Planning a Disney Cruise Line vacation is a lot of fun. I enjoy it so much, I became a part of the Prep School team. However, with four ships – and three more on the horizon – multiple cruise itineraries, and global ports of call, some guests may find it helpful to use the services of an travel agent when it is time to plan your next cruise.
In this article
Why Use A Travel Agent?
Even though the information found online is helpful in planning your DCL vacation, especially our 6 Step Planning Process, many times, the ability to speak with someone who has first-hand knowledge of Disney Cruise Line and is familiar with all travel policies and procedures is key. A travel agent who specializes in Disney Cruise Line travel will help
- Select the cruise that is best for your family’s schedule and budget.
- Select/book flights to and from your port of departure.
- Arrange local accommodations before and after your cruise – which is especially helpful in foreign port cities.
- Arrange ground transfers from the airport to the sea port (including to and from local hotels).
- Process payments for you.
- Advise and arrange Port Adventures, onboard dining and spa services.
Travel Agents and Cruises
According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) an average of 82% of cruisers use a travel agent to book their cruise vacation. That is a staggering number. What do these travelers know?
- Travel agents are familiar with the cruise line.
- Travel agents can advise on required citizenship documentation.
- Travel agents know you and your family and your unique needs.
- Travel agents are available to help before, during and after you travel.
An average of 82% of cruisers use a travel agent to book their cruise vacation. -CLIA
When cruising with Disney, you want to look for a few certifications. You want to verify the agency is affiliated with CLIA – a cruise industry trade organization dedicated to supporting policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. You will want to also verify that your individual agent is a CLIA member. This means they have completed CLIA’s training course and are knowledgable in cruise line travel.
Finding the Right Travel Agent
Good travel agents love to share their knowledge with clients. They will answer questions, make recommendations, and pass along tips and tricks they have learned over the years.
DCL Prep School Tip: Using a travel agent does not cost you a dime.
A good Disney travel agent has extensive and first hand knowledge of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line.
Who Do You Recommend?
In the fall of 2017 Prep School Travel was launched. Now, the team that has helped you plan your Disney trips for years can help you book them too. Our services include
- Reserving cruises – including helping you select the perfect stateroom.
- Plan onboard activities and excursions.
- Arrange travel to and from your destination city.
Full Disclosure: I am a CLIA-certified agent at Prep School Travel, and I love helping clients plan all types of Disney vacations. If you would like for me to help you plan your next cruise personally, Request a Quote here or email me at [email protected].
But I Don’t Want to Give Up Control of My Vacation
A travel agent makes your reservation for you, and will be responsible for modifications and payments. All 3 of these things usually requires a lot of time crunching numbers, dealing with the central booking program or waiting on hold with DCL (or WDW).
Every other detail still remains firmly in your hands.
It is up to you to decide how many – or how few – details you want your travel agent to handle.
If you want your agent to complete online check in (at midnight Eastern time) for you, then let them know. If you are super excited to do that portion of your trip planning yourself, you can. It’s actually not that hard – other than staying up super late.
Heading to Disney World and want to take charge of your own dining and FastPass+ reservations? You can still do that. However, you will have an agent in your corner who knows you and your family and can make recommendations for you. But, if you aren’t too familiar with WDW geography, a good travel agent will schedule your day to minimize backtracking and criss-crossing over the parks all day long.
You really aren’t relinquishing control, you are gaining an ally.
Group Cruise Made Easy
Are you dreaming a Disney Cruise Line family reunion or traveling with a large group? I wholeheartedly recommend using a travel agent to help you keep the details organized. A travel agent will help each individual select the best stateroom to meet their needs, handle payments and even help suggest and book group activities. When sailing with a large party, a travel agent comes in handy because they handle the business end of things. There’s no need to discuss payment or sensitive financial details with friends and family when you have a skilled travel agent available to handle it for you.
Final Food for Thought
Personally, I have sailed having planned everything myself, and I have sailed having used the services of a good travel agent, and I will let you in on a little secret… even us experts have questions we need answered. Well, we do, and I like to have someone in my corner who loves sailing with Disney as much as I do.