From fixing pre-cruise hiccups to setting up complimentary perks, on-board surprises, and exclusive access, travel advisors know cruises inside and out. Here, we’re sharing nine real traveler testimonials from Virtuoso.com reviews and recommendations. Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

First-time cruiser.

“It was my first time taking a cruise, and I was traveling with four of my friends. Dawn was very knowledgeable about Crystal Cruises and did a great job coordinating the various tasks, itineraries, and information gathering for me and my friends. She answered all of my questions – some of which I know were off the wall – but she was a consummate professional!”
Advisor: Dawn Campbell, Fort Worth, Texas

Service extraordinaire.

“When it came time to plan our 25th wedding anniversary trip, Jay suggested a Mediterranean cruise on Oceania because it allowed me to check many things off my bucket list. What a trip it turned out to be! It exceeded our expectations. Jay kept us up to date, always letting us know our next steps for planning excursions, hotels, and dining. He always gave us plenty of warning as to when the next payment was due to the airlines or cruise ship. I’ve never dealt with such an expert in this field.”
Advisor: Jay Musgrove, Oklahoma City

Attention to detail.

“Excellent cruise agent. I especially appreciated the monthly price watch, which resulted in a lower cost and enhanced benefits. She very thoughtfully had a bottle of Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and chocolates waiting for us in our cabin.”
Advisor: Linda Allen-Speer, Arkansas  

Friendly customer service.

“When we book with Russ, I know everything is taken care of. We have booked about ten cruises with him and we have never had any problems. He does an excellent job!”
Advisor: Russ Dunlap, Louisville, Kentucky  

Patient magician.

“We have worked with Linda for several years now. Simply put, Linda is a saint. We are very spontaneous travelers and Linda is calm, patient, flexible, kind, experienced, and has contacts all over the world. She gets the feel of a client immediately and is able to recommend things suited to individual preferences; she knows what I am looking for, and even if I don’t know it exists, she does, and will suggest it.”
Advisor: Linda Terrill, Atlanta, Georgia

Amazing to work with.

“Trish advised us on all portions of our trip and helped us plan a smooth and wonderful honeymoon. There was an issue with the cruise line itself and she was able to resolve it quickly.”
Advisor: Trish Mercer, Columbus, Georgia

Another great voyage.

“As always, Kevin booked me a wonderful voyage on Holland America’s Oosterdam and kept me informed every step of the way. He informed me of an upgrade (room with a view versus interior room) available at a very good price, and it made the trip that much more enjoyable. I look forward to our next adventure.”
Advisor: Kevin Grubb, Chicago, Illinois

Summer travel.

“I used to plan and schedule my own trips. But as a widower, I found that cruises offer better prices for two people traveling together. Steve found a Cunard cruise that fit my requirements and wound up costing less for better service. He is easy to work with and promptly responds to my inquiries.”
Advisor: Steve Kuriga, La Jolla, California  

On top of everything.

“As always, Jesse is on top of everything and handled all preparations for a recent cruise, including dinner reservations. When a room upgrade opened up ahead of the cruise, he was right on it. He does this for EVERY cruise we take, and we’ve taken 30 cruises over the years. Needless to say, Jesse is the best.”
Advisor: Jesse Taylor, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Top photo: Regent Seven Seas’ Explorer sets sail.