So, you've decided to go on a cruise -- perhaps your first venture on a vacation at sea -- and you're a little overwhelmed. You have to consider how much you're willing to pay, whether to book an inexpensive inside cabin or splurge on a suite, and which cruise line and ship are right for you. Add dinner seatings, shore excursions and cabin location to the list, and planning a relaxing getaway suddenly seems like a second job.
With everyone attached to their phones, laptops and tablets, many people assume that online is the only way to book travel. But, as booking online can often be confusing, a travel agent might be just what you need.
One of the most important things to know is that agents -- in particular, cruise specialists -- have been onboard the ships and can really give you firsthand advice about different cruise options. They have done a great deal of research through familiarization trips and cruise line seminars, so you don't have to do the work yourself. Even better, agents often have access to special discounts or perks -- or know best where to find them -- and as the cruise lines pay their commissions, you don't pay more for their services and expertise.
Still undecided, or unsure where to find an agent to help you? Here are a few tips to get you started.