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maryhou
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do you book direct with Carnival or use a second party?  It seems I always find a better price and almost always get OBC when I book with a travel agent.  I just wish Carnival would offer the best price........

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1 minute ago, maryhou said:

do you book direct with Carnival or use a second party?  It seems I always find a better price and almost always get OBC when I book with a travel agent.  I just wish Carnival would offer the best price........

Well, Carnival can't really get profit if they always offered the best price. That is why Carnival won't price match other travel agencies/lower prices. Travel Agencies uses group bookings they purchase well in advance in order to obtain the optimal prices.

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5 minutes ago, maryhou said:

do you book direct with Carnival or use a second party?  It seems I always find a better price and almost always get OBC when I book with a travel agent.  I just wish Carnival would offer the best price........

 

TA's frequently surrender some of their commission to give you OBC, which is where it comes from. Our first cruise is booked for next October and we opted to just do the booking online through Carnival's site for ease of use. They were offering $50 OBC at the time and we were happy with that.

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We book directly with Carnival on their website because of free and cheap casino offers with casino cash and free drinks. I don't need someone else to book those cruises for us. Before sailing, I always contact the Carnival Players Club for confirmation of our comps and then print out the emails to bring with us.

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I've always found Carnival is comparable with other sites I've searched. I'm not concerned about getting scammed, there's usually an OBC offer, etc... I booked once with another site that offered OBC (little issue with getting it but got it later) due to also being able to get additional money back with Ebates. It wasn't too bad but I felt more secure using Carnivals site directly. I've never used a TA or PVP cause I prefer researching things on my own.

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On 6/19/2019 at 4:29 PM, maryhou said:

do you book direct with Carnival or use a second party?  It seems I always find a better price and almost always get OBC when I book with a travel agent.  I just wish Carnival would offer the best price........

OBC is coming directly from their own commission or they have found a rate that has OBC anyway and you are none the wiser. Better to get a sale at less money than no sale at all. And Carnival banned specific 'cash' equivalent incentives from travel agents years ago. I don't know if they removed that ban or agents have just found a work around option. Also it has been many years since travel agents were allowed to undersell Carnival prices. They may be able to search for deals and pricing more efficiently than you or I, but they are not directly underselling them. To do so could cost them the ability to book Carnival at all.

 

And some will book with the cruise line at the going rate, quote you lower (cost out of their commission), and you save a few dollars. They collect the money and they make the payment to the cruise line.

 

So Carnival does offer the best price as it certainly would not be common sense for them to allow agents to sell their cabins at a lower price than they themselves would offer and pay the agent a commission on top of that. They are not having any issues with filling cabins.

 

I book direct myself as I was not happy with things using an agent for 2 out of 21 cruises. I find a price I am happy with, select a cabin I want, and if there is OBC to start off with then that is an extra. Between the booking and actual sailing I always manage to garner some OBC along the way. It is part of the fun.

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I used to book all of my cruises directly with the cruise lines. I found a price I liked and accepted any OBC and bennies in the offer. I always preferred doing it "My Way" because I enjoy being in control of all my bookings. Then a friend told me about an agent that he uses on line. I did my usual research, picked the cabin I wanted and then did a simple email to the agent and within 15 minutes she booked it at a lower rate than the cruise line offered and added more OBC to my booking. But what really sold me on her service was the time I had to cancel a cruise worth several thousands of dollars and it was past final payment. She went to bat for me and I was able to get 100% of our money back minus the insurance paid for the trip. She did 100% of the work for us. I can't say another private TA would be able to do the same or would even put out the effort and I'm pretty sure a Carnival PVP agent wouldn't.

 

I admit I did have only one bad experience with a TA who messed up on a booking but it was his last time to mess up with me. I am glad that I gave a second TA a chance and not remained stubborn thinking I could always do better for myself. Hubby will be retiring soon and we plan on spending a lot of retirement time on cruising so the agent who went out of her way to help us out with that cancellation will always get our business.

Edited by iceleven
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1 hour ago, TEXSUN46 said:

We book direct and always get at least $50 OBC, and we pay with Carnival Master Card so get double points and by that time will have enough points to get another $100 OBC. 

That is nice but you can get all that and more with a Good Cruise Specialist TA ?

There is no offer that you can book Direct that can't be booked by any TA .

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On 6/19/2019 at 4:29 PM, maryhou said:

do you book direct with Carnival or use a second party?  It seems I always find a better price and almost always get OBC when I book with a travel agent.  I just wish Carnival would offer the best price........

 

Have always booked through the Carnival website.  When I find a price drop I just call Carnival and it is taken care of with no problems.

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I never had any luck getting special deals through a TA. I like the ability to manage my own booking on the website or by calling Carnival. If you book through a TA, you have to go through them to change anything (and if they only work part time, you have to wait on them).  But plenty of others have said great things about TAs

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18 minutes ago, jmgeertgens said:

I never had any luck getting special deals through a TA. I like the ability to manage my own booking on the website or by calling Carnival. If you book through a TA, you have to go through them to change anything (and if they only work part time, you have to wait on them).  But plenty of others have said great things about TAs

 

Not exactly true. I can do everything online except payments on the fare. I can change my dining, bedding, check-in time. I can purchase cheers, internet, excursions. Once the cruise is paid for it's just like I booked through Carnival. 

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1 minute ago, Saint Greg said:

 

Not exactly true. I can do everything online except payments on the fare. I can change my dining, bedding, check-in time. I can purchase cheers, internet, excursions. Once the cruise is paid for it's just like I booked through Carnival. 

 

Sorry I should have been more specific. Yes, all of those things you can do. I meant changes as in, if you wanted to upgrade your cabin or any price drops would have to go through the TA. Sorry for the broad statement!

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I know it has been mentioned to an extent, but TA's can generally provide you some OBC just by using some wiggle room within the commission. One option for those of you that mentioned liking the control of making the booking yourself is to find a TA that is willing to work with you and transfer your booking from Carnival to them (so long as you haven't made the 'final' payment yet), then you get the best of both worlds; you get to book yourself, plus get some of the perks of the TA. Just gotta find a willing TA 😉

 

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