10 Reasons Why We Recommend You Use a Travel Agent
WomansDay.com is taking a lot of heat from a recent article they published, “10 Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You.” The writer, Anny Roderique-Jones, was criticized for her lack of knowledge or research on how a travel agency operates. Woman’s Day has retracted one of her points and the article is now called “9 Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You”. However, the information Roderique-Jones presented is inaccurate and a misrepresentation of travel agencies, putting well-qualified and seasoned travel agents on the defensive.
In response, CruiseExperts.com would like to offer 10 Reasons Why We Recommend You Use a Travel Agent.
#1 – Travel Agents take care of all the details. CruiseExperts.com is a travel agency that specializes in cruises. Planning a cruise vacation can be complicated because of all the options—cabin type, cabin location, where and when to cruise, ports/itinerary, excursions, extending the vacation on land, airfare, shuttles, hotels and more. We can make recommendations and help you plan your entire vacation down to the last detail.
#2 – Reputable travel agents are CLIA certified. In our main office located in central California, we have multiple agents that work hard at finding the right fit for each and every client, based on training in specific travel categories—and by no means do we sway our clients choices based on a bonus or commission advantage. In fact we don’t let our travel supplier partners provide incentives to our agents so there’s never a question of whether they are looking out for your best interest. We find out what our client’s needs are, and research to find the best product at the best prices to meet their needs. The top priority for our agents is for you to have a memorable and fun trip so you’ll come back for more.
#3 – Travel agents stay up-to-date on “flash” promotions from the cruise lines. Our agents have years of experience and know when the deals are real, and therefore understand the importance of clients booking special “flash”promotions quickly before they’re gone. Sometimes promotions only last a day or two. Our travel agents aren’t being “pushy,” as the WD article described. We simply work hard to make sure our clients know about these great deals and have a chance to decide before it’s too late.
#4 – Experienced travel agents know which cruise line would fit your lifestyle. Choosing a cruise line is your first step when deciding on a cruise vacation. Cruise lines have different personalities and therefore appeal to different individuals. Things we consider are the ages of clients, price ranges, and activity levels. Do you want a cruise that’s laid-back, active, romantic, party-oriented, or a little bit of it all? We help you find the cruise that’s right for you and also help you get all your documents in order and act as your vacation concierge before, during and after your cruise.
#5 – Travel agents make airfare reservations as a service–no commission. Airline fares were a hot topic in the WD article. It’s true that travel agents do not make commission on airline fares. These days, it’s easy enough for people to go online and book their own airfares. We often encourage our clients to do just that. However, when you’re planning a vacation, and you need to fly to a particular port and be assured of making it to your cruise ship in time, we’re happy to provide peace of mind and book your airfare for you. Our airline booking fee is nominal and well worth the avoided hassle. We have access to all the airlines and can quickly find and compare flights and prices and recommend the best route and connections.
#6 – CruiseExperts.com agents have access to the best hotel prices. We can make it easier for you by making your hotel reservations in addition to other travel arrangements. Again, this is a service we offer to our customers as a convenience when putting together a vacation package. If you’re cruising, we know from experience which hotels are closest to the embarkation ports and which have the best locations for walking around or access to restaurants, allowing you to relax and enjoy the night before your cruise departure.
#7 – Commissions are built into the prices by the cruise lines. Whether you buy your cruise directly from the cruise line or from an agency—the commission is built into the price. You’ll never get it cheaper by going direct. Consider this, the cruise lines have to pay their reservation agents just like any travel agency does so they don’t lower the rate just because you called them direct. We, however, are your unbiased travel consultant. We can book your cruise with any cruise line to anywhere. Obviously the cruise line needs to convince you to book with them. They just don’t have as many options to offer. Additionally, CruiseExperts.com has become a preferred agency with the major cruise lines, which allows us access to special offers that we pass on to our customers.
#8 – A travel agent can help you determine if you need travel insurance. Travel insurance is another misunderstood topic. We’d never try to sell you something you don’t need just to make an extra buck. Absolutely not. Depending on the type of travel there are times when purchasing travel insurance just makes prudent sense and sometimes it’s not such a big deal. We can explain the difference and outline the benefits of purchasing it when you need it–but you make the final decision. For even more information here’s a link to our previous blog “Should I buy travel insurance?” .
#9 – CruiseExperts.com can get exclusive low prices with promotional group contracts. At CruiseExperts.com we reserve contracted group space on hundreds of sailings as much as two years in advance, holding cabins at locked-in prices. In addition, we can offer extra amenities to our customers, like free onboard credit, bottles of wine, or chocolate-covered strawberries. If the published price of the cruise goes up, our lower rate is locked in giving our clients a better deal than if they had gone directly to the cruise line to book their stateroom! As an example, we have prices on many Norwegian Pride of America Hawaiian cruises for this fall that no one can beat—not even Norwegian Cruise Lines can offer lower prices than ours.
#10 – CruiseExperts.com agents ARE truly cruise experts. Our team specializes in cruising and the travel that goes with it. We make it a priority to stay up-to-date on the cruise lines, the ships, destinations and every aspect of getting there and back. We really have been there and experienced most of what the cruise world has to offer and if that’s not enough, we have thousands of clients every year that come back and give us their perspective as well.
The bottom line
CruiseExperts.com agents work hard on behalf of their customers. Ocean and river cruises are our specialty and we’re happy to help you plan and book your airfare, hotel, shuttles, excursions or anything else you need for your dream vacation. We want your vacation to be absolutely worry-free.
Our website is your best resource when searching for cruises or looking for the best prices and the most options. Our CruiseExperts.com News section on the website is packed with really good information and tips on cruising and how to make the most of your vacation. PLUS, if you have questions, you can simply pick up the phone and call us – one of us will be happy to answer all of your questions. OR if you know exactly what you want, you can easily book your cruise right on the website and we’ll still provide you with every bit as much customer care as if you called us.
Join our Inner Circle or “Like” us on Facebook
Visit our website and sign up for our Inner Circle or “like” us on Facebook to receive information on the insider promotions being offered by cruise lines and the special group prices we’ve secured. When you’re ready to plan your next vacation, feel free to give us a call. Contact us anytime by calling 1-888-804-CRUIse(2784) or visiting our website www.CruiseExperts.com.
Linda Brandt joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in November 2011. She has been working with the marketing team in many capacities. Her new role is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. She studied journalism and writing in college and was a writer for The Campus newspaper for two years at the College of the Sequoias. She is also currently working on her Bachelor’s degree.