Use a travel agency...or just book through cruise line?

Hessian

Well-Known Member
Uncertain of my best course financially as we plan booking a cruise.
We opted to use a Travel agency last time we went to Europe (Flight, cruise, rental car)...I appreciated their advice (Travel Leaders) and things went very smoothly.
I think they knew when to book and what benefits to look for.

Now, I am tempted simply to call/e-mail the cruise line & have them offer the best flights to get to Amsterdam,...and see if they can make a fiscally wise offer. I am hesitant because I saw on the previous cruises that their excursions were very pricey compared to our individual contracting with an independent tour agency we met in several ports....that did the exact same venues. What prevents them from choosing a flight that adds more $$ to their partners (indirectly themselves)

So...bottom line: Who has enough travel experience to say
a) Just do all the booking on line through the cruise line & airline ...you'll get out ahead
VS
b) Go through a travel agency,...their know-how will save you $$ in the long run

Thoughts?
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
I didn't even know there was still such a thing as a travel agency, so I have no advice for you.

I used a travel agency when I ran away 20+ years ago to get married in Jamaica because I didn't know what I was doing.

When I went on the cruise I * think * we booked the cruise and flight through the cruise line. We had a few days in New Orleans before sail, and I booked the hotel room myself.

Monello is a veteran cruiser and is currently sleeping off a bender ( :jet: ) but when he gets up he'll have some good advice for you.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
I'd hate to throw away a sizable discount.
I understand ... I wish you the best in your vacation .... I know my observation is not what you were looking for - I'd go with the Travel Agency

I'd be concerned about getting stuck over seas somewhere
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
In many ways you are right...but they cancelled Summer 2020 tour (almost all paid for) and now offer generous deals to try again. I'd hate to throw away a sizable discount.
One thing to check on:

Getting out of the country may not be difficult, but getting back into the country might be. I attended a Zoom seminar the other day and it was stressed to skip trips to Mexico this season (we're right on the border and park guests often do daytrips to Nuevo Progreso) because you may be denied entry back into the US.

Which is hilarious because Mexicans seem to have no problem jumping the border and waltzing right in, but there it is.
 

jrt_ms1995

Well-Known Member
When traveling overseas, especially to some of the odder places, I still use Cole's Travel. Their 24/7 365 1-800 number has bailed me out multiple times.
Cole's set us up on plane tickets to Europe a few years back. We had to have differing schedules (work), but wanted to be together as much as possible, and there were just so many options, seemingly changing daily, that we couldn't figure it out on our own and turned to Cole's. About an hour later we were set, and, IIRC, was only about $20 extra per ticket for their effort.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
I didn't even know there was still such a thing as a travel agency, so I have no advice for you.

I used a travel agency when I ran away 20+ years ago to get married in Jamaica because I didn't know what I was doing.

When I went on the cruise I * think * we booked the cruise and flight through the cruise line. We had a few days in New Orleans before sail, and I booked the hotel room myself.

Monello is a veteran cruiser and is currently sleeping off a bender ( :jet: ) but when he gets up he'll have some good advice for you.
20 cough cough.. years??
 

TPD

the poor dad
Uncertain of my best course financially as we plan booking a cruise.
We opted to use a Travel agency last time we went to Europe (Flight, cruise, rental car)...I appreciated their advice (Travel Leaders) and things went very smoothly.
I think they knew when to book and what benefits to look for.

Now, I am tempted simply to call/e-mail the cruise line & have them offer the best flights to get to Amsterdam,...and see if they can make a fiscally wise offer. I am hesitant because I saw on the previous cruises that their excursions were very pricey compared to our individual contracting with an independent tour agency we met in several ports....that did the exact same venues. What prevents them from choosing a flight that adds more $$ to their partners (indirectly themselves)

So...bottom line: Who has enough travel experience to say
a) Just do all the booking on line through the cruise line & airline ...you'll get out ahead
VS
b) Go through a travel agency,...their know-how will save you $$ in the long run

Thoughts?
The cruiselines offer very competitive airfare through their own websites So it is very possible for you to book everything through the cruise company you choose And get a fair price. But after 25+ cruises, here is my take - if it is just my wife and I taking a cruise to the Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale, we will Book everything online ourselves with the cruise line and/or airline directly. Anything more than that and I call Cole Travel. There are issues that always come up that I need an experienced travel agent to take care of. If you have plenty of travel experience, you can book a European cruise on your own, but I am at the point in my life that I would much rather call the travel agent and say hey, this is my price range, what are my options for rental cars and hotels.

Hope that answers your questions.

BTW, what cruise line and itinerary are you looking at?
 
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