Since indicating my interest in a cruise on Carnival's website, I've gotten several emails and voicemails from someone who calls himself a "Personal Vacation Planner" . He is apparently an employee of Carnival.
I wouldn't mind having someone to ask questions, but I've had very negative experiences in the past where my "helper's" sole purpose was to try to get me to spend as much money as possible, regardless of my needs or desires.
Has anyone used Carnival's personal vacation planners? Are they helpful or just pushy salesmen? Would it be just as good to book myself via Carnival's online system (I'm doing a cruise only, no flight or hotel arrangements necessary)?
I have booked a cruise both ways. I prefer the personal vacation planner. The pvp I used was never "pushy" and did not hound us to purchase shore excursions, etc. He was very helpful and it was nice to have someone answer any questions I had. He was able to get us a very nice upgrade for being a past guest. After we booked the cruise, the price went down and all I had to do was make a phone call to him. The amount I paid for the cruise was adjusted to the new price. We had a few questions along the way and he was always eager to help us and answer our questions. I have only dealt with one pvp and cannot vouch for all of them, but he has been a great help.
I finally found a good vacation planner (for me anyway) at carnival. One I had used before was more interested in me spending money, where the one I use now helps me save (so I can cruise more often I suppose, but no arguement here...).
I echo everyone else here, we use a PVP. We have been using the same one since 1995, so he knows us pretty well and he is very experience.
They do get a commision on each cruise they book, and probably a cut of any shore excursions, but I would have to ask him that.
Ours is not pushy nor has he ever had to be, as long as he has been at Carnival, he must had a big client base built up. I could see a new PVP seeming to be pushy while trying to drum up new clients, but you can't fault them for working hard. The most I get is emails for the weekly/monthly specials.
Actaully, I perfer the PVP... I can tell him what I am interested in and he calls me or emails me when he sees a special for that kind of cruise.
Originally posted by Tucson Debra:
I gave my PVP Jeff a call. Very laid back, gave me all the options and explained differences between them, and didn't try to upsell me on anything (like vacation protection, which I don't need).
He will make sure that if prices go down, he'll drop my reservation price to match, remind me when the remainder of my deposit is due, etc.
Definitely a pleasant experience thus far. Thanks again, everyone.
We always use a PVP and have a specific one we call, Her name is Wendy and she gives us excellent service. A word of caution however, there are some pushy, a case of 1 in every crowd perhaps. 2 experiences to relate. First my personal experience: A PVP called me and wanted to book my next cruise, I told him we always used Wendy and he said she had left and he was the replacement. Not true, Wendy was only on a vaca of her own. He was simply trying to steal her clients. The other was a co worker: Called to pay her balance and her PVP was busy and so she elected to talk with someone else just for this transaction. This fellow pushed her to buy other stuff, told her that he could get better deals than the other one. Sounds like he was trying to steal a client. So when you find one you like, get the extension number and insist on dealing with that PVP, accept no substitutes.
We have used a personal vacation planner for the last several cruises on carnival. Her name is Diana and she is great. No pressure,very laid back and very pleasant to deal with. I have her call me 3-4 times before we leave and give payments, that way there is no bill in the mail and I have my cruise paid for before we leave.As far as price goes i think it is pretty much the same as a T.A. but I like the fact that there is no middle man and less chance of a mistake! J.M.H.O. Tom