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Advantages of having a PVP?


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I prefer to see everything and book it on my own but have used my PVP for my next 2 bookings. The Carnival website would not let me book my 3 minor kids in a connecting room but the PVP could without a problem. Had to book it like this so the wife and I could get the "free" cheers rate.

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Just finished dealing with my PVP.  Found a deal onsite.  Fare was $20.00 higher but came with a $50.00 OBC.  It is not much but will take whatever I can get.  He made he changes quickly and sent a new invoice immediately.  

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10 hours ago, mlshum said:

Several times I have found lower prices, called Carnival, and gotten either reduced fare or OBC.  Would a PVP handle that as well?

 

I actually just did this with my (male) PVP. I heard that Horizon had some fare drops, so I did a mock booking late last night using my husband's VIFP number for our Panorama cruise in August. It came out $120 cheaper, so I put the cabin on hold for 24 hrs. I forwarded the cabin confirmation email to my PVP and asked him to see about getting OBC for it, since we are already paid in full. Got an email back this morning stating it was all taken care of, and got new cabin confirmations with the increased OBC noted. Easy-Peasy, and not even a phone call required. 

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 This is all good info.  Thanks!  How would I go about getting a PVP?  Would they even want to bother with me since we only cruise once or twice a year?

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19 minutes ago, mlshum said:

 This is all good info.  Thanks!  How would I go about getting a PVP?  Would they even want to bother with me since we only cruise once or twice a year?

 

You can look at my history.  We've had the same PVP for many years.  Here's the link to request:

 

https://www.carnival.com/personal-vacation-planners/request-form

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23 hours ago, tm_aw_love said:

I don't see that anybody has made comparisons to having a travel agent. Something to consider is that a TA and a PVP essentially do the same thing in that they both can (and likely will) do all of the legwork for you. However, a PVP can't give you anything 'extra' that you wouldn't be able to get on the Carnival site on your own, other than possibly saving you time. On the other hand, a TA can always give you the same offers and deals, and in many situations give you additional parks such as gifts, onboard credit, or even better deals because they have access to group rates for some sailings. 

I used a TA for a cruise that was cancelled and I took the FCC option.  I have been waiting for 2 months to rebook the cancelled cruise but my TA says she is in Carnival's customer service "queue."  she said since I am not looking to rebook until next year we are not a high priority.  Has anyone else experienced this?

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On 6/22/2021 at 1:49 PM, mlshum said:

Are there any major advantages to having a PVP?  I typically book myself using the website and haven’t had a problem but i’ve Read posts where people seem very happy to have a PVP.  Thanks!

 

Definitely.

 

First, having a PVP doesn't take ANY control away from you like it would with an outside TA.

 

Some of the things a PVP may be able to help with:

 

1. Waiving of fees/charges

2. Access to the full cabin inventory (vs the website)

3. Access to bookings before they go live on the web

4. Knowledge of options you may not know exist (fare codes/sales/etc.)

5. Being able to do things you cannot do yourself on the website

 

However, you need to have a GOOD PVP.

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On 6/22/2021 at 3:37 PM, ontheweb said:

What advantage does having a PVP have over using a travel agent? I do realize there are some questions that you can no longer have Carnival (or any other cruise line) answer. But there are also things you can still do direct with them like book excursions.

 

A travel agent OWNS your booking and a PVP does not. You call Carnival about an issue when you are booked with a TA and they say call the TA. You call when you booked with a PVP and they will talk to you.

 

That's a huge advantage to me. I still control MY bookings.

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41 minutes ago, snowdogsmm said:

I used a TA for a cruise that was cancelled and I took the FCC option.  I have been waiting for 2 months to rebook the cancelled cruise but my TA says she is in Carnival's customer service "queue."  she said since I am not looking to rebook until next year we are not a high priority.  Has anyone else experienced this?

Your travel agent should work for you... If they aren't helping you, you should get a new one! Just because you have an FCC doesn't mean you can't still change TA's.

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1 minute ago, NightOne said:

 

A travel agent OWNS your booking and a PVP does not. You call Carnival about an issue when you are booked with a TA and they say call the TA. You call when you booked with a PVP and they will talk to you.

 

That's a huge advantage to me. I still control MY bookings.

