I booked a group rate for the destiny on June 6 and we didn't have to pay for gratuity and we got a few other perks. But according to other people, our price was cheaper then some and average with others
You didn't have to pay for gratuities? I've booked dozens of client groups on Carnival, and they all still had to pay gratuities, whether they chose to pre-pay them or not. Depending on the size of your group (and this means two full-fare passengers per cabin...3rd and 4th pax don't count), you can get things like champagne & chocolates per cabin, a group photo, a shared or private open bar cocktail party, shipboard credit, and one or more "free berths". A "free berth" means that one or more passengers gets a free cruise rate, but still has to pay port charges and taxes. To book a group, it really is best to go through a TA.
Hi linda A! The Carnival Group Department is in a different building in Miami than the regular reservations department, and they don't have much contact with each other. The Group Dept. operates on a completely different booking system. You can either book certain category guarantees (in which case, you may or may not get upgraded, and some cabins might not be near each other). Or...you can book cabin assignments and get the exact cabins you want, if the group wants to basically be in the same general location. The group prices are set by Carnival, and there's really no negotiation. Sometimes the price is lower than individual, sometimes it's the same, and sometimes it's higher. Spring Break (March and April) are VERY popular cruising times, and the ships tend to be full, and the prices higher. For Group bookings, each passenger can pay (unlike individual reservations) $25.00 per person for a cabin category, the full deposit a couple of months later, and final payment about 70 days out. If Group passengers want specific cabin assignments, they have to pay the full deposit up front, and final 70 days out. There are no prices listed on the cruise documents, because some designated passengers can earn free berths, so the pricing column just says "as agreed". If the price does go down, the group gets the new rate. I always advise the clients to track the rates, because the TA doesn't always have time to. However, the rate might go down for individual rates, but not group rates. That's when you have to get the TA to try to get that lower rate for you - it's kind of a 50 - 50 thing, though. You can only get upgrades with guarantees, and if your group is really large, that decreases the chances of upgrades for a large number of cabins. Hope this helps!