i recently recieved a call from a carnival representative. we are going to cruise in summer 2005 with children and grandchildren. we are treating entire trip. i am trying to do everypart of it in the most economical way of course. she had gotten my name from inquiries about cruises. is this the best way to book, or use aaa, or through some other method? i am a person who likes to haave everything organized in one neat package especially when traveling with 9 people. is that the best way, to have carnival handle the cruise reser., the plane tickets, the transportation from hotel to pier(we plan to go a day early and stay over to day of departure). i do know that sometimes it is better to book excursions on your own before cruise. howewver i have also heard that when carnival books the excursions, and they are canceled for some reason, your money is refunded. thanks. patticake
Well I have used a TA in the past and the only advantage is that I like is that if you call the cruise line and the price drops you can get the lower price but if you book through
a TA than they have to call the cruise line to make any changes. I think booking through the cruise line is easier.
The next time I book a cruise I will call Carnival directly. I've been talking to a Carnival Rep by the name of Juliet Bright. She is wonderful and will do anything to make you happy. I would suggest if you plan to make reservations through Carnival, work with Juliet Bright. She will not steer you wrong.
You can contact her at 1-800-819-3902 ext. 82347
Just so you know I booked our up coming cruise with a TA. Even though I have a TA Juliet still helps me with any questions that we have. She has been more help to us than our TA (which I will never, never, never use again) Juliet helped us save more than $400.00 off our cruise per-person. My TA helped me save $00.00, notta, squat!
As far as cruise air, we booked our own air and saved $200.00 pp vs. cruise air. If you like the idea everything is one package and taken care of then maybe that is the way to go. Just check things out and do a little reserch on prices before you commit.
Good luck and have a great cruise.
The Carnival Victory 04
Norweigan Norway 03
Norweigan Sea 00
I will never book through Carnival directly. I was researching a cruise on the Miracle which I later booked through a TA, with an agent named Ryan. The day after I booked this trip with the TA Ryan called my wife and asked her if we were now ready to book this trip. My wife told him that it was already booked. He then informed her that the reservation we made through the TA was cancelled and we need to book it again with him. My wife became hysterical and called the other couple we booked going on the cruise with us and our TA. Our TA told us not to worry about it and that our cruise was booked. I know that agents with Carnival get credits for cruises that are booked with them, but to really cause my wife and myself and our traveling companions this aggravation was uncalled for. As you can see I am not blaming Carnival as I am really looking forward to this cruise. Which is my first but I will have to look carefully at them when booking my cruises in the future
My experience with booking through Carnival...after years of booking through TAs has gone well so far. Adrian Ardila is the name of the gentleman who helped us and he was able to give us a discount that none of our TAs had thought of....yet he picked up on it just through the course of our conversation. The situation had to be verified....so when I received a bill from Carnival saying I owed them money I immediately called Adrian who explained that the bill was sent out the day after we talked before verification and that we did indeed owe nothing. He then immediately sent me a statement by way of email showing that the bill had been paid. He told me how to get to the FunPass and fill it out. He was great! We don't leave until next month which is why I said - so far. (1-800-819-3902 Ext. 82537 is Adrian's phone number.)
taxman....did you report Ryan to Carnival? If you haven't you might want to consider it.
My first cruise was booked with a Carnival PVP. She has been very helpful, and there's a comforting feeling that comes with being booked directly with Carnival rather than through a TA.
Note that you will pay for this comfort, though. Our PVP said (and I've read elsewhere) that Carnival doesn't want to compete with TAs on price, because they have a good relationship with them and want to maintain that. Because of this, a TA can pretty much always offer you a lower rate than Carnival does.
We booked through a TA because she was able to get a better deal for us than Carnival could offer. I always book my own air as it has been approximately $200/pp cheaper. We are a family of 6 so this can add up!
I go the day before and stay overnight to make sure I don't have any flight problems and miss the ship.
I booked some excursions through the ship and others on my own. The ones I booked on my own I made sure that if the ship couldn't come into port I would receive a full refund. I found that the excursions I booked myself were a little less expensive than the ship.
I've never had a problem getting a taxi/shuttle from the hotel to the ship. Some hotels even offer a shuttle service. The one I'm staying at in April in Tampa offers a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the pier.
I am going on my first carnival cruise on the miracle.
I shopped around and found the price carnival gave me was higher then the TA
The TA gave us a discounted price .This is my 5th cruise and I always got a better price from a TA.
We switched cruiselines, and since it is a holiday week I was kind of behind the eight ball. I did a lot of research, on-line agencies, carnival direct, local agencies, I must have gotten about 10 quotes give or take in total. Carnival was about the highest!
If your agent can't beat Carnival's prices, you've simply got the wrong TA.
Carnival reps may be very helpful an all, but they are selling cruises at RETAIL rates.
Whatever they offer it to you for, ANY TA gets the cruise for the SAME price!
However, most TAs will offer you a discount, based on reducing their commissions (which are included in the retail prices that Carnival quotes).
If booking direct with Carnival meant they took off the commissions, and gave you the cruise for that much less, I'd be the first to say go for it! However that's not the case.
What Carnival WILL allow you to do is make your reservation with them, then transfer it to a TA.
So.. if you want to do a small bit of work to save some significant dollars.. is book with the Carnival reps, then shop your booking with agents until you find one who's price and service you feel comfortable with, and then simply transfer your booking to them for the savings!!!!
Have booked 2 cruises thru Carnival PVP, and his prices beat all TAs(storefront and online), especially with past-guest discount. PVPs are not commissioned, they work for incentives (most cruises booked, etcd...), but also have a salary, so they aren't obnosious. I love mine (Beau Black), and I have recommended people to him and a few have booked through him.
He's been SO helpful and so patient when I have questions or requests!!
Email me for number if you're interested in talking to him.