Why can't your TA take care of your issue? If they aren't taking care of your issues and answering all of your questions, they aren't a very good TA.🤷‍♂️

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2 minutes ago, tm_aw_love said:

Why can't your TA take care of your issue? If they aren't taking care of your issues and answering all of your questions, they aren't a very good TA.🤷‍♂️

 

You sound like a TA 🙂

 

What if your TA is on a cruise and can get back to you immediately? If they work at a bigger agency and have backup then fine. Otherwise you wait.

 

You want to make a payment on your cruise? You have to do they by contacting the TA vs having the option to go do it yourself on the website.

 

PVP > TA in every way.

 

The only thing a TA can give you more than a PVP is a free bottle of champagne, cake, or OBC from their commission but that comes with strings attached. No thanks.

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2 hours ago, NightOne said:

 

You sound like a TA 🙂

 

What if your TA is on a cruise and can get back to you immediately? If they work at a bigger agency and have backup then fine. Otherwise you wait.

 

You want to make a payment on your cruise? You have to do they by contacting the TA vs having the option to go do it yourself on the website.

 

PVP > TA in every way.

 

The only thing a TA can give you more than a PVP is a free bottle of champagne, cake, or OBC from their commission but that comes with strings attached. No thanks.

I will repeat a TA works for you while a PVP works for the cruise line. Which one do you think will seriously fight for you if there is an issue that comes up? If there is a similar itinerary on your date on another cruise line that would be much cheaper, who do you think will tell you a TA or a PVP? We once were looking at multiple Alaska cruises at the same time on multiple lines; I called out TA and got price quotes on all of them. Do you honestly believe a PVP will be able to tell you what another line is charging?

 

And Carnival will take calls and talk to you, just not about payments. For instance you can still buy excursions online or by calling.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2021 at 1:03 PM, tm_aw_love said:

I don't see that anybody has made comparisons to having a travel agent. Something to consider is that a TA and a PVP essentially do the same thing in that they both can (and likely will) do all of the legwork for you. However, a PVP can't give you anything 'extra' that you wouldn't be able to get on the Carnival site on your own, other than possibly saving you time. On the other hand, a TA can always give you the same offers and deals, and in many situations give you additional parks such as gifts, onboard credit, or even better deals because they have access to group rates for some sailings. 

I've had the same PVP for many years. I do my own research and then call him to make the booking. His value to me is not the booking, it's the peace of mind when there are issues, problems, etc. He has done things for me that a TA could never do. Nothing against TA's, to each their own. But for this guy and 35+ cruises, I'll take his expertise any day over saving a few bucks.

Edited by Fla Senior
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3 hours ago, Fla Senior said:

I've had the same PVP for many years. I do my own research and then call him to make the booking. His value to me is not the booking, it's the peace of mind when there are issues, problems, etc. He has done things for me that a TA could never do. Nothing against TA's, to each their own. But for this guy and 35+ cruises, I'll take his expertise any day over saving a few bucks.

Just curious, what can he do that a TA cannot? I have had issues, and my TA has solved them. Once, for example, he set up a 3 way conversation between us and his contact person at the cruise line in which all my concerns were answered. And I was still connected to the cruise line person after we were finished with the problem solving so I could discuss anything else I needed with the cruise line contact.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Just curious, what can he do that a TA cannot? I have had issues, and my TA has solved them. Once, for example, he set up a 3 way conversation between us and his contact person at the cruise line in which all my concerns were answered. And I was still connected to the cruise line person after we were finished with the problem solving so I could discuss anything else I needed with the cruise line contact.

Again, nothing against TA's. If you find a good one, hang on to them.  One example is waiving cruise line assigning cabin so that we could have same cabin for both legs of b2b. One of the b2b rates was a cabin assignment rate. (casino rate) (we couldn't select cabin). I prefer no middle man which is how I see a TA. I deal directly with the source. Again, to each their on.

Edited by Fla Senior
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I did it all on my own for years, then found my PVP.  HE is the BEST!!!  This guy has handled so many issues and problems for me.  Always works to get fees waived then they don't make sense - like if we want to upgrade or move to a different room.  Has great suggestions (thought about Cuba cruise and decided against it, seemed like too much work, he told us the opposite and we went - one of our best cruises ever!).

 

Always there when I call, know all my likes, etc.  I still scope out what I want myself, and what room, and then call him and he takes it from there.

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The PVP Carnival assigned me is not the greatest but not bad, I really didn't get anything special.  I can get the same deals at a local TA and sometimes the TA throws in a little thank you gift (gave my wife and I a little anniversary cake once).  Also did it myself with great results.  In the end, depends on the PVP and who you can make a positive connection with.

