I booked directly with Carnival. If I find a lower price somewhere else, can I call Carnival and let them know and get a lower rate. Do they verify the information? Someone please explain to me how this works.
Yes, call you Carnival Rep and let them know. I called them once because I saw a lower rate at Icruise and he went online and looked at it then offered me a fare lower than what I had found on icruise. It never hurts to ask. On one cruise I called my Carnival rep just to see if the rates had dropped and i got an upgrade and a refund check!!!
February 25, 2011
You can and should always, (or almost), be able to get a better price through a TA than through any cruiseline directly. The TA buys the cruise from the cruiseline for the price the cruiseline can sell it to you for. The TA then gets a percentage off that price in the form of a commission and they can share part of that commission with you which in essence gives you a lower price than the Cruiseline can offer you directly.
if i went through AAA can i call my ta and ask her if a lower price is availible im on the pride on 10/5 and paid 1758 for an 8a guarenty is this to high this is my first cruise i booked it in july????????
Jim....won't Carnivals announced "one price fits all" change what you said? From what I read, except for special discounts like "senior", the price will be the same regardless who you book through....TA or direct.
Lamyka, it never hurts to ask. Rick, What is the "one price fits all" I haven't read about it yet. where is the info posted? sounds interesting. Jim, I know that you feel the best rates come from TA's but I have spent hours shopping around and even used the Bargin Finder and my Carnival rep still came in with the best rate. Is this unusual? Maybe I just found a good one.
February 25, 2011
My suspicion is when you book through the cruiseline and the price drops you won't be offered a lower price unless you ask. A good TA will offer you the lower price for good customer relations, sometimes.
AK here ya go...Orlando FL newspaper..AK ....also we have always gotten as good or better than the travel agent offered us by going thru Celebrity (especially booking on cruise to get the shipboard credit). I know there are a lot of TA's who read here and the staff seem very TA oriented for booking..just has'nt been my experience that they always give a better deal. Seems a lot of TA's have gotten cheaper cruises for people by lying about qualifications for discounted fares. Beware, the cruise lines are double checking some before boarding..so don't be surprised if you are'nt charged additional at the pier if the TA falsified your discount.
THE CRUISE REPORT
For consumers, policy offers a smoother sail to best deals
Carnival says the change means cruisers will spend less time hunting bargains.
By Arline Bleecker | Special to the Sentinel
Posted September 7, 2003
Nobody ever risked losing a wager betting on Bob Dickinson's savvy. The president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines is a master at gauging the industry's pulse.
To prove it, he announced new one-size-fits-all fares across the board for sellers of Carnival cruises. His latest pronouncement could well translate into lower cruise fares and better service for a vacationer considering a Carnival cruise.
In the simplest terms, Dickinson has leveled the playing field. No seller gets a better deal on cruise prices -- whether that happens to be your corner mom-and-pop travel shop, a mega-size international vacation provider or a company in cyberspace. In essence, Dickinson trimmed the competitive edge for some travel agents and eliminated the larger discounts once proffered to high-performer Web sites that discount cruises.
For the consumer, Carnival's new policy will save having to hunt and peck for the best prices, says Anne Campbell, editor of the consumer Web site Crui seMates.com.
Georgina Cruz, author of the recently released Fell's Official Know-It-All Guide to Cruises, agrees. "If everyone has the same low price to offer consumers, then suddenly we don't have to be checking around for bargains and have more time to pack and start enjoying a pre-voyage pina colada."
In recent years, with the flourishing of the Internet, vacationers searching for cruise bargains typically would turn first to one of the mammoth travel Web sites, where they would correctly assume prices are lower. That's because large sellers of a cruise line's cabins customarily get more favorable rates from lines for individual bookings. But aside from lower prices on the Web, you also most likely would get little if any handholding, at least compared with the service you can expect when you book with a bricks-and-mortar enterprise. Price vs. pampering was the typical Internet trade-off.
That was then, before Dickinson pulled the rug -- or the financial cushion, if you will --from under online travel agencies.
After peering at the industry horizon, Dickinson divined rough seas ahead. He recently told the newsletter "Cruise Week" that, potentially, more than anything, the significant increase in online business "is a threat to many of the traditional agency models. . . . You look at the growth of Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, for example, in a three-four year time, and they're just taking an enormous amount of share."
So this is now: Carnival's price to all retailers is identical no matter how many cruises an individual seller has sold. Dickinson explained it to "Cruise Week" this way: "If Bob's Travel just opened up . . . and he wants to quote a rate, and he gets a rate from us for an October sailing, and it's $699, Travelocity, who has been in business for four years, their rate will be $699. American Express, who has been in the business since God knows when, the rate we're charging them will be $699. . . . In the past, the rate to Bob's Travel may have been $799 and the rate to Travelocity may have been $699."
The bottom line: Whether you now go to the giants or the little guys -- or even direct to the cruise line itself -- they all are competing on an equal footing for your cruise dollar, Dickinson suggests.
Dickinson anticipates that vacationers who want more service for their money will seek a travel agent rather than an online colossus, especially now that they're all paying the piper the same price.
Even with the one-price-fits-all scenario for sellers, you still could snare a better price by negotiating. To compete for your business, agents can voluntarily dip into their commissions and rebate part of a fare. Dickinson says, though, that that wouldn't tip the scales by much more than $100 or so.
