I've called Carnival about 4 or 5 times in the past month (I have a cruise coming up next month) and all but ONCE I have been given a snotty attitude.
The most recent call was today - Agent asked for my name - gave her my first name - she asked for my number and I told her no thanks, that I just wanted the price for ____ cruise (I gave dates and ship) and she asked if I had a booking already and I said yes. She responded "that's why you're being so secretive then" - HUH!?! WTF!? I JUST WANTED TO CHECK THE DARN PRICE! I didn't want to risk her changing something on my ressies (I've had that happen with Carnival in the past when I wanted to check something).
Grrr...they are starting to tick me off...I book directly through Carnival because my local travel agent is far away (I live in the country) and they charge an additional fee. You'd think Carnival would appreciate the fact that their customers are saving them money (by them not having to pay commissions to an agent) and possibly treat us with respect!
On board, however, is always different - I've been on 2 Carnival cruises, 1 Celebrity and 1 Holland America, and the folks on board are always the nicest people....if only Carnival would have their phone people be courteous...I'm ready to never book again...sigh...
You need to find a new agent. The price is the same to you - whether you use an agent or book directly with Carnival - the only difference is who is getting the commission. Those Carnival agents get commissions too.
My agent is in Texas and I am in Alabama. Not a problem. When I book a cruise the docs are sent directly to me.
I love my TA. She keeps an eye on my cruise information for me and notifies me via a phone call immediatly if there are any changes including decrease in price. I always get more info from her than when I have called Carnival.
Dave is right again. The price is the same. I live in Wisconsin and my agent is in Maryland. She takes care of everything for me. I usually book a cruise while aboard a ship. She still gets a credit for booking and I get a hundred dollar on board credit. As far as attitudes, I never had that experience with RCCL. Maybe it's because they don't detect an attitude on my end.
You know, I never even THOUGHT about it that they (the Carnival agents) probably got commission. You are all absolutely RIGHT - I will find myself a good agent...My husband is a photographer and we travel about 10-15 times a YEAR - I usually do the work myself - it's time to let someone else do the work for me!
Actually Carnival does not have Agents. They have Cruise Advisor type people. For them to be an Agent they would have to enter into an Agency relationship with you in which they would owe you their loyalty. The Carnival Advisors are loyal to Carnival. A Travel Agent is suppose to be loyal to you the client. Not to get all technical, but there is so much miss-understanding in the general public about Agent/Client relationships. I thought I would spread a little knowledge
plummer, I have a suggestion if you can do it. Call Carnival late at night, you will get Colorado Springs instead of Miami. They are much nicer and not very busy, and you can actually understand them. They usually don't mind at all looking up things for you. Some of them are Military spouses working, and no pun intended, but is the difference in night and day
Well, then the "advisors" get commissions. I remember a few years ago when I booked my own cruise with Carnival, when my agent let me play agent for a while. The advisor immediately went to the usual booking quote of "outside or inside". When I told her I wanted a cat. 12 suite she got very excited and told me she had not been able to do any business for a couple hours because her computer terminal kept crashing. My booking helped her regain much lost ground (or money).
I asked my agent about it and she told me the Carnival phone sales people get a percentage, not sure what it was or is.
I have a friend that used to work for CCL in the exaxct dept you called. They are called "Cruise Vacation Specialists" and definitely make commissions on bookings. In fact, their dept has a script that they need to follow step by step for every call. If they do not follow this script, they are marked off and spoken to by Supervisors. She mentioned to me this script took the human element out of any call that came in. She felt like a machine talking to people and had several hang-ups in the process. Thus leading to her leaving CCL. One food for thought:
Beware of CCL's "Personal Vacation Planners" or PVP's for short. Whatever you do, DO NOT ask someone to call you if you visit CCL's website. Trust me.
I have had the same experiences with CCL. 'Islandcruz' makes an excellent point...call late at night. You will definitely get Colorado. Miami closes at 12:00midnight EST. As other posts have stated, it might be best to find a good agent that specializes in cruising. Best of luck!!
I have a Carnival Cruise Specialist that I call. You use the same dial in number that gets you to a "pool" of agents, but then I have his extension. They DO get commisions. And the one I have I am have with. I did change once because I did not "click" with the one I had before. But my current one knows I cruise often and works with me. They send me specials notices and makes sure I have may payments in on time etc... If you do not like the specialist you contact, call into the main number and just let the system give you the next agent. Tell them you are looking for someone new and why. If they know you will take their commission to a nother operator, they will work for you...
I have booked two cruises directly through Carnival this year - one personal, and one group for business. I have two different PVPs because one is an individual booking, and the other is a group, which is a separate department.
I LOVE the personal PVP. I always have the feeling he is working for me. He has told me when the cruise price was reduced two times, and he got me upgraded to the Panorama Deck. He is always pleasant.
That being said, he is always ready to sell me another cruise. If I email him about the possibility of taking a cruise in the future, I get a phone call IMMEDIATELY. If I email with a question, the answer could take up to a day.
The gal who works in group is worthless. She inherited my group when the original PVP left Carnival. Everytime I call, I get the same script. . . ."Paper Moon on the Victory, sailing blah, blah, blah. . .visiting blah, blah, blah. How can I help you?" In addition, her email ends with, "Thank you for referrals as that is how I build my business." No offense, but even that is scripted.
Almost every time I talk with her, I want to pull my hair out when we're done. I usually pray she doesn't answer the phone so I can ask for one of two other group guys who are great.
I've found that, for the most part, the group people tend to be pretty rude. I have thought it's because I am taking up time that they could be using to get commission.