I always book my airline tickets and hotels on my own, but I have a travel agent that is a cruise specialist. I book all my cruise while on a cruise to get the on board credit, but I turn my booking over to my T.A. before the final payment is due. F-mattox is right about it not costing any more if you use a travel agent, but you really need a good agent. I've been on a lot of cruises so I don't need my T.A. for advice, but at one time I did. Sometimes prices drop and a travel agent is more likely to see a price drop before you will, because they are always looking up prices for clients. That has happened to me, and when my agent called me she was able to take care of everything. My agent also calls me then there is a special price on a cruise, she knows what months I can go on cruises. You should be able to get good price on a transatlantic. I'm going on my first transatlantic next week. It's by far the cheapest cruise I've ever paid for. RCCL drop the price by more than 50% a couple of weeks after I made my final payment, and my travel agent took care of everything for me.