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When it comes to a cruise vacation – or any really involved vacation, really – travel agents are the best matchmakers to connect travel seekers with the best experience. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), last year over 82 percent of cruises were booked with the help of cruise travel agents.
The CLIA has rounded up five reasons to book your cruise with a travel agent, and we’ve got them for you below.
1. A Trip Fit For You
Travel agents not only handle the booking process, but also help find the best voyage for each and every traveler. An agent can help create a custom experience based on preferences, needs, tastes, and expectations.
2. Experienced Experts
Agents not only undergo extensive training and often visit different ships to stay informed, but they also have a lot of real-world travel experience. They work (and travel!) with a variety of cruise lines, so they can offer personal and professional insight into different destinations, excursions, accommodations, and more, as well as offer advice on things like travel insurance.
3. A Stress-Free Adventure
For the easiest and best experience, find a certified cruise specialist. Many achieve credentials through CLIA’s Career Seascape or take courses through cruise lines to further their expertise. These agents are committed to providing the best vacation for every client, and it allows guests to sit back and let someone else worry about the logistics, including issues like missed flights or canceled excursions.
4. Discounts & Deals
In most cases, travel agents have access to deals and discounts not available to guests booking directly. They can sometimes book in bulk so that clients can take advantage of lower pricing, too.
5. Perks & Personalized Travel
In order to keep travelers happy, many agents are able to offer special travel perks to their clients. Benefits can include complimentary bottles of wine, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money. Agents can also arrange personalized details for your cruise line gluten-free dining or transportation home once your voyage is over.