i called Carnival today to price an April cruise, and the agent who answered the phone asked for my phone #. when i gave it to her, she asked, "are you redeyed frg?" i guess at some point i had registered on their website, so they had this info.
anyway, the agent asked me what state i live in, and then told me about a special "NC Resident" discount. the prices she quoted were much cheaper than i saw on any online site, what i would expect them to bottom out at right before the sail date. she warned me that this promo could "end at any time," which i recognize as a pressure tactic to get me to book on the spot, and asked if i'd like to "reserve a stateroom." i asked how long the hold would be (thinking that like an airline, i would get a24 hr hold with no commitment, and she wanted a 100% payment up front! of course, i opted not to book, but i was wondering if anyone has dealt with this situation at Carnival before. Will they honor the price if I call back to book, or will they be stubborn and not give me the best rate? (i am pretty stubborn, I may put off cruising if they don't give it to me!)
thanks for any comments!
First of all, you're trying to book in March for an April cruise - which, this year, is right in the middle of SPRING BREAK, when most ships were booked months ago, and most ships are already FULL.
Second - for a 7-day cruise, final payment is due 70 days prior to cruising, which is why you'd have to pay UP FRONT IN FULL. if you book it in March. If you book ANY 7-day cruise, final payment is due 70 days prior to sailing.
Third - you will NOT get a 24-hour "courtesy" hold for a cabin that you're lucky is even available at this late date for an April sailing. It's often done by all cruise lines, but when you wait this late, they won't give it to you. Cruise lines are not air lines. Easter is on April 11 this year. Spring Break. Kids out of school. Massive bookings.
Fourth - I don't think you have a clue about booking a cruise, and being "stubborn" won't get you very far unless and until you understand the basics of booking a cruise.
There were no "pressure tactics" used here. You just don't understand seasonal cruising, or cruising in general. Don't mean to sound offensive, but it's best if you post your questiions on a website first, rather than to make Carnival sound like it was using "pressure tactics". Capice?
redeyedfrg - The rule of thumb in the travel industry is all rates and availability are subject to change until payment is placed. Beleive it or not even when you hold an air reservation without money for 24 hours there is always a chance that fares can change. I am a Travel Agent and see this MANY times and you dont know how mad people get. And understandably so! Many even beleive I am the one doing it to them!!
So your best bet is to be certain you want to take this sailing and book it with payment. Years ago even in peak times and even being close to the sail date cruise line's gave you at least 24 hours. However about a year or so ago Carnival's prez Mr. Dickenson felt that option times (placing a reservation without money) needed to be shortend. Now the maximum number of days to hold a reservation (based that you are booking a cruise way out) with Carnival and many major lines is 3 days.
Oceanic '87/Amerikanis '88/Galileo '89/Horizon '90&'91/Holiday '92/Regal Empress '93&'96/Zenith '98/Carnival Destiny '99/Sovereign of the
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Carnival does offer resident promos which can run out at any time. The last cruise that I booked through Carnival they were running a resident special which was $300 dollars cheaper than the other rates.
They were not using pressure tactics and what they told you is true. The cannot hold a cabin for you at that price when it is a special and that close to sailing payment is due in full at the time of booking. They were trying to offer you a good deal based on the fact they knew you were a resident of NC and trying to help you out.
Also the resident special can but most times don't last very long. Some specials I have seen last a day. No presuure tactics - I'm sure she'd like you to book though..
Sounds like it was a great price. I called a few months ago and they have changed their policy and will not hold any cabins for individuals. My travel agent could get them to hold one but they would not do it for me directly. They used to and they even said they did but the policy changed. Debbie
thanks to happy camper, jim bragg, cruzn buckeye, and nycruiser. i appreciate your advice, you were all very helpful and informative.
to diverdiver: i posted here for infomation and advice. i did not post here to be insulted and condescended to. i actually have cruised before, but with another cruiseline, at which time i booked 5 months prior to the sail date, and through a travel agent. so the situation is different in this case. i wasn't blasting carnival, i was inquiring about the types sales tactics they use, and what their policies are. who better to ask than carnival's own veteran cruisers? concerning spring break, i am in NC, which i mentioned in my post. all the spring breaks here are in march.
and as far as being stubborn, i obviously don't expect them to cave in to little old me. either they will offer me a deal i am interested in, or i will refuse the deal and stay home. please, don't talk to me like a hick who expects a balcony suite for an inside guarantee price.
that said, i will probably continue to troll these boards, but i may refrain from posting...if i wanted a tongue-lashing, i would call my 7th grade math teacher.
Well, oops, - sorry - didn't mean to offend, (as I stated before) but you need to know that Spring Break covers all of March AND April, because Easter is on April 11 this year, and many schools/colleges/universities have their breaks before/after Easter. In our area, Spring Break goes from mid-March to late April - depending on the school district and University schedule. Cruise lines get passengers from all over the US and Canada, and everyone has a very different Spring Break schedule. I also mentioned that Carnival was not the only line that does this - as did several other posters. You, yourself, stated that you "were pretty stubborn , I may back off if they don't give it to me". It sounds like you obviously DID expect them to cave in to "little old you". I never mentioned that you expected a balcony suite for an inside price - you did. I did say that you were not experienced with "seasonal cruising". I apologize if I have offended you. I apologize that I've been on many cruises and worked for awhile as a TA. I hope that you will be able to find a cruise that suits your price and needs, and I love NC, as my brother and daughter live there, and I have been there many times. Good cruising to you!