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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2007, 09:39 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 26
Hello all. It has been a while since I have visited, hope everyone is doing well.

I work with developmentally disabled adults and kids and I need some advice setting up a group cruise for myself, fellow employees and the individuals they serve. I have so far contacted a wonderful Carnival Vacation Planner and gotten quotes for the dates that are in mind, but that is as far as I have gotten. I am planning on sending a letter to all fellow employees and the families to get all the interested parties together. If anyone has any experience in this or advise I would be greatful to any help. I don't want to use a travel agent due to most of the individuals having limited income and we are trying to keep the cost as low as possible. (not knocking the great agents I know they have to make a living too.)

I have been on 2 cruises in the past that 1st was with a small group and the 2nd was with family. Both times involved someone with a developmentally disablity. Both times was wonderful. Everyone was very excepting of our individuals and showed no indifferences to the abilities or disabilities. After 11 years in this field I have seen quite alot of discrimination to these individuals and would like to send out lots of thank yous to anyone who may have been on a previous cruise with us.

Thanks in advance to any and all help you all give.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2007, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Posts: 11,612
Hey Dayla, long time no see for sure

This is wonderful for you to do!

I am sure Jan, Sandy, Carol, and Neil will jump in with great advice.

It does not cost any more to use a travel agent, they might even get you a better deal.

My very Best regards,
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: birmingham, al
Posts: 1,843
There is a forum on this website dedicated to information and advice for those travelling with disabilities. I worked at a facility in central Alabama that catered to mentally and physically disabled children and adults. I spent three summers there when I was in college.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,043
A Travel agent most certainly should be able to get the same rate as the Vacation Planner. An agent may even give you more in the form of amenities. I would also think a Travel Agent would be more readily available then a Vacation planner to assist you with all your needs. Promoting the group, setting up everything with air, coordinating the dining arrangements (table seatings), getting you brochures, going over the documents when they come in. You will get one on one personalized service from a Travel Agent.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2007, 10:36 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 26
Like I said, I don't want to knock travel agents, I personally haven't had any luck with them. My last cruise I started to go through an agent and not only was the Carnival Agent around $200 dollars cheaper he also returned my phone calls the same day. My husband get the military discount and she said that there was no military discounts avaliable for the cruise I wanted. She had a great personality and fun to talk to but if she had been that interested in my business she would have been more responsible. It took her a week just to get me a quote. Carnival guy minutes. So that is why I prefer to go that route. And if the Vacation planner work off commission the one I am using this time is well earning it. He has answer several questions and got me quotes on 4 different cruises. The longest I have waited is a day and a half and that was a weekend.

Anyway enough jabbering from me.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2007, 08:52 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 911
The great thing about using a good travel agent when planning a group cruise is that someone else can be the "go-to" person. That way if someone's reservation gets messed up, or the trip doesn't meet expectations, you won't be the one held responsible. If you do stick with the CVP, just have everyone contact them and make their own arrangements so you are taken out of the loop. The more you do, the more they will expect from you on the cruise.
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