How do you book?

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#21
Atlanta, Ga
3,704 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I have done just about every way. I usually just call and book with the person that answers the phone. I always know exactly what I want and have it all ready. They love me....

I occasionally use a TA that is a friend of mine just to give him some buisness. I will throw him a cruise especially if it is fairly last minute and I am paying everything right then. I figure I might as well give him a commission. I used him for my upcoming Asia cruise because he did a similar one last year (same ports) and I knew he would share a lot of info with me.

I have booked online a couple times as well. It is easy and fast and no biog deal.

Early on I tried to use a PVP, but I hated trying to reach him on his hours, etc. I know many here wiould argue, but I personally do not seethe need for one.
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CCL Fantasy 1990 (Bahamas)
CCL Valor 2008 (W Caribbean, Halloween cruise)
CCL Fascination 2008 (Key West, Bahamas, Christmas cruise)
CCL Victory 2009 (Southern Caribbean) review w/ pics: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=972143
CCL Fascination 2009 (Bahamas)
CCL Imagination 2009 (Key West, Cozumel)
CCL Freedom 2009 (Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama)
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 2009 (Bahamas, Key West)
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 2010 (Eastern Caribbean)
CCL Spirit 2010 (Alaska) review w/ pics:http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1208096
CCL Fascination 2010 (Bahamas)
CCL Imagination 2010 (Key West, Cozumel)
CCL Miracle 2010 (Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao)
RCCL Liberty of the Seas 2010 (Western)
NCL Jade 2011 (Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Ephesus, Istanbul, Malta)
RCCL Navigator of the Seas 2011 (Western)
CCL Magic 2011 (12 day Grand Med)
CCL Miracle 2011 (9/11 Memorial, NYC to Bermuda)
RCCL Allure of the Seas 2011 (Western)
CCL Conquest 2011 (Western)
CCL Spirit 2012 (15 Day Hawaii)
NCL Jade 2012 (Greek Isles) review with pics: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...=1691665/SIZE]
CCL Imagination 2012 (Western)
CCL Liberty 2012 (Western)
DCL Disney Dream 2012 (Bahamas)
X Celebrity Millennium 2013 (SE Asia- Singapore, Bangkok, Vietnam, Hong Kong)
CCL Sunshine 2013 (Western Mediterranean)
X Celebrity Eclipse 2013 (Norwegian Fjords)
CCL Breeze 2013 (Caribbean)
X Celebrity Century 2014 (California Coastal)
NCL Getaway 2014 (Eastern)
CCL Glory 2015 (Eastern)
CCL Conquest 2015 (Eastern)
X Celebrity Eclipse 2016 (Caribbean)
Celestyl Cruises 2016 (Cuba)

NEXT UP



RCCL Explorer of the Seas 9/23/2016 (Pacific Northwest)
[/size]RCCL Harmony of the Seas 11/5/2016 (Bahamas)
X Celebrity Constellation 1/2/2017 (Arabian Coast)
#22
San Antonio
963 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I always, always call Carnival. I, too, know exactly what I want before calling and I let the person know first and foremost that I will more than likely be buying a cruise from them paid in full. It seems to snap them in to shape and REALLY help me getting the cabin I want and so forth.

It is really easy as well. Being a passed cruiser with Carnival they can easily pull up my info and the process is much easier then using the website.

I have never used a TA. I probably would have when I was researching our first cruise but this website made me feel comfortable and answered every question I had.


If Carnival outsourced their call centers to India I would be extremely upset. For those of you that have had to speak to India on something you know exactly what I mean.
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2/20/2016 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
11/2/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
0/20/2015 - Carnival Magic - Exotic Western Caribbean
7/25/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
2/15/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Western Caribbean
12/15/2014 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
10/26/2014 - Carnival Magic - Exotic Western Caribbean
7/14/2014 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
6/1/2014 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
10/27/2013 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
7/21/2013 - Carnival Magic - Roatan/Belize/Coz
2/10/2013 - Carnival Magic - Eastern Caribbean
7/21/2012 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
11/27/2011 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
7/23/2011 - Carnival Ecstasy - Western Caribbean
9/5/2010 - Carnival Conquest - Eastern Caribbean
2/8/2009 - Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
5/18/2008 - Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
#23
Texas
3,867 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I book on the phone with whatever CCL rep answers the phone. I pull up the CCL website, and check everything as we are talking, going over cabin options etc. Her/his price has always been the same as what I see online.

For me, there is no need to have a TA involved unless perhaps you have a complicated iten. and you were booking land vacations before/after your cruise. Other than that, they just complicate it and keep you from being able to make changes to your booking.

