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Dwayne 01-09-2009 08:07 PM

I wanted to pass this along to everyone.

Carnival announced a new booking program today. It will be available January 12. It offers the opportunity to save up to 25% off the lowest fare for booking early. It has some good points, and some not so good points depending on individual circumstances. The price will be protected up to 2 business days prior to sail date with some restrictions. So read the details. A form must be sent in for adjustments, and they will be as non-refundable on board credits.

For 5 day or less sailings the booking must be made outside of 3 months, for 6 day and more sailings 5 months.

*The deposit becomes immediately non-refundable.

*There is a $50 charge for changing the ship or sail date outside of penalty period.

There are several more terms and conditions. They have already updated their FAQ section (here) with this. I would read the details carefully before deciding on this type of booking. It could work well for some people if they understand the details.


Dwayne 01-10-2009 12:14 AM

Here is the official press release:

MIAMI (January 9, 2009) – Carnival Cruise Lines is launching an exciting new cruise pricing option called Early Saver which offers fares as much as 25 percent lower than the best generally available rates and provides rate protection if rates later drop below what the consumer originally paid. Early Saver further enhances the exceptional value of a Carnival cruise vacation.
Early Saver rates will be available beginning January 12, 2009 and offered up to three months prior to sailing date for cruises of five days or less and up to five months prior to sailing date for longer length voyages, subject to availability. Early Saver fares include all stateroom types, including suites.
The Early Saver rate protection feature provides that if a lower Carnival advertised rate becomes available after the booking is made, a rate adjustment can be requested and the cruise line will issue the difference in the form of a non-refundable shipboard credit. The lower fare must be for the same ship, sailing date, stateroom category and number of guests.
“Early Saver is a fantastic savings opportunity for those who are able to plan ahead and book early,” said Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s executive vice president of marketing and guest experience. “It is designed to provide consumers with complete confidence that the fare they are booking is the lowest Carnival rate available and that in the event they find a lower fare later, they need simply submit a rate protection request and we will provide a shipboard credit equal to the difference.”
When booking an Early Saver fare, consumers are able to choose a specific stateroom. The standard required deposit is immediately non-refundable at time of booking. Any changes in ship or sailing date outside of Carnival’s standard penalty period require a $50 change fee. For changes inside the penalty period, normal penalties apply.
To request a price adjustment, a rate protection form must be completed and emailed to Carnival. Consumers can access the form via the cruise line’s web site at or their travel agent may complete the form via the cruise line’s travel agent web portal. The lower rate must be available at the time the form is submitted and rate adjustments will be processed within two business days. Rate adjustment requests can be submitted up to two business days prior to the cruise departure date.
Early Saver fares are available for both individual and group reservations.
The Early Saver fare program will be available on virtually all Carnival ships and itineraries, which include voyages ranging from three to 18 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Europe, Bermuda and South America. The fares are subject to availability and certain restrictions apply.
To book an Early Saver rate, consumers may contact a travel agent, call 800-CARNIVAL or visit

Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together, we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

macmom111 01-10-2009 04:04 AM

Do you know if this includes the military rate also. If so I will book my sept cruise on the 12th.

Dwayne 01-10-2009 07:51 PM


Do you know if this includes the military rate also.
macmom, I'm not sure yet. The public statements didn't say they were not. However, the non-public source says "not combinable with discounts or promotions". I'll try to find out Monday.


macmom111 01-12-2009 09:47 AM

I just tried to book my early booking cruise this morning. this is what was told to me.
the rates are based on first time cruiser rates. if you are a past guest, military or 55 and older you wont save money. she also said it states UP TO a 25% discount. I could have booked today and used the first time rate with the discount I would have saved 10 dollars a cabin as opposed to using my past guest rate. not worth 10 dollars for them to hold my money for 9 months, ...what looks too good to be true usually is.

Jim C. 01-12-2009 01:35 PM

Wow.. that is useless then. Too many penalties with no reward. Why would a past cruiser do that then?

Dwayne 01-12-2009 03:06 PM

They told me that Past Guest, 55 or older, and Resident rates were applicable if available on the sailing. They had to look it up. Hopefully more details will emerge. It seems we are getting conflicting answers from them.


Dwayne 01-12-2009 09:27 PM

An update about the details. I figure it is pretty safe to post after I speak with one Admin. and two reservationists and get the same answer. Each one had to put me on hold as this is a new program and there has been some confusion I was told.

The Past Guest, Resident, and 55 or older rates are protected if you are eligible for them. Meaning if any of those rates go lower you will be issued a non-refundable on board credit if you send the form in. The Military rates are excluded from this method of booking.


I just tried to book my early booking cruise this morning. this is what was told to me.
the rates are based on first time cruiser rates. if you are a past guest, military or 55 and older you wont save money.
macmom, That is not what I encountered today. My past guest rate that I have been shopping for the Dream was $300 plus less using this method for 4G. The John Heald Blogger rate that had included my upgrade from 4A to 4G was $275 less. I guess it depends on the ship and sail date. For the right set of circumstances it does save some money.


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