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Is there a benefit to using Princess Cruise Vacation Planner?


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I usually do all our own bookings myself with Princess.

 

Well before the pandemic I got a pleasant email from a PVP and thought okay, I will give this a try.

After several Alaska cruise cancellations we decided to do a Hawaii cruise. Giving up on Alaska for 2021.

 

I sent an email with all the facts on last Sunday and got a phone call on Monday afternoon. I told her that I did not think I would hear from her before Wednesday. She said for some reason they were having issues with their voicemail and she was going through her emails while waiting to access her

voicemail. Lucky me! Through our going over the reservation she said we got a casino offer which I think it was initiated from her because of our last 3 cancellations. Yeehaa! Nice discount!

 

Anyways, I had a pleasant conversation and was pleased with her service. 

 

For now, I will continue using a PVP.

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My PVP has been great during COVID. On the original reservation made pre-COVID, I was contacted by the PVP, and I told her I could get a better deal from an online TA (gave rebates). PVP was able to get close with OBC and Specialty Dining, so I gave the reservation to her. Then COVID hit. She has been great at making the new reservation, and transferring deposits and bonuses to the new reservation. It took Princess a month or two to release the FCD so it could be applied to the new cruise. PVP was able to hold the new reservation without having to make the deposit until the FCD was released. More cancellations, rinse and repeat. Nice I didn't have to hassle with extending deposit dates with the new reservation until the deposit on the old reservation was released.

 

The only downside: Because Princess was protecting TA's commissions, I would have received the rebate on the cancelled cruise if I made it with the online TA.

 

With the online TA, sometimes it was annoying dealing with them. Sometimes the issue they could fix, and sometimes I had to deal with Princess anyway. With the PVP, she handles it all.

 

Note: I mostly deal with the PVP via e-mail, and she is fairly prompt. A few times I had to call her, and was able to get ahold of her in a reasonable amount of time. For a new cruise, I would book something, including the cabin and deal I wanted. Then she would rebook the reservation, and take it from there.

Edited by richmke
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On 1/23/2021 at 1:52 AM, caribill said:

As the above posts point out, some PVPs give excellent service and some are duds. Not much different than travel agents.

 

If you do not want to use a travel agent, then a knowledgeable PVP can often be of great help.

Absolutely.  We had good TA's in the past, which happened to retire so we tried using a PVP and have been with her for nearly 10 years.  I don't know if she is the best, but I can't imagine anyone any better at staying on top of things and cutting through the clutter and getting things done right away.  She thinks of us as her "East Coast Parents".  That's the kind of relationship we have. (The IRS doesn't necessarily appreciate that I do claim her as a dependent every year!) LOL!!!

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1 hour ago, richmke said:

For a new cruise, I would book something, including the cabin and deal I wanted. Then she would rebook the reservation, and take it from there.

Every time I book a cruise and then contact the PVP I get "If you book online it limits my access to the booking for special prices and extra incentives." Lately, I have found it preferable to just call Princess when I need help with a booking. The hold isn't that long and I don't have to wait for a reply to an e-mail or voice mail. 

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I had always used my PVP until a cruise last March.  I used a TA 😡.  When all the cancellations started I found out that I was on my own.  I waited for 3 months with absolutely no help, no FCD, no FCC, no refund.  I called my former PVP and she said she would help even though it wasn’t her booking.  She did get all of it sorted out, and I am back to booking with her exclusively...a couple of hundred dollars isn’t worth all the problems and headaches I had with booking through a TA!!!

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5 hours ago, billco said:

Every time I book a cruise and then contact the PVP I get "If you book online it limits my access to the booking for special prices and extra incentives." Lately, I have found it preferable to just call Princess when I need help with a booking. The hold isn't that long and I don't have to wait for a reply to an e-mail or voice mail. 

I book it to show her what I want, and tell her it is ok to cancel and rebook. Then it becomes hers.

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We have had good service from our Princess Planner.  My wife uses a wheelchair or scooter, so we are always looking for an ADA room.  Cannot tell you how many times they have been helpful getting the right room with some extra effort on her part.  On our last trip to Alaska, she even found an inside ADA that was the size of a mini-suite and came with the amenities of a mini-suite, but priced as a normal interior.  Plus, one of my sisters was able to cruise with us and use the fold out couch and was only charged $99 for the trip.

 

yes, we will use the planners.

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I have never used a PVP but I do use a TA.  I get great service from my TA - not only a rebate on the cost of the cruise but great service when I have issues.  I have no idea what a PVP can do for me that I don't get from my TA.  Also, seems like a PVP is ultimately working for a specific cruise company.  I have zero cruise company loyalty so if a PVP is employed by cruise company A, they can provide no help to me if I cruise w another cruise company.  My TA's loyalty is to me and not to a specific cruise company.  That has made a big difference to me.

 

DON

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