There are tons of websites available if you are looking to take a vacation. With the amount of information available, many people wonder why anyone would use a travel agent. Hiring a travel agent for your next cruise can have numerous advantages. From getting you great deals to handling common travel issues, your travel agent is a valuable part of your travel plans.
Travel Agents Are a Wealth of Knowledge
Travel agents are required to complete ongoing training on destinations, cruise ships, resorts, and hotels. One of the major tasks of travel agents is knowing exactly what a client will enjoy on a vacation. A client may want a cruise that offers the best children’s program, the most dining choices, and world-class entertainment. The husband wants to go cave tubing and zip lining while the wife goes shopping and exploring ancient jungles.
You can find this information on your own online, but it could take you weeks to figure out which cruise itinerary would best fit your needs. Your agent, for example, would know instantly that a seven-day western Caribbean sailing to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico on Norweigan Dawn would be your best bet. Travel agents will save you hours of research and deliver the best vacation for your needs.
Travel Agents Have the Inside Scoop
When you book your cruise on your own, you may be limited to what you can find online. Calling a cruise line to get a better deal can be a time-consuming experience. Your travel agent will know what sailings offer reduced deposits, automatic upgrades, shipboard credits, and airfare credits. They know what ships have been recently renovated and which offer upgraded staterooms and amenities.
Your travel agent will be able to get you a package deal on pre- and post-cruise hotel stays, ground transportation, and airfare. While you could coordinate this on your own, travel agents can get you better deals and find out information quickly.
Travel Agents Are Required to Travel
Chances are great that your travel agent has sailed on your ship. Travel agents are required to make what are referred to as “ship inspections.” This means that your agent is required to tour ships periodically and experience all of the onboard amenities. Your agent has probably seen your stateroom firsthand, eaten at the restaurants, and taken a swim in the pool. They are knowledgeable about what you will experience on your cruise.
Travel Agents Know the Language
Many first-time cruisers simply pick the lowest-priced cruise they find online. While this will get you a cheap cruise, there are many things about which you may not be aware. A couple found a great deal on a “guaranteed” oceanview stateroom and booked it online. It was not until they boarded the ship that they discovered that a “guaranteed” room means that you will receive any available room on the ship — even if that means there are lifeboats in front of your window. A travel agent would have told them this information upfront.
Travel agents know which rooms are accessible staterooms that are set aside for guests with wheelchairs. They know how far your room is from the elevator, what amenities are on each deck, and which staterooms offer the best views. Hiring a travel agent can mean all of the difference in your next cruise vacation.
Travel Agents Are Ideal for Group Cruises
Are you in charge of planning your family reunion cruise? Great. Now you have to coordinate 30 rooms with multiple people per room, airfare from multiple cities, different dining preferences, and shore excursions for everyone. Your family now has the next six months to call you about every single detail, driving you crazy in the process. Leave that work to a travel agent. Simply tell the agent what you want and let them handle the details.
Travel Agents Work for You
Travel agents work for their clients. While some charge a fee, many do not. Travel agents will advocate on your behalf so that you don’t have to call the cruise lines, airlines, and hotels yourself. They will deal with issues as they arise. They will help you make travel insurance claims and make arrangements for you during your trip. Simply tell your agent what you want and they will make it happen.
When it’s time to book your next cruise, trust a travel agent to create a vacation of a lifetime.