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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2007, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rescue911chick:
I've always booked directly with Carnival. They find me better rates than I've found online, and like someone in an above post stated sites (like Expedia, for example) charge a booking fee. Carnival will give you excellent rates, and if you find a better advertised rate within 24 hours they'll give you that rate. I also had a group cruise in Sept that was booked in April. The rates went down significantly about 3 weeks prior to sailing, for ocean view rooms (we were booked in interior). We didn't think they'd do anything, but tried anyway and they gave us ocean view rooms PLUS $80 onboard credit PER PERSON to make up for it!! I love Carnival
A good TA can do the same for you...but a lot of the online agencies will not. The best advise is to find a good cruise oriented TA who knows all ships and has a sailing history...the PVP's are great at Carnival, but they cannot help you if you decide to try another line. Find a good cruise special TA, and you will have a friend for life, they will look out for your best interest and watch prices, if they reduce they will call the lines on your behalf to get the reduction.

Please know I am not knocking the PVP's at Carnival, just want to let everyone know that even if you get a great one at Carnival and you decide you want to try Royal Caribbean or Celebrity ships you have to start all over.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2007, 06:51 AM
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Another thing to consider when you book with the cruise line directly is "what if something went wrong on the cruise?" With an agent you have an advocate who is not a Carnival employee, and who may have some clout because of their sales record. You the client are their #1 priority when a problem develops because they want to keep you as a customer. The PVP works for Carnival and therefore always has Carnival's best interests as the #1 priority. Sure, they want to keep you as a customer too, but only up to a point.

A couple of years ago there was a big deal made when Carnival said their cruise pricing was going to be the same no matter where the booking was made - direct with them, online, or at a brick and mortar agency. Assuming this is still the policy, my agent is supposed to have access to the same cruise fares as the PVP.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2007, 07:27 AM
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Great points Dave!!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2007, 08:48 AM
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we book all our cruises right with carnival and have never had any problems they are always very helpful with everything.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerome:
we book all our cruises right with carnival and have never had any problems they are always very helpful with everything.
I'm sure they are. But could the same be said if the cruise went sour?
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:17 AM
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That is a very good point and will change my next booking for sure.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2007, 11:58 AM
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good point dave we have had a few things go wrong on our last trip, but so far i have to say that carnival has taken very good care of things for us. very satisfied with the care and response they have given us.
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerome:
good point dave we have had a few things go wrong on our last trip, but so far i have to say that carnival has taken very good care of things for us. very satisfied with the care and response they have given us.
Jerome,

And I am not meaning to bash the Carnival PVPs. I am sure they do a good job, if based on nothing other than your high praise for them since I value your opinions.

It really comes down to personal comfort levels as far as how your business dealings are handled. My agent carries a lot of weight with Carnival and RCI, so when she calls them they listen closely. But she also looks at the fares frequently and if a price drop happens she gets it for me, and I get a suprise e-mail that says my balance due is now X dollars cheaper. I like surprises like that.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:01 PM
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I prefer to book thru a TA. We tell her we want to go on a certain type vacation, give her the dates, she does all the work. She comes back with serveral options and we choose. She charges no more as the cruise lines pay her fee, just as the pay their PVP. We I have heard her talking to Carnival or Princess, i can tell they know her and treat her well. I still do a little mouse clicking to check rates. So far any deal I have found has not been a deal once you click enough, chatges and fees are added or the cabin style is sold out.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-21-2007, 04:46 PM
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I have done alot of research and found booking thru Carnival directly is much more expensive., in my case anyhow. Are you guys saying that Carnival will come down on their prices if I tell them I got a better price somewhere else? I have called them twice now, and they seem matter of fact with their pricing. I mean, they never mentioned to let them know if we found a better price on the cruise.
 
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