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Old 09-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
Bearybear
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better to use TA or book yourself?

We are considering a cruise for spring break. While my husband and I have been on cruises, it has been almost 15 years. Back then, we used a TA, as booking yourself on the internet was new and not common. We have gone to Disney several times, and found booking ourselves was easier and the same price as going through a TA. Is it the same for a cruise?

Also, anything major I should know that might have changed for cruises in the past 15 years. I assume there are some homeland security issues, but anything else you can think of? I've read through the forum and am confused by a lot if the abbreviations so I can't quite make out what the posts are talking about. Especially in regards to meals.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearybear View Post
We are considering a cruise for spring break. While my husband and I have been on cruises, it has been almost 15 years. Back then, we used a TA, as booking yourself on the internet was new and not common. We have gone to Disney several times, and found booking ourselves was easier and the same price as going through a TA. Is it the same for a cruise?

Also, anything major I should know that might have changed for cruises in the past 15 years. I assume there are some homeland security issues, but anything else you can think of? I've read through the forum and am confused by a lot if the abbreviations so I can't quite make out what the posts are talking about. Especially in regards to meals.
Whether booking through a TA or directly with DCL, the cost to you will be the same. However, with a TA it's possible that you will receive some perks for using them (photo credits, bottle of wine, OnBoard Credits, or other). Booking with a TA means that any changes you need related to room, dining preference would need to go through them, you cannot contact DCL directly with some issues.

As to the abbreviations, if you post them we can answer what they are.

Off the top of my head (relating to meals) I can think of:

MDR - Main Dining Room
AP - Animator's Palate
EG - Enchanted Garden
RP - Royal Palace
PC - Parrot Cay
T - Triton's
L - Lumiere's
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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Above answer gives a good break-down. Fares, taxes and port fees will be the same; though a TA might have change fees if you need to make any changes to your reservation. Personally, I'm a "do it myself" person and therefore we book directly through DCL. Others like to use a TA to get whatever perk is offered (often it's onboard credit, maybe a stateroom gift or gift card). If you choose a TA, you might want to confirm that it's someone who knows DCL very well and can guide you through any questions or changes you might have. Often here on DIS there are threads about wrong information received from a TA.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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Here is a recent thread that has a lot of the acronyms.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....light=acronyms
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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For DCL, it makes more sense (at least to us) to book through a TA. As others have noted, the price will be the same if you book directly or through a TA. The difference for us is that our TA gives us an onboard credit.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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The reason to use a TA for a Disney cruise is for the perks the TA will offer for booking through them.

The sponsor for this forum, Dreams Unlimited, offers onboard credits and for Port Canaveral sailings they place a gift basket in your stateroom. They also have a welcome center nearby port in Cocoa Beach.

In my experience using DU to book has been easy, plus you retain personal access to control things yourself such as booking excursions, reserving adult dining, etc.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jcarwash View Post
The reason to use a TA for a Disney cruise is for the perks the TA will offer for booking through them.

The sponsor for this forum, Dreams Unlimited, offers onboard credits and for Port Canaveral sailings they place a gift basket in your stateroom. They also have a welcome center nearby port in Cocoa Beach.

In my experience using DU to book has been easy, plus you retain personal access to control things yourself such as booking excursions, reserving adult dining, etc.
You retain control of excursion/adult dining/etc reservations when dealing with most TAs (if not all). Only those things related to rooms/dining preferences/monetary issues have to go through a TA.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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One more question. Can you use your Disney Visa Dollars to pay for the cruise? If so, can you use them though a TA?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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One more question. Can you use your Disney Visa Dollars to pay for the cruise? If so, can you use them though a TA?
You can definitely use the Disney Reward Dollars on board to settle charges, that I can confirm.

I assume you can use them via your TA but I have not done that.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #10
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One more question. Can you use your Disney Visa Dollars to pay for the cruise? If so, can you use them though a TA?
As long as those Reward Dollars have been transferred to a valid Rewards Card, that can be used as payment for your cruise. The TA should accept it as he/she only acts as a middle-man to make the payment to DCL directly. Beware of any TA that makes you pay the agency as you have no recourse if they don't make your payments for you.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #11
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We've done both, so far I like the TA route simply for the on-board credit. Our TA has been very responsive and I don't feel like I've lost any real control.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #12
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Even though our ta has been great I have decided to not use one in the future but it is really about my personality. I am constantly changing my mind about cruise date, ship, room category and room number. Even though a ta will do this for you, I prefer to do this instantly on line. It isn't worth a few hundred to me, for most people it is.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #13
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We've done both, so far I like the TA route simply for the on-board credit. Our TA has been very responsive and I don't feel like I've lost any real control.
This. ^^^ I also like having a TA able to request servers, or dining rotations, or placing 'Do Not Change Room/Upgrade' notes on our reservation. Saves phone calls

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Old 09-17-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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OMG.....I LOVE my TA!. She has handled all my WDW, DCL, and other trips except one. I decided I would use Costco to Maui once. It was OK but I didn't get the TLC when I ran into a snafoo. My TA arranged later Hawaii visits. She also helped me with China and Europe. She is a wealth of info. For WDW next month I was thinking about trying the new Magical Bands She gave me the pros and cons do to some bugs being worked out being such new technology. Also, she got to know what kind of people we are and recommends hotels based on our likes and dislikes. Her suggestions have saved us a lot of $$$. She searches for any discounts we can be eligible for and gives us choices, even if one of the choices she gives me won't make her any money. I love her.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mom4fun View Post
Even though our ta has been great I have decided to not use one in the future but it is really about my personality. I am constantly changing my mind about cruise date, ship, room category and room number. Even though a ta will do this for you, I prefer to do this instantly on line. It isn't worth a few hundred to me, for most people it is.
I agree with you 100%!!

For those saying the TA does dining requests or do not upgrade or so forth for them and "saves" a phone call, aren't you out a phone call or trip to the TA? Or at the very least email time? I've done both of those requests myself and it took less time than it would have to compose an email.

One other thing to keep in mind... Recently there have been two posters with issues that because they were booked through a TA had to go through those and the TA was not available or responding. In one case it was a reservation cancellation very close to penalty date and another was an upgrade at a lesser cost that appeared to vanish over the weekend. If you're willing to risk something like that, go ahead. The potential losses in those cases WELL outweigh any credit IMHO.
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