In watching a show on Discovery last night regarding the embarkation of cruise passengers, I saw several reasons to use a travel agent. The most apparent one to me had to do with documentation. People were almost denied boarding because they did not have the proper identification papers to board the cruise.
The one that stood out the most was of a honeymoon couple where the bride was listed on the manifest with her new married name. Unfortunately, her documentation had her maiden name and she did not have a copy of her marriage license with her. If they had booked this through a travel agent (and I’m guessing they didn’t), the agent would have advised her to book it in her maiden name unless she had had ample time to get all her identification changed over to the new name prior to departure. Or, at the very least, have advised her to take a copy of their marriage license with her.
Another one, is where a family is traveling with a child (anyone under the age of 18) whose last name does not match that of the rest of the group. In this case, I would have advised that they needed a letter from her father stating that it was okay for her to travel internationally without him present. The cruise line could be held liable if that child is then reported abducted.
This is just one of the reasons to use a travel agent – a lot of little snaffoos and stress that can be avoided.