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AnnieB925

Travel agent vs. book directly with cruise line-Mediterranean

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Hi, I am starting to plan a cruise for May 2020 and am wondering if I should use a travel agent or book directly through the cruise line. This is cruise #16 for us so we are no rookies. However, the cruise I am planning is a Mediterranean cruise (Eastern.) We have done a Western Med cruise, but it was all booked through a travel agent because it was a gift from my husband's company (yes, nice!) 

 

Please share your opinions. I appreciate all feedback.

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If the TA gives perks  then go for it

 It really is a personal choice

Some people feel  more in control by booking direct  & do not care about the perks

JMO

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Agree with the above...You can also book the cruise yourself and then decide if you want to transfer it to a TA...time limits to do this may apply.

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5 hours ago, LHT28 said:

If the TA gives perks  then go for it

 It really is a personal choice

Some people feel  more in control by booking direct  & do not care about the perks

JMO

I'm glad you said "feel" more in "control."

A single cruise customer is no more than the slightest of a "rounding error" in a cruise line's bottom line while a "preferred partner" TA may do $ millions annually in sales for that cruise line. Whose phone call will get answered first and produce better results.

 

OP: Your question has been answered a zillion times on CC. Use the search feature and you'll find many many reasons for using the "correct" TA  as well as instructions on how to identify those individuals.

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We would never book directly.  Any glitch so far away from home would garner little to no attention by the cruise line.

OTOH our TA would be all over it...helping to find an acceptable solution.

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Our TA always gives us a 7 to 10% discount on the fare and has been responsive the very few times there have been issues so we don't book directly with the cruise line.

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I'm leaning towards using a TA for this cruise. Thanks for the feedback and for the suggestion to do a search. It took a few tries, but with the correct parameters, I was able to find this:

Link to posts on the topic

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For us it is usually a no--brainer.  We can generally save about 10% of the cruise fare by using one of our favored cruise agencies.  There are a few times when we might book a cruise with a future cruise consultant (while on another cruise) because there is some type of special promotion, but then we will quickly "shop" our booking to a few cruise agents and transfer it to the one that gives us the best offer.  For example, we were recent cruise and they had a promo where they would double the usual OBC  for booking onboard.  In our situation this meant we received $1000 OBC just because we booked onboard.  Yesterday we transferred that booking to one of our favorite cruise agencies who gave us an additional $1800 in OBC.  Bottom line was that by using a cruise agency we will save at least $1800 over having placed the reservation with the cruise line.

 

My simple message to the OP is to price out your cruise with a few decent high volume cruise agencies and then compare it to the deal you would get by booking with the cruise line.  In most cases, once you consider On Board Credits (OBCs) and other amenities you should be able to save 7-10% (or more) with the right cruise agency.

 

Hank

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Normally we use a TA.However,for our upcoming cruise we were unable to get an accessible cabin with a TA and called the Cruise line who was able to get it for us.

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I've booked almost all of my cruises through TAs. I'm not particularly loyal to any one TA. My last several bookings have been made with different ones.

 

There are some that aren't as good as others. One who works for one of the large cruise specialist travel agencies was particularly bad recently when I booked our upcoming cruise. She was quoting me outrageous prices--higher than I saw on the cruise line's website. 

Edited by geoherb

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