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beshears

HELP - PVP or TA to book

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I have never used a PVP, but decided to call Carnival, and I have one at this point.  I'm really scared to use a PVP, as my TA is close to home and I have always used them up to this point, even though I get most of the info ready for them before I have them look for prices.

 

My question, if the quote is only about $10 or 15 difference, should I go with the one that has the discount?

 

Also, at this point, they have no said anything about me getting an OBC, although I normally get a small one.  How do I know if I will get one, or do they normally tell you that once you have booked with them?

 

I don't know if anyone can explain what the letters and numbers stand for.  For example, I was given 4A for inner room, and 6L for window.  I have no clue what that represents.

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10 minutes ago, beshears said:

I have never used a PVP, but decided to call Carnival, and I have one at this point.  I'm really scared to use a PVP, as my TA is close to home and I have always used them up to this point, even though I get most of the info ready for them before I have them look for prices.

PVP's cannot touch a booking already handled by another PVP or TA. TA's can touch bookings already touched by a PVP.

 

12 minutes ago, beshears said:

My question, if the quote is only about $10 or 15 difference, should I go with the one that has the discount?

It depends. A good PVP and a good TA should easily be able to alert you of any price drops or rate code incentives available for your sailing...

 

12 minutes ago, beshears said:

Also, at this point, they have no said anything about me getting an OBC, although I normally get a small one.  How do I know if I will get one, or do they normally tell you that once you have booked with them?

...as rate codes always change.

 

13 minutes ago, beshears said:

I don't know if anyone can explain what the letters and numbers stand for.  For example, I was given 4A for inner room, and 6L for window.  I have no clue what that represents.

The higher the letter and the higher the number, the higher the upgrade.

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I will address your second question.  The numeral and letter refer to cabin categories.

 

I don't know them all but you can find them on deck plans.  

 

If it starts with 4, it's classified as an interior; 6 is ocean view, 8 is balcony.  I think portholes are 1.  I've never looked at suites.

 

The letter goes from A being the cheapest in that category

 through the alphabet, with a couple of exceptions.  8S

for example, is a spa balcony, but there is no 8R.

 

The differences in the alphabetical sequence may be minor such as B being on a higher deck than A, but the cabins are identical.

 

This is why price matching is a bit tedious.  If you're in an 8C you have to price match to 8C balconies, not to just any other balcony.

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13 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

PVP's cannot touch a booking already handled by another PVP or TA. TA's can touch bookings already touched by a PVP.

 

 

This is not accurate. PVPs CAN touch bookings handled by other PVPs.

 

To the original poster: PVP over TA all day long 🙂

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4 minutes ago, NightOne said:

This is not accurate. PVPs CAN touch bookings handled by other PVPs.

Another lie my PVP told me. He probably just wanted his credit, and didn't want others to receive it. 

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The PVP works for the Cruise Line , the TA works for you.

Any rate that the PVP offers can be booked and enhanced by any TA  , especially Cruise Specialist TA's .

 

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4 minutes ago, MCC retired said:

The PVP works for the Cruise Line , the TA works for you.

Any rate that the PVP offers can be booked and enhanced by any TA  , especially Cruise Specialist TA's .

 

This is completely correct.....however, one caveat, when you book with a TA, you lose the ability to deal directly with the cruislines.  Any and all changes, and sometimes even just questions, must be directed to the TA (who typically has shorter business hours vs. the cruiselines 24/7 hours) - which is why we typically book directly with the cruiselines and we don't use PVP's - you can call their general 800 number.  The only reason for us to use a TA sometimes is some extra "perks" offered (like OBC, pre-paid gratuities etc) which the cruiselines rarely offer.

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9 minutes ago, MCC retired said:

The PVP works for the Cruise Line , the TA works for you.

Any rate that the PVP offers can be booked and enhanced by any TA  , especially Cruise Specialist TA's .

 

 

You have any problem or issue with your booking and you can call anyone at the cruise line if you booked with a PVP.

 

If you booked with a TA you have to contact that TA. 

 

Also, PVPs are normally more familiar with all the specials, sales, rules, etc. vs the TA. 🙂

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2 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

PVP's cannot touch a booking already handled by another PVP or TA. TA's can touch bookings already touched by a PVP.

 

2 hours ago, NightOne said:

This is not accurate. PVPs CAN touch bookings handled by other PVPs.

 

You guys make it sound kind of dirty. LMAO

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OP, sometimes finding a good PVP can be trial & error. We didn't care for the one Carnival assigned to us. We were constantly playing phone tag and he just wasn't very personable. We got a new one last year and it's a night & day difference. The first time we ever talked to him, he helped us fix a big mess with an existing booking after the family we were taking canceled on us. It screwed up our cabin situation and the original customer service rep. who had booked it had screwed up all the financials. It wasn't even his booking, but our new PVP treated us like he had known us for years and, after a good bit of work, got us all straightening out.

