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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:42 PM
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Default How can I get a balcony at a good price?

My DH wants a balcony but I dont think it is worth the extra money, I am cheap, lol... We are booking 10 mths in advance, I am the group leader, we are booking anywhere from 8-16 couples. Is there anyway I can get a good rate for a balcony? I know after 7 the 8th person gets there cruise fair but besides that is there anything else? Would I get any other discount for getting a large group to go besides my fair which is only $250. I was thinking of booking an OV and hopeing the balcony would go on sale and have my TA inform me if they do then get it. Good idea or not? Any suggestions here on this one?

Thanks,

D
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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You can book an oceanview guarantee room and pray for a visit from the upgrade fairy, but be prepared to get an oceanview room. If you really want a balcony, book a balcony guaranteed room which is usually a little cheaper than a balcony assigned room.

Don't count on getting anything other than what you booked. We booked our cruise 14 months in advance. Our inside guarantee rooms were bumped up six levels to another inside room, which was closer to the lido deck, but that was it. I tried to get a balcony room on the same deck as soon as we got the room assignments and then again at the pier, the ship was sold out.

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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:14 AM
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OK, what is a balcony gaurantee v/s a balcony assigned? Sorry but I am not up to speed with all of this quit yet, lol...

Danielle
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:18 AM
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A guaranteed balcony room means you will take any balcony room on the ship. They usually assign cabins 4-5 weeks before the sail date. Usually the earlier you book, the better your assignment. An assigned cabin is just that. Either you or your travel agent picks a cabin number and that is your cabin forever and ever!

Hope this helps!

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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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and once you stay in a balc cabin, you will not go otherwise. The best way to cruise IMHO.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:23 AM
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Yep that is what I am afraid of, lol... We will never go back to the cheap cabins and this is our first cruise so I dont want to go right where the big boys are, lol....

So the gaurantee is better then as far as price wise, that way I get one anywhere and I cant pick it. How much cheaper is it to book that was as opposed to assigned cabin?

Thanks again,

Danielle
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:28 AM
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Balc guarantee vs the cheapest assigned balc, about $40 - 60. Depends on who you use as TA.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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As far as price, that can vary depending on what is available and when you book. Go to vacations to go dot com and check their prices. Cheapest balcony price is guaranteed. Also check the Carnival site. On their site, you can get an idea of what category is booking up the quickest, usually inside guaranteed books up fast. Those people get upgraded and they continue to sell all cabins at higher and higher rates closer to sailing for popular sail dates. The opposite can happen on sail dates that have a lot of open cabins. Check prices regularly and call your travel agent to get the reduction or shipboard credit (equally as good IMO).

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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:45 AM
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So after I book I need to keep checking rates till we cruise on the carnival site?? And if I see them cheaper on there call her and she will credit us? Is that how it works? The TA doesnt alert me of the change in prices? Thanks for that tip.

Danielle
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBXX
So after I book I need to keep checking rates till we cruise on the carnival site?? And if I see them cheaper on there call her and she will credit us? Is that how it works? The TA doesnt alert me of the change in prices? Thanks for that tip.

Danielle
Not all TA's do that. That's why I use either Carnival's past guest specials or a specific online company.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:25 AM
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One thing you must remember. If you have booked at a group rate, that rate will never go down even if the other rooms have.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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You have alot of things to look at for the best price for a balcony, time of year, ship, itinerary, how far out you book. Different discounts, Military is the best, then Past guest, specials, groups, 55 and older. What ever fits your needs and wants. Do alot of home work. If you need air get it out 6 months or more. If you don't care about itinerary you can find some good prices for balcony. 8A or I think its 8G is our latest we got for a guarentee. CCL will assign a room number sometimes 1 to 2 weeks out from cruise date and sometimes you don't find out till you board. We had that both ways in past cruises. You cannot combine the different specials and discounts. The lowest price for a balcony we ever had was 7 days for $470 ea. Most are around $650 to $750 even for a 8 day. We had $579 for Destiny in Jan. Aos was $999 week before, we paid for the itinerary and Ice show. Prices can jump around every day, you just never know. Im sure somebody has done better but we are happy with the prices from CCL.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Good post Dutchman, and I completely agree. Balcony cabins aren't as expensive as some think IF one does their homework and keeps their eyes on things. I personally do not use a regular TA, found I usually can beat their prices online, especially one particular online service. Once sailed, it is very hard to beat Carnival's past guest specials and if you talk to the right CCL Rep, they will usually bump you up some depending on different things. Especially if you book with them early.
Anyway, balcony is the way to go in any situation, IMHO.
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