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-   -   AAA Reservationist (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/general-cruise-chat/37294-aaa-reservationist.html)

LindaS 08-08-2011 10:42 AM

AAA Reservationist
 
Has anyone used their local AAA office to reserve a cruise? How was the experience?

I'm considering using ours for a 7 day land tour followed by 7 day cruise in Alaska.

Dave 08-08-2011 02:00 PM

Welcome to Cruise Reviews.

As a matter of policy we do not endorse any particular travel consultants, agents, or agencies over another. We do recommend that the prospective cruiser look for agents affiliated with organizations such as CLIA or NACTA, which provide accreditation programs and training for member agents.

Linda S 08-08-2011 02:04 PM

Sorry. I was just wondering if people had positive or negative experiences.

Dave 08-08-2011 02:27 PM

No need to apologize!

I will tell you that any agent has access to the same individual booking rates as AAA or anyone else, even if you booked direct with the cruise line. It is all supposed to be a level playing field. It is sometimes a good thing to find an agent with blocked out group space for a particular cruise. They can offer you an overall better deal with onboard perks and credits to your cruise account.

Cruise Fanatic 08-08-2011 02:52 PM

An agent can also assist with other components of your travel. Such as a third party travel insurance, hotels, park & fly, transfers, and third party shore excursions.

LisaP 08-08-2011 09:32 PM

Welcome to cruisereviews.com! I haven't used AAA, yet I know of people who do. An important consideration is the actual agent you are working with within the office. I always recommend, as Dave also mentioned, a travel agent who has earned designations offered by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). You can find a list of CLIA-certified agents near you by going to their Web site (Welcome | Cruise Lines International Association) and putting your zip code in the Cruise Expert Finder box on the right, about halfway down the page. There may be CLIA agents within your local AAA.

Will this be your first cruise booking?

Linda S 08-09-2011 08:27 AM

Yes, this is our first cruise. So we are complete newbies at this. We appreciate any guidance.

Linda S 08-09-2011 08:31 AM

I looked up our zip code with CLIA Certifications link and the 2 that came up look like they work from their house. I'm not sure I want to go that route.

Sandy 08-09-2011 08:48 AM

Home based travel agents make up a sizable percentage of all travel agents these days. As the economics of running a storefront agency have become difficult in the last several years, many agencies have closed, and their owners and agents have opened offices from home. These agents are just as professional as an agent sitting in a store; they have just responded to the opportunity to change their business model to a more efficient one.

Cruise lines recognize travel agencies because of their professionalism and productivity, not their geography. A CLIA certification is earned by travel agents through their knowledge and expertise, no matter where they sit when they help their clients.

Dave 08-09-2011 01:52 PM

Linda,

My agent works out of her house as has done so from the beginning when she got into the travel business back in the mid-90s. In fact I've never met her. It is all e-mails and phone calls, and has been that way since we started using her services in 1996. We aren't even in the same State!

As Sandy said, having a nice office downtown or at a strip mall doesn't mean anything other than business overhead. Do you buy a car based on how nice the salesman looks in his suit?


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