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Old May 29th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Default Booked w/ Early Saver Rate with CCL? Price Drops/Refunds NOW

If you book with Carnival (CCL) under the "Early Saver" rate, you're entitled to either an on board credit (OBC) if you're paid in full already or a discount off of the balance that you owe. This info. was provided to me by my Carnival cruise agent when I booked our three rooms three months ago. She also said that CCL will honor better prices found on other websites that offer cruises as well.

Originally, we booked these three rooms. 2 rooms have two people in the each and one room had three people in them. Again, all booked under the "Early Saver" rate.

Originally, we paid $329 PP for 1st/2nd person in the room, and a discount for the 3rd person in room.

Wel, right now, our cruise on Imagination sailing June 1st, 2009 has just dropped to $139 (if you picked room category but CCL pick your room) or $159 PP with $50 cash back (in our case OBC b/c we've already paid in full). I just heard from carnival that we do qualify for the reduced rate on the rooms booked on the early saver program.

If you've booked your cruise on CCL using Early Saver, go to carnival.com (or anywhere on internet that offers website pricing for cruises) and check your sailing date/itinerary/ship... If the rate is less then go to www.carnival.com/early saver. Then towards the bottom of the page there's a linke named "Price Protection Claim Form"... Fill it out! It's easy, just name, phone number, booking number, shiwhat 'better deal you found', what website you found it onp name and sailing date, and a place for comments if you need to communicate with them.

So we paid $329 X2 for 2 different rooms, and $329 x 2 for the third room and a discount rate for the 3rd person... I assume our rooms will receive OBC for all 7 of us.

Since then I've booked two additional rooms and I'm not sure if they were put under Early Saver or one of their other room specials. Either way, all 15 of us should get the discount, but worst case scenerio is that 7 of us will get the discount!!!

This refund program only applies to rooms booked under the Early Saver Rate! No other rates.

I'm just wondering if when we hadded a 4th person to the 3rd person room (about two weeks later) if CCL, to get us the best pricing on the 4th person could have possibly changed our "Early saver rate on the first three people so accomodate the 4th person and give us the best overall deal. Oh well.. I don't know.

Anyway, for you early savers, watch those room rates on Carnival's website, especially the last few days before you board the boat. The deal expires 48 hours you leave for your trip... We've checked their rates at least 3 times a week since we've booked our trip in March. And BY FAR, the best deal has been this past week... Even two days ago, the room rate was $179 when you pick your own room (which we did)... Now, two days later, it's $159 with $50 cash back!!

Go check!! Fill out your easy form, get the credits!!!!! It's your money.. Spend it on your trip!!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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FYI, if you book through a TA, and you notice cheaper pricing, your TA has to be the one to get the rate dropped. I tried to do it myself and Carnival would not play nice. So, I had to nag my TA to submit the form for me. Alls well that ended well. I check everyday for a better price...you never know!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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I usually just google cheap cruises and look at the first few sites when looking for cheaper rates. Any sites that any of you have had particular luck with??
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Old May 29th, 2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punk
I usually just google cheap cruises and look at the first few sites when looking for cheaper rates. Any sites that any of you have had particular luck with??