Pvp?

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#1
193 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
First of all, I don't really know what PVP stands for, but I'm assuming it is some sort of Carnival representative who will help with cruise bookings. Someone can start out by helping me with that definition!

Is there an advantage to using a PVP? I've been planning on just booking our cruise online. Is there a reason not to do this?
#2
Kirkland, IL
11,360 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by lola4795
First of all, I don't really know what PVP stands for, but I'm assuming it is some sort of Carnival representative who will help with cruise bookings. Someone can start out by helping me with that definition!

Is there an advantage to using a PVP? I've been planning on just booking our cruise online. Is there a reason not to do this?
PVP = Personal Vacation Planner.
We have booked 8 previous cruises all with a Travel Agent. About a month ago I booked a back-to-back through a Carnival PVP. There isn't much difference
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Past Cruises
Carnival Valor - March 2005
Carnival Destiny - January 2006
Carnival Celebration - March 2007
Carnival Victory - April 2008
Carnival Pride - May 2009
Carnival Elation - March 2011
Carnival Legend - December 2011
Carnival Fantasy - March 2012
Carnival Ecstasy - December 2012
Carnival Sensation - December 2012
Carnival Freedom - March 3, 2013
Carnival Imagination - December 2, 2013
Carnival Sunshine - December 8, 2013
Carnival Dream - April 5, 2014
Carnival Pride - July 27, 2014
Carnival Dream - December 7, 2014
Carnival Breeze - March 8, 2015
Carnival Ecstasy - October 12, 2015
Carnival Elation - December 7, 2015
Carnival Dream - January 31, 2016
Carnival Vista - May 1, 2016
Carnival Elation - September 10, 2016
Carnival Breeze - January 22, 2017


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Carnival Valor - April 17, 2017
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#3
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Some people say their PVPs are awesome, calling them about special deals and things like that. I've never had a PVP do anything for me, except book my cruise when I call. Still, I like having them book it, just because I'm afraid I'll mess it up, doing it online. I wouldn't want to use a TA (travel agent--doesn't work for Carnival), because you then have no control of your booking. Any changes or matching to lower prices has to go through the TA, which takes longer to get done or might not get done (with bad TAs).
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
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..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

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#4
Tucson, AZ
2,675 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
have used both travel agents and PVP. I prefer to deal with the cruise line directly because as the previous poster said I dont lose control and have direct access to my booking. If you use a travel agent you lose that ability and have to go through the travel agent. I am retired so if I spend a 1/2 hour on the phone, that is ok with me. If you get a travel agent that is timid you might get weaker results that you would otherwise.
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Jim

"Dad, don't worry about missing the beach, Arizona is all beach, just no water"
#5
Virginia
197 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Our PVP is great. She does our entire family, parents, brother, us, family friends. She knows the type and location of the rooms we like, she will call with special deals and remembers everything about us (OK probably a screen shot with quick tips) THe service she provides is awesome. We booked one cruise thru a group and it was awful the steps you had to go thru in order to speak to someone at carnival instead of the travel agent. Never again. She actually picked our upcoming cruise in Jan. We told her what we were thinking about and had a couple picked but she found one that was even better and cheaper!!
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#6
Lake Norman, NC
1,645 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I don't hate travel agents. I just have no time for the middle-man.

We use our PVP and she has been very reliable...there for us as needed.

Either way you go OP, enjoy your cruising!
#7
29,344 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
The advantage of using a pvp is if you have a problem you can speak to Carnival directly.

If using a TA have to wait and get your TA to contact Carnival and that can take time.
#8
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,634 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
One BIG misconception in these boards is that the agents that answer the 1-800-Carnival number are PVP's. They are NOT.

The agents that answer the phone at the 800-Carnival number are just that: reservations agents. They answer inbound calls, answer questions, make reservations and move on to the next guest. They may provide their extension number, but their goal is NOT to creat a relationship with the guest.

PVP's (or Personal Vacation Planners) can be reached by calling a different line (1-800-819-3902). Their goal IS to create a relationship with the guest. (and as you can read here, many Cruise Critic members have had the same PVP for years). Once a PVP starts working with a guest, they are their main contact for as long as they work there (or the guest decides to go somewhere else). The PVP "owns" the guest's profile. You may not know it, but part of the PVP's job is to research their guests (in fact, when the PVP department started, their department was called Consumer Research), and the goal was to get to know their guests to the best of their ability. Creating that relationship means that the guest will keep coming back.

