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Old 02-23-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
JulieODC
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Who did you book with? Direct or a TA?

We are contemplating booking our first Disney cruise, and I'm trying to decide who to book with...? Am I allowed to ask this?

We're looking at the May 24,2014 cruise on the Fantasy - so kind of getting close!

Normally, I like to book straight with Disney...but it seems like with DCL, we might be able to get the same price, but with a shipboard credit by going through a TA or travel website? Or even cash back if we do ebates?

Just nervous about going through someone else and getting into issues..
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:40 AM   #2
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We booked our 1st cruise a couple months ago for September on Disney Fantasy & we decided to book through Dreams Unlimited (Kristie is our TA there) for the OBC. We don't have a Costco membership nor do we go to Costco so we weren't very interested in going that route. I've had no problems at all with our reservation so far, & Kristie's been extremely knowledgeable & helpful with any questions we've had, and she has a really quick response time to all my emails.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:01 AM   #3
JohnDS
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We booked with Costco, have been very happy and have a cash card coming for four hundred dollars. However like the pp mentioned, you have to be a member and it's helpful to have one nearby to use the card in.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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I have used Beth Czada at Dreams Unlimited for 3 of our 4 cruises (didn't know about the board or DU for our first one). Beth has been great. I have made many changes to our last 2 cruises, both dates and room locations and she has gotten them all done very quickly. She responds to my emails (DU is email only) within an hour at the MOST. She emails her clients before she is heading on vacation to let us know she will be gone and to send her any urgent requests prior to her departure date. I highly recommend her!

We also are not members of Costco, so can't comment on that route, nor am I familiar enough with ebates.

By booking with a TA you cannot call Disney to ask questions, you have to go through the TA, but that is about all you lose in "control." You still can go online to make payments to DU, and when it's time for online check in and booking excursions/adult restaurants, you do that yourself.

The price of the cruise will be the same regardless of how you book, it's the experience of the TA (if you have a lot of questions) and their service and benefits that makes the difference to me.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:12 AM   #5
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I booked myself but with a lot of help from the kind folks here and from friends who have cruised with Disney.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:54 AM   #6
CaliforniaMama
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I just booked through Disney, got all my questions answered, and then transferred my reservation to Costco to get the cash card. I think that if you have a Costco membership, you will get the best deal this way (money back). You have to do this within 30 days of booking though, and the cruise can't be paid in full.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMama View Post
I just booked through Disney, got all my questions answered, and then transferred my reservation to Costco to get the cash card. I think that if you have a Costco membership, you will get the best deal this way (money back). You have to do this within 30 days of booking though, and the cruise can't be paid in full.
We did the same thing. We will be getting 9% of the cruise fare back on a Costco Card when we return. They don't include the port fees in the card calculation. We also used our Disney Visa to book and pay for the cruise, so that's another $50 for OBC, plus 2% of the cruise fare on the Disney Rewards card. We plan to use that for our onboard account. All together, it added up to over $1000. Not bad!
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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First dcl we used www.mouseunlimited.com (we are supposed to put the full URL of any online TA we mention by the way), second we used www.costcotravel.com, third we just booked on our own (directly after the first...and it was too late to switch to Costco by the time we realized we should have).

I don't need handholding, I don't need things to be planned for me. I was able to get some things taken care of on the second by calling dcl and other things I called Costco and they called disney.

So I go with whatever way gets me more of what I want.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:58 AM   #9
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Another vote for costco, have tried every avenue at least once.... Dcl direct, Disney expert TA, costco, etc... And costco delivered the best service and the best return with the cash card, I mean it's costco if there was a company that aimed to please as much as Disney they're it.... If in doubt you can book with dcl and transfer, although being so close to the date not sure if you can transfer anymore bc you might be within the pif window already
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:26 PM   #10
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Can you still use Disney gift cards to pay when booking with a TA?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Can you still use Disney gift cards to pay when booking with a TA?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:46 PM   #12
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I seriously considered and wanted to book with Costco prior to booking but ended up going with booking through DCL directly. I called Costco 3x to get info like prices and procedures, and policies, and each time they were annoyed and practically surly when I said I was just gathering info and will be discussing it with my family first...which was the truth. I even asked for the agent's extension so that I can ask for them specifically or credit them when I was ready to book and they just said, "any of us here can help you." It was our first ever cruise and there was a lot to learn, and they didn't seem like they were overly happy to help me if they weren't going to get a booking out of me right then and there. I was disappointed because that's not the level of service I'm used to with Costco. Costco service in the warehouse have always been friendly and helpful to me. In the end, for now I guess I'm happy that I went with DCL as I have more control over my reservation, which is a good thing since I've made multiple changes and additions since my initial booking. Next time, however, when I'm more experienced and know more of what to do, what to expect, and such with cruising with DCL, like I'm firm and set with exactly what I want, I'll consider Costco again.

You can still get an OBB if you book with DCL, you just have to use the Disney Visa and you get a $50 OBB. It's not as great as getting one through a TA, but it's better than nothing. Plus it stacks with TA OBB incentives.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #13
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I booked all 3 of our DCL cruises through Costco. The gift card is a nice perk! We also got a free photo book when we booked one of the cruises. The Costco reps are always friendly but not especially knowledgeable. I always research first and then tell them the cabin number that I want. If someone is a new cruiser and needs a lot of assistance, Costco may not be the best choice.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:58 PM   #14
taylor3297
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I book using a TA. We get the on board credit and a gift in the stateroom. Also, our TA will book our Palo, cabanas etc for us without me having to get up when the booking opens.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
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.... If someone is a new cruiser and needs a lot of assistance, Costco may not be the best choice.
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