they have to take time off to be on the ship, right?)

And it doesn't hurt that you feel comfortable with the agent on a personal level.....
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:18 PM   #18
texasgirl73
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I book with Disney directly. I like having control of everything, I don't want to have to email or call someone else to do something that I could do myself sooner. I'm impatient so waiting on a TA would drive me nuts. I do my research so I don't really need someone to guide me. The control is important enough to me to give up any sort of OBC a TA is willing to offer. I do the same with any other sort of travel. I research, plan, and reserve everything myself. The research is fun for me and helps me fight off the post vacation blues. Finish one trip, research the next...and when I'm comfortable enough to book everything myself I proceed.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #19
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Is it a bad thing that I am looking to just do it myself?
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #20
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I used to book with Disney directly. Once I found out about on-board credit, I booked with Dreams Unlimited. After our first cruise with them I tried to book two more cruises, but didn't have an agent that was willing to help me (wouldn't answer questions, took forever to return e-mails and more).

I book with Dreams Delivered Travel (www.dreamsdeliveredtravel.com). Lisa has been fabulous!

Here is what I want in a travel agent:
- Prompt response and timely communication
- Willingness to look for answers
- Keeping up-to-date on information related to my travel (specials that might reduce my cost, excursion information, local information, etc.)
- On board credit
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:48 PM   #21
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Booked thru AAA. This was a KSF promo and would have only gotten $100 via DU or SMV. But I thru AAA I got $100 visa gift card and the standard $100 shutters photo credit.

Last year was the same deal. I do prefer to book directly thru Disney but will transfer the reservation over at the right time to get the best deal.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #22
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We used our local AAA office. We don't use credit cards and I knew when booking with AAA you can just make payments at their office monthly or whenever. The only thing I came close to needing a credit card for was getting our plane tickets, I just used my debit card. They also gave on board credits so we weren't missing out on that perk.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikezh638 View Post
Is it a bad thing that I am looking to just do it myself?
Nope, not at all. I had fully intended to do the same but using a TA gave me an OBC of $400 so I did end up going with that.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikezh638 View Post
Is it a bad thing that I am looking to just do it myself?
Not at all! I don't use a TA. I like to have control over my reservation. I don't want to have to call/email someone else when I need to change or modify something. I want to be able to do it myself. The OBC that they give isn't worth it to me.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #25
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Even though I use my TA at SWV I'm still doing my own research. Its almost like my TA is my own personal assistant. Once I make my decisions, I ask her to make it happen. I like not having to make the calls and press this and press that and hold on and speak to a different CM every time. I shoot her a short email with my request and she hooks me up. SIMPLE. Replies are always 'same day'. Plus there's the OBC. I need those! I don't feel like I'm giving up control at all. It's a great working relationship and I'm glad I have her.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
I use a TA who is "censored" if I name them on the boards. Perhaps it will be helpful if I tell you what I look for in a TA. There are many out there who meet these requirements.

First, remember that you are "buying" both the agent and the agency and be sure that you are happy with both. Next, I would not consider someone who has not personally been on one of the ships in fairly recent years (Disney makes it quite easy and inexpensive for TAs to cruise). They need to have personally taken the training that Disney provides to agents. Be careful here--some agencies with multiple offices will have one agent go to training and advertise that 'we" have done so. Look for an agent that communicates the way YOU want, whether that is an 800 number, e-mail, snail mail, or whatever. I like an agency that has extended hours. 9-5 may not be when I have time to deal with travel matters; it is helpful that they have some evening and weekend time available. I like that they have an 800 number 24/7 for emergencies while I'm traveling; I'd never dream of abusing this number, but it is great to know that it's there "just in case." While I like having one agent that I talk with most of the time, it is also great to have an office staffed with others who can pull up my file and assist if my agent is unavailable (after all, they have to take time off to be on the ship, right?)

And it doesn't hurt that you feel comfortable with the agent on a personal level.....
My DU agent, Merrie, is all that except for the phone number. However, I feel confident that through these boards I could get immediate response to any emergency. Merrie has always answered my sometimes inane questions within hours, and I do live on the other side of the world (time difference)
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #27
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I have always booked through Disney directly. I like having control over the reservation since I am known to change things such as cruise date, room category, excursions, etc. frequently.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #28
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I booked with Costco to get the $595 cash card. I was able to make all of my own reservation, excursions, etc. by using Disney's website. Didn't end up talking to or e-mailing anyone from Costco at all.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #29
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We just booked our first Cruise (June) through Dreams Unlimited ! We also got an onboard credit of 150$.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #30
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I booked with Costco..... Didn't end up talking to or e-mailing anyone from Costco at all.
Their fantasy customer.
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