I am taking a cruise on the Fascination on 1/2/04 and have been researching for a while looking for the best price I could possibly get.
I found a very good price on the internet for 3 people inside of $709. I realized this same cruise center that had the absolute lowest price out of the entire internet has its main office right in the next town of where I live so i thought it would be best for me to run over there and book it in person so I would have personal service being it was the same company. I thought I might have to pay a few extra $$ for personal service which would be fine with me but when I got there the agent told me the price for the exact same cruise was $854. I told her that I had priced it on her own company website for $709 and she was kind of dumbfounded. $150 more was way out of line. I decided to call Carnival direct and got a rate of $772 for the 3 of us which was still cheaper than this so called Discount Cruise Value Center.
Do these places just kind of look at you when you walk in to book a cruise and "Wing It" with a price?
I cannot and will not defend any agency anymore than to say that prices can DO change every now and then and you may have been cought in that timeframe. Also many agencies have 'Internet Specials', or sales so sometimes the prices can be lower via the Internet. They can also sometimes be higher than going directly to the agent in person as well. This is why it pays to shop around and get the best overall deal for you on that ship for that date in that cabin. <G> Your mileage may vary greatly BTW. <>
We booked our last cruise for 4 through CVC and noticed that the price dropped one week before our cruise. However, it does state on the website that the lowest price is for bookings directly through their website without any customer service. Fortunately, we had no problems and had a wonderful cruise.
Shay: A $150 difference is about the amount between dealing with the net only and dealing with live people....from the internet services we have used. When people get involved, their salaries have to be paid and the rate goes up. Some people need their hands held if they have not cruised a lot....and others don't. The travel agencies offer the degree of hand holding folks need....unfortunately, live people cost more. It isn't a rip off, it is simply economics.
What you all say is valid HOWEVER....when I originally called the website's main office and spoke to someone she did tell me the price is a "little" higher because they give a personal touch...i.e. hand holding, documents, etc. AGAIN HOWEVER she told me about $50 NOT $150 when I went in to see her she forgot and I did not tell her i priced the cruise on the web.....so she did think she was getting over which she did not. I am happy with my booking with carnival direct. The woman I spoke to there was wonderful and I feel that I did get personal assistance. I would have booked with the internet but after what i feel this person did I steered clear away from that particular website.