I have used a TA for a few land vacations involving a complicated iten and changes in country..but other than that, I'll do it myself and be in charge of my own booking.

but that's just me.
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zip line in MoBay, Jamaica
The Original Canopy Tour, Chukka Park
**It was AWESOME!**




I'm almost packed for the next one!
Previous cruises
CONQUEST MARCH 2007 "L" shape 6450-1st cruise!
LIBERTY FEB. 2009 6469 balcony
LIBERTY April 2010 7440 glorious aft wrap balcony!
ELATION FEB. 2012 U165 oceanview
IMAGINATION OCT 2012 E188 inside
CONQUEST MAR 2013 6220 balcony quad
FASCINATION APR 2013 HAPPY ANNIV. MY LOVE
IMAGINATION Sept 2013 OV My first Solo cruise!

IMAGINATION Nov 2013 B2B
IMAGINATION Nov 2013 PLATINUM CRUISE
CONQUEST Mar 2014 1001
DREAM June 2014 Balcony 8450

ELATION July 2014 OV
GLORY Nov 2014 OV
DREAM Feb 2015 inside 2467
Breeze Nov 2016 Spa cabin

"I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures."
Bella Swan-Eclipse

YES, I AM A TWILIGHT ADDICT!
#24
Phoenix, AZ
73 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I've seen some online sites that promise OBC and their rates seen to be the same as carnivals website, Does anyone have any experience with these online agencies?
#25
San Antonio
963 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Anzac
I've seen some online sites that promise OBC and their rates seen to be the same as carnivals website, Does anyone have any experience with these online agencies?

I have clicked those websites and after spending a good deal of time researching it I have always found the the CCL website offers the best deal. Others may have got a better deal but we haven't been able to.

It is kinda funny because tonight my wife checked the military travel website and there is a cruise in Dec out of Gal for $550 per/balcony. I checked CCL to compare and CCL was almost $100 cheaper p/per.
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2/20/2016 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
11/2/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
0/20/2015 - Carnival Magic - Exotic Western Caribbean
7/25/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Exotic Western Caribbean
2/15/2015 - Carnival Freedom - Western Caribbean
12/15/2014 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
10/26/2014 - Carnival Magic - Exotic Western Caribbean
7/14/2014 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
6/1/2014 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
10/27/2013 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
7/21/2013 - Carnival Magic - Roatan/Belize/Coz
2/10/2013 - Carnival Magic - Eastern Caribbean
7/21/2012 - Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
11/27/2011 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
7/23/2011 - Carnival Ecstasy - Western Caribbean
9/5/2010 - Carnival Conquest - Eastern Caribbean
2/8/2009 - Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
5/18/2008 - Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
#26
Phoenix, AZ
73 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
The obc would be nice if the price is the same. But has anyone tried it?
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-- Pride January 2004
-- Elation Feb 2008
-- Liberty April 2013
-- inspiration 2017
#27
Florida
272 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Our first cruise I just booked online. then I had to switch it and called. I ended up with a great rep and they gave us a good room and helped alot. I will probably call next time as I want more than one room and I want them together.
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Amy

01-05-2013 Carnival Dream
03-23-2014 Carnival Glory

Hoping for a cruise in 2015!!
Pictures from Our Spring Break 2014 Cruise on the Carnival Glory: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=c721dcbd6e
#29
Orange county CA
8,000 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Check prices and deals and cabins available online, then call PVP to finalize details.
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I still cruise for Warm Chocolate Melting Cake (with 2 sugar-free vanilla ice-creams), lobster, and creme brulee









------------PAST CRUISES----
ROYAL CARIBBEAN GOLD (3) Mariner (2) & Monarch (1)
Celebrity CLASSIC (1) Millenium (1)
Carnival PLATINUM (25*) Elation (1), Pride (1), Splendor (1), Paradise (3), Inspiration (12**) Miracle (2), Imagination (5)
Princess RUBY(6)* Emerald (1) Crown (1) Ruby (4)*
Holland America 1STAR (2) Oosterdam, Volendam
Disney (1) Wonder
(*) Scheduled
#31
Barnegat Bay ❤
3,974 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
If I am booking a Carnival cruise, I will call Carnival directly and tell them which room I want. I figure I can do this online, but I'd rather see someone making some money off it. Also, this way I can call Carnival anytime with questions about my reservation.

When I booked with NCL, I went with a major online cruise discounter. Their prices were about $400 less than going with NCL, plus I was able to upgrade for free from an oceanview to a balcony, plus receive $100 OBC and have my deposits deferred until 100 days before cruising. LOTS and LOTS of perks I got by booking with them and remember too, they were $$$ less than going directly with NCL.

