I have been on two cruises and booked through travel agents. This time I decided to book directly with carnival since the last agent spelled my name wrong and Carnival would not even talk to me about it because I had an agent. Anyway, I went on Carnival's website and got a price which was in the figures of about $750.00 for two people and that was adding the tips and taking off the vacation protection plan and an inside room on the Rivera deck. So I decided to call Carnival and give them all the info instead and also give them my past guest number. Well after she took all the information, she gave me a total of $849.00. When I asked her why it was higher on the phone than what I got quoted on the internet, she said that when you book on the internet site, taxes and port charges are not included. So what I am understanding is if you book on the site then you will be surprise when you get there and find out you have to pay taxes and port charges and has this happened to anyone. I just want to make sure she was telling me the truth. Anyway, I went to Yahoo's site and seen they had an empress oceanview open and called today to get upgraded and I had to pay 300.00 more. I thought I would get a better deal being that I have already cruised with them twice but didn't. Love to find out from other about the tax & port charge stuff.
I called Carnival directly too and found that their prices were like 200PP higher then the online TA sites. I found my cheapest on ********** and booked via them.
I too have sailed Carnival twice before and still couldn't get a great discount.
You have just entered the Twilight Zone of cruise pricing. Step right in, there's plenty of room for all. Like many of us have already learned, your CCL Past Guest status gets you a Currents Magazine and a Captain's Cocktail Party and not much more. Carnival gives its deep discounts to travel agents, not to the clients who sail its ships. CCL would rather that you deal with a TA when booking your cruise. So in order to take advantage of that fact, you should book with a TA and try to get the best deal you can.
It certainly pays to shop around, since TA discounts can be anywhere from 5% to 20% or so. When I booked our upcoming Glory cruise a couple of months ago, my TA's price for the same balcony cabin on the same sailing date was about 19% lower than what Carnival had quoted to me. When I told the CCL agent the price my TA had given me she said, "Take it."
So I suggest that you find a dependable agent who can get you the best discounts available, and forget about dealing directly with cruise lines.
I also am a past guest & called to get pricing on my cruise on the Spirit & it was much higher than what I paid booking through the TA. I booked through a cruise only company & her prices were much better than anyone else I called. I shopped the heck out of it. And the best thing was that the TA I booked through was the 1st call I made, she is where I started. Carnival was 2nd, and then everyone else. I booked with the 1st TA I called.
Go figure, I don't know about Carnivals past guest program...
I am a travel agent and what you are experiencing is quite common. We do a lot of cruises and because of the volume that we sell, along with other travel agents, we can get lower prices. The prices that you are receiving are called "rack rates" or brochure rates. There are lots and lots of specials out there and it is our job to keep track of the specials and make sure that clients get the best possible prices. Also, some travel agents will watch for lower rates AFTER you've made your deposit and have the cruise line apply any price reductions that come along before you leave. Our agency includes all of the port charges, taxes and fees in our quotes so there are no surprises.
Most prices quoted for trips of any kind whether they be cruises or land tours rarely include taxes, government fees and/or port charges. It doesn't matter if it's a TA, on-line entity or the cruise line itself. Some will include one, such as the taxes and not the port charges or vice versa. You really have to keep on your toes and and do your homework before making any reservations. That's why I find the Internet such a useful tool, it allows you to check and compare offers in a relatively short amount of time.
Hi folks, Allow me to again try and info others of how this pricing game works. The cruiseline sell the cruises for a certain price, say $800 for a balcony and to that you add say $180 port or non-commissionable fees and say another $20 in government taxes. Total $1,000 pp for a baclony. (understand this are just made up prices for simplicity and examples) This is the selling price to the general public AND to the Travel agents. When a TA books the cruise the cruiseline gives them a percentage rebate, say 20% or $160 for the $800 cabin. The travel agent shares some of this commission with you, say $60 so you pay $60 less booking through a TA than going directly through the cruiseline. The TA makes money and you save, good deal for both. Now in addition maybe the TA buys up a block of rooms and gets group rates. Say they book 64 rooms, that gives them an additional savings of 4 full fares or $3,200 that they can take off and deal with when selling these 64 berths. They may choose to share it equally or regionally or with a group of customers or whatever giving you additional saving over that which you can get by booking with a TA.
You should nearly always be able to get your cruise cheaper through a TA than booking directly with the cruiseline. No ONE agency will always have the best price. The cheapest price is not always the best price, you have to consider service in there. Shop around and check out the various TA's that advertise as well as you local and those recommended by your friends. Look at the agents that advertise here on Cruisemates, try the Bargain Finder, search the Internet, then find the best two or three and go from there and make your final decision and then forget it and be happy. <G> My suggestion is that you find an agent that is a cruise specialist, CLIA, certified, does not charge extra penalty fees for cancellation, you can call and talk to in person, and that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. <G> Good lick.
no girl there is a few others of us going . I did read you other message about 12 am dont guess youve found anything out yet that would be cool to be able to stay longer.please let me know if you find out..any first time tips would be appericatied. thanks kimberlySheila wrote:
> I have been on two cruises and booked through travel agents.
> This time I decided to book directly with carnival since the
> last agent spelled my name wrong and Carnival would not even
> talk to me about it because I had an agent. Anyway, I went on
> Carnival's website and got a price which was in the figures of
> about $750.00 for two people and that was adding the tips and
> taking off the vacation protection plan and an inside room on
> the Rivera deck. So I decided to call Carnival and give them
> all the info instead and also give them my past guest number.
> Well after she took all the information, she gave me a total of
> $849.00. When I asked her why it was higher on the phone than
> what I got quoted on the internet, she said that when you book
> on the internet site, taxes and port charges are not included.
> So what I am understanding is if you book on the site then you
> will be surprise when you get there and find out you have to
> pay taxes and port charges and has this happened to anyone. I
> just want to make sure she was telling me the truth. Anyway, I
> went to Yahoo's site and seen they had an empress oceanview
> open and called today to get upgraded and I had to pay 300.00
> more. I thought I would get a better deal being that I have
> already cruised with them twice but didn't. Love to find out
> from other about the tax & port charge stuff.
Last time I went (March of this year) Royal Carribean had there big boat out there and so we couldn't park in the look by the pier. We had to go to the left side of the building and my husband dropped us off with the luggage (and they have porters out there and you have to be ready to show them your boarding pass and id's) then they told him to go like all the way back to the main road and park in a parking garage and a bus took him back after about 30 minutes. I did hear some say on here that since the Conquest was in Gulf Port that they could park in the parking lot by the pier but I think that boat is back in New Orleans now but not for sure. So the best thing to do is go to the parking lot on your right and ask them if the Holiday is parking there. Last time we did that we didn't say what boat we was on and they told us to ride around for an hour until the other ship's people left. Well needless to say when it was time to park and we showed them our pass they said that it was Royal Carribean parking at that time and then told us to go to other side of the building and check in with those porters. So make sure you say you are on the Holiday if you see more than one ship and they will tell you where to park. ALSO parking is not 7 dollars a day as once stated. In march we had to pay 10 a day. Hope to see you on the ship.
When you pay for your cruise, you're paying the total cost of the cruise including taxes, government fees and port charges. Even if these items weren't included in your original price quote, by the time you make your final payment all these charges are added in. So there is no way you'll be surprised with any so-called "hidden" charges at the pier. When you receive your cruise documents the fare has been "paid in full".