Up until a year or so ago you could check web sites posted pricing to find out what their best price was. Do to a change in policies by the cruiselines, these sites are no longer allowed to post prices that are different from the cruise lines.
So to find deals you have to go a bit farther.
To find out what the lowest price a travel agency (online or local locations) you now have to call or e mail and ask.
It's a bit more work, but OFTEN you can save a considerable amount of money on the fares.
With Carnival cruises... even though they are NOT ALLOWED to advertise cheaper prices... they ARE ALLOWED to discount them by discounting a portion or their commissions.
You just have to find the agencies who are willing to pass some of those savings on to you. And there are plenty of them. Just takes some effort on your part to find them.
The amount of commission that a Travel Agent makes on a short cruise is almost nothing. Travel Agents do not get paid on the taxes and fees just the cruise only portion. I usually said a bottle of wine or shipboard credit instead discounting the price. I try to provide excellent service and the wine or shipboard credit is my way of thanking them for using me.
My first three cruises I booked with CruiseValue Center on their website. They are a travel agency in East Brunswick NJ. I got better and lower prices plus a weekend trip in the future free for booking w/ them online also they threw in free insurance. The only down side was you could only speak to them through email if you booked on the web site online. They answered all my emails in a timely fashion and were very nice. On Carnival I got to speak to reps up front for booking onthe phone direct with them and that was all. The prices were cheaper on the CruiseValue Center site. Some of the reps for Carnival are nice some are very rude.
I'm usually very loyal to my travel agent, but I cheated on them recently when I found an acceptable deal online. I had called Carnival with some questions and was told ( paraphrasing) "we can hold that for you with a credit card"..so I responded "Well sure".
Reluctantly told the TA and to my surprise was told "that's the same prices we get".
Moral of the story....sometimes it appears that there it doesn't make much difference. 8)
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam
You will pretty much get the same price either way but with a
travel agent you have some one to talk to and you might get
some perks using the TA.
If anything goes wrong then you also have some one to call
to take care of it...
But either way I am sure its fine.
I told my TA a price last time and then she got me the same thing
I have also used Cruise Value Center online booking for our cruises. They have an internet department that you can call with questions about your cruise booked online. They are always helpful and very nice.
Nolou last year I went back to my homestate to NJ and stopped in to Cruise Value Center in East Brunswick just to meet Marie who I had talked to per email over the years about my bookings on the internet. The place is beautiful and the people are oh so nice to speak to both on the phone and in email. I never had a problem with the bookings on the internet and found the service to answers I needed returned to me in a fast timely fashion. No complaints from me on booking on the internet with Cruise Value Center. Now I can't say I would book with Carnival direct again after some of the things I encountered. Never got any perks dealing direct with Carnival but I did with booking on the internet with Cruise Value Center. They saved me a ton of money.
I actually just spent most of my week researching (both emailing and calling) various cruise compete companies. I even checked with the TA that gives deals to all of our employees. The bottom line, the Carnival agent gave us the best deal and upgrades. The prices were better than everyone I spoke with. This might not be the same with each ship, but it sure worked to my advantage. Good Luck!
The bottom line, the Carnival agent gave us the best deal and upgrades.
Have to be honest here. In that case the agents who you tried are really bad. At the very worst, ANY travel agency can sell Carnival cruises at the EXACT same price as the cruise line.... if they choose to.
If they're offering it a higher price than the cruise line, in my view they are really cheating by adding to the actual cost of the cruise.
I wouldn't use that agent again for anything, knowing I couldn't trust them to be honest with me.
That really disappointments me, but I have to tell you that I contacted by email or phone calls 11 different agencies and no one beat the price I got with Carnival directly. I not only asked people, used work contacts, but also did a search on line for deals.
Since I have until the 16th to cancel my reservations, in your opinion, should I call someone else to see if I can get a better deal?
Carnival is a good site to book with just had some problems with my pre paid on board credit and coupons etc but I will work it out with the person I am crusing with. They placed his credit all on my account and say they can't fix it now. I think if you are happy with Carnival stay with them as you can get a rep on the phone when you call.