Honest opinion - travel agent or myself

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by DanceGirl914, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. DanceGirl914

    DanceGirl914 Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2010
    Hello all,
    Its been a while, and I have to ask your opinion. We are looking to take DD on a cruise next year. And booking it soon so we make sure we get the early dinner seating.
    I have gone online to the disney site to price out what I want, and have gone to my travel agent friend to get a price. They are exactly the same, except her insurance quote is almost 300 higher.
    I sent in a request to Dreams Unlimited on a whim to see what they come back with and with the exception of the 200 on board credit they are basically the same price also.

    So I have never booked a trip myself, should i do it myself through Disney web page or use my friend.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions.
    Looking forward to the prospect of a trip!
  2. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    If there is no price difference in booking your vacation yourself, and you feel comfortable doing so, then I say do your own holiday planning.

    That said.....the booking/planning/etc. is as much fun for me as the actual vacation. Its something I enjoy, so I don't mind the "hassle" (which is what others seek to avoid, and therefore go the travel agent route).

    Our first Orlando trip (Disney-only) was handled by a travel agent. Our second, third and fourth trips have all been booked by me from start to finish. I have much preferred handling our own reservations and flights.
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  4. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    I always book our Disney vacations myself. We have adequate travel insurance through one of our credit cards. BUT I always book our cruises through a travel agent- one who is savvy in the ways of cruises. And because they tend to be expensive trips, we get extra travel insurance either through the TA or through our bank.

    I would look very closely at the terms, conditions, and coverage of the Disney trip insurance and compare it to the insurance that you can get in Canada. You get what you pay for with insurance.... It may be worthwhile to pay a bit more for it.
  5. tgropp

    tgropp DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2007
    I have booked every Disney vacation myself for almost 20 years using codes etc, but always use a travel agent for a cruise as I could not get it any cheaper myself. For our Feb cruise I went with Dreams Unlimited for the first time due to a onboard credit and a stateroom gift.
  6. pkitty

    pkitty Yo Ho Yo Ho a pirates life for me

    Oct 2, 2002
    I have done all three.....Dreams Unlimited is excellent....most trips I do myself....however having said that.....the Cruises are a different animal and if I'd never booked one myself before I would be inclined to use a travel agency :thumbsup2
  7. stefanospops

    stefanospops DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    The main reason, IMO, to use a travel agent for the cruises is because many will give you an onboard credit. You are going to be spending money on the ship anyways, so why not get something back? I have used Dreams Unlimited for my past two cruises. Truthfully, I do all my own research anyways and just tell the travel agent the room I want and get my onboard credit as a result. DCL has a policy that no one is allowed to discount their cruises so the price on their site is the same for everyone else. Only difference is that through a travel agent they get a commission and they kick back some of that to you in the form of the onboard credit.
  8. Susan2771

    Susan2771 Mouseketeer

    Jun 28, 2008
    If you collect aeroplan miles, Expedia cruiseshipcenters does redeem aeroplan vouchers towards the balance of a cruise which can be a budget saver. A number of offices in Eastern Canada also have a exclusive promotion going on with Disney Cruise Line last month and some have them extended until this weekend. Maybe the cruise you are considering is part of the promotion if you have an office in your area.
  9. tone.def

    tone.def <font color=red>My Mommy told me I look pretty all

    Jan 17, 2005
    So in order to get your business they take a pay cut? Hmmmm, I wouldn't feel good ethically about that because I know how hard I work for every cent I earn.
  10. It'sWDW4me

    It'sWDW4me <font color=green>Fairly new... still gets a tag :

    Sep 4, 2009
    How much would DU be earning in commission to be able to afford issuing the on board credits? If they couldn't afford to do it, they most certainly wouldn't.

    OP - I ALWAYS book my own WDW trip but I used Dreams Unlimited for our first cruise for the OBC. Merri - our rep from DU - is wonderful but, because I do love the planning process, I researched everything and made my own excursion and Palo reservations anyway. I bought trip insurance through ************.com because they were recommended here on the DIS and the policy price was pretty reasonable (less than $200 to cover 4 people) for the coverage provided. :thumbsup2
  11. retiredkid

    retiredkid <font color=blue>Your shots make me want to try ag

    Apr 29, 2007
    DH and I take out multiple-trip medical insurance from our health insurance company. We are both (healthy) seniors. It lasts for a year. That way, you only need cancellation insurance. Saves a bundle that way.

    I have always booked my own WDW trips. Cruises, I use a TA.
  12. taylor3297

    taylor3297 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2009
    If you use a US travel agent, they can use the on board credit they give you as a business expense on their taxes. So, yes they are using part of their commission to give you onboard credit, but they can deduct the expense on the taxes. Also, the TA is hoping for repeat business.

    I help out with a Disney TA and for all of her cruise customers she gives an onboard credit and a stateroom gift. The more cruises you book with her, the more she gives.

    She also sends other gifts to her clients that book WDW trips too.
  13. minnie56

    minnie56 <font color=magenta>Whatever it is, he said it is

    Aug 27, 2001
    I know of no travel agent that reduces their commisson in order to offer an onboard credit. Often the agency has a group on that particular sailing and an added perk of the group is an OBC. Sure they can expense it but unless they are the agency owner getting all of the commission the discounting would be most of the TA's share!
  14. pooksma

    pooksma DIS Veteran

    Jan 4, 2005
    If it is your first Disney cruise, you might want the reassurance of an agent. Even after several WDW trips (some book by ourselves, some with an agent) we chose to book our first cruise with an agent.

    Everyone is different :thumbsup2
  15. sstarke

    sstarke a gentle heart

    Jun 30, 2011
    Indeed. Just as important, I want someone to earn my loyalty through great service, not buy it via an OBC or a gift. I've always been skeptical of companies that 'give away' such perks. What are they compensating for? Maybe I'm just old school. :confused3
  16. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    OBCs are nothing to sneeze at. You know how fast those little extra charges pile up on a cruise. All else being equal, I'll take the offer with the biggest OBC. Just because a credit is offered, it doesn't mean you won't also receive great service. At least that has been our experience with our TA.
  17. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2009
    I'd go with Dreams Unlimited to gain the $200 credit, why throw away $200?
    I think they may also get hotel rooms cheaper on group rate? For night before cruise. I would def. arrive the day before. You don't want flight delay and miss sailing!

    I book myself for WDW vacays, but would use a Disney specialist for cruise. You can look into pricing other insurance policies to compare, but be sure you are comparing apples to apples.
  18. 3pletprincesses

    3pletprincesses DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2010
    I much prefer to book my own trips for the simple reason that I can change things as needed without calling someone else to do what I want to do.

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