Too bad Carnival won't let TA's give out discounts such as this, I would have booked with Carnival again.
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Been There, Done That:
06/2014 - Carnival Splendor - New York City - Grand Turk - Half Moon Cay - Nassau, Bahamas - (spa interior) - FREE is good!!
11/2013 - Norwegian Breakaway - New York City - Port Canaveral, Florida - Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas - Nassau, Bahamas - (aft-extended balcony)
11/2012 - Carnival Victory - San Juan, Puerto Rico - St. Thomas/St. John - Barbados - St. Lucia - St. Kitts - St. Maarten - (aft-wrap balcony)
11/2011 - Carnival Liberty 2.0 - Miami, Florida - Cozumel, Mexico - Xunantunich Ruins, Belize - Roatan, Honduras - Grand Cayman - (balcony)
12/2005 - Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas - Miami, Florida - Nassau, Bahamas - CocoCay, Bahamas - Key West, Florida - (oceanview)
#32
5,638 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I book with a TA. But not all TA's are created equal the same goes for PVPs so when you find one you like keep them.
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Tracy

My trips.
Disneyland 2001, 2006, 2010
Disney World 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008
Universal Studios Hollywood 2001
Universal Studios Orl. 2003, 2005
Knotts Berry Farm 2001
Sea World Orl. 2003
Vegas Sep. 2010, Nov. 2011, Aug. 2012, May 2014
Mount Rushmore June 2003(Drove through Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Alberta)

IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE
Click to see what ship to where.
#33
Memphis Area, TN
4,054 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I send a text message to her cell phone when I decide what I want. She locks it all down and then calls we when its handy to get my credit card number and finalize the deal.

Gotta love good service!
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Don & Renee
bigdfromtn at gmail dot com, Put Cruise Critic in subject line.
Conquest, 6/2004 (our first), 3/2012(repeat of our 1st)
Holiday, 10/2006, 6/2009, 10/2009
Fantasy, 6/2007, 3/2010
Glory, 6/2008
Elation, 7/2010, 10/2010, 12/2010(Platinum), 10/15/2011,(last from Mobile), 10/6/2012, 12/20/2012, 6/15/2013, 10/7/2013, 12/27/2014, 6/13/2015, 02/11/2016.
Triumph, 7/2011 10/2016
Sunshine 3/2014
Dream 6/2014
#34
Dayton, OH
160 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Last night I used a pvp, he got me 3 cabins in a row that didn't show up online. I think it is a great location.
Last Carnival cruise I used the 800 number and whoever answered the phone, which luckily for me was a woman who knew her stuff.
I have used a TA (friend of the family) for a couple of cruises several years ago.

I like to have control of the booking myself and part of the fun and anticipation of the trip is researching the ports.
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#35
North Shore of Minnesota
1,070 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I watch the Carnival website constantly when planning our cruise. We plan 12-16 months in advance and cruise in Dec. or Jan. We look for 7 days out of a port where we have friends ( one of several). We cruise as 3 and look for a inside Riviera deck cheap. Once one falls into budget ( last year was 3 in a cabin for about 1045.00), we take it.

We keep an eye for a drop then. ironically, we never had a drop occur in the last 2 cruises, we just seemed to pull the trigger at the right time.
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Royal Caribbean- Rhapsody of the Sea-2003
Carnival- Paradise- 2011
Carnival- Legend-2012
#36
Missouri
169 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I have used a TA and a PVP. I prefer to call in my reservation because I can pick my cabin earier that way. I have crappy internet & it takes forever to book on line. The ironic part to a PVP, I have never been able to get that person on the phone a second time!
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Past cruises:
Carnival Celebration 2001
Carnival Conquest 2003
Carnival Glory 2005
Carnival Dream 2011
Carnival Fantasy 2012
Disney Fantasy 2013
Disney Fantasy 2014
Oasis of the Seas 2015
Allure of the Seas 2016
#37
New Brunswick
31 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We've done it all, started booking with a great TA, then booked with Carnival through the 'whoever answers the phone' method, then we had a great PVP who we booked a few with, then we had a lousy PVP followed by an "okay" online booking, then followed by an 'okay' TA, then another lousy PVP and the last few have been with a fantastic PVP. When the PVPs are good, they are very very good, but when they are not... I think it you have a fantastic TA, stick with it, if you have a fantastic PVP stick with it. I like the personal touch so I've pretty much decided that I'm unlikely to be an online cruise booker
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"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls, to arrive at its final destination full of hope."- Maya Angelou



Carnival Breeze (Feb 2014) Carnival Sensation (Dec 2013)Carnival Valor (Aug 2013) Carnival Dream (Dec 2012),Carnival Ecstasy (Aug 2012)Carnival Freedom (Aug 2012 & Oct 2010)Carnival Fascination(April 2012 & Nov 2010 and Dec 2008 & Dec 2007 & May 2006) Carnival Imagination(May 2011) Carnival Inspiration(Feb 2011)Carnival Imagination(June 2010) Carnival Glory(April 2010) Carnival Triumph(January 2008)Carnival Destiny(February 2007) Carnival Sensation(January 2007) Carnival Fantasy(September 2006) Carnival Valor(Nov 2005) Carnival Victory(November 2004)Carnival Paradise(Oct.2003 &Oct.2000)