Different prices - Carnival Conquest (Galveston) March 2008
Hello. I am a newbie - so please pardon me if any of this has already been covered...
My family and I (4 total) are planning a cruise on Carnival for the week of 03/16/08 - 03/23/08 on the Conquest, departing from Galveston. I had checked with numerous websites to see if I could get a competitive price for a guaranteed balcony stateroom. No matter where I went, including Carnival direct, I got the same quote, $3,489.52.
After reading advice on this message board (thank you!), I started calling agencies instead of just getting online quotes. However, of the four I called, only one (Cruise Value Center) gave me a different rate... $3,265.52. This same agency also had the least expensive insurance of all.
I also spoke with Cruises Only, America's Vacation Center, and one other. My questions are:
1) Have I just spoken to less aggressive agencies, and might find even better than Cruise Value Center, if I try more agencies?
2) Does CVC have a good reputation, including their insurance package?
3) Anyone have a reason why it would NOT be a good idea to go ahead and book this, since it is a Spring Break week (and I assume it will get more expensive as time passes)?
Thanks! Again, sorry if any of this is Cruise 101 stuff. This is our first.
Okay...here is what I know...Carnival sets the price of their cruises. TA's have very little leeway in pricing. Be sure you are comparing the TOTAL cost from each TA (ask about port charges and taxes, some of them don't add this on until you are ready to book). I don't know about the reputation of the TA you are dealing with, hopefully someone on the board has had some experience with them. However, if you find out their price does not include port fees and taxes, you are better off going with a local agency. Just my opinion.
As far as the insurance, you need to get the name of the insurance company they are dealing with and do a forum search on that company. Price isn't always the deciding factor. And once again, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Travel insurance policies vary in what they will and won't cover.
As soon as you are comfortable with all of this....book! We booked our May cruise last March. Have fun!
If you are going to walk on thin ice, you may as well dance!
We booked our cruise, also on the Conquest, (3/18-24/07) last March and have a Catagory 12, prepaid gratuity and all taxes etc included with travel ins ($166) all for $6302.40. There are four of us in our party, two are children ages 8 and almost 5.
We are driving to Galveston from Oklahoma and spending a couple of days before we sail in the areas of the Space Center and playing on the beaches.
We booked thru a TA after researching several online sites and making phone calls to various places to check rates. Our tried and true TA beat them all by at least $500.
We then watched the Carnival site for this cruise to see if the rates dropped and sure enuf they did! Again we've saved over $550
A friend of ours buys coupons from Ebay and sent us one for $100 off our cabin so there again, we've shaved more off our original price.
Our final cost of our cruise is $5125.40, a price we're THRILLED with and plan to enjoy every minute!!!!
Do your homework and go for it. It will be one of the best vacations you'll ever take!
2005 Carnival Spirit to Alaska
2007 Carnival Conquest to Western Caribbean
2008 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to New England/Canada
2010 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to Southern Caribbean