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There is much to be said for sitting down face-to-face with a local travel agent who can facilitate cruise options and choices. A local travel agent who understands your needs and your budget and knows the cruise market may also have access to special promotions and perks not offered online. They can help you decipher the fine print such as cancellations, penalties and restrictions. A local travel agent is your travel advocate. They have more clout than individual travelers when it comes to problem solving savvy.
If you do not know a local travel agent, check your local telephone Yellow Pages. Contact the Chamber of Commerce for travel agent members. Visit CLIA's Website (www.cruising.org) for a list of member cruise travel agencies in your area or ask friends for personal recommendations.