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12 minutes ago, lostsoulcruiser said:

The PVP Carnival assigned me is not the greatest but not bad, I really didn't get anything special.  I can get the same deals at a local TA and sometimes the TA throws in a little thank you gift (gave my wife and I a little anniversary cake once).  Also did it myself with great results.  In the end, depends on the PVP and who you can make a positive connection with.

And one should add it also would depend on the TA. Like any other profession, there are great ones, competent ones, and unfortunately probably ones who are not so competent.

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45 minutes ago, mlshum said:

Would the fact that I sail only once or twice a year be s problem?

Not at all, once or twice a year is more than most people.  

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We've had our PVP for over 10 years. We've become friends and everytime we are down in Florida we visit him and his wife. He knows what we like and will contact us if something might interest us. In fact, we were the first ones he called when the Mardi Gras first went on sale the night before the general public was allowed to book. We have had over 10 cancellations due to Covid and the Mardi Gras issues and he handled all of the juggling moving money, FCC,  and OBC to where we wanted it without issues. I know where every penny is thanks to him. So yes, we love our PVP! 👍😎

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3 hours ago, Jamman54 said:

We've had our PVP for over 10 years. We've become friends and everytime we are down in Florida we visit him and his wife. He knows what we like and will contact us if something might interest us. In fact, we were the first ones he called when the Mardi Gras first went on sale the night before the general public was allowed to book. We have had over 10 cancellations due to Covid and the Mardi Gras issues and he handled all of the juggling moving money, FCC,  and OBC to where we wanted it without issues. I know where every penny is thanks to him. So yes, we love our PVP! 👍😎

I truly feel for all the good TAs who have been doing the same things with no money coming in unlike the PVPs who at least are still receiving a salary.

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On 6/24/2021 at 3:59 PM, ontheweb said:

I will repeat a TA works for you while a PVP works for the cruise line. Which one do you think will seriously fight for you if there is an issue that comes up? If there is a similar itinerary on your date on another cruise line that would be much cheaper, who do you think will tell you a TA or a PVP? We once were looking at multiple Alaska cruises at the same time on multiple lines; I called out TA and got price quotes on all of them. Do you honestly believe a PVP will be able to tell you what another line is charging?

 

And Carnival will take calls and talk to you, just not about payments. For instance you can still buy excursions online or by calling.

 

I repeat ... you sound like a TA

 

TAs work on commission and thus the more you pay the more they make. That is not the way PVPs get paid. 

 

Of course you can still buy excursions directly.

 

Again, nothing a TA can do for you that a PVP cannot do. (less bribing you)

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2 hours ago, NightOne said:

 

I repeat ... you sound like a TA

 

TAs work on commission and thus the more you pay the more they make. That is not the way PVPs get paid. 

 

Of course you can still buy excursions directly.

 

Again, nothing a TA can do for you that a PVP cannot do. (less bribing you)

Even though the TA we normally use works on commission, he has never had a problem with our fare going down when the cruise line fare goes down.

 

And no, I am not a TA.

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19 hours ago, NightOne said:

 

I repeat ... you sound like a TA

 

TAs work on commission and thus the more you pay the more they make. That is not the way PVPs get paid. 

 

Of course you can still buy excursions directly.

 

Again, nothing a TA can do for you that a PVP cannot do. (less bribing you)

OK, here's something. We had a cruise booked before the pandemic for last summer that of course never sailed. We had a refundable deposit, and we bought trip insurance at the time of booking (not cruise line trip insurance). Our TA informed us that even that was refundable because we at the time had nothing insured having only the refundable deposit.

 

Seeing the writing on the wall, we cancelled before the cruise line which waited until final payment was due. We received our deposit (though it took almost 3 months, normal for what was happening last summer) and our insurance premium also refunded. I posted about this in the insurance forum, and the expert from Insure My Trip said he had never heard of our company refunding a premium. I told him our TA (based in Florida) knew that NY state law required that. When we first received confirmation that we would be reimbursed the premium and then actually received it, I also posted. I asked the insurance expert if he knew what other states had similar laws. He did not, but tried to contact state insurance commissioners. But he said he was unsuccessful at getting any further information.

 

So do you think a PVP would know anything about private insurance or what states had laws that would have you get your insurance premium refunded?

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