You've hit upon some of the criteria important in selecting a good travel agent to work with. You have to feel comfortable working with that agent, and feel they are listening to you and meeting your needs. A good travel agent will be your advocate to assist you if things go wrong. There are many ways to find a good travel agent. Referrals from family or friends, looking for a cruise agent at Cruise Lines International Association
which is the Cruise Line International Asssoc., or calling a few and asking questions about their background and services. Don't write off an agent because they work from home. This is common practice now days.