Hello, everyone. I have a quick question. I'm thinking about gathering some friends and go on a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas, or to Canada (not sure yet).
What should I do? Should I use a travel agent, or should I book directly with Carnival? I don't know how many people will be going, but I would love to get something started.
How can you pay for a deposit if you're not sure how many people will be joining the group? This trip will be for August '06. Is it true that the more people booked in a group, the cheaper the cabin? Will I get some kind of discount as the group leader?
I've cruised 3 times on Carnival, and loved every single one of my trips (although the last one with my husband was a total disaster). Any advice will be appreciated and considered.
I booked a group cruise for family/friends. We actually leave November 12th on the Glory. This is my first experience with Carnival and they have been really great.
I did not use a travel agent. I called Carnival directly. They assign a Personal Vacation Planner (PVP) to your group. Once you know when & where you want to go, they'll work with you regarding rates. We got a great deal. Under $400pp for seven days. They will also include points. You can use the points for a menu of things. I chose to get $100 shipboard credit and $50 casino chips per cabin.
As far as deposits go, this is how it worked for us. Carnival gave us a time frame for each person to call and make resrvations with a cc deposit. The balance did not have to be paid until 60 days prior to sailing.
One thing to remember, when you book your cruise, you will get a group confirmation #. Use that each time you speak with them. Also, make sure you reserve enough cabins. I wanted to add several cabins and could not get the original rate. You can always cancel cabins, but it's tough to add them.
If you need any more information, just ask.
I forgot one thing. For each 8 cabins you book, you get one berth at no charge. You are responsible for port charges and taxes. You can take the free berth, or apply the amount to someone else, or share in the savings. Because our trip is for my Mom's birthday, she got the freebie.
I organized a group cruise for about 30 people one time. If you know for sure the number of people going I would consider doing it through your local TA. If you do it this way you can get discount on your room for doing all the leg work. For example, one of us went free. However, the perks mentioned by someone they received from the Carnival Rep might be nice and work out better for you. I would talk to my local TA first and if you are not satisfied with what he/she can do call Carnival then. Good luck and enjoy!!
NEXT: Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas 3/11/2012 Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas 12/4/2009 Bahamas
Carnival Valor 3/9/2008 Eastern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas 6/24/2006 Western Mediterranean
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 5/29/2006
Carnival Conquest 6/20/2004 Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas 12/20/2002 Bahamas
AND a good TA will get you the same "perks" that Carnival would offer you in terms of freebies.
I am in the process of planning a group cruise and it's nice to have someone else do all the legwork.
CarnivalSensation February 2015
Carnival Dream November 2015
Carnival Fascination April 2014
Carnival Elation March 2011
Carnival Imagination Sept 2007
Carnival Sensation Dec 2006
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 2006
Carnival Miracle Sept 2005
Carnival Glory Sept 2004
Carnival Fantasy Jan 2004
We went through a local TA for our "group" cruise. She was able to get us a cheaper rate than I was able to find elsewhere. We only ended up with 6 cabins so we didn't qualify for the free berth. When we picked up our cruise documents, we were surprised to receive some extra perks: $75 per cabin shipboard credit, $15 per cabin photo credit, champagne or sparkling applecider and a chocolate/strawberry tray for each cabin!
I just prefer dealing with a local TA so I can pop in and ask questions at any time. Also, once I found this TA, I just gave the information to my friends and they dealt with her directly (for payments, questions, etc.) No extra work for me. If we had qualified for the free berth, we would have split it among everyone going to get a little more $ off the price.
PS.......it's hard to compare perks and prices as they will be different for each sailing. We sailed during peak time (summer) when it's hard to get any discounts on your own, so we were very pleased to get a discounted rate AND some free stuff too.