If you find a good PVP, you truly hit the Carnival lottery. A good PVP can be a great asset helping you find a great cruise, lower pricing (and fare codes) that may be hard to find, and since they work directly for Carnival, they can provide a wealth of information about anything that's related to this specific cruise line. Best of all, it eliminates the middle man (TA) so you have full control of your reservations.

We've been working with the same PVP for MANY years and his service is absolutely amazing. All of our information is already stored in his database (preferences, special rates we qualify for, ID's, verification, names, dates of birth, etc), so when I'm ready to book a cruise, all he needs is a credit card number. Literally, I'm done booking my cruise in 5 minutes.

Even after 13 Carnival cruises (and thinking that I know everything there is to know about Carnival) my PVP is still a great source of suggestions, facts, and information about our cruises. He provides professional, courteous and friendly service. He's been SO good, that he has joined us on embarkation day at the Port of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral to have lunch with us, followed by a personalized ship tour. I wonder what TA has done that for their passengers!

I always say that our vacation begins the moment we make that initial phone call to our PVP.
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#9
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,634 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by golfadj
If using a TA have to wait and get your TA to contact Carnival and that can take time.
We are using a TA for our upcoming NCL cruise (contrary to Carnival where rates and fare codes are the same no matter where you book, it does pay to shop around different TA's on NCL since rates vary wildly from one TA to another).

We are getting a KILLER rate on our cruise, but we are paying for it with very poor customer service, calls that go unanswered for days, errors, and the feeling of being helpless.

Recently, we saw a $50 price drop on the TA's website, so I automatically emailed them to get the price reduction. 3 days later, I got an email with the confirmation....but the TA released my cabin in the process! I saw my cabin back in the website, so I contacted my TA to grab the cabin ASAP. All I could do was watch because NCL wouldn't assign the cabin unless it was done through my TA.

2 days later the TA FINALLY replied saying that she was sorry for the error, and that unfortunately the cabin had already been snagged by someone else So she could assign a different one or leave the cabin TBA. That would be OK except for the fact that we had booked multiple cabins together for this SPECIFIC cruise, sail date, and location 6 months ago, and in a few minutes, the TA messed it all up.

So, I got a great price, a price drop, but I don't have the cabins that I booked, one cabin is up in the air and will probably end up away from the rest of the group, and my TA's best turnaround time so far has been 2 days...

You truly get what you pay for....
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TAPI

PHOTO REVIEWS
Our 10th wedding anniversary cruise aboard: Golden Princess
Legoland and the Bahamas aboard:Enchantment of the Seas
Eastern Caribbean aboard: MSC Divina

SAILED:
1981 Cunard Princess / 1982 Cunard Countess / 1984 The Victoria / 1991 Carla Costa / 1993 Monarch of the Seas / 1994 Tropicale / 1996 Royal Majesty / 1998 Viking Serenade / 1999 Dolphin IV / 2000 OceanBreeze / 2000 Carnival Destiny / 2003 Carnival Fascination / 2004 Empress of the Seas / 2005 Carnival Fascination / 2005 Carnival Liberty / 2006 Carnival Imagination / 2006 Carnival Fascination / 2007 Carnival Sensation / 2007 Holiday / 2008 Carnival Liberty / 2009 Carnival Imagination / 2010 Carnival Fascination / 2011 Allure of the Seas / 2011 Carnival Dream / 2013 Westerdam / 2014 Enchantment of the Seas / 2014 Golden Princess / 2016 MSC Divina


NEXT:
2017 DISNEY FANTASY - Virgin Islands and Castaway Cay / 2018 NORWEGIAN BLISS - Mexican Riviera

#10
29,344 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by Tapi
We are using a TA for our upcoming NCL cruise (contrary to Carnival where rates and fare codes are the same no matter where you book, it does pay to shop around different TA's on NCL since rates vary wildly from one TA to another).

We are getting a KILLER rate on our cruise, but we are paying for it with very poor customer service, calls that go unanswered for days, errors, and the feeling of being helpless.

Recently, we saw a $50 price drop on the TA's website, so I automatically emailed them to get the price reduction. 3 days later, I got an email with the confirmation....but the TA released my cabin in the process! I saw my cabin back in the website, so I contacted my TA to grab the cabin ASAP. All I could do was watch because NCL wouldn't assign the cabin unless it was done through my TA.

