How to find reputable travel agents

I keep reading that for cruises, esp 1st time ones, it’s a good idea to book through a travel agent. And I get it: perks like onboard credit sound great. I am wary however b/c I’m always one to book direct; I’ve never used a 3rd party, even something like Expedia or Tripadvisor etc. I know I probably lose money that way but want the peace of mind. But cruises are different b/c there is so much to know that I don’t know. Mostly, I feel like a TA could get me a much better positioned stateroom than I might choose on my own. Where do you find reputable TA? Ones that keep coming up are Ears of Experience and Small World Vacations. But I’m not sure I’m going with Disney, at least not yet, due to the price. I might go with RCI. I’m feeling esp wary at the moment b/c I started watching a lot of you tube videos about cruising and then just found out that one of the channels that I like is being accused of scamming cruisers with a cancelled excursion. Thank you for any advice. :slight_smile:

Here is a link to the liner TA document

https://forum.touringplans.com/t/liner-tas-with-special-permission-if-youre-looking-for-one-you-can-find-one-here/9367/3

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I use Jacki with MEI-MouseFan travel and she is amazing! She does book RCCL also.

I would never go with Expedia or the like for a cruise as you are not going to get the personal attention - or even the knowledge an agent will give you.

Booking with a travel agent would never cost you more than booking directly, therefore I don’t see why not to use an agent for my cruises.

I research just enough to tell my TA basically what I want. I even do a mock booking. Then I turn it over to her. For my last two Princess cruises and my recent Carnival cruise there were price drops and she handled them for me. Then for my NCL she made all my dining reservations (necessary on phone vs website for party of 10). Is rather have her do the work than me.

I did use a different agent than my main one/good friend for DCL because her company included some perks. Her service wasn’t as personal though, so I wouldn’t use her again.

For land trips I do things myself but for cruising I always use my own agent.
(Even when you book “direct” for a cruise you are using their in-house agency.

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