We have been on DCL once in 2013 and booked directly through Disney. It looks like some of the travel agencies offer small discounts or on-board credits. What are the pros/cons for booking direct vs through a TA? We are looking at Alaska this time. Thanks for any insight.
I didn't save much money with a TA, but it was more convenient because they could track exactly when the dates were released, put it on a hold and help me navigate my first booking. I am getting a shipboard credit, so it is a small discount compared to booking direct.
I have the same question. I used a TA for my first trip, and she just phoned DCL to get the rooms I wanted. However, I noticed on sites like Costco or Expedia, etc, they don't have as many rooms to choose from, so even if your desired room shows as available on the DCL site, it might not be on their site. Can they just phone DCL and get your room? Will they? Just how reliable is a big company like that?
I book DCL with a travel agent. Initially because I wasn't sure exactly what to expect and I liked having a dedicated person to assist me, but also due to the TA I chose offering on-board credit. I continue to use her to book my cruises even now that I don't really have questions so I can still get the on-board credit. It is nice to get a little extra to spend since DCL is so expensive. If you book another cruise while still on board, then you can get an OBC from DCL and potentially an OBC from your TA.
Can I ask which company you used? Did you just deal with one TA or was your file shared with whomever answered the phone? Thanks.
I contact my TA directly unless she is unavailable for some reason (such as when she was on her own cruise). She had another agent cover her clients during this time but she had all of our information. I used an agent from Dreams Unlimited Travel but I know that there are many other TAs who also give great dedicated service (just not large companies like AAA).
There are many excellent TA"s who know Disney/DCL. We use Amber Vaughan at SmallWorld Vacations because she is helpful, responsive and knowledgeable. Has helped us navigate the world of place-holders, on-board credits and even processed a refund once. Even though we are experienced Disney/DCL vacationers and have all sorts of benefits on United / Marriott, we would not hesitate to continue booking our cruises with her.
Do travel agents charge you?
Most TA's offer complimentary services.
On our first Disney cruise we booked directly with Disney. For the second one, I got quotes from 3 different travel agents and Costco. (Same exact rooms) Costco offers Costco Cash Cards instead of shipboard credit. The Costco Cash Card was at least $100 more per room than any other option.
I’m looking at the Costco site, and the rooms available pale in comparison to what’s available on the DCL site. Is it possible to contact Costco for different room availability? Do travel agents have access to everything on the DCL site?
A travel agent should be able to get you any room. Here is a list of travel agents: