Anyone use a Carnival Personal Vacation Planner to book their cruise? I get emails from a PVP but I'm not sure if it's ok to call and book with him. His number isn't the same as Carnivals so it makes me nervous to give my credit card number to him over the phone without knowing if he's legit. He's offering me an upgrade to specific rooms at the guarantee rate. Does that sound like a good deal?
Carnival Valor - 10/2008
Carnival Sensation 10/2006- now Fantasy
Carnival Miracle 10/2005
Before you go ahead and book with him, I'd get in touch with a good cruise travel agent and see what they offer, just to compare. I find that dealing with a t/a is good way to go, especially in case of any changes or problems, you know who to call. Sometimes its difficult to get ahold of anyone there that can help you....I see posts about that all the time.
If you'd like a name or two, you can e-mail me, its always nice to be able to compare prices and at the same time have some decent customer service when needed.
It is well-known among travel agents that Carnival often directly contacts its past cruisers who used a travel agent for a previous cruise. So, chances are that person calling you really is from Carnival, thoughj I haven't seen the phone numbers and I can't say for sure.
We generally like to promote travel agents over booking directly here at CM. though if you like going direct then more power to you.
A good travel agent does a lot more than book a cruise, they handle air, hotels transfers... and will be there if you have problems. And in almost all cases they can meet or even beat the price the CVP offers you. There is no such thing as a discount for booking direct with the cruise lines.
Hi there. I have cruised on Carnival five times now and have used them direct for four of the cruises usinging the same agent. The one cruise I did not use them for was an Alaska cruise with land package. We were going with two other couples and I also wanted the security that a travel agent with a national compay could provide. The first thing the agent tried to do was try and talk me out of going on Carnival. Then she quoted me higher prices then I had found on the Carnival site and told me the land package I wanted was not available. When I asked to speak to someone with more knowledge on cruises to Alaska she informed me that she was the cruise supervisor for their office. It was quite a large office with over 15 agents working while we were there. I asked her for a minute and called Carnival direct and talked to the agent I had used in the past and he agreed to talk to her. When she go off the phone her face was a little flushed and she booked our package at a price much lower then she had quoted me five minutes earlier. Then came the phone call that our docs were in. We went in and I looked at mine and asked my sister what row they were in on the plane. She told me what row and I said good were will be togeather till she told me her seat number. I said I don't think I can hold you in my lap for seven hrs. All three couples were in the same two seats thanks to our agent. We had many problems with our transportation on the trip but the travel agency could not be of any help so we just lived with it. I am leaving on a cruise on the Liberty on the 29th of this month and yes I booked it direct with my dear friend at Carnival.
There is no such thing as a discount for booking direct with the cruise lines.
I would have to disagree with statement because when I tried to book online with Carnival from there website I ran into problems so I had to call Carnival. When talking to the Customer Service Rep he asked me if I was in the military or have I ever been, (a question they don't ask you on the website). When I answered yes I was given a discount of $150 off each ticket. A total of $300; how can you not say that is a discount for booking direct with the cruise line?
CCL Valor : September 2013
CCL Breeze : April 2013
RCCL Oasis : September 2012
RCCL Freedom : April 2012
CCL Destiny : April 2011
CCL Valor : September 2010
CCL Victory : March 2010
RCCL Adventure : September 2009
RCCL Monarch : March 2009
RCCL Mariner : September 2008
CCL Liberty : March 2008
CCL Valor : July 2007
CCL Celebration : March 2007
CCL Elation : March 2006
CCL Fantasy : October 2005
I have to disagree with those that do not reccomend a Carnival PVP. As with all travel agents, there are good ones and not so good ones. (and good Carnival PVP's and not so good ones) I booked my first 4 Carnival cruises through a travel agent. The last 6 have been through my PVP at Carnival. He takes the time to help me find the best deal available looking for military discounts, AARP etc. I get emails from him and his phone number is not the 1 800 carnival number but is a number with an extension. The phone is answered by a recording that says something like welcome to carnival cruise lines, please enter the extension number of your vacation planner. I suggest you call the number you have on your email and see how the phone is answered. You could also call Carnival and ask them to verify the agents name before you talk with him/her.
When talking to the Customer Service Rep he asked me if I was in the military or have I ever been, (a question they don't ask you on the website). When I answered yes I was given a discount of $150 off each ticket. A total of $300; how can you not say that is a discount for booking direct with the cruise line?
What I am refering to is policy when booking directly with Carnival vs a travel agent. Carnival does not have a policy of offering any kinds of discounts to cruisers who book directly that a travel agent cannot also offer a client.
What you are referring to is the knowledge of what discounts are available. If you are going to book a cruise I always recommend using a well-established cruise travel agent who knows all of the angles. They should have all the possible discounts listed - military, regional, special offers, etc. and should be able to look them up fairly easily.
I've done it both ways. If, and I say it with a big "if", you have a good travel agent, by all means book through the agent. There are some agents that as soon as they get your money you never hear from them again and the cruise line won't deal with you directly if you have an agent. I have a great agent that I've used locally. Our last three cruises have not been booked through her as she couldn't give a better, or even close to, deal that I got by going directly with the cruiseline.
