Great Lakes cruises are a lot of fun, but it you’ve never booked a luxury cruise you might be a little concerned about the details. In that case, you may want to contact a travel agent to handle the details and save yourself trouble. Some cruises, especially dinner and cruises, may not require the services of an agent, but for booking some of the longer luxury cruises a travel agent may be a good idea.

A travel agent can arrange transportation to the departure port and back again, and also arrange for lodging and air tickets, meals and other necessities. And, while it is true that most people could handle all of the arrangements themselves, a good agent can certainly lighten the load.

The first thing to do is determine which cruise you are interested in. Some Great Lakes cruises are short day trips lasting only a few hours, others are much longer. Check with different cruise providers to get an idea of what is available and what each cruise will cost. Where are the ports of call? Will you see all of the Lakes, or only some of them? What are the Great Lakes ships like? Which cruise ship would be most comfortable and fit best within the budget?

Once you’ve chosen a cruise, you can either book it yourself directly with the cruise line or let a travel agent do it. Tell the travel agent what you have to spend and which Great Lakes cruise you are considering. Use the information that you gathered at the start to explain to the agent what you want.

With the agent’s help, you can determine how to get to the port of departure, where to stay if you arrive a day early and what to do on shore excursions. The agent can also arrange for rental cars or anything else that you may need while you wait for the ship to pick you up or after the cruise is over. A good agent can also help you select your stateroom and warn you of any unexpected expenses that may arise.

If you are only booking a short day cruise, you may want to handle the arrangements yourself. First, you will need to contact the cruise company about the cruise that you are considering so you can find out if reservations are necessary and if so how far in advance. Next, you will need to consider if the trip will require overnight lodging for one or more nights. Is the port close enough to your home so that you can drive there and back in an afternoon? If the cruise ends after 10pm, will you still feel like driving home? If lodging is required, you might ask the cruise operator for recommendations. They usually know the ports they sail from very well. You can also call the local Chamber of Commerce or Business Bureau which will be able to give you recommendations based upon its membership.

Great Lakes cruises make wonderful vacations, and day and dinner cruises are relaxing and fun events too. Fresh air, the open water, good food and entertainment, who can ask for more.

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