Originally Posted by valh416
I am in the very early stages of planning an Alaskan Cruise wedding in Summer of 2014. I have taken many trips before, and have always booked on my own. I am thinking that with so much that is going to be happening on this trip, and such a large group (there will be 19) maybe I should look into one.
So I ask, what are the ups and downs to using a travel agent? What does it cost to use a travel agent? Any advice would be helpful!!
Hello - I just recently saw your post. Not sure if you received any answers but I'll share my opinion and hopefully answer your questions. Your destination wedding is your special day and everyone wants to get the best rates possible for yourself as well as your guests. Absolutely rates are important, but making sure that you have an advocate working for you is also important. All of the TA's from the BDW Forum are certified destination wedding & honeymoon specialists. This means we have participated in hours of training, product updates, seminars and site visits where we visit the destinations and properties and tour all aspects of the resort. There are numerous continuing education opportunities each year as well as the opportunity to meet with our local resort and wholesaler representatives. This along with years of experience in working with groups allows us to provide our clients with the best service possible. Part of this service is working to get our clients the best rates possible. My job is to make your job of planning a wedding less stressful and handle the travel arrangements for you and your guests. We do not charge any service fees and we are paid by the supplier once travel is complete.
In addition to working with destination wedding groups planning their wedding at a resort I also work with cruise weddings. The same criteria applies to cruises as well. I have been on several cruises in a variety of locations and on a variety of cruise ships. I am a Certified Master Cruise Counselor with CLIA, Cruise Lines International Association. In the past several years cruise lines have become very strict with pricing and do not allow "discounting". With this rates should be the same no matter where you book unless an agency has group space. If our agency already has group space on a cruise then we can book into the group and take advantage of any pricing discounts and or perks. If not then I can create a group and block space for your group. I was in Alaska last fall and it is beautiful. Pricing is available for 2014 on many of the cruise lines and Alaska is a very popular destination. Ships tend to sell out early. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or if you would like any further information. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! TA Patty