10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Book Your Own Cruise

10 Reasons You Should NOT Book Your Own Cruise and Why Even The Cruiselines Recommend Calling a Travel Professional.

Yes, it’s good advice, it comes from the travel professionals and it comes from the Cruise Lines. Below is 10 reasons from a cruise line. Take the advice of one or the other, but coming from both, wouldn’t you say they know something you don’t? Is there a pattern here? You go to a dentist for your teeth, you go to a lawyer to stay or get out of trouble, you go to an auto mechanic for your car, you go to a heart specialist for your heart. Why is it so difficult to figure out go to a travel cruise specialist because they know travel and cruises?

A recent request arrived for a ports-of-call wedding with a specific date and ship. When asked how she found me, her response was “from a search online.” Being recognized for designing unique and romance travel and cruise experiences, the response to her was for more details, number of travelers, wedding venue visions, cruise group possibilities, group bonus, points and perks and how the cruise booking was related to the ports-of-call wedding. A professional’s response and interest in helping create their special experience. The return response stated she would book the cruise because “it was fun,” followed by a quote of three passengers, an inside stateroom, a total with minimal deposit, what more could I do? These points come from many directions, a National Director, Norwegian Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises, French-American Crise Line and other agency owners I’ve abreviated so you call me for your next cruise, ports-of-call wedding, celebration.

1. Travel agents are knowledgeable experts.
First and most importantly, travel agents provide knowledge and expertise that has taken them years to collect. This consultative experience with travel agents is incredibly valuable to consumers because it allows them to combine their own research with the expertise of their trusted travel agent and ultimately feel very confident in their final decision.
—Dana Gain, national director of Canadian sales, Norwegian Cruise Line

2. Travel agents offer advice at no cost.
If you have a chance to hire a professional advocate and researcher for zero cost to you (we’re paid by the suppliers), why would pass up that free value-add?
—Gary Smith, franchise owner, DV

3. Travel agents deliver one-stop shopping.
We are able to create a seamless travel experience with transfers, air, as well as unique pre and post tours and hotels. We are also able to create private shore excursions that are unique to each port. We bring added value to every booking.
—Roy Ramsey, director of operations, BMTI

4. Travel agents provide an added level of support.
We absolutely rely on agents as our primary means of distribution—and it’s not just our distribution, it’s also just the support they provide.
—Tom Markwell, president, French America river cruise line

5. Travel agents serve as your advocate when things go astray.
There’s so much advice we can offer, it helps to have an agent before you go on a trip. But it’s also great to have an agent for when things go bump in the night, to have someone to call when you have a delayed flight. That’s what keeps customers coming back. Yes, they might get a lower price, but if you want service, we’re the ones who will be there for you at 3 a.m.”
—Diane Bower, travel professional, CDT

6. Travel agents understand your needs.
Travel professionals get to know the customer, their wants and their needs, really well. It’s almost as if your best friend is booking a trip for you.
—Dana Gain, national director of Canadian sales, Norwegian Cruise Line

7. Travel agents are here to stay.
The profession is only going to become stronger and more needed… We are going to need them to continue to sell us more than ever.
—Ken Muskat, executive vice president, MSC Cruises USA

8. Travel agents are impartial advisors.
A good agent is impartial and will always recommend and give insights into the best choice for the client, not the supplier. Going direct to suppliers limits your feedback to what is best for the supplier.
—Gary Smith, franchise owner, DV

9. A live travel agent is better than a click.
When you get a good travel agent on the phone she can enhance your vacation with knowledge and expertise that you can’t get on the internet. And we have access to all types of promotions.
—Beth Leonardt, owner, VbB

10. A travel agent is a personal shopper at no cost.
At Norwegian (and other cruiselines says PJ) there is no price difference between booking direct and booking with a travel agent, so the customer gets all the benefits of a personal shopping experience at no extra cost. It’s the equivalent of the perfect storm of reasons to work with travel agents! Travel agents allow a personal and very customized experience, and this is something that no 1-800 number can provide. (Dana, slightly modified)
—Dana Gain, national director of Canadian sales, Norwegian Cruise Line

(Thanks NCL, MSC and comrads for your points)

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