We began our cruising days seeing no need for a travel agent. Luckily we didn’t run into any trouble, but did learn quickly that we could benefit from the services of a travel agent. Here are some things we’ve learned through the years.
Wave Season is Here
This time of year we’re inundated with a tsunami of “wave season” ads. From January through about February or March the cruise lines hit us with way too much information that all begins to look alike. Endless hysterical pop ups screaming “$200 OFF” appear at an all-too-frequent pace. During wave season ’19, here’s why we think you should travel with an advisor in your posse.
Parisian Horror Story
MMOB’s travel agent Adam Martindale reports that he helped rescue clients while they were in Paris stranded by an Air France strike.
“They had reluctantly decided to fly home instead of attempting to get to Monte Carlo to reach their cruise ship. The Hotel concierges were unable to find train tickets for them and it looked hopeless. However, I managed to purchase some of the last train tickets to Monte Carlo which they took the next day and made it to the ship. My clients were grateful and I was happy to save their cruise.”
Life is busy. Most of us work too hard, and in fact many Americans don’t even take the vacation time they have coming. When you finally get time off, why not make sure you’re taking the RIGHT CRUISE for your needs. We’ve heard from members who feel they are in a cruise rut, continually booking essentially the same old cruise.
Why not get some help sorting out the options? We guarantee everyone can learn something from an experienced agent. A real person is always better than a search engine; the human element can’t be underestimated.
Movin’ On Up?
We see a trend of many MeetMeOnBoard members moving into more upscale or luxury experiences. In this case especially, it could be that your agent knows more than you do. Adam has sailed on and worked on many of the luxury lines sailing today.
For pre-or-post cruise, consider private guides, the chance to see something off the beaten track, or some advice about an overly-touristed area. These considerations can make a big difference in your experience. For instance, in Istanbul, a city unfamiliar to us, we benefited greatly from the services of a guide. If you move up to a new category of travel make sure you pay for something that is of value to you specifically. Your agent can discuss some extras uniquely tailored to what you’re interested in, providing a bespoke experience.
Are You Gay?
We think it’s crucial to use an agent who totally gets the LGBTQ cruise traveler. We have different needs and expectations than our straight counterparts, and the last thing you want is to be in an environment that isn’t LGBTQ friendly, either at sea or on land. Not all cruises are equal.
“I Can Get A Better Deal Online.”
Recently a member, an experienced cruiser who hadn’t used an agent, spoke to MMOB’s Adam. Our member often books on board for upcoming cruises, had done his research for this particular cruise, and simply checked in with Adam. After some research, Adam found another line with a much better deal, saving the member’s family thousands. All that at no cost since agents are paid by the cruise lines.
Now here’s a cruise industry secret: The cruise lines want very much to keep their top-producing travel agents happy. What does that mean to you? Extra perks provided to those agents which are passed on to you, and better results when things go awry on board. Sadly, as a cruiser without an agent, you are often left on your own, even as a frequent customer.
Many times you’ll find that your agent has access (through their agent consortium) to upgrades and perks that aren’t offered to everyone. Adam booking us on MSC earned us special drink coupons which made the beverage package unnecessary, saving a great deal.
What’s The Upshot?
An experienced and competent agent doesn’t simply sit in his or her office surfing the cruise line websites for the latest deals. The agent knows the cruise lines, ships, destinations, and has access to specials and promotions which you do not. This will enrich your experience in addition to making the planning easier.
When you use Adam Martindale as your travel professional, a small portion of Adam’s payment from the cruise line goes to MeetMeOnBoard. This helps keep the site up and running and keeps it free to you as well. Contact Adam using the form below.