I think I complained as much as anyone about RCCL taking perks away from their loyal customers, but I never read a post were someone said not to cruise with them because of that issue. Mike, I've had a couple of problems with travel agents too. In most cases I find I know as much as my agent - but I always give her my booking because she has been very helpful at times. A good agent is a great benefit if you don't have the time or resources. Another answer to your first post is - booking directly with a cruise company is better than booking with a random online travel agency - in my opinion.