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Old 06-11-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
aaklang
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Travel Agents - what are the benefits?

I see a ton of people on here who book through travel agents rather than just doing it online through Disney's site. What are the benefits associated with having a travel agent. I know the obvious is that they will deal with changes (like the new dream/magic/wonder itineraries next fall) and save the headache, but what else makes a travel agent so worthwhile?

Also, what type of fees do you usually pay to a TA? Do they get better deals than the prices quoted on the Disney site? Are there incentives to using them?

Last question(s) - do you typically use a TA in your hometown, or do you just have a great agent and it doesn't matter where they are located? If you have a great one, please send me some recommendations! Or, do you use a big company like AAA or Costco rather than an individual or small/local agency?

Last edited by aaklang; 06-11-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
ThePicketts
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Personally, I do a TA for the onboard credit. I love free money.
There is no cost to you for their services. As a matter of fact, they are your personal valet whe things go wrong or you need changes.
I was iffy about using a TA, but I think I love mine (Jo @ Small World Vacations). She really is great!
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:04 AM   #3
MillauFr
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I always though the obvious reason was the OBC or Costco cash card that they give you. Costco gave me a $595 cash card for our last cruise. Why would anyone who lives near and shops at Costco turn that down?????
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:06 AM   #4
4butlers
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We are using a TA for the OBC. As PP said, who can turn down free money? And, no, they don't have to be near where you live. We're on the West Coast and she's in Orlando.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:26 AM   #5
bats
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillauFr View Post
I always though the obvious reason was the OBC or Costco cash card that they give you. Costco gave me a $595 cash card for our last cruise. Why would anyone who lives near and shops at Costco turn that down?????
Wish we could do that with our Costco's in the UK, that's a fab amount of free money!!

In answer to the OP, your TA can be anywhere .... Ours is in Wisconsin and we're in the UK, just a few miles away!!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
KarenW
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My travel agent does not give me any obc. I use her because she is local and they donate a portion of their fees that they get from Disney to help send local foster families to Disney. As a former foster family this is something near and dear to my heart!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:22 AM   #7
Lisa Lisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaklang View Post
Or, do you use a big company like AAA or Costco rather than an individual or small/local agency?
We booked our first two DCL cruises directly through DCL. The first time we booked a VGT rate via the web site, and we booked the second cruise while on the first. I had been reading a lot on this board about using TAs and had pretty much decided to use one for cruise #3. After looking at the incentives offered by several TAs, I decided to join Costco (which I had been considering doing anyway). I wouldn't recommend them if you're looking for a TA who is knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of DCL or one who gives a lot of personalized service. At this point I am pretty well versed, though, so I'm really just looking for the most $$! Costco offers a cash card that is about 9% of the cruise fare. We have a Med cruise booked for next summer, and the cash card will be $615!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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We use one also for the OBC... this past cruise we had enough to pay for tips and all the things we bought on the ship
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
tweis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaklang View Post
I see a ton of people on here who book through travel agents rather than just doing it online through Disney's site. What are the benefits associated with having a travel agent. I know the obvious is that they will deal with changes (like the new dream/magic/wonder itineraries next fall) and save the headache, but what else makes a travel agent so worthwhile?

Also, what type of fees do you usually pay to a TA? Do they get better deals than the prices quoted on the Disney site? Are there incentives to using them?

Last question(s) - do you typically use a TA in your hometown, or do you just have a great agent and it doesn't matter where they are located? If you have a great one, please send me some recommendations! Or, do you use a big company like AAA or Costco rather than an individual or small/local agency?
I started using Dreams Unlimited for the OBC but got an agent that I really like and who really knows her stuff about DCL. There is no fee associated with using my TA and I get money to pay for tips, excursions, drinks, etc. while onboard the ship.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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I decided to go with a TA because of the OBC and in room gift. Can't beat free money. I'm in South Florida and she is in Texas (Small World Vacations).
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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We used a local TA for our first cruise, but I quickly discovered that they didn't offer anything like the larger online agencies. Never again! I also found that they didn't book many DCL cruises so didn't know specifics. For example, when I paid our final payment and saw a different room number on the receipt I knew that we had gotten upgraded, but the TA hadn't noticed anything and wasn't familiar with where the room was. If we are going to use a TA, I want them to know as much as I do about the ship.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #12
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Like others, FREE $$$, we booked a 4 night cruise on the Dream through Dreams Unlimited, no cost to use them, they gave $150 OBC and plus we booked at a time DCL was offering $25 OBC if you booked prior to a certain date.

When we showed up in our stateroom we had a nice gift basket from Dreams Unlimited and $175 OBC for jsut simply using them, the easiest $175 I ever made.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #13
redsonja76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenW View Post
My travel agent does not give me any obc. I use her because she is local and they donate a portion of their fees that they get from Disney to help send local foster families to Disney. As a former foster family this is something near and dear to my heart!
Ok that is incredible! Love it!
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
lisettemac
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I would say none, other than maybe some onboard credit. My travel agent (through a well-known agency that only does Disney) never spoke to me on the phone (couldn't ever reach her), didn't get me anything better than I could get online, didn't offer much in the way of insight or help, and then was in the middle of the transaction when I needed a refund based on Disney GC's. If I had it to do over again, I'd book directly.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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OBC and supporting a small business are the reasons I use a TA. Do I need to? No. But, I have no reason not to.

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