 

We booked one this past March for March 2020 and had noticed a price drop. I submitted a Price Protection claim on my own and Carnival denied it. I was pretty sure they were wrong, so I emailed our PVP and within 45 minutes, our balance was adjusted.

 

We wanted to book another one last week, but we were waiting on a Carnival gift card to arrive. The cruise was filling up fast and we were afraid we'd lose the cabin we wanted, so we explained it to him and he put the cabin on an extended hold until we got the card (it was a 10% off gift card, so it was important to us). He even found us a rate that was $10 per person cheaper that we couldn't see ourselves. Hey, it was only $30 total, but we'll take it. If you can get one that also goes on cruises themselves, they can help you pick ships and cabins too. Good luck with the one you got, I hope they work out well for  you. If you're not really happy with them, you could always call Carnival and request a new one.

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Posted (edited)

I often wonder why use a TA if it's so easy to book online.  Am I losing money on vacations?  We use the 10% off gift cards to pay for everything we can when we book online so if we use a TA, does it work out to be cheaper than booking online and paying with the cheaper gift cards?  anyone have any real world experiences?  We typically book a suite about 18 months in advance for 2 people during January, February or early March sailings lately out of Long Beach but next one is out of Fort Lauderdale.  Thanks!

Edited by jdemps

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On 8/1/2019 at 1:23 PM, beshears said:

I have never used a PVP, but decided to call Carnival, and I have one at this point.  I'm really scared to use a PVP, as my TA is close to home and I have always used them up to this point, even though I get most of the info ready for them before I have them look for prices.

If you have a TA close to home, why not use them if they've always been good to you?

On 8/1/2019 at 1:23 PM, beshears said:

 

My question, if the quote is only about $10 or 15 difference, should I go with the one that has the discount?

If you only care about that 10 or 15, then follow the dollars, but remember the TA works for you whereas the PVP works for Carnival.  So if you end up with a problem, then you won't really have someone with the incentive to go out of their way to help (nothing may happen, but the one time I've had an utter disaster occur my TA moved mountains to fix it, I highly doubt a Carnival employee would have been so inclined to do so.  

On 8/1/2019 at 1:23 PM, beshears said:

 

Also, at this point, they have no said anything about me getting an OBC, although I normally get a small one.  How do I know if I will get one, or do they normally tell you that once you have booked with them?

If you're not set on your date, your TA should be part of a consortium... this has allowed me to get hundreds of OBC for cruises (as much as $400 for a single week cruise).  I don't always get OBC, but I always get a bottle of wine, and a thank you card from my TA.  

On 8/1/2019 at 1:23 PM, beshears said:

I don't know if anyone can explain what the letters and numbers stand for.  For example, I was given 4A for inner room, and 6L for window.  I have no clue what that represents.

The letters and numbers are just the categories, 4's are insides, 6's are ocean views, 8s are balcony and then OS JS and GS for the suites (and I guess CS?).  

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Thank you for posting this question; i'm only booked on my 2nd cruise ever.  I think I may look into a PVP - I still don't understand all of the categories in each type of cabin and have a bunch of thoughts about where and when to cruise for our anniversary....    

 

Happy Sailing. 

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I just book mine from the website. Never felt once that I wasn't able to get what I wanted. The perception that the best rooms are given out  by agents is wrong.

 

I know that all play around with OBC and pricing,  So those that mention OBC go where you feel you are getting the best deal.

 

 

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2 hours ago, xitappers2bx said:

but remember the TA works for you whereas the PVP works for Carnival.  So if you end up with a problem, then you won't really have someone with the incentive to go out of their way to help (nothing may happen, but the one time I've had an utter disaster occur my TA moved mountains to fix it, I highly doubt a Carnival employee would have been so inclined to do so. 

 

Feel free to refer to my previous comment. We were supposed to take another family with us last year (my wife's family members) and when they cancelled on us without warning, it created an absolute mess with the booking. Someone had recommended their PVP to us not long before this, so the first time we ever talked to him was after this happened. It wasn't even his booking, he had never worked with us, didn't know us, but he spent a long time going through every little detail of the booking to correct the mistakes and make sure we were well taken care of.

 

He's had me call him on his personal cell phone at home on a Sunday to handle an issue. When I told him I didn't want to bother him on his time off, he insisted. When I called him, he was getting ready to go out for the evening, and even though I told him it could wait until he was back at work, he wouldn't have it. He insisted on taking care of it then & there.

 

During a recent booking, he sat there on the phone with me for quite some time helping me pick out just the right cabin on a cruise that was pretty well booked up. We had already picked one, but he wanted to make sure it was a good choice. He also got us a cheaper rate that we didn't even know existed. It was a rate we couldn't even see ourselves when logged in. Yeah, he works for Carnival, but he saved us money instead of making them more.

