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Recommendations on travel agencies for booking a new cruise


Val_phx
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I am looking for recommendations on different travel agencies to use for booking a new cruise on Royal Caribbean, preferably ones that give the best deals obviously. I’ve been searching on sites like cheapcruises.com, cruiseonly.com, etc. but I don’t know which are the most reputable or the best ones to use.  I have always booked directly through Royal Caribbean but have heard many times that is not the best way to go about getting the best deals. Recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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While some of those larger sites may offer better deals in form of higher onboard credits or locking in group rates when cruise itineraries are just released, you may not find the level of customer service you need with those if something goes wrong.  It really depends on what's more important to you.

This site is sponsored by MEI Travel and a lot of us on here do use them.  At the front page of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com there's a yellow box on the right you can fill out that  form and it will put you in touch with a MEI agent.  You're under no obligation to work with them, but they can help you with questions and get quotes and most importantly, advocate for you with the cruise line if anything goes wrong. A travel agent gets paid directly by the cruise line, so it will not cost you anything.  Some times you may have to try a couple of different agents to find which one works best for you.

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Welcome to the message boards.

I've given up chasing "best deals" because I've always run into customer service issue when help is needed.  When a crane fell on Oasis my FCC was a fraction of what it should have been because the agency I used was play a trick with fares to offer a lower rate.   It turns out they were doing something shady which only came to light because of the cancelled cruise and FCC offer.   

When something seems too good to be true it usually is and I learned that lesson the hard way.  

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Concur with other posts.  The way you get a good price is by following Matt's recommendations to consider booking well in advance, sailing older ships, considering shoulder seasons, etc.  There are some ports/itineraries that are just more expensive than others, whether you use a travel agent or not.  Have a great trip, whatever you choose.

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My booking strategies (use of a TA vs my own planning) vary based on my travel needs.  After some hit or miss (OK, a lot of miss) I did find a TA that works with me and that I can rely on. I tried some of the 'well-known' agencies, and didn't find the working relationship I was looking for.  It might take a few trips before you find a TA that you enjoy working with.  Good luck, and happy travels!

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