2 days later the TA FINALLY replied saying that she was sorry for the error, and that unfortunately the cabin had already been snagged by someone else So she could assign a different one or leave the cabin TBA. That would be OK except for the fact that we had booked multiple cabins together for this SPECIFIC cruise, sail date, and location 6 months ago, and in a few minutes, the TA messed it all up.

So, I got a great price, a price drop, but I don't have the cabins that I booked, one cabin is up in the air and will probably end up away from the rest of the group, and my TA's best turnaround time so far has been 2 days...

You truly get what you pay for....
Wow that is awful. TA we started using after our pvp suddenly left Carnival was good but had a habit of disappearing hear and there and always close to sailing when we had a chance for a nice upgrade or obc and felt so frustrated.

As a result decided t ogo back to a pvp sacraficing the obc from the TA.
#11
Crestview, Florida
276 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by lola4795
first of all, i don't really know what pvp stands for, but i'm assuming it is some sort of carnival representative who will help with cruise bookings. Someone can start out by helping me with that definition!

is there an advantage to using a pvp? I've been planning on just booking our cruise online. Is there a reason not to do this?
hi--pvp--stands for----personal vacation planner---and yes--we always book thru him---50 plus cruises--and found him very reliable. They know more then an average travel agent---or by booking by yourself--on line----i.e.--special discounts--and exactly where the cabin you like is located----so try them--you will like them---the joyces----irene and john
#12
NH - Live Free or Die
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I always say that our vacation begins the moment we make that initial phone call to our PVP.
It is great that you have a good one. I agree, you have hit the lottery.

About five years ago we had a PVP for three cruises who was also great. Sadly, he left Carnival and we have been striking out ever since. We have gone through three, and each has been worse than the last. We're sailing November 10th on the Valor, and we're marketing the cruise to other family members who might want to join us. With a good PVP in the past, this has resulted in a group sailing as large as 30 people or more. In this case, the PVP we've listed on our flyer does not bother to return emails or telephone calls. Amazing that someone who I assume is commission based is so uninterested in getting business.

Too bad we can't share the good ones here.

Kevin C
#13
29,344 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by kmc500
It is great that you have a good one. I agree, you have hit the lottery.

About five years ago we had a PVP for three cruises who was also great. Sadly, he left Carnival and we have been striking out ever since. We have gone through three, and each has been worse than the last. We're sailing November 10th on the Valor, and we're marketing the cruise to other family members who might want to join us. With a good PVP in the past, this has resulted in a group sailing as large as 30 people or more. In this case, the PVP we've listed on our flyer does not bother to return emails or telephone calls. Amazing that someone who I assume is commission based is so uninterested in getting business.

Too bad we can't share the good ones here.

Kevin C
Actually pvp's are not on commission. They get a bonus once they sell some number of cabins.

Incredible though that someone who is too lazy to return calls or emails can stay.

Suggest you ask around for a competent one.
#14
Arizona
3,677 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by Tapi
One BIG misconception in these boards is that the agents that answer the 1-800-Carnival number are PVP's. They are NOT.

The agents that answer the phone at the 800-Carnival number are just that: reservations agents. They answer inbound calls, answer questions, make reservations and move on to the next guest. They may provide their extension number, but their goal is NOT to creat a relationship with the guest.

PVP's (or Personal Vacation Planners) can be reached by calling a different line (1-800-819-3902). Their goal IS to create a relationship with the guest. (and as you can read here, many Cruise Critic members have had the same PVP for years). Once a PVP starts working with a guest, they are their main contact for as long as they work there (or the guest decides to go somewhere else). The PVP "owns" the guest's profile. You may not know it, but part of the PVP's job is to research their guests (in fact, when the PVP department started, their department was called Consumer Research), and the goal was to get to know their guests to the best of their ability. Creating that relationship means that the guest will keep coming back.

If you find a good PVP, you truly hit the Carnival lottery. A good PVP can be a great asset helping you find a great cruise, lower pricing (and fare codes) that may be hard to find, and since they work directly for Carnival, they can provide a wealth of information about anything that's related to this specific cruise line. Best of all, it eliminates the middle man (TA) so you have full control of your reservations.

We've been working with the same PVP for MANY years and his service is absolutely amazing. All of our information is already stored in his database (preferences, special rates we qualify for, ID's, verification, names, dates of birth, etc), so when I'm ready to book a cruise, all he needs is a credit card number. Literally, I'm done booking my cruise in 5 minutes.

