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Old February 21st, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Default Carnival vs. Travel Agent

I am not an experienced cruiser, only 2, Imagination and Conquest. Getting ready to book for 02/10 cruise on Conquest to the Bahamas. I was wondering if most people get better deals booking through Carnival or going through a travel agent. Thanks for any opinions.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Carnival vs. Travel Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankP
I am not an experienced cruiser, only 2, Imagination and Conquest. Getting ready to book for 02/10 cruise on Conquest to the Bahamas. I was wondering if most people get better deals booking through Carnival or going through a travel agent. Thanks for any opinions.
It truly depends on the TA.

While TAs are not allowed to advertise a lower price than Carnival, some TAs will reduce the amount of their commission and give it to you as a lower cruise price.

We have used both. We currently use a PVP because he watches the price for me and automatically reduces my final payment if there is a price reduction after I booked.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:07 AM
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I use a internet TA and she's always cheaper than Carnival by about 25-50 per person.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:44 AM
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I found the cost about the same. The two trips planned were both booked directly with Carnival. Then I turned them over to my friendly neighbourhood travel agency.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Troth, that is very nice of you to do that. Most folks don't realize that they can do this. It helps keep the TA's in business.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
While TAs are not allowed to advertise a lower price than Carnival, some TAs will reduce the amount of their commission and give it to you as a lower cruise price.
Not true. Carnival allows travel agents to advertise and sell lower than Carnival prices. And that's the primary reason to book with agent. There are more but savings alone can be hundreds of $ if you book a balcony or suite, or a long cruise.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toly
Quote:
While TAs are not allowed to advertise a lower price than Carnival, some TAs will reduce the amount of their commission and give it to you as a lower cruise price.
Not true. Carnival allows travel agents to advertise and sell lower than Carnival prices. And that's the primary reason to book with agent. There are more but savings alone can be hundreds of $ if you book a balcony or suite, or a long cruise.

I think you have to compare apples to apples. Dont forget about the various fees and port charges. If everything is equal I dont think Carnival will let TA's undersell them.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelgalSue
Troth, that is very nice of you to do that. Most folks don't realize that they can do this. It helps keep the TA's in business.
You hit the proverbial nail on the head. I want my local travel agencies to survive the recession. They could be a great assistance in the future.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 02:41 AM
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LHP is right on the money.

Briguy I book CCL with a TA all the time and ALWAYS pay less apples to apples.

Bill
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Old February 24th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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I wish I could find it, to post here...in this months Conde Naste Traveler, there was a letter in the Ombudsman column, dealing with a complaint from a cruiser, about a problem with dealing with a cruise line, directly, rather than a ta.

Basically, this person had changed catagories a couple of times, and ended up, not getting a refund, on the higher cat, when she went back to a lower one.

In essence, what the magazine said to her, was, using a well informed ta would have elimintated this problem...check out the current issue, to get the full scoop..I knowledgable ta, working for you, to me, is always the best way to have someone working pro actively for you.

Edited to correct my terrible typing..my bad
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Old February 25th, 2009, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
Iwish I could find it, tp ost here, I looked but couldn't find it...in this months Conde Natste Travler, there was a letter in the Ombudsman column, delaaing with a complaint from a cruiser about a problem with dealing with the line.

Basically, thisperson had changed catahories a couple of times, and ended up cjanging catagories a couple of time, and ended up, not getting a refund, on the higher cat, when she wetn back to a lower one.

In essence, what the magazine said to her, was using a well informed ta would have elimintated this issue.....check out the current issue, to get the full scoop..I knowledeable ta, working for you, to me is always the best way to have someone working pro actively for you.
Yep...read that also. Strange letter
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Old February 25th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Hi.. We are a small travel agency in central Wisconsin. We always suggest that people check both ways, using a TA and booking online.
Some agents and online agencies have started to charge not only a booking fee but will also charge a cancellation fee. My advice is to ask lots of questions and know what the totals costs could be! We feel we can match or beat most "online offers"? We like to keep our customers.

Just wanted to offer my 2 cents worth.....

Thanks and happy cruising. We are going again next January!

Lee & Kelli
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Old February 25th, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Technically, neither. Travel agents may not legally charge less up front than what Carnival has on their sites. If you see a lower price, they are likely cutting their commission.
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