Why I Book My Cruises with a Trusted Travel Agent

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With over 10 years in the airline industry, and some of those in airport operations, I know how to book a flight on my own and take care of myself when things go awry. You might think I’d feel the same about my cruises, and I kind of do, but I still book all my cruises with a trusted travel agent. Many in the travel circles I run in look at me like I have 8 heads when I tell them I use a travel agent to book my cruises and recommend they do the same.

people in the water
Beach as Seen from Chill Island Cabanas – Coco Cay, Bahamas

After the shock wears off and I’m admonished about how easy cruises are to book online, I offer my standard stump speech on finding yourself a good travel agent to book your cruises. And yes…..I’ve booked on my own before too!

I’m Busy Enough – Outsourcing to a Professional Travel Agent Has Its Privileges

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Why waste very valuable time stalking cruise line websites? When it’s time to cruise, I pick up the phone or ship (see what I did there?) an email to my travel agent with some rough parameters of what I’m looking for and let the travel agent work their magic. Speaking of privileges, travel agents often have relationships with travel vendors in your port destinations and can assist you with special tour experiences or identifying some “off the beaten path” things to do away from the thousands of fellow cruisers. Depending on the agent, you’ll sometimes find a surprise bottle of wine or some extra credit on your onboard account to spend just for booking with them.

Alternatively, you can look at the benefit of a travel agent handling your cruise booking as giving you more free time to hack your way to your port of embarkation in first class for FREE. I’ll stop.

Icon of the Seas
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

A Travel Agent Can Advocate on Your Behalf In Ways You Cannot Working on Your Own

Setting aside the benefits of prioritizing your time, there is one big reason I will always use a travel agent for my cruise bookings. Well established travel agents have longstanding business relationships with the cruise lines. If things go wrong, a good agent will go to work on your behalf to make things right. I recently wrote a piece about the importance of travel insurance in some cases. My specific case came to a successful resolution and I am convinced it was only because my travel agent went to work on my behalf, saving me the possible loss of several thousand dollars.

Conclusion

Yes, there is a certain amount of “freedom” in having complete control of your cruise bookings on your own via the cruise line’s website. However, I think the benefits of booking through a trusted travel agent far outweigh that small amount of flexibility. Coming soon, a future post on how to find a good travel agent.

-MJ

 

 

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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