Even after 13 Carnival cruises (and thinking that I know everything there is to know about Carnival) my PVP is still a great source of suggestions, facts, and information about our cruises. He provides professional, courteous and friendly service. He's been SO good, that he has joined us on embarkation day at the Port of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral to have lunch with us, followed by a personalized ship tour. I wonder what TA has done that for their passengers!

I always say that our vacation begins the moment we make that initial phone call to our PVP.
Great post~! Agree 100%~ I have an amazing PVP~ she has gone above and beyond to help us out. She always get us lower fares than I can find online~ she gets my FCC's applied in 2 minutes, she even got one applied well after final payment~ I feel that I did hit the Carnival lottery~ wish I could give her name here~
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#15
philly-ish
1,037 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by lola4795
First of all, I don't really know what PVP stands for, but I'm assuming it is some sort of Carnival representative who will help with cruise bookings. Someone can start out by helping me with that definition!

Is there an advantage to using a PVP? I've been planning on just booking our cruise online. Is there a reason not to do this?
there is no advantage.

there is a disadvantage:
pvp's work for carnival. a travel agent works for you.


when i went to book this year's cruise, the pvp's price was a bit lower than my TAs... so i called my TA, whom my family has been using for years, and she knocked off a few hundred dollars at the expense of her own commission for the sale.

before i booked, i had told the pvp that i had a credit for some drama that occurred in 2010 onboard... the pvp absolutely refused to honor the credit, as it expired 48 hours before we boarded. my TA on the other hand made dozens of phone calls and did all the work needed to ensure that we got our credit. instead of me having to fill out the redic number of forms (which if you have a PVP you have to do) my TA did everything, and i got a phone call from her saying everything was fine, and that when i board next month everything will be as it is supposed to be.
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#16
1,051 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
My PVP is just okay. Very rarely since we cruised last summer has she called/emailed with specials (this is only our 2nd cruise so maybe we need to go more for her to do that), we get more of that from Carnival directly. But she did remember our anniversary is coming up next year & that we wanted to take a cruise, and reached out to us.

I had already been researching cruises on Carnival dot com & online here, so she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know as far as ships/itineraries/cabin location. All she really did was book it & take the deposit, I knew the cabin I wanted so it was very easy.

Admittedly this same PVP almost cost us an early saver OBC last time we used her, but hubby said since we got the credit I should let it go & give her another shot. Plus we were both excited about booking, so we did. She is good about answering calls and email, always has been, I will give her that. We'll see how it plays out this time.

If I could find a good TA, like some of the ones described on these boards, I'd probably give it a shot.
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Kay
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#17
193 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Everyone here seems like they either use a PVP or a TA. Does anyone ever just book straight through the cruiseline website? That's what I'm planning to do..
#18
1,655 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I use a very popular online agency that advertises on CC. I get the same price that Carnival offers plus some very nice OBCs and sometimes PP gratuities too. They also submit all price reductions I send them on my ES. I'll stick with them.
#19
Edgewood, Kentucky
1,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Over 8 years ago, we booked our first cruise with Carnival. We booked it through a PVP. 20 cruises later, with an additional 2 booked, we are still with the same PVP and would not change for nothing. I have recommended her to my brother and his wife (who have taken 8 or more cruises and booked through her), my son and daughter. Also neighbors and friends. She has had 2 children during our relationship, I know their names and ages. I talk to her about my brother, daughter and granddaughters who cruise.

It has taken time to develop this relationship but it is one that has many benefits. She knows our preferences, discounts, where we have cruised and what we are looking for in upcoming cruises. She knows that I spend alot of time in the casino and checks to see if I qualify for casino cash or bon voyage gifts and arranges to have them placed in our cabin.

By booking online, you can still call Carnival if you have questions but you will get someone different everytime you call. I prefer to talk with the same person each time I call, the person that knows everything about my DH and myself when it comes to cruising.
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#20
Golden, CO
35 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by lola4795
Everyone here seems like they either use a PVP or a TA. Does anyone ever just book straight through the cruiseline website? That's what I'm planning to do..

That's what I do, also. It's easy and straight forward. The only time I would use another avenue is if I needed multiple cabins or any special requirements. Otherwise, do it yourself. Be in control of the process from start to finish.