A Word about Travel Agents
and Cruises

A cruise is a significant investment in time and money.  (If you are like me, you have to make the most of your vacation time.)  To get the most out your investment, you need to know that the most important thing about a cruise is not where it is going.   The most important thing is to enjoy getting there.  Alaska, the Bahamas, Mexico... all very worthwhile destinations, but not as important as selecting the right cruise line and the right ship.  If your travel agent doesn't seem to know this, get another travel agent.  Otherwise, you will likely end up with a bad cruise line that pays big commissions, and just happens to go where you want to go.

My wife told a travel agent named Alice that she wanted to go on a nice cruise, and that she was willing to pay for it. Alice asked my wife where she wanted to go.  Bad sign.  That is not the most important thing.  My wife replied "Mexico would be nice."  We ended up booked on Carnival, a cut-rate cruise line, having perhaps the most miserable vacation we'd ever had.

I took the travel agent to task on our return, and her excuse was that the other Cruise lines did not go to Mexico at the exactly when we wanted to.  To her the destination was the determining factor.  It turned out she knew it was cut-rate.  A cruise is not like a plane trip to visit the relatives, when anyway you get there is fine.   If you are just trying to get somewhere, a cruise line is a pretty silly way to do it.