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Why you need a great travel agent

Cruise Advice

I was with some bookish people at New Year. One was a literary agent, another a publisher. "Oh we hate agents," said the publisher breezily, "just grabbing their commission and doing nothing." It led, of course, to a heated debate. And also, it got me thinking. Because once the literary agent had explained his role, I understood it perfectly, and it crossed my mind that maybe another sort of agent, that is your luxury cruise specialist Mundy Cruising, should also give a little insight into what a good agent does.

Recently one of my clients told me that the minute her husband goes back to work after any break, his focus is on the next trip - how many weeks until we go skiing, or fly off to the sun? Her job is to plan ahead, to fuel the excitement, and to give him the best possible goals to help him through the weeks of hard work until the next holiday. And then she told me about an unfortunate side effect of that - in direct proportion to his fixation on how great the next trip is going to be, so rises her anxiety level about whether she has booked the right thing.

So if YOU are the one with the responsibility for booking the perfect holiday, you need a partner in crime - and that's where your professional cruise agent comes in. It's all very well reading reviews on the internet, but how do they help you? Do you know these people? Do they know you? Do they understand your weird family dynamics? And when everything falls apart, will they be there to pick up the pieces? I don't think so.

What you need is someone who will take the time to listen to you - understand your foibles, the things you passionately hate, and the things which make the difference between a success and a disaster for your particular family. And who, having gone through that process with you and helped you choose the perfect itinerary, ship and departure date, will then start work on enhancing the trip with better flight options, hotel stays, pre-organised excursions, dinner reservations and more.

What's more, they will then reassure you that you have made the best choice, and calm your anxieties. If, God forbid, anything should go wrong, they will be there to sort it out. And the best thing is - it won't cost you a penny!

What's more, once your planning for this trip is complete, they will use what they have learned about you to spot new opportunities that will just suit you, calling you with exciting news or sending through brochures that they know will interest you.

So if you need an advisor, listener and therapist with a world of experience in travel arrangements who can get you the best price and has your interests at heart, find yourself a great agent - it's the best investment you can make.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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