 

Yeah, there's good TA's out there (bad ones too), but unless you've actually experienced a good PVP, you shouldn't rush to discredit them.

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On 8/1/2019 at 3:16 PM, MCC retired said:

The PVP works for the Cruise Line , the TA works for you.

 

 

 

 

They are both salesmen chasing a commission.....nothing more.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

Yeah, there's good TA's out there (bad ones too), but unless you've actually experienced a good PVP, you shouldn't rush to discredit them.

 

Your description of your PVP sounds just like mine. She cruises so she knows a lot about good vs bad cabin choices. She has also given us her cell number. And, when she is going to be out of town, she gives us the name and number of a PVP who will be covering for her.

Edited by tandemcruzr
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I think I've fired my PVP... we used her for our last cruise, booked 18 months in advance. Over that whole time she never proactively reached out to me once (not a big deal, but not even a 'hey here's a deal we have on this other cruise'). Every time I emailed her, I got a phone call back. Even when I told her I prefer to work by email whenever possible- in 18 months I never got an email reply. 

 

When we got home from our Vista cruise (it was the first one with the propulsion issues) I had several questions about the 50% FCC they gave us... sure enough, got a phone call back and I explained my question and asked her to please escalate the issue I had to her supervisor to find out if anything could be done. Within 1-2 minutes of hanging up I had an email from her saying sorry, her supervisor couldn't help.

 

I doubt she could have even typed up the email in the amount of time it took her to respond, and the fact that for the first time in our relationship she EMAILED me back, told me she hadn't bothered to follow up with anyone.

 

She's very experienced, but doesn't cruise. Was minimally helpful during the planning process. So now I'd just as soon book my cruises online myself now and if I need help, I'll call Carnival directly. 

 

If I'm ever scheduling a complicated trip again, I have a friend who's a TA who specializes in cruising... I'll just use her.

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I have used book myself, used a TA, and a PVP. I have been burned by a local travel agent in 2010 when he booked me at the highest rate and I did not research it myself. I then used a PVP who took the time to explain all the rates, policies. I am very grateful to her but she left. I then used an Online Travel Service to book several cruises that required hotel stays and this company threw in credit for this. In 2013 I got a new PVP and he has gone above and beyond in helping me. 

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I booked with a PVP and he did an excellent job of making my reservation.  He did tell me that I could transfer to a TA and he would still get his commission.  He did not respond to my emails as he already got his commission.  I transferred to a Big Box TA and will receive $120. a cabin.

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On 8/3/2019 at 10:50 AM, jdemps said:

I often wonder why use a TA if it's so easy to book online.  Am I losing money on vacations?  We use the 10% off gift cards to pay for everything we can when we book online so if we use a TA, does it work out to be cheaper than booking online and paying with the cheaper gift cards?  anyone have any real world experiences?  We typically book a suite about 18 months in advance for 2 people during January, February or early March sailings lately out of Long Beach but next one is out of Fort Lauderdale.  Thanks!

You can use the gift cards through a TA as well. Not advocating for TA use as I have never found one who gave anything not available directly through Carnival except big box who gave a gift card. A PVP can see rates not visible on line at times.

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On 8/1/2019 at 1:23 PM, beshears said:

I have never used a PVP, but decided to call Carnival, and I have one at this point.  I'm really scared to use a PVP, as my TA is close to home and I have always used them up to this point, even though I get most of the info ready for them before I have them look for prices.

 

My question, if the quote is only about $10 or 15 difference, should I go with the one that has the discount?

 

Also, at this point, they have no said anything about me getting an OBC, although I normally get a small one.  How do I know if I will get one, or do they normally tell you that once you have booked with them?

 

I don't know if anyone can explain what the letters and numbers stand for.  For example, I was given 4A for inner room, and 6L for window.  I have no clue what that represents.

A good TA should be able to answer all of these questions for you. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 11:50 AM, jdemps said:

I often wonder why use a TA if it's so easy to book online.  Am I losing money on vacations?  We use the 10% off gift cards to pay for everything we can when we book online so if we use a TA, does it work out to be cheaper than booking online and paying with the cheaper gift cards?  anyone have any real world experiences?  We typically book a suite about 18 months in advance for 2 people during January, February or early March sailings lately out of Long Beach but next one is out of Fort Lauderdale.  Thanks!

As a TA - I can apply the gift cards for you. A PVP will not monitor your rates - this far out there are always price drops. I monitor this for my clients. In many cases there's also an OBC offered by me. It's really up to you - how much time are you willing to monitor your rates? If issues arise - we have reps behind us to resolve etc. Not knocking PVP's, they are great but they work for Carnival, we work for you. At least the good ones do. 

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