As I have advised in a previous article, when booking through a travel agent you want to make sure that your payment is getting made directly with the cruise line. This ensures that if the agency were to go out of business that you would still have your booking with the cruise line. Booking through a Cruise Consultant is recommended because you will typically get better deals and service than booking directly with the cruise lines. In this economy, it is advisable to ask your booking agent if the credit/debit card charge is being made directly with the cruise line. On your credit/debit cards statement, the charge should show up with the Cruise Lines name.
We recently had an issue with a client in which he gave us his debit card payment to put the deposit down on his cruise. In order, for the Cruise Line to hold your cabin they require the deposit be given to them. When working with a reputable agency the charge to the credit/debit card is charged directly with the cruise line. This protects the customer because if your agency were to go out of business, then you would not lose your booking or money because the cruise line has it.
The client closed his account and needed to cancel. In instances where the client chooses to cancel the bookings, the Cruise Lines have merchant agreements that contractually require them to refund payments back directly to the originally funded card. This makes sense to prevent money laundering, theft, and many other issues that can arise from transferring money between multiple accounts. Travel agencies are bound by the cruise lines policies. In cases where the client closes their account, the cruise line has to refund the original source of payment. The client has to work with their orginal bank or credit card issuer to receive their refund that has been refunded by the cruise line.