National Travel Agent Day is May 3, 2017 and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is celebrating the more than 25,000 CLIA-member travel agents globally that help to navigate the many cruise choices for passengers. When it comes to cruise travel, travel agents truly are the matchmakers helping to connect vacation seekers with the best cruise vacation experience. In fact, last year more than 82 percent of cruise vacations were booked with the help of knowledgeable cruise travel agents.
“Travel agents play a vital role in the vacation experience, acting as a cruise line matchmaker, planning guide, budget advisor, and travel consultant for travelers,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Agents offer an unmatched service to both first-time and seasoned travelers in providing a stress-free travel experience.”
Five Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation with a Travel Agent:
- A Trip Tailored to YOU: Travel agents can not only handle booking travel but can also help find the best cruise for every traveler. A travel agent can create a perfect travel experience based on preferences, tastes and travel hopes. They can also help find unexpected activities and destinations that fit travel styles to create a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience.
- Experienced Expertise: Travel agents not only undergo extensive training and continuously visit different ships to stay informed, they also have a wealth of real-world travel experience. Agents work with a variety of cruise lines, and many personally travel with those lines, so they can offer personal and professional insight on different accommodations, destinations, excursions, and more; as well as offer counsel on more complex issues like travel insurance. From tips on finding a romantic bistro in a port city and the best times to onboard dining times to trying to find the most adventurous sea voyage for an upcoming trip, travel agents have the answers.
- A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For the most stress-free travel experience, identify a certified cruise specialist. Many agents achieve certification credentials through CLIA’s Career Seascape or take courses through cruise lines to elevate their expertise in cruise vacation experiences. These travel agents are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client, every time. This leaves the logistics to a professional, giving travelers someone in their corner if things go wrong. If a flight is missed or excursion is cancelled, an agent can handle refunds and logistics to take the stress out of traveling.
- Discounts & Deals: In most cases, travel agents have access to deals and discounts not available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book-in-bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing by booking through an agent.
- Perks & Personalized Travel: In order to keep travelers as happy as possible, many travel agents are able to offer unmatched travel perks. Most agents can offer clients benefits like complimentary bottles of wine, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money. In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for your cruise like gluten-free dining or post-cruise transportation home.
For more information about booking a cruise with a CLIA-certified cruise specialist, please visit http://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/plan-a-cruise/clia-agent-finder.
About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world's most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.