Recently, a Cruise Holidays franchise owner, Bob Miller, owner of Cruise Holidays of Alexandria, was quoted alongside other cruise experts in The New York Times on a story about cruise deals. He raised a very good point – that great value isn’t always equivalent to lowest price. For example, consider these scenarios:
- You’re planning a trip for your entire family – grandparents, grandkids and everyone in between – and have spent too many nights staying up until 1:00 a.m. looking for the cheapest airline flight or hotel room.
- You’ve been on a cruise before, but still aren’t sure which ship would be best for your family.
- Grandma’s hip has been acting up, and you’re worried about what might happen if she’s unable to go at the last minute.
- Your parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and you want to do something special for them while they’re on board, but what? And how?
- It’ll be your two year old daughter on her first big vacation, but is she old enough for a cruise? Are you going to be stuck in the stateroom with her all day while everyone else is having fun?
These are all scenarios where a travel agent who specializes in cruising can make your life easier. Have you ever asked yourself “Why should I use a travel agent?”
Here are 5 reasons to use a travel agent:
1. They save you time.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a friend gripe about the hours they’ve spent online trying to pick a hotel. The amount of time they spend watching for deals far outweighs the time they would spend just emailing or calling a travel agent. If this isn’t reason enough to consider it, I don’t know what is.
2. They save you money.
With major cruise lines, hotels, car rental companies and sometimes even airlines, travel agents basically buy in bulk. Another thing they can do is block group space on cruises and lock-in prices while they’re low. As the sailing date of the cruise approaches, rates rise but travel agents may still have access to the rates they reserved months earlier.[box] 3rd party news publications recommend using a Professional Travel Agent to save you time and money! – Tweet This. [/box]
3. They save you money. (Yes, I’m repeating myself here.)
There’s saving money by paying a lower price, and there is saving money by getting the best value out of a vacation. For example, people say, “I don’t plan to spend much time in my stateroom,” and that is their reason for settling for an inside cabin. But with a balcony, you can leave the drapes open and treat yourself to stunning private sunrises and sunsets. On my first cruise to Alaska, I left my balcony door cracked even though it was a bit chilly outside. I snuggled in under the soft blankets and listened to the calming waves and felt the gentle Alaskan breeze on my face. It was heavenly! Many times an upgrade like this boils down to only a little bit more per night, and it’s worth it. There are many other ways travel agents can help you navigate through oceans of value, far less obvious than this one.
4. They watch your back.
We have countless stories in the Cruise Holidays memory bank about how our travel agents have come to the rescue of their clients. Cruising is also unlike all other modes of vacation. There is a whole cruise culture that is difficult to put into words, but a travel agent can ensure you’re ready. They can help you know what to pack (and what not to pack), help you prepare for onboard expenses, and even help you with you with the special luggage tags the cruise line provides for your bags.
5. They go to the ends of the earth for you.
I have the privilege of watching from the sidelines as our agents plan their clients’ dream getaways. On any given day, our cruise experts are arranging for the best shore excursions in Belize, river tours of the Thames, or finding out which cruise lines have the best type of a certain Ethnic cuisine. They’re arranging special cruises for any type of group you could practically imagine – bridge players, sports car aficionados, dancers, religious groups – you name it. They search for the best possible combination of ship, itinerary, price, special amenities and they pull it all together in one complete package. And off you go, end of story.
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