Has anyone used Cruise Value Center? We have booked a 10 day southern caribbean cruise on Holland America's Noordam for Jan. 3rd 2009. We have never used this agency and would like to hear from anyone who has. Any help or advice would be greatly apreciated. Thank you. Spacecowboy
I had a friend who booked with Cruise Value Center twice and was ok for the first time.
Second time around she booked the 7/7/08 Carnival Victory 5-night Canada where Carnival was running a promo for Past Guest Cruiser since she had cruised with Carnival in the past.
She originally paid for the cheapest interior guarantee and got upgraded to the worst cabin on deck number 2 (Main) located on the forward part of the ship. She really wanted the higher interior cabin on midship.
She wanted midship. As in Carnival's policy, once all TBA's are assigned to a cabin, there is not changes to be made and are final.
I explained to her that my TA was the best one who monitored everything from special promo the cruise lines is running.
I told my friend call my TA about the Past Guest promo. When my friend called my TA about this promo, my TA told her off the bat call Cruise Value Center to give you the higher interior cabin and be patient.
The stupid part Cruise Value Center charged her $5 per person to adjust her booking. I called my TA and my TA laughed like hell that the average agency charge for rate monitoring and promo change where he can do it in a minute at no charge. My TA told me most average agencies overlooked everything when they rebate and messed up the math around. My TA told me these agencies lowball people they have the lowest prices by hitting them with booking, name change, rate adjustment, and cancellation fees to make up the loss by rebating.
My friend was happy she was able to get a midship cabin located on empress deck (7).
I told my friend the next time you find something cheap you need a certified cruise counsellor whom my TA is right now who does not have any upfront fees with legitimate pricing you get from the cruise line.
I can't even get them to change my dining time, imagine if I had a real problem...
Probably true, however, dining times are NOT guaranteed, and it seems that out of the last 5 cruises I've taken, at least 4 of them had the wrong dining times on them. I simply rush to the matre 'd upon embarkation, and have that changed.
If you had a REAL problem, it seems that you could "forget-about-it".
CVC has some very good prices and even offers free travel insurance or pre-paid gratuities with balcony cabins on some cruise lines. These are very good values you won't find with the vast majority of cruise agencies.
However, the company does not like to change details with your reservation and will charge you a change fee.
If you book with them you can get a great deal - but make sure you have everything correct before you book, because changing things can be problematic and expensive.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.