I have booked a cruise all 3 ways: With a travel agent, self serve online
agency, and with a Carnival Vacation Planner. By far the Carnival PVP
was the best. I have booked 4 out of 7 cruises with a PVP and will always
call my planner. The Carnival PVP I use always asks if I or anybody in
my party has been in the military or are we seniors. He tries very hard
to give me the best price which always includes a past guest discount. I
have checked out the prices and Carnival PVP has always been cheaper.
The TA I used for the first cruise was not helpful at all and suggested booking
a guarantee without even asking what we might like. The TA couldn't even
offer us a brochure of the cruise line. We felt very lost on that first cruise.
My PVP, Derrick Hanes is always courteous, answers my questions, and
will arrange for airfare, transfers, and special needs. (I book our airfare
separate for a better deal). My PVP even calls me a few days before my
cruise to make sure I am all set and then follows up with me a few days
after the cruise to see how everything went. Great Service!!
Give them a try.
Basically, what it boils down to is if you don't have a great TA, go ahead and use the PVP. My agent, for the past 10 years, has always met or beat the price of the PVP. However, I prefer to use my TA because they have an "after hours" hotline that has full acces to all of my information and bookings and can help me 24 hours a day if a problem arises.
If you dont have a TA that you trust, book with the PVP. If you want to book with a self-serve online booking company, I suggest making sure that the difference in price (if any) is worth not having the peace of mind you will have with an actual person to help you if need be. I have been in that situation, and it was nice to have my TA take care of everything.
I was also contacted directly by a carnival representitive. He answered all my questions and made it sound so easy to book with him. I set a Feb. vacation cruise with my children based on his answers to my questions. This is when my nightmare started. He promised me direct flights from Sunday to Sunday and told me that Carnival had the best flights at the best prices. Since I will be flying out of Boston, he explained that booking through them would insure that a winter storm would be covered by Carnival if we could not get to the cruise. Five weeks later, I received the worst flights possible with three hour layovers and an extra night in Miami. Since my children are 9 and 7 this did not work for me. I could not contact a supervisor for almost five days and his response was sorry but there is nothing I can do. Three weeks later, I can not get Carnival to even call me back. They admitted there was an error on their part and offered me photo credits. At this time, they are not even attempting to look for cancelations or alternative flights. They will not dedicate an employee to my situation because they are too busy. I have never been treated worse by a company in my life. Being a restaurant owner outside Boston, I have taking every opportunity to let people know about this terrible experience. I will never go directly through Carnival again. I am praying for a good vacation with my children, but have lost faith in the people from Carnival.
We had a terrible experience with our travel agent on a trip the year before our first cruise. Someone pressed the wrong button and even though we had printed airline tickets and seat assignments, our tickets had been cancelled.
After that incident, we vowed to book our own travel plans. So when it came time to book our 1st crusie, we began by selecting 2 cruise lines we were interested in.
We then called each directly and looked for info. Carnival by far was the most helpful. Our PVP took time to answer all my questions, quote me figures and was so patient.
We did check with travel agents, on line and etc. We were within $30 per person and figured that for that small amount it was wirth paying Carnival due to all the help our PVP gave us.
Since then we are now booked on our 3rd cruise, have a family going with us on their 2nd cruise, another friend who is going on their 1st cruise and all who have booked with our PVP.
Good luck on your decision. Whatever choice you make, enjoy your cruise. It is the best vacation.
RCCL Freedom of the Seas 2/10
Carnival Legend 2/09
Carnival Victory 2/08
Carnival Liberty 7/07
Carnival Valor 4/06
Carnival Celebration 4/05
Carnival Sensation 4/04
I have done done it both ways. This years cruise was booked directly thru carnival. It went really well. For years we used a t/a from the old cruises only company and she was awsome. She got to the point that she would send birthday cards and would always adjust our prices if the prices came down. There is no personal service anymore like there used to be. We have tried several different agents and none have been like they used to be. They just want to get a cruise sold and that is all there is to it. Just like most things these days, you need to look out for yourself. This site seems like a great place to find good info instead of trusting the agents.
I just noticed that ou price dropped on the carnival website about 200 for our cabin and they are offering upgrades also! I emailed my ta, but just found out tonight,so have no responce yet! If you book early, you should already get the price drops, it's a given! No, instead, we have to keep looking and when the price drops, have to encourage our ta to go to bat for us, so we can save a couple hundred dollars. Wish me luck!
Going on #9! Serenade of the Seas 12-08!
our last 5 cruises have been with our Carnival PVP. He is absolutely wonderful. He gives us our Interline rates automatically. (Interline rates are for those associated with the aviation industry...airline, UPS etc)
We have never had a problem with a TA or our PVP...but I just eliminating a middle man, if possible, to prevent any possible problems.
However, we are experienced cruisers. We already know where we want to go, with which cruiseline and to which ports.
A local TA can really help newbies and keep you from making some simple mistakes...like going on Cunard when you really want a Carnival experience or vice versa.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND