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Booking through Carnival or cruise agency

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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?

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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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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?

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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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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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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.

 

 

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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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.

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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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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.:)

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If you book direct and the price drops before final payment, call Carnival and tell them what price you see and ask them to adjust it. if they refuse, cancel and rebook at the lower price. (as long as you did not book early saver rate). Also, if you speak with different people at Carnival (or any other line for that matter) you may get different answers. You can tell them it's less $ at some agency, but they will likely try to talk you into booking direct.

Our TA always gives OBC (sometimes in the hundreds) we never pay more than booking direct (and never would--people actually do that??) and if there's a price drop on any cruise before final $ I email or call her and she gets the price lowered. So easy.

People can book in whichever way they feel most comfortable. If you're curious about TA pricing, price a couple and see for yourself what the offers are.

 

Also, everyone, word of caution: CC does not want travel agencies named on this board.

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Haven't used a travel agent since the 1990's when I could start booking our own air and/or cruise travel online. We have cruised 46 times, including 33 times on Carnival. I booked all online and only contacted a Carnival or other cruise line rep if there was a need to change something about a booking or to respond to an upsell offer.

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I just got back in town, and thought I would check into this more, and "maybe" try going directly through Carnival.

 

 

Djptcp, since you go directly through Carnival and not an agent, my question, would it hurt to contact Carnival directly and have a person (same one) I can talk to each time that would know my needs/wants, like I have always done through a TA here in KC?

 

 

Also, by doing it directly, did you ever get an OBC? The reason I ask, normally when I book through the TA, I always get a $50 ($25 ea) OBC. I'm sure there is at least a $100 fee tag on to what I am charged, but I have never said anything, as it is blended in the breakdown of the fees/taxes, etc.

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I just got back in town, and thought I would check into this more, and "maybe" try going directly through Carnival.

 

 

Djptcp, since you go directly through Carnival and not an agent, my question, would it hurt to contact Carnival directly and have a person (same one) I can talk to each time that would know my needs/wants, like I have always done through a TA here in KC?

 

 

Also, by doing it directly, did you ever get an OBC? The reason I ask, normally when I book through the TA, I always get a $50 ($25 ea) OBC. I'm sure there is at least a $100 fee tag on to what I am charged, but I have never said anything, as it is blended in the breakdown of the fees/taxes, etc.

 

When you book directly through Carnival you can get a PVP (Personal Vacation Planner) and that person will be your "go-to" for everything. They know all of your needs/wants and you talk to the same person all of the time. If Carnival is offering a promotion where you get OBC then you get OBC. There are no fees or anything like that, it's completely free. (Aside from the cruise fare, of course)

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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?

 

My advice,,,Always use a Carnival PVP, personal vacation planner!

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Personally I would never turn my booking over to a third party. If you decide to, do your research because you wouldn't want this to happen to you.

 

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/36956739/customers-lose-vacations-when-travel-agency-abruptly-closes

 

If you make a booking through a third party (travel agency) and they fail to forward your money to Carnival, or any other problem arises, the cruise line will not speak to you but will only refer you back to your travel agent.

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Posted (edited)

I made my first cruise booking ever this last March and was in the same boat - find a TA (don't have one - have always done all my own vacation bookings) or do it myself? After enough research, I felt ok to do myself. About a month after I booked, my American Express credit card offered $100 cash back if I made a $500 purchase directly with Carnival. So, I made a payment on my cruise, and LO!, I got the cash back. My understanding is that AMEX offer comes around twice a year. I guess I'm not really sure if that works with a TA? Also, I booked when there was a promotion going and got a $50 OBC plus only had to pay 50% of deposit instead of full deposit. I did reach out to a couple of TA's in my area and even though they matched the OBC, the room price was a touch more and it was a full deposit. So I opted to give it a go myself. So far, so good!

Edited by shawnalr

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At this point, after reading all your postings, I believe I will go directly through Carnival, instead of a TA, but just have to "fine time" to get it started.:)

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At this point, after reading all your postings, I believe I will go directly through Carnival, instead of a TA, but just have to "fine time" to get it started.:)

 

Good call. Now you just need a super PVP.

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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.

 

I have always used a PVP and love the easy access for answers, price drops, problems etc.

 

I also use AARP gift cards for carnival, so that makes the whole trip 10% off, as long as I get enough cards. On our upcoming Alaskan cruise, that means over $500 off our cost, and I booked that over a year and a half ago, when the prices were way lower than they are now.

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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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Word.

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I prefer to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid), thus I book directly or use my pvp. This way I don't have a middle "man." I can easily makes changes and I don't have to worry if a T.A. is doing what they should be doing. A T.A. will never have the same level of interest or concern for my booking that I do.

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At this point, after reading all your postings, I believe I will go directly through Carnival, instead of a TA, but just have to "fine time" to get it started.:)

 

I found that once I signed up and got a VIFP #, that rates and offers were better than if I didn't, so make sure to sign up on the site for that if you haven't already. For example, when I was signed in, I got the $50 OBC credit offer and half deposit offer. The overall room rate was $48 cheaper too. I went and looked it up on my iPad the next day and wasn't logged in and none of those offers were there and I was thinking "bummer, I must have missed out," but then signed in and it was all there again. And all the TA's I checked with quoted me the non-VIFP price.

 

 

I also used my PVP, over the phone, to actually make the booking. As mentioned before, this was my first cruise booking, so I had questions about room location and other things and my PVP was able to answer everything. He was super amazing, friendly and helpful.

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I have done both. However I will tell you I booked my Horizon cruise through a travel agent and they had a better price than the VIFP price online. So sometimes it’s worth it to at least call and find out what they have to offer. Plus they will make sure you are taken care of for a special occasion etc...

 

 

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Well I took the plunge this morning, but ran into problems when I did. To make the long story short, I told the one that answered the toll free number what I was looking for (already having the info, other than the cost), and that I would like to have an "email" sent to me of the breakdown of the cost. She then informed me that she could not do that, but could give me the figures. I then mentioned that I have been on CC, and they told me to get a PVP at Carnival, and then she said that would be how I would get the info email to me. I didn't have time to pursue it, so I just did it again, and the lady that answered took my phone number and said she would have a PVP contact me, where they would be the one I would go through all the time, so I'm just waiting to get a call back, hopefully soon.

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PVP or TA is a personal decision...I've done both. It's nice having a personal contact at Carnival that has sailed most of the ships, has personal advice as to where's the best place to stay, tips and tricks to do, etc.

 

Now that I've got a few cruises under my belt I've started booking with a huge TA company to get the perks like OBC, cash back after the cruise, etc. but I can definitely see the benefit to a PVP for a newer cruiser.

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Well I took the plunge this morning, but ran into problems when I did. To make the long story short, I told the one that answered the toll free number what I was looking for (already having the info, other than the cost), and that I would like to have an "email" sent to me of the breakdown of the cost. She then informed me that she could not do that, but could give me the figures. I then mentioned that I have been on CC, and they told me to get a PVP at Carnival, and then she said that would be how I would get the info email to me. I didn't have time to pursue it, so I just did it again, and the lady that answered took my phone number and said she would have a PVP contact me, where they would be the one I would go through all the time, so I'm just waiting to get a call back, hopefully soon.

That makes no sense because they can mail you an invoice that breaks down everything. Hope you didn't give them a deposit. I really despise the 800 number and that's why I don't call it. I also wouldn't wait on them and get a referral from a friend.

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No, I have not put a deposit down. Actually it has been around 4 hours, and so far, I have not heard back from anyone at Carnival. the Cust Rep told me she would pass my info on to a PVP and they would call me, so time will tell if they do.

 

 

I did contact my TA as well that I always use, but told her I was (which is true) in the thinking mode as this time. She gave me the brake down that I wanted on the cruise for that date, so I'll see if I ever hear from Carnival. I don't know of any other way to contact them other than their toll free number.

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No, I have not put a deposit down. Actually it has been around 4 hours, and so far, I have not heard back from anyone at Carnival. the Cust Rep told me she would pass my info on to a PVP and they would call me, so time will tell if they do.

 

I did contact my TA as well that I always use, but told her I was (which is true) in the thinking mode as this time. She gave me the brake down that I wanted on the cruise for that date, so I'll see if I ever hear from Carnival. I don't know of any other way to contact them other than their toll free number.

Surely there is someone you know and can get a hold of outside of here that has a PVP and can give you their extension.

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