Booking through Carnival or cruise agency

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#1
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,990 Posts
Joined May 2006
I have never booked through Carnival before, I always used a cruise agent, even though I generally have most of the info ready for the agent, so they really don't have much work to put into it, other than getting a room for us, etc. that probably a Carnival agent could do the same.


If you have booked through Carnival, have you run into any problems that you could not get resolved "before" the cruise?


If you book through Carnival and the price goes down for the same deck/room, will they give you a credit, or do they keep it at the price that I paid when booking it?
#2
NJ
6,724 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We use a travel agent who gives us onboard credit to spend on the ship.

If you book direct and Carnival's Early Saver Rate, I believe the price can be adjusted down till sail date. Check it out. It is a non-refundable deposit though.
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#3
Virginia/North Carolina
2,941 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
I'd never use a travel agent but that's just me. The $50 or whatever they give in OBC just isn't worth it to me. I always book directly with Carnival so I don't have a middle man involved in my travel plans. When I book through Carnival I have a PVP so if I have any issues I have a direct contact at Carnival I deal with rather than having to call the call-center and deal with random people.
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#4
New Hampshire
2,673 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
I book directly thought Carnival. I really don’t like not having control of my booking. I also don’t feel the need to have a PVP. Any issue I might have can be resolved by customer service. If the price goes down I fill out a price match form online. It couldn’t be any easier.


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#6
OH
1,133 Posts
Joined May 2017
I received a bunch of bids for two cruises. The best offer I received was an extra $25 OBC more than Carnival. I think the people getting extra OBC are those booking at peak pricing or expensive rooms. I usually book Early Saver or during the limited time sales.
#7
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
When we book with our TA we get OBC (usually about $50/room) as well as a cash refund when we return home. This time we got $50 obc per room with the cruiseline, $50 obc from the TA, then we got $75 per room cash refund about a month after we got home. Can't beat that! Plus we didn't have to pay the down payment when we booked because we've book several cruises with them. It's a win win for us.
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#8
Sanford, NC
179 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I also use an online TA. On our last cruise in April, I ended up with $225 OBC, $50 from Carnival and $175 from the TA. I have already booked a Thanksgiving 2019 cruise and I have $50 from Carnival and the TA is throwing in $200 OBC for a total of $250. The TA I use have never been hard to get in touch with and they have always gotten the price drops that I ask for in just a few minutes of me calling.
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#9
Minnesota
29 Posts
Joined May 2011
I've used a PVP and a TA in the past. I booked my next cruise directly on the Carnival website. I got a $50 OBC. Like other on here say - I feel like I get more control by booking directly with the cruiseline. I travel a lot, though. If you are new to cruising, I would suggest a PVP or a TA. They will help you with deciding on your cabin style, etc...
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#12
106 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Originally posted by CruisingViper
has anyone booked their next cruise from the boat of their current cruise? It seems like they give good discounts there if you know which one you want to go on next.
They don't anymore. Can get the same deal for up to two weeks after you get home.
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#13
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,990 Posts
Joined May 2006
Still reading good answers, and that is how we all learn, but "asking" questions.


What is a PVP? Is that an agent with Carnival that you deal with directly? As I said, I believe I pay at least about $100 more for my TA through an agency here in KC to do this booking for me.


If you have used an agent directly through Carnival, and find you have a problem, can you get this agent back, or do you just get the next cust rep that answers the phone?
#14
Virginia/North Carolina
2,941 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by beshears
Still reading good answers, and that is how we all learn, but "asking" questions.


What is a PVP? Is that an agent with Carnival that you deal with directly? As I said, I believe I pay at least about $100 more for my TA through an agency here in KC to do this booking for me.


If you have used an agent directly through Carnival, and find you have a problem, can you get this agent back, or do you just get the next cust rep that answers the phone?

A PVP is your direct contact at Carnival. You can email/call them directly whenever you need to.

I am perplexed that people actually pay money to have someone make a booking for them? I'd never even heard of that. I always thought the people who used TAs got a free service out of them.

Not only would I never use a TA there's no way in hades I'd PAY someone to make a booking for me, that's FREE to make.
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#15
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
11,423 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
When booking Carnival, I go direct with our trusted PVP of many years. But when booking other cruise lines, it pays to shop around because the pricing can change drastically from one to the other. Some cruise lines do offer preferential pricing to some TA’s. We’ve saved hundreds of dollars on cruise lines like Princess and Holland America by shopping around. But that’s not the case with Carnival.


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#16
Sanford, NC
179 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
My online TA is free and I research enough to know exactly what I want. I usually average about $200 OBC from the TA, not including what Carinival may have in their offer. The extra OBC is the only reason I book with a TA. Some people think it is worth it and some do not. I have never had an issue with contacting the TA I use and having any issue resolved by the end of the day.


Originally posted by teknoge3k
A PVP is your direct contact at Carnival. You can email/call them directly whenever you need to.

I am perplexed that people actually pay money to have someone make a booking for them? I'd never even heard of that. I always thought the people who used TAs got a free service out of them.

Not only would I never use a TA there's no way in hades I'd PAY someone to make a booking for me, that's FREE to make.
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11/23/2019 Carnival Magic - 8 day Eastern Caribbean
4/14/2018 Carnival Magic - 7 day Western Caribbean
1/14/2016 Carnival Dream - 10 day Eastern Caribbean
6/28/2014 Carnival Liberty - 8 day Southern Caribbean
11/23/2013 Carnival Liberty - 7 day Eastern Caribbean
3/30/2013 Carnival Ecstasy - 5 day Bahamas
3/25/2012 Carnival Miracle - 8 day Southern Caribbean
11/19/2011 Carnival Liberty - 7 day Western Caribbean
1/15/2006 Carnival Fantasy - 4 day Bahamas
4/1/2001 Carnival Victory - 7 day Western Caribbean
8/4/1990 Carnival Tropicale - 7 day Southern Caribbean

#17
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,990 Posts
Joined May 2006
Good suggestions and replies.


This may have been answered, but I will ask it again. If I book through Carnival and have paid some on it, but not the final balance, and find where the price has been lowered, before I pay the balance off, will Carnival give me a credit, or lower the price?


If I would find the price is lower, through "another" company like CC, VTG, etc. would Carnival acknowledge this?


Yes, since I have cruised with Carnival for years, my TA tells me Carnival will give me an OBC of $50 per room, or $25 pp. It is nice, but not anything I really have to have, if I could save some other way.
#18
Central NC
374 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
I book through Costco. I usually get a $95 Costco gift card for booking, paying the same price as booking directly through Carnival or a PVP.

It only becomes an issue when trying to get price drops - waiting on hold for Costco Travel can get to be tiresome, but in the end it's a small inconvenience for the free Costco gift card that we get. $95 at Costco goes a long way for us.

Of course this won't do anything for you unless you're a Costco member. But AAA has a similar program (I believe they give you a Visa gift card for booking), and I'm sure many other companies have similar programs.
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#19
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,990 Posts
Joined May 2006
Thanks for letting me know about Cosco, which is fairly close to where we live, but we normally go to Sam's Club, as it is so close to our house, and convenient.
#20
VA
16,821 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
You can read my preference and reasoning behind it here:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2642485
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