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Pro's / Con's of using a Travel Agent

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Earl Bonovich, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Apr 8, 2011 #1 of 40
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    My wife and I are going to celebrate our 15th anniversary next year.
    We have decided on a Wedding Vow renewal aboard a Disney Cruise.
    (They finally posted the dates).

    What are the Pro's and Con's of using a Travel Agent for something like this, vs doing it directly with the websites.
     
  2. Apr 8, 2011 #2 of 40
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    Can't think of any pro's.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2011 #3 of 40
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see they finally put your dates up for reservations.

    A pro that I can think of is that a travel agent might kick back part of their commision as an credit where Disney love to keep their money. You mignt want to see what someone like http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/cruise/specials.htm quotes you vs the DCL web site.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2011 #4 of 40
    matt

    matt New Member

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    What's a travel agent? That little gnome? :lol:

    Actually I was talking to a travel agent a while back, maybe a year ago, and they were boasting about how much better deals they could get than those websites.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2011 #5 of 40
    Hutchinshouse

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    We did a cruise last year. We booked it online. We had the best time ever. To me, a travel agent is just the middleman. You have to tell them your likes and dislikes. I just did all the research myself. Make sure you do tons of research. Sounds like you’re doing the 15 day cruise to Hawaii. We’re looking at that one too.

    Congrats on 15 years! Today is 11 years for Hutchinshouse and the wife.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2011 #6 of 40
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Tell me about it... we have been waiting nearly 18 months to get to this point... Best part... the $$$ just from DCL themselves is already about 1/2 of what we were expecting... YAH!!!!
     
  7. Apr 8, 2011 #7 of 40
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    I wish it was 15 days :)

    No, it is only 4 days on the ship, and then adding on 3 on land.
    It is going to be a big family/friend event (they are paying their own way).

    We all have little kids (younger then 11), probably about 14 families looking at going with us.
     
  8. Apr 8, 2011 #8 of 40
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Disney is perfect for your venue.

    While we prefer Royal Carribean's ships...Disney has some nice newer ones that should make your experience one to remember.

    Advice: The bigger the boat - the less you feel the waves. :D

    Happy cruising!
     
  9. Apr 8, 2011 #9 of 40
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear the $'s are less then you were expecting.

    Sometimes I'm really surprised that Disney can fill there ships up with the prices they charge. I checked for a cruise we have booked for next year to take the kids/grandkids and it's already gone up $1,400 on just a four day cruise.

    We leave three weeks from today to do a four day on the Dream after 1.5 days at Boardwalk, need to check out the new ship before we take the kids:lol: Don't know what to expect, I've seen good reports and I've seen bad, just hope it measures up to what we've had on your trips on the Wonder (which were great).
     
  10. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

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    We had our kids with us too. It was great. We could do family stuff during the day. At night we got to gamble and drink a few adult beverages. The daycare programs were great on Carnival. Up until 10PM the cost was free. The kiddies got to do cool/fun activities. So did the wife and I. ;)
     
  11. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

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    Great advice! I got a little seasick, but never :barf:

    I was on a “smaller” ship. A little over 70 tons.

    EB, Get a room in the middle of the ship!
     
  12. kocuba

    kocuba Icon

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    The only Pro I could think of with your setup is that the disney site did not give all the options to combine the land and sea choices. Atleast easily.

    We are doing 4 days in a hotel and the 3 day Dream cruise in Oct.

    I had lots of issues trying to get land arrangements and ticket choices from the website. Also the prices that they were giving me for flight were just ridiculous compared to just me searching myself. Plus I have all transfers included and if they know your flight info and room info, to me it just makes it "safer" that those arrangements wont get screwed up.

    With that large a group going, you should also see what an agent could do for better pricing.

    While normally I would just book flight/hotel/rental cars my self, I just felt going thru a TA was a better option due to the smal complexities of the trip involved.

    Just my .02

    Good luck
     
  13. trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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    I doubt you are going to see much savings online versus using a travel agent for something so far out.

    When we went on a cruise the misses wanted to use a TA so we did (I was a bit leery) and after looking into it the deal she got us was at least as good as what we could have gotten on our own and she planned out all the airfare etc. They can add value despite the initial thoughts of everything is cheaper on the interwebs ;)
     
  14. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Been on a cruise before... I would never survive in a middle room.
    Balcony all the way.
     
  15. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    One problem I've heard when using Disney for booking flights is that they don't preassign seats so a family can end up scattered all over the plane.
     
  16. shuye

    shuye AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    We went on a Disney cruise a few years ago and loved it. We are going this June on the new Disney Ship to see how it compares. We used a travel agent both times, however this time we booked our Air fare separately. I would suggest getting some kind of vacation insurance. With Disney - I don't think you will find much if any price difference between online and a travel agent. The vacation insurance helped last year as 1 family was delayed in Atlanta due to weather and missed the departure. Disney flew them to the Bahamas and put them up in a hotel for a day and then they boarded the boat when we arrived.

    If you have a good agent, they can tell you about the ship and may be able to get you a better cabin or get groups of cabins together if you have a large group. We have 4 families going this June with 5 rooms and were able to get them within 3 or 4 rooms of each other on the same deck - this would have been hard to do if at all if reserving separtely online.

    If you need a good travel agent for Cruises, PM me and I'll give you the agent we have used for 3 cruises and my parents have used for about 20.
     
  17. trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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    I think he meant middle as in not the bow or stern where more motion occurs :lol:
     
  18. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    I think he's saying is get a room towards the middle of the deck, not in the bow or stern area.

    I also agreen about the inside cabins, even an outside with just a porthole, love sitting out on the balcony.

    Disney on their two new ships is doing something to make inside cabins a bit more 'open', you get a virtual porthole, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZw8o3vvN-o . Each cabin gets a HDTV on the wall and there are a few cameras mounted on the outside of the ship so you can get a view of where you're at. And every now and then a Disney character will show up in view.
     
  19. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    I will first say that my wife used to own a travel agency. She decided to get out of the business quite frankly because too many people booked online then were coming in for advice.

    I can give you a list of examples when she was was called when there was a problem with a trip and she was able to solve it, but I won't. :) Agents best attribute is they are able to give advice. As a general rule, the price will be the same, although large or online agents can sometimes give you a better price if they have a "group" booked on that particular trip. My wife did that all the time. She had a large group (about 50 cabins) that sailed the same time every year. So she would reserve 70 cabins and book other clients in at the group rate.

    If everything on your trip goes smoothly, then booking direct or through an agent is apples to apples. But if something goes wrong, do you want to call the agent that help you and knows you or do you want to call an 800 number.

    The one example relating to a cruise I will give is when a ship was taken out of service. She had some clients booked on the Monarch of the Seas for a cruise over Christmas in 1998. The ship ran aground 2 weeks before they were scheduled to sail. As soon as she heard the news, she was looking for anything she could find for her clients and she found something. About a week later, a couple came in because they had been notified by their "national agency" that their cruise had been canceled. They had already taken vacation and bought airline tickets etc. and were being offered a replacement sailing at a later date. By now, everything for that week had been taken by agents just like my wife looking out for their clients and there was nothing that could be done.

    As long as the price is the same, support a local business. If the price is higher, find another one.


    Can you think of any cons?
     
  20. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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