There are a BUNCH of reasons that you should consider using a travel agent and I have an entire list but this one came up this weekend and I wanted to pass it on. As it was happening, I said to myself, now this is the exact reason I started writing these posts.
Last week a really nice gentleman came into the agency and wanted to take a cruise someplace with his bride. He wasn’t sure where, but he was looking for something 14-30 days long, that was within his budget and he wanted to go soon—soon being in the next few months. If you don’t cruise you should know that many people who cruise book more than two years in advance. For instance, Kathleen and I have cruises booked through December 2020. So this is really soon in the cruising world.
He mentioned South America was someplace he really wanted to go—up the Amazon. Or maybe Southeast Asia. He wanted someplace warm. No cruises to Iceland for him. He also mentioned that although he and his bride had been to Europe and cruised in the Mediterranean they had never been to the Greek Isles and that’s where she wanted to go. Guess where they are going? The Greek Isles of course.
Now they could have booked this cruise and the airfare themselves but here’s where my little bit of expertise comes in to play (there were others, but this one stood out). They were interested in a balcony (verandah) stateroom. And that should have been easy. There were plenty listed. But when I did some deeper research I found that this particular ship did not have any typical balcony staterooms. All of those listed as “balcony” staterooms were actually on the promenade deck which means that while they did have a sliding glass door that opened from their stateroom to the outdoors, it opened onto a public deck where anyone on the ship could be walking by. (You can see an example at the top of this post.) That also means that if you wanted any privacy in your stateroom, you had to keep your drapes closed the entire time. To me, that’s worse than an oceanview stateroom that just has a window. At least in an oceanview you have light all the time and can see outside.
Once I explained the situation, these fine folks agreed with me and booked an oceanview stateroom for their 24 night cruise. If they had been in that “balcony” stateroom that opened onto the Promenade deck, they would have been VERY unhappy. It would have been a very dark vacation. I don’t know about you but if I am cruising to the Greek Isles and Croatia, I want to be able to see the beauty out my window. There are lots of other things a good travel agent will do for you when choosing a stateroom, like checking above and below that stateroom and making sure that you won’t be bothered by the noise of a disco below your cabin or a dance floor above.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein