Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is celebrating more than 25,000 CLIA-member travel agents globally.
Last year more than 82%of cruise holidays were booked with the help of cruise travel agents.
“Travel agents play a vital role in the holiday experience, acting as a cruise line matchmaker, planning guide, budget adviser, and travel consultant for travellers,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Agents offer an unmatched service to both first-time and seasoned travellers in providing a stress-free travel experience.”
The association gives five reasons to book a cruise holiday with a travel agent:
1. A trip tailored to the customer: travel agents not only handle direct travel bookings but can also help find the best cruise for every traveller. A travel agent can create a travel experience based on preferences, tastes and holiday desires. They can also help find unexpected activities and destinations that fit travel styles to create a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience.
2. Experienced expertise: travel agents undergo extensive training and continuously visit different ships to stay informed. Agents work with a variety of cruise lines, and many personally travel with those lines, so they can offer personal and professional insight on different accommodations, destinations, excursions, and more; as well as offer counsel on more complex issues like travel insurance. From tips on finding a romantic bistro in a port city and the best times for on board dining, to trying to find the most adventurous sea voyage for an upcoming trip, travel agents have the answers.
3. A stress-free travel experience: for the most stress-free travel experience, identify an accredited cruise specialist. Many agents achieve certification credentials through CLIA’s Learning Academy or take courses through cruise lines to elevate their expertise in cruise experiences. These travel agents are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client, every time. This leaves the logistics to a professional, giving travellers someone in their corner if things go wrong. If a flight is missed or excursion is cancelled, an agent can handle refunds and logistics to take the stress out of travelling.
4. Discounts & deals: in most cases, travel agents have access to deals and discounts not available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book-in-bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing by booking through an agent.
5. Perks & personalised travel: in order to keep travellers as happy as possible, many travel agents are able to offer unmatched travel perks. Many agents can offer client’s benefits like complimentary bottles of wine, prepaid gratuities, and on board spending money. In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalised travel details for your cruise like gluten-free dining or post-cruise transportation home.
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