Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Best Travel Agents For Cruises

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Dedicated Cruise Travel Agents

Best Way To Book Your Future Cruise ? Cruise Line Direct Or Agent?

At Cruise Planners, our cruise travel agents are dedicated and fully committed to providing their clients with the world-class service they deserve. Cruise Planners is a licensed, bonded, and insured travel agency with local travel agents in all 50 states. We are members of CLIA , NACOA , and ASTA . Take advantage of the partnerships we have throughout the travel industry with top cruise lines.

Not only do our cruise travel agents provide an invaluable travel service, they can also save you money on your next cruise vacation. Your cost for booking a cruise through a Cruise Planners travel agent may include exclusive amenities and upgrades that are not usually available with many online travel booking services.

You can always book a cruise yourself but you’ll be spending countless hours researching and comparing cruise lines, prices, amenities, ports of call, food options, shore excursions, and other information that our experienced cruise travel agents can easily provide you.

At Cruise Planners, our cruise travel agents will work with you to plan the cruise vacation of your dreams. We have great relationships with all the major cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, and more.

Bonus Secret: You Can Transfer Your Reservation To A Travel Agent Within 60 Days Of Booking

Did you read all of this and realize you now want to transfer the cruise reservation you made directly with Royal Caribbean to a travel agent? Good news, there may be time for you to do so!

Anyone can transfer a Royal Caribbean cruise reservation to a travel agent as long as you are within 60 days of the initial booking.

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We Offer More Ways To Book Than Any Other Agent

Our lives are getting busier by the day and finding time to search hundreds of holidays for the right one can tend to be another task on the to-do list! But we believe that booking a holiday should be a pleasure and never a chore, which is why you can contact us in a whole host of ways. Experience our award-winning service over the phone to our UK-based call centre or visit us in person at The Cruise Centre to book your holiday face-to-face over a coffee. You can catch us on live chat to skip the queues that often come with new ship and sailing launches, and even speak to us via social media. There are so many ways to plan a holiday and each one promises the help of a cruise expert every step of the way.

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Final Recommendation For The Best Websites To Book A Cruise

Costco Members:If you are a Costco member, then we suggest CostcoTravel.com as the best website to book a cruise. Its the largest and simplest incentive weve seen for booking online. Prices are competitive, but the cash back offers provide a lot of value.

Non-Costco Members:If you arent a Costco member and dont want to join, then we suggest looking first at the specialized cruise travel sites to search all your options and find the cruise you want.

If the site offers a good incentive for booking through them, then know that youve found a good deal. If the incentive isnt that strong or you dont want to go through a third-party to your reservation, then booking directly through the cruise line is your best bet.

Can Travel Agents Get Better Deals

GITC

But travel agents, believe it or not, have access to information unavailable to you to get better deals. They obtain much of their information from the same sources as the booking sites we use. Travel agents also can make phone calls and have direct communication with resorts and hotels to bargain for better deals.

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The Luxury Cruise Company

Book: By phone.

About: Launched in 2007, the company was initially the only website dedicated to luxury ocean, river and expedition cruises. The Luxury Cruise Company still maintains its six-star focus today, working primarily with lines such as Silversea, Crystal and Regent Seven Sea. Its expedition side is also strong, while river cruise line partners include AmaWaterways, APT, Uniworld and Crystal.

Expect: Top advice from a team of experts who, between them, have travelled to all seven continents and have first-hand knowledge of the Antarctic and polar regions.

What Benefits Do They Offer

While not guaranteed on every cruise, travel agents can offer benefits such as extra onboard credit or perks like a complimentary dinner.

One of the biggest advantages of booking with a travel agent is that they handle changes, cancellations, re-bookings and remind you of payments, which has been invaluable to customers during the pandemic.

With current long customer service wait times it is much easier to let a professional handle these kinds of issues.

Most cruise lines allow customers to re-price if their cruise fare decreases or goes on sale, and a travel agent can assist with the process, saving you both time and money.

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Travel Agent Ask Me Anything

I am a certified travel agent for Royal Caribbean cruises and specialize in their cruises. I mainly do US cruises, and specialize in Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada. Ask me anything

Just giving knowledge and insight.

If Im a stockholder for RC, how do I go about getting the discounts and perks given to shareholders when booking?

Do not book through the website as the option isnt available to select. The best way is to call the individual reservation number and tell them your stockholder information as you are booking the cruise on the phone.

Why does RC not tell you how much the drink packages are, unless you book with them? The lack of transparency led us to book with another cruise line.

What mistakes do you see people making when booking, preparing for, or while on their cruise?

when booking, not applying all the benefits they qualify for and promotions, so they are spending more than they should. This is where a good TA comes to help.Preparing for, definitely overpacking, then paying for laundry on board.