While Dickinson hails this as an industry innovation, other major lines say it's the way they've been doing business all along.
Princess' Dean Brown told "Cruise Week," "In Princess' case, we have not given any price advantage to large national Internet markets. In that sense, Princess is already there."
Most travel agents, understandably, are thrilled with Carnival's new strategy, which is mainly a means of reining in the Internet. In this case, though, the consumer wins as well.
What Arline is saying is true but you are misunderstanding the concept. What it means is that CCL will be offering the xxxx cruise for a certain price and that price is the same for ALL agencies be they very large outfits or your local Mom & Pop agency. The percentage of discount or 'rebate' to the agency will be the same for all instead of one larger agency getting 18% and the smaller one only getting a 5% rebate, all might be getting 12%. Now as to how much of that rebate any one agency chooses to be willing to give back to you still remains to be seen.
AK, You are indeed lucky as most of the time an agency can not only meet but beat part of the cruiselines pricing. CCL does have a new aggressive sales program going on not necessarily to beat out the TA's but to increase sales in general. I still think that a good TA can beat any price you get directly from the cruisline 99% of the time if they choose to. IN addition as some others have said, they are more willing to get you any reductions in pricing than the Cruiseline is and are more likely to provide better service.
It may be too little too late to get anything back but it is certainly worth a try. Keep in mind that often AAA is not a very good agency to purschase cruises through. They specialize in auto and land travel and do that very well but usually don;t know much about, nor are they able to get good pricing on cruises. There will be exceptions to this but generally AAA is one of the last places I would ever book a cruise through.
PS, Yes I am a member of AAA and think it is worth it but only as far as my auto goes
I have booked my cruise through Adventures at Sea if i find a cheaper rate on the internet i can call them and see if they can give me a ship credit. I am not completely understanding this since i have booked it through a TA. (Sorry)
I just called Carnival and the rep said that if I found a lower rate I would have to book it with whoever I found the cheaper rate at and that I would have to pay a penalty fee. She said they don't offer any credits or refunds if you find a lower rate somewhere else.
I live in New Jersey and shopped around everywhere. I booked with a local agent, but they are online and do business over the phone also. If any wants their information let me know. As far as I know they do business anywhere. They are based here in Jersey, but have a 800 number. I tried Carnival itself and AAA. I also went through Sams, Bjs and Costco and this one was the best price I could find.
Carnival Legend 6/2005
Sovereign of the Seas 8/2004
Carnival Inspiration 1/2004
notnowhoney -- I also booked with Carnival through their Personal Vacation person. My personal vacation specialist was Sherry Fernandez. We are booked on the Inspiration departing on Sunday, September 21. We originally booked our cruise in February....Since that date, we found a cheaper rate 3 times and Carnival met that price. In other wards, they lowered our cruise rate because another agency was offering a better price. All of the times that our price was lowered was because Travelocity.com and Expedia.com had lower rates. We had the price reduced one time prior to making our final payment and twice after we had paid in full. Once we had paid in full they offered us shipboard credit to offset the difference in price. I am not sure of the carnival representative you spoke with, but if possible, I would ask for Sherry Ferenandez, Carnival Personal Vacation specialist. She was very helpful and was willing to help us! She wanted our price to be lowered through carnival, so that, we would not book through another agency.
We also booked throught Carnival when we went on the Inspiration last February. The price dropped after we paid in full and we did receive a ship board credit. However, when we got on board, they did not know about the credit. I had to fill out a paper at the purser's desk which they had to fax to the main office in FL, who had to get in touch with our personal vacation planner, etc., etc., etc. We did finally have the credit posted to our account 2 days before we got off the ship.
It never hurts to ask regarding price drops, just be sure you get what they promised. It is also helpful to make sure you have your TA's name, etc., cause if we didn't know it, we would have had a hard time getting the credit.
I use a vacation planner also, Beau Black at Carnival, and he is the BEST!! Jim Bragg and I have debated the difference between TAs and the cruise lines, and I have gotten many quotes from online and land-based TAs and Beau has always beaten everyone. I watch the rates and let him know if there's a drop and he gets me shipboard credit (which, really, is the same as a refund, because you're going to use the shipboard account anyway). The Vacation Planners are not paid by commission, so if they get you a lower rate, it doesn't take anything out of their pocket.
I hadn't found a lower rate through a TA, so I never tried to get him to lower it based on another agency's price, so I don't know if he would, but if I did, I'd certainly try.
I booked on line for the Dec 17 sailing of the Spirit - got what i thought was a fabulous price $1550 for two p/c &tax.....cat 8G --- 3 weeks later saw a cat 8I gtee (2 category upgrade) for $1460 all in. Called the original agent to match ... no way! Called Carnival to match ...no way! I cancelled and rebooked as there was no penalty yet. It seems everyone has a different story.
OOPS!! I accidently posted this in a new string... here it is again.
When we moved to Florida 5 months ago, I signed up for email notices direct from Carnival. I would get an email pretty much every week with really good prices.
Last week, I got THE email. We had NOT been planning to go on a cruise.
But this email offered 5 nights on the Sensation for $179 pp Cat 1A for the 9/20 sailing.
I called, I booked, I was immediately upgraded to 4A (yea I know big deal) and we leave tomorrow!
This whole past week I scoured the internet and have not found one TA site that matched the $179 price. Our cruise counselor Jeannie Zak was terrific in every way.