1. You’re a first-time cruiser. You have always wanted to take a cruise, but simply don’t know where to begin. You’re befuddled by the all the choices: small ship, big ship, inside cabin, outside cabin, early dining, late dining, anytime dining and all the other variables that make up a cruise vacation. No wonder you’re in a tizzy. An agent that specializes in ocean and river cruising will help you sort through a sea of options and find the best ones that work for you.
2. Your time is precious. Who wants to spend hours sorting through the hundreds of cruise ship and itinerary options? A Travel Agent will be happy to do the work for you – it’s what they love to do.
3. Complete door-to-door service. Do you need a ride to or from the ship? Air transportation? A hotel the night before or after your cruise? A shore tour? The cruise line will be more than happy to book these as part of a complete package, but your choices will be quite limited to whomever the cruise line contracts with. A travel agent, on the other hand, has connections to many taxi companies, local tour guides, discount hotels and other resources that can save you money or provide service in line with your particular style.
4. Reliable Pricing. Have you ever logged on to a web-only cruise site to research pricing on a particular cruise? You’ll see one price listed, one for each cabin category. However, in many cases that’s not the only price; there may be other promotion codes, as well, allowing for different rates for the same cabin. A Travel Agent will let you know whether any price discounts are available resulting from any special promotions, group pricing, or whether you might qualify for a past passenger rate, a military rate or other discount and/or added amenity.
5. Unbiased information. An independent agent is working for you, not a particular travel supplier or cruise line! While you are welcomed to take advantage of all the services the cruise line will offer as part of a cruise package, the agent will help you find the alternatives that fit your needs or if you simply want to find ways to save money on your vacation.
6. Added amenities and reduced group pricing. Cruise agencies will typically reserve groups of cabins and sell them to their clients at a reduced group-only rate and include other amenities such as onboard credit, a bottle of wine, free excursion, or any number of other gifts.
7. Personalized Service. Have you ever been frustrated with the 800-number large web-based agencies, waiting on hold, unreturned phone calls, or misinformation? A good, reliable agent will never leave you hanging, always return calls and emails promptly, and pass along information from both the cruise line and the agent’s own personal experience. A good agent knows what you are looking for in a cruise vacation or will find it and make it happen in a friendly and professional way. Most importantly, a qualified agent will be there to help you when you most need it.
8. We Have Your Back. If any problems should arise before or during your vacation, a good agent will advocate on your behalf to get the answers and results you’re looking for. Like during a pandemic or other world event having a broad effect on travel.
9. Transfer your direct-with-cruise-line booking to a travel agent. Did you know that if you find an agent you really like but have already booked direct with the cruise line, that you can transfer that booking to the agent?
Simply let the agent know your booking number, and he or she will take care of the whole process. You’re cruise stays exactly the same, you will receive great service from your Travel Agent who know has control of your reservation and any bonus amenities possible, the agent will get a commission, and everyone wins!