While on cruise, mistake 1 would be over drinking, especially on day 1. If you are on a Caribbean cruise, people get heat stroke super fast, which ruins the whole cruise.

In your experience, do you know how the RC repeat customer benefits compare to those of other cruise lines?

When is the best time to buy a ticket? Is royal Caribbean your favorite cruise line or would you recommend something else?

Disney Worlds Website Vs Disney Travel Agents Which Is Cheaper

Travel agency expert shares tips on booking a cruise

The internet has made it easy to book your own trip and Disney vacations are no exception. You can just go on Disneys website, sort through the Disney hotels, select your ticket, and make all your arrangements in one sitting. Its as simple as that, right?

As easy as that may sound, I wouldnt recommend just winging-it like that.

When it comes to Disney World vacations, theres a lot to consider. Its a vast resort, with 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, dozens of hotels, and restaurants galore. There are Extra Magic Hours, Advanced Dining Reservations, FastPass+ selections, Disney After Hours, Club Level at Disney World, stroller rentals, and the list goes on. Disney vacations are much more complicated than meets the eye!

If you want to do Disney properly, I wouldnt recommend going it alone, especially if its your first or second time.

The most magical Disney vacations are well thought out. You should have good touring plans and your reservations should be in place way ahead of time. Otherwise, you wont know what to do and see, and you wont be able to just the lines at the most popular rides or eat at the best restaurants.

A Disney travel agent can walk you through every detail of a Disney World vacation. They can give you tips on where to stay, which rides to prioritize, where to dining, the best location to watch the fireworks, and more.

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Questions To Ask A Cruise Travel Agent

In choosing a cruise travel agent, you will want to tap into the person’s specific expertise about the cruise line and ship on which you are considering sailing. Anyone can read a ship deck plan outlining ship spaces , but you are looking for people who really know their stuff.

Look for travel agencies that are cruise-only or a home-based agent who specializes in cruises. If you are using a full-service travel agency, ask for the cruise desk.

Here are some questions to ask a travel agent to determine their expertise:

  • How often do you cruise?
  • Have you cruised on the line I am considering?
  • Have you cruised on the ship that I am considering, or do you have clients who have cruised that ship and provided a review of their vacation?
  • Do you have firsthand knowledge about the cruise destination? The itinerary?

You will also want to ask the travel agent if they have a preferred relationship or negotiated agreement with any specific lines that could lead to special perks for you.

Be aware that not all agents work with all cruise lines some may represent a few preferred suppliers or specialize in higher-end cruises. They get bigger commissions from their preferred lines.

You should also ask if the travel agency offers 24/7 assistance in case you have last-minute questions or something goes wrong before or during your trip.

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Why Use A Travel Agency

There are so many reasons that it is to your advantage to always make your travel reservations with a award-winning travel agency like American Discount Cruises & Travel. Here are just a few of them:

Added ValueDiscounts & Gifts!

A travel agent can provide you with special booking bonuses that customers do not get when booking directly with the vendors. For example, you might get spending money to use during a cruise, and/or a discount off of the price, that the cruise line will not give youor extra if they do. Theres NEVER a circumstance that we cant give you something that they wont.

Why American Discount?

Our travel agency is well known for providing very generous discounts and gifts to our customers. Backed by our Low Price Guarantee, and a desire to never be beat by our competitors, youre always going to get an amazing deal when booking with us. Further, because of our strong relationship with many cruise lines, we have exclusiveADC Advantage pricing on many cruises!

Experience & Unbiased Expertise

Why American Discount?

Were not just order takers. Were a family owned and operated business, and truly care about each of our customers. We want to make sure the vacation you book is the best possible choice for you. You might have a trip already in mind, but with our travel agencys help you might end up booking something even better than you imagined. Whether your priority is experiential or price-driven, we will make sure your priority is our priority!

Save On Drinks On Board

Disney Cruise Line

Cruising and boozing can be very bad for your wallet, especially if you travel with one of the big US-based cruise lines. A glass of wine on board a Royal Caribbean ship, for example, will cost you at least £7.90, plus an 18% service charge.

Think you can cut costs by bringing your own drinks on board? Think again. Very few cruise lines allow this .

You can sometimes save with an all-inclusive drinks package, although the amount depends on how many drinks you plan to have.

For more tips on how to save on drinks packages and which cruise lines are priciest, see our guide onHow to work out if a cruise drinks package is worth it.

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Cruise Buying Tip: Prices Are Often The Same Across Every Site

If you are worried about finding the best price for your cruise, theres some good news and bad news. The good news is that prices for cruises are usually the exact same across every single website you search.

