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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Hello all,

I have a few questions. I am trying to get a cruise together for my whole family. We are trying to get it set up for sometime in September of 2009.

I went to vacationstogo.com and they have a 7night cruise that leaves out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Inside cabins are $399, Ocenaview $519, Balcony $629, Suite $1,249 are these good prices? Or would it be better to go thru a travel agent or the Carnival Cruise line? I am afraid to book it online because I want the dinning room seating to be together and I also want us to have cabins close together.
Do they give discounts for larger groups?

The ship is the Carnival Victory has anyone sailed on this ship?
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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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I think you will see the same prices for Carnival on just about every site you go to (for the same exact cruise 7 cabin).

These are good prices. I suggest you CALL Vacationstogo in order to make the reservation and make sure your meal seatings are together.

You CAN do this online, but as a new cruiser you will feel better talking to someone. VTG is a very good agency, as are others. The key is to look for the big volume sellers, like VTG.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I highly recommend talking to somebody for a group cruise. Although you can deal directly with the cruise line, I have found that a TA (like vacationstogo) is best. I picked a local TA that folks could visit or call since we have several first time cruisers in our group.

The group prices (unless you are talking about very large groups) are basically the same as the individual prices. The discount comes in because for every 16 passengers (8 cabins), you get one free berth (but not the port charges and taxes). You can either use the free berth for yourself or divide it between the people going on the cruise for a discount.

The initial deposit is only $25 per passenger. So you can hold a few extra cabins if you think you might find other people to come along. If you don't, just cancel them before the final payment date and get your money back. You make a second payment later and then a final payment about 60 days before the cruise. For example, on the family cruise I have booked for September 2008, we each paid $25 per person in September 2007. We have to pay $175 in April, and then we will pay the remaining $150 per person in July.

You also get to select from a menu of perks if you book at least 5 cabins. The more cabins you book, the better the perks. I selected a $25 onboard credit and a bottle of wine per cabin. But there were several other choices like a totebag, a photo shop credit, etc.

Before you select a cruise out of San Juan, be sure to check what airfare prices will be. It won't do you much good to get good prices on the cruise if you have to spend a fortune on airfare.

The Victory is a great ship - at least she was when we sailed on her. The balcony is well worth the extra dollars. Have fun planning your cruise and getting your group together. You'll all have a blast.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for all the information. There is so much information out there.

I checked on a flight from Phoenix to San Juan of course they don't book flights out that far ahead (September 2009). So I looked at flights for September 2008. I found round trip tickets for $258 on price line.com.

Hopefully next September, if I look early enough I will get close to the same deal.

Thanks again for all your help.
Kathy
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Old February 28th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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One suggestion. Please avoid the inside cabin. Get at least one balcony cabin if you can at all afford it. It makes all the difference and will greatly enhance the pleasure of your cruise
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Old February 29th, 2008, 01:14 AM
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Check the Carnival price and if its the same then book thru Carnival directly. If the price changes then you can deal directly with Carnival and maybe get an onboard credit or upgrade that may not be offered by an online sight.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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I just cruised on the Victory - what a great ship and crew!! Had a great time, we cruised Feb 10-17. Wonderful time and ports weren't bad either.
I had an inside cabin but have always wanted a balcony - one of these days. So if you can afford a balcony go for it, I've heard it makes the trip so much better! Enjoy!!
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