Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Carnival Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,496
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default Travel Agents

Travel Agents... Should I consider looking at some travel agents, or have you found the best pricing is when you go straight through Carnival? I'd imagine the best pricing is through Carnival since it cuts out the "middleman", but then again the TA's might have block packages from the cruise lines that they can discount?

I have always used a Travel Agent. I have thought about going through Carnival, but I am lucky that I have two TA's who seem to be there when I impulsively e-mail with ideas of the ships I want to be on. I have never been one to do a lot of pricing, and comparing, because I was told that the agencies are no longer allowed to cut prices to much. I have found that if you find a great deal, come to find out, they have not included Taxes and port charges.

What does everyone else think?
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 01:05 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 300
Default

As you can see I have been on several cruises I have always used a TA, I liked the fancy little holder they gave me, for my tickets, and I was happy, this cruise coming up, I just happen to find a carnival gal, who answered questions for me and I booked, a few weeks into my booking, I received a call from her telling me my cruise went down and she would send me a new statement, that has NEVER happened to me before. I have called her on a few occassions, and she is always their, my TA I had to track down. I will always book with Carnival now.
__________________
Gail
Sensation
Imagination
Destiny
Norwegian Majesty
Legend
Legend
Valor
Valor again Yahoo!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 02:36 PM
Mike M's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: You're Looking At Me
Posts: 23,673
Default

I always use an agent. Not because I love agents and that they know everything and I can't book a cruise without one. On the contrary, I have a big ego and I "usually" know more than the TA. In most cases that isn't ego it's a fact.

The reasons I use an agent:

1. With Carnival they can't "advertise" the price of the cruise for less than what Carnival is selling it for but they can give me a better price if I call them.

2. If something goes wrong or I have a problem a "GOOD" agent will go to bat for me and get through the red tape and get things corrected. That's why I will book with an agent who does A LOT of business with a specific cruise line. They know the ropes and who to talk to.

3. If something goes wrong during the trip I can talk to them instead of the cruise line. The TA is MY advocate not the cruise lines and has MY best interest at heart.

Having said that: Since almost my first cruise I have known what ship, date and cabin category or number I want.

So the TA does little work on the front end but if something goes wrong I more than expect them to do work on the back end of the booking. If I'm disappointed I will not use them again nor recommend them.

Now: Here is the difference: I'm not average!!! A TA will do exactly the same thing for a first time cruiser as they can do for me. What a first time or an unsure cruiser should expect and if they don't receive it, they should run, is: Help in finding a cruise and answering legitimate questions!!!

This is why a TA is important to experienced and new cruisers and something, I believe the cruise lines will never be able provide. If they have complete control over the sale of their product the loser will be the buyer. Monopolies are always convenient but never cost effective. Look at AT&T. Remember when you rented your telephone and if you broke it a replacement was $60 for an $8 phone.

I never want to see cruising become an AT&T of the Seas.

Take care,
Mike
__________________
Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator

Upcoming Cruise(s) Carnival Liberty: May 31, 2014. The Anniversary Getaway.

"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." ~Me
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,496
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

Mike,

I was hoping you would show up on here. You are the best!!!
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 821
Default

we always go throu a ta she is the best very helpful i wouldn't go any other way
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 10:40 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 518
Default

I always gone through a TA, but only once the same on twice and then he sold his business. (The second cruise was because he called me with a special deal and we booked 9 cabins with 21 people going) Every time I have gone to a new TA I explain that we love to cruise, go on at least one cruise a year and are always looking for great deals. You would think that a least one of those TA would have kept me on a list for a quick call if something came up. Or just to see how we were and if we were ready to book that next one. Something like, " Hi Susan. I was just going through a new brochure I thought of you and how much you'd love this cruise...." TAs take note you are missing the boat, (pun intended) if you're not calling your customers. But then that is just my opinion.
__________________
ROMANS 8:28


VIKING SERENADE 1993
HOLIDAY 1995
HOLIDAY 1997
HOLIDAY 1998
ECTASY 1999
ELATION 2000
STAR PRINCESS 2002
SPIRIT 2003
NCL STAR 2004
PRIDE 2005
PRIDE 2006
PARADISE 2007
MS OOSTERDAM 2008
SPLENDOR 5/2010

Carnival Splendor
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 26th, 2007, 05:59 PM
sassyredhat's Avatar
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: California
Posts: 305
Default

I usually use a TA also. One time I didn't, and I played 'phone tag' about 6 times. It was extremely frustrating because I am not a new cruiser, and I always do my homework, so I am not calling with frivilous questions.
Another time, I booked everything myself, (2nd cruise). I didn't realize that repositioning cruises tacked onto another cruise were 2 separate cruises. When we got off in Vancouver, we couldn't get back on.
My TA always gives us alot of really good "gifts" and which we appreciate'
She also keeps in mail and email contact with us.
I will always use a TA in the future.
__________________





RCL Radiance
CCL Splendor
HAL Zaandam
CCL Elation
CCL Spirit
HAL Statendam 2x
HAL Ryndam 2x
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old June 26th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 285
Default

I believe there are both pros and cons to booking through a TA.

My first cruise, I booked through a TA - my boss at the time was a big cruiser and I used her TA. Went with the whole package through Carnival (air & all).

Ever since then, I have done my own research, always booked my own air (for a much lower price), and booked some cruises through a TA and some directly with Carnival. Primarily, it has had to do with price.

One thing I have noticed with Carnival is that I get calls from PVPs unexpectedly, asking if I was interested in any cruises, etc. Although I get a plethora of emails from various internet cruise agencies, I have never had either of the TAs that I booked with contact me to see if I have any interest in another cruise.

One thing I do know about booking a cruise - although the airfare is more expensive through the cruise line, it might be worth considering when booking during active hurricane season. When our cruise was delayed by Hurricane Francis, the Carnival people immediately went to work on rebooking their air program passengers, while those of us who had booked on our own were left to fend for ourselves. It cost me two days - luckily, I had cruise insurance so these costs were reimbursed, but the vacation time had to come out of my bank.

On our forthcoming cruise, I booked directly with Carnival. Early this year, I got a call from a PVP asking if I had any interest. We talked about my interest in the Carnival Freedom relocation cruise and he advised me to reserve a cabin early - he was absolutely right. As of right now, about all that is left available are balcony cabins and above.

I also took the air with them on this booking - their airfare was about 40% what I could find on the internet.

Go either way - you will find good advise either way. One thing that keeps me with Carnival primarily is my wife's concern that whomever we book with will go belly up with our money.

jk
__________________
07/99 Smokefree Paradise
03/02 Smokefree Paradise
10/02 Smokefree Paradise
05/03 Smokefree Paradise
08/04 Smokefree Paradise (8 days due to Francis)
01/07 Carnival Liberty
11/07 Carnival Freedom Transatlantic
05/08 Carnival Liberty
12/09 Carnival Pride
06/10 Carnival Glory
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
travel agents slm Carnival Cruise Lines 4 July 27th, 2004 11:19 AM
Other travel agents Gina Jensen Chit - Chat for Cruisers 0 June 25th, 2003 06:49 PM
Travel Agents kcf Princess Cruise Lines 9 January 18th, 2003 06:56 PM
Travel Agents renfieldtwo Ask CruiseMates Staff 13 July 16th, 2002 03:31 PM
all travel agents don Celebrity 5 August 1st, 2001 02:20 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:03 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1