When booking not only a cruise but any vacation, there is one big question. Do you book through a travel agent or do you book a cruise on your own? After posting this question on a Facebook group I discovered one thing, people believe strongly one way or another.
Just like every other decision in life, there are pros and cons to choosing which you should do. Right now I am going to go over the different pros and cons of booking on your own. We all want to get the best the best vacation for the best price and still get everything we want.
Book A Cruise On Your Own
One of the most significant upsides to booking a cruise yourself is the quickness of doing it. You can do everything usually in one or two websites and you are done not having to worry about anything until its getting close to the time you have to leave.
The internet has made it so easy to book a cruise yourself or any vacation for that matter. The difference from a cruise as opposed to a trip down the California coastline is that it can be done in two or three payments when you include airfare, excursions and the entire time on the boat.
When you use a travel agent, it can take weeks maybe even months before you get your vacation booked. There are many back and forth cover stations which can be time-consuming. It can take several phone calls before you get exactly what you want. If you are very flexible, it may not take as much time, but it still won’t go as quickly as sitting in front of your computer one evening. You are virtually eliminating the middleman when you book your cruise on your own.
Book With A Travel Agent
When you decide to not to book a cruise on your own and choose a travel agent, you can lose out on little perks. Travel agents have the ability and inside knowledge to get you onboard freebies and even extras in your different ports of call. Travel agents can get you exclusive discounts on things like specialty dinners and drink packages. If these perks are essential to you than booking through a travel agent may be the way to go.
When booking with a travel agent, you need more time in advance to plan out your trip. To get the best deal and all the perks you want, you are looking at needing a year or more for the travel agent to get everything you want at a reasonable price.
If you book your cruise on your own, you can get it within 4-5 months and still not overpay by too much. So if you are going on a “last minute” trip, you are much better booking on your own. Our last cruise we booked just under four months in advance on our own and still got a high rate and was even offered upgrades at the last minute by Carnival themselves.
Finally, when you book your cruise on your own, every dollar you spend goes directly into your trip and not into someone else pocket. Yes, there is the argument that no matter what you are paying someone to along the way, but some people just have a problem paying other people commission for something they can do themselves.
So when it is all said and done, it comes down to a matter of preference. Do you want to have 100% control when you plan your cruise? Do you want to let someone else do the heavy lifting? Do you want as many little, and sometimes significant, perks as possible? Or do you just have to get away as soon as possible? So until next time, thanks for stopping by and happy cruising!