There is a common myth that travel agents have become extinct and that the evolution of technology has rendered them irrelevant in the process of booking a cruise. People argue that anyone can easily go online and book that dream cruise themselves without involving travel agents.
Statistics show that in 2016, 80% of cruises were booked by travel agents, proving that travel agents are still pivotal in the travel and tourism industry. Nobody can afford to ignore the numerous benefits of booking a dream cruise vacation via a travel agent. Below are the top four advantages of using a travel agent to book a cruise line.
1. Travel agents are knowledgeable
Using a travel agent to book your cruise offers you access to years of knowledge and experience that will play a crucial role in helping you decide on the right cruise and cabin. You will not have access to such knowledge when you are booking the cruise yourself through booking websites. Travel agents will keep you updated on any rule changes that the different cruise lines may make to help you avoid surprises when you finally embark on your cruise.
The cruise line may make changes in areas such as their dinner and drink packages, smoking rules, or gratuity costs. Therefore, it is important that you acquaint yourself with any changes before the day of cruising to avoid finding yourself in awkward situations.
2. Saves time and money
If you are looking to book your cruise online, you will be forced to spend hours on your computer searching for the best travel deals which may be tiresome and frustrating. When working with a travel agent, you will only be required to inform the agent what you are looking for and wait for them to get back to you with prices. The travel agent will search out the various travel options that best meet your needs and budget.
The travel agent will have insightful information about the different rates and routes that the average client may not have. Even with the agent fee, you will end up saving a lot of time and money since the agent will help you find a great deal on a cruise package or promotion within the shortest time possible. Travel agents will always have access to promotions from leading cruise lines that are not available to the public.
3. Customer service
Customer service is perhaps the most important reason why you need to use a travel agent to book your next cruise. You will not get the one-on-one personal customer service when you are using an online booking engine or a discount travel site to book your cruise. A travel agent will always be ready to answer your questions and guide you through the important steps such as choosing a suitable insurance provider to meet your specific needs.
You will be able to reach your travel agent through a phone call, text message, or email which will be especially helpful in emergency situations.
4. Better deals
In most cases, the big cruise companies will share their newest and best packages with the travel agents and these are rarely accessible to the public. This gives you the best chance of getting a great deal on your cruise as many agents will share these packages with you in order to gain your business.
The packages usually provide extra amenities such as free photos, onboard credit, and complimentary dinners, allowing you to receive the best value possible for your money. The agents also have access to special promotions, discounts, and upgrades that you cannot access while booking through online portals.