If you are in the process of researching a cruise, you might think you will get the best price by booking directly with the cruise line. Did you know that by doing that you’ll be putting MORE money in the cruise line’s pocket?
Here’s how it works… When a cruise is announced and the prices are set for the various cabin categories, the commission is built into those prices. If you purchase that cruise through a travel agent, the travel agent will get that commission. BUT, if you purchase that same cruise through the cruise line, the commission goes back to the cruise line! Yes, really! So in effect, not only will you NOT get a lower price, but in fact you’re giving the cruise line more money! Yes, really! And if you don’t believe me, check out an article by Richard Turen, a noted travel expert, in his article Generalizations That Hold True in Travel Weekly’s July 7, 2014 issue (second point), http://travelweekly.texterity.com/travelweekly/20140707#pg50
When you book with a travel agent (or Cruise Counsellor, as we are called by CLIA), you MAY even be able to get a BETTER deal than what you would get by booking directly!
Our particular agency has about 300 agents all over the country, which gives us some pretty good clout with the cruise lines. What this means to you is that we are often entitled to better deals than are sometimes available from the online booking engines! I have often been able to get my clients a better price on a cruise than what they were going to get by calling the cruise line directly. Yes, really!
Most travel agencies set up groups on a variety of cruises and if you’re able to book into one of those groups, you are usually entitled to additional amenities, which could include a bottle of champagne, cocktail party or onboard credit. This increases the value of your booking and will often be a better ‘deal’ than if you booked directly through the cruise line … AND you will get expert guidance from the agent as well! (well, at least THIS travel agent)