How to Find a Cruise Travel Agent
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What Is the Best Cruise Company?
There are more than a dozen cruise lines and even more cruise boats out on the water. Some of the more commonly known names are Norwegian, Disney, Carnival, MSC Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. Each cruise line has dozens of ships in their fleets that visit different locations around the world. Some of the smaller cruise lines are Azamara, Ponant, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Viking Cruises, and Princess Cruises. Some cruise lines are more expensive than others but they all offer a unique experience. Deciding which cruise company is the best depends on the kind of experience you are looking for. Some of these cruise lines excel at offering affordable experiences like Carnival Cruise and the Norwegian Cruise Line. Others are known for their large, roomy ships like Celebrity Cruises.
Why Book a Cruise with a Travel Agent
Travel agents aren’t just for complex trips across the country, they can also be used for booking cruise lines and excursions. Most travel agents have a lot of experience traveling, especially if they specialize in cruises. This means they are qualified to offer first-hand advice. Cruise line representatives can be helpful, but biased. At the end of the day, they are trying to make more money for their company. Travel agents, on the other hand, have the sole focus of helping you with your vacation. A good travel agent will discuss your vacation ideas and preferences, your budget, and any other needs you may have. They can even suggest which cruise lines will best fit the experience you are looking for. They can help arrange flights, pre and post-cruise stays, recommend in-port excursions, and help with any special arrangements you might need. Some can even get you special rates and the best possible fares.
How Are Travel Agents Paid?
Before the birth of the Internet and online booking, travel agents were paid almost entirely from commissions, but these are harder to get nowadays. Travel agents don’t get paid commission until after their clients' vacation is complete. For cruise lines, however, they are paid their commission after the final payment is made by the client. Cruise lines typically pay a 10% commission to travel agents. They also get paid through service fees or convenience fees. Most travel agents charge for their services through a fee that is added to the final price. Some travel agents use “elite service fees” to make money. They are a less popular option but some people do want additional services like VIP airport transfers, hassle-free baggage clearance, or lounge access.