Travel Agent or Book Direct???

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by denas, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. denas

    denas Mouseketeer

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    I know there are lots of travel agents out there, but was wondering what the difference was between using an agent or booking directly?? When I first started checking prices, it seems like everyone offered the same price (in the past when I have cruised other lines I found a lot more variation in prices that TAs offered versus brochure price through the cruise line). Now however, I see lots of people who used TAs get onboard credits or suprise upgrades other perks that I don't seem to have booking directly through Disney. I went direct since there didn't seem to be any price difference and I wanted guarenteed connecting staterooms (I had my stateroom assignments when I hung up the phone). I am a USAA member and USAA does offer a resort stay at a couple of different resorts in Mexico if you book through them, but that didn't seem like anything I would do anytime in the near future and I preferred being able to get online and make changes to my own reservation. I also didn't understand that everyone can make their Flounders/excursion reservations online regardless of if you used a TA or not.

    Now, I am looking at another cruise and wondering what the recommendations are and what I would expect if I was working with a TA versus going direct. Thanks for all the sage advice from so many of you out there!!!:cheer2:
     
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  3. dursin

    dursin DIS Veteran

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    We book direct and then when we are certain we're going to take the trip, I buy the travel insurance and transfer to a TA for additional savings, typically in the form of an OBC. If you haven't chosen a TA yet, I've transfered 3 existing reservations over to this one and have always been more than happy with their service.

    http://www.mymagicalvacation.com/
     
  4. KingRichard

    KingRichard DIS Veteran

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    I would be interested in what the surprise extra's might be.

    Also could they wait list us for a upgraded room if it becomes available or even have access to that info.

    For example a concierge room?

    Thanks
     
  5. denas

    denas Mouseketeer

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    So on our upcoming cruise, our final payment isn't due until November 15th (or Oct 30 so I can book 90 days out for Flounders). Even at this late date I could transfer to a TA?? Would they help me figure out which limo company to use from the port?? Right now we are booked in connecting Cat 5 rooms, but certainly wouldn't mind being upgraded to Cat 4 if available, but not even sure how to call DCL to ask for such a thing!! I was going to try the military card (this cruise is to celebrate my husband's 20 years in the army - it was his "retirement" cruise but now he is staying in cuz the economy sucks) but again, when I am just speaking to whomever answers the phone at DCL - not sure how to get this info to them!!! I guess I am still wondering what a TA could help me with - not just for a future planned cruise but for one we already booked through DCL and still have a few outstanding planning things left....
    :confused3
     
  6. denas

    denas Mouseketeer

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    That is a good point. The only reason I found out about the Kids-Sail-Free on the cruise I have had booked since last Feb was because I happened to be on the DCL site and saw the banner. I called them and they did honor that for my existing reservation, but if I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have known!! With 3 kids, that saved me close to $2000, so it was a big deal!!!
     
  7. dursin

    dursin DIS Veteran

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    Probably a good idea to transfer the reservation at least 30 days prior to final payment. I'd discuss that with whatever TA you decide to use though if you go that route.
     
  8. DW2010

    DW2010 DIS Veteran

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    We booked through a travel agent to get an OBC. I'm also hoping she'll keep a watch on my reservation in case of a discount.
     
  9. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

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    Booking thru a TA or thru DCL does not make a difference if/when DCL hands out upgrades. DCL does upgrades based solely on their inventory needs and it doesn't matter when you booked, who you booked with, or when you pay off your cruise.
    If you ask your TA to be on the lookout for an upgrade or to waitlist you for an upgrade then you will be paying for that upgrade if a cabin becomes available for your sailing.
     
  10. BibbidyBobbidyBoo

    BibbidyBobbidyBoo <font color=red><br>AKA BIP - Bibbidy is a Pirate DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I like to book WDW stays and flights and all that on my own- but our travel agent is INVALUABLE with our DCL bookings and I wouldn't book without them (I rebook onboard and list them as the agent, they handle it from there)

    My primary reason is for the OBC (or was in the beginning) but also mine seemed to have cheaper prices (not sure why- perhaps booked blocks of rooms?) than what showed online at the time. Now our TA is invaluable because they seem to be able to get things booked sooner on the day dates become available- than I can calling on my own. And they help move things around if we switch rooms, switch dummy dates booked onboard to new dates when they come out at the cheapest possible without me having to call and be on hold for long periods of time with DCL/etc. They help us get the rooms we want, dining times we want, dining/show times we want on Dream, etc. They've also occasionally have been able to let us know when a cat 3 becomes available- sometimes we take it, sometimes we don't- without me having to add myself to a waiting list and deal with that on my own. Also let us know if bargain prices show up for a cruise, if our cruise becomes discounted, helps with pre-stay booking and/or transportation if we ask them to, etc.

    Numerous other things I'm sure I haven't mentioned.... and they always make all our changes and talk to us about what would be best/etc. with nothing but always a pleasant attitude. I love our travel agent.... and wouldn't do Disney cruises any other way. :)

    *(edited to add: and they always answer emails immediately and/or call once I email and they have a number you can call instead of emailing and they are open 7 days a week. And other things I probably shouldn't list publicly in case they don't do that for everyone. LOL Just love them!)
     
  11. tearem

    tearem Earning My Ears

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    Can I switch to a TA even if I have already paid in full?
     
  12. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

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    Each TA makes their own rules so you would need to check to see if they would accept one that is paid in full.
     
  13. lexlaw69

    lexlaw69 Mouseketeer

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    I booked thru Costco TA and got a percentage of my cruise price refunded back on a gift card. I think it was like 160.00 bucks on a 3000 dollar cruise. A very good suprise and why I used Costco rather than Disney to book.
     
  14. jimmiemcinpa

    jimmiemcinpa Mouseketeer

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    Does the OBC and 10% credit booking while onboard offer a better deal than the OBC from TA?

    I know I have seen a thread for this question but who has great experiences with a particular TA and what is their contact information?

    Thanks

    Jim
    :confused3
     
  15. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

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    If a TA offers an OBC it can be combined with the onboard booking offer from DCL.
    We rebooked our Baltics cruise onboard and rec'd the 10% discount and $200 OBC from DCL and a $600 OBC from our TA.
     
  16. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

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    REMINDER

    There are only certain TA's that can be mentioned on DIS. If anyone wants to share the website of their TA please remember to type in the full address of the website to know if the TA is allowed to be mentioned on DIS. If you do not type in the full web address or do creative spelling of the web address the mods will have to edit your post and possibly issue an infraction. If you want to see if the web address you are trying to post is valid just press Preview Post before hitting submit.
    Thanks for your cooperation.
     
  17. jimmiemcinpa

    jimmiemcinpa Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the help JillJill. I have seen other posts on recomended TA's maybe I will search for those. I have been booking on own and would like to book onboard and get discount then transfer to see what additional OBC i can get.

    Jim:)
     
  18. runskyhy

    runskyhy It's not less monkey, it's Moe Monkey!

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    I like threads on this topic, because it gives me hope one day I'll find a TA of my very own!

    I'd sure like to use a TA, too, if for nothing else but for advanced notice and advice. I haven't found one yet that will reply to calls/emails w/in a business day, so I do it myself these days. I know there are TONS of good ones out there, so I hope to find one eventually!

    Whatever you decide, have a great vacation!
     
  19. hart6066

    hart6066 DIS Veteran

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    Just wondering if there'd be any OBC for such a short trip--especially when not booking one of the pricier rooms. I already picked out the room and would only really "need" someone to help watch out for discounts. Just curious if there is any OBC for short trip with 2A 2C. Thanks!
     
  20. budbeerlady

    budbeerlady <font color=blue>I call DH The STREAK!!<br><font c

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    I was able to get $25 obc from Disney and $100 obc from our TA for our 3 days on the Dream in October. I think if I pay it all with the Disney Visa I also will get $50 obc. Heck, I am happy with $125!
     
  21. KSDisneyDad

    KSDisneyDad DIS Veteran

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    I've used two separate TAs over the years. My first TA was very good about responding to call/emails. Emails were usually responded to in a manner of minutes (or at most a couple of hours). In the world of blackberries and iphones, I can't imagine not receiving a response right away unless your TA is on vacation him/herself, sleeping or someplace where cellphones should be turned-off (movie theaters, church, etc.).

    The only reason we changed TAs was because we met someone on a DCL cruise that we really liked and stayed in touch with. When we found out she was a TA, we used her services as it was nice knowing the person "personally" versus having only transacted via phone or email.

    * * * *

    We like using a TA because they make it easier for us. I like knowing that they handle everything from getting up early to call-in for our reservations, watching for specials and doing everything they can to make each trip special. Knock on wood, we have never had to ask our TA to help us with a problem, but I know they'll do everything in their power to help you if there is a problem.

    There was a thread not too long ago about a person who booked a dummy cruise onboard and then simply forgot to move it before the 75 day window. Disney rules require that if you miss the change deadline, you either have to pay in full and go on the dummy cruise or lose your deposit. I believe Disney may have finally ended up helping her a little, but I don't recall the final outcome. I think she still lost a part of her deposit. Regardless, a Travel Agent would have let you know long before your final payment was due. They would have even known that it was a dummy cruise and moved your booking for you long before the final change date. If it was a cruise you were actually intending to go on, they would have confirmed whether or not you wanted to pay-in-full before the 90-day excursion/Palo/spa booking window for Silver CC members and then offered to book things for you (or you can do it on your own).
     

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