I own a papercrafting store, and my customers have been asking me to plan a cardmaking cruise for them, which I did -- CCL Victory in October.
We got the same rate that anyone booking individually would get. There are a couple of booking perks.
They held 20 cabins for me at the sale price, so if the price went up on the website or wherever before initial deposits were made, we were guaranteed to get the lower rate.
With 8 cabins booked, we get one cruise credit. Since we have interior, oceanview and balcony cabins being held, the cruise credit will depend on how many of each we actually sell. (They do not award the credit until final payment since people can back out.) If the group leader wants a balcony cabin, and the cruise credit is enough only for an oceanview, the leader pays the difference plus port charges, excursions, gratuities.
The initial deposit per person was considerably less than what we paid for our individual cruise. Also, the deposit was not due immediately, as it was when I booked our individual vacation cruise.
Those who have put down deposits are guaranteed the low rates. Carnival is still holding cabins for me, and should I have anyone else sign up for the cruise, they wlil get that sale price. However, at this point, should our particular cruise start to fill up, Carnival can now take the UNDEPOSITED cabins away as they need them.
Royal Caribbean considers 8 cabins a group, too, and does basically the same deal. I checked with them, too, before I booked with Carnival. I ended up choosing Carnival over Royal because I got a great deal, and considering the fact that I have to add in the class charges, I had to watch the pricing. Also, Carnival gave me great perks (that you wouldn't get booking individually) for each customer who actually cruises with our group.
I hope this wasn't too confusing and that it helps!!
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