Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is urging travellers to book a cruise with travel agents – and has outlined seven top reasons to book with an agency.
The industry body says 70% of travellers use a travel agent to plan and book cruise holidays, adding that it can help people to find CLIA-certified agents who specialise in cruises.
Ken Muskat, CLIA trade relations committee chair and executive vice-president of MSC Cruises, said: “Just like you would use a certified mechanic to fix your car, it makes sense to use a certified travel expert to help plan your summer holiday, especially since you are investing your time and money to create memories that last a lifetime.
“Travel agents provide a personalised, customised holiday without the stress of planning every detail.
“Particularly with a cruise holiday, there are so many options today and each cruise brand has a different personality.
“A travel agent can make sure that they find you the right ship and the right itinerary to give you an amazing experience.”
The seven reasons to use a travel agent for cruise planning are:
• An Encyclopedia of Cruising: Travel agents are trained and certificated in general cruising as well as the products and destinations.
• The Real Deal: Agents plan and execute multiple cruise holidays every week so they are aware of the best deals and discounts, and some may have access to cruise line discounts that aren’t available to consumers.
• Saving More Than Just Money: Agents can save clients time as they have up-to-date offers and information.
• A Step Ahead: Minor details about the booking and cruise can be ironed out in advance of the cruise.
• The Right Resource: Travel agents can tackle glitches, such as lost luggage, cancelled excursions, delays or missed flights.
• A Trip Tailored to You: Agents have the most current information on how to find the right ship, right itinerary, right cabin and right cabin location for each particular customer.
• Up-to-Date Updates: Agents receive cruise line’s updates in real time so know about news such as new spa offerings or changes in the ship’s itinerary.
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