Below are the results of a search we did for a July 2023 Carnival cruise from Miami aboard Carnival Horizon, with prices listed for each website:

As you can see, they all have the exact same rates. That means you dont have to run yourself ragged trying to find the best deal.

The bad news? If youre a deal-hunter, there isnt some magic website that has cruise fares for dramatically cheaper than everyone else . But there are differences on where you book.

Thats because some sites can offer perks like onboard credit or even a direct phone number to call to talk to someone with any questions you might have before you cruise.

So should you just find any random site and book your cruise? Wed suggest not. Below we lay out the advantages and disadvantage of booking with each different type of website.

For more on getting the best deal on a cruise, see our 10 Rules to Getting the Best Deal on a Cruise here.

Bonus: Tips To Get More Savings Through Your Travel Agent

  • Sign up on a travel agent website/newsletter so you are always updated with their special promotions.
  • Book through a seasoned travel agent. They are more often than not preferred agents of cruise lines and get special discounts and promotions.
  • Compare before you select. Be proactive in calling several travel agents and find one you are comfortable with.
  • Dont be shy to ask for special discounts and freebies. But also be sure to ask about whats the best value. For many guests, the cheapest price is not the BEST deal or value.

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Is It Cheaper To Book Disney Through A Travel Agent

From time to time, Disney releases special promotional rates on hotels, dining, tickets, and vacation packages. Disney travel agents match the deals that Disney offers through its own website.

Disney travel agents get their clients the lowest possible rates. If a better discount comes along after a trip is already booked, then they will go back into the system and apply the new discount to the trip in order to take advantage of the new lower rate.

Lets investigate why its cheaper to book through a Disney travel agent.

Do People Still Use Travel Agents

Cruise Pros On Deck: Tips for Travel Agents

More travelers than ever leverage the expertise and assistance of travel agents for their vacations. Lets look at some quick facts:In fact, according to ASTA ,

  • In 2021, 27% of travelers always or often used a travel advisor before the pandemic, and at 44%, nearly half of respondents overall said they are more likely to use a travel advisor once the pandemic has passed
  • In 2016 year 22% of leisure travelers from households earning at least $50,000 used a travel agent up from 14% just three before.
  • Millennials seem the biggest fans of using travel agents, with over 30% having used an agent in the last year.
  • They seem satisfied: in 2016, 59% of millennials indicated that their trips planned with agents were better than trips planned without agents. This compares to 53% and 58% for gen x-ers and baby boomers, respectively.

So yes, more people use travel agents each year, and the majority feel their trips were enhanced by using a travel agent. We cruise many times a year, and we get great service and often, better deals. You can get a free consultation from the same great folks that help us!

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Enjoy Other Perks & Freebies

To stand out from the competition, all travel agents aim to make their travel packages as attractive as possible. And since most travel agents cannot legally publish prices lower than what the cruise lines offer, they resort to the next appealing incentive travel perks!

Here are two popular travel perks you can possibly get when you book with a preferred travel agent:

  • Onboard Credit. This is the currency onboard. This credit is loaded into your onboard ship account which you can use to purchase goods in shops or to pay for specialty restaurant up-charges. You can also use this to buy souvenir items, beverages and shore excursions.
  • Prepaid Gratuities. Expect great services once you are sailing. However, most of the time, you will be required to pay daily gratuities for such services sometimes amounting up to $18+ dollars a day per person! With free prepaid gratuities offered by your travel agent, you can save over $100 per person for a 8 day / 7 night cruise trip.

Booking Through Costco Travel

Are you a Costco member? If so, then you can book cruises online through the store. In fact, the offers are good enough that its usually worth it to become a member for a year just to book a cruise.

You can book online at CostcoTravel.com

Costco is well-known for its low prices, great deals, and customer service. Buying a cruise through the store might not enter many peoples minds, but it can save you big. Like other cruise-buying websites, Costco offers rates that are the same as what youll find anywhere else.

However, the big difference is that Costco offers special incentives to book through their site. This includes Costco Shop Cards a gift card to the store.

Advantages: While the deals change from day to day on aggregator websites, Costcos incentives are simple and straightforward. If you book through them, then they offer Costco Shop Cards. The amounts can be high as well.

For example, we found a cruise offering a $45 Costco Cash Card for booking the cheapest stateroom for just $409. In other words, that deal is like getting 11% off the price of your cruise. The cash increases substantially with upgraded cabins.

Disadvantages: First, in our searches, sometimes Costco has higher fares than whats found on other sites. If booking a higher-end cabin then the incentive usually covers the price difference versus other sites. But you may not come out ahead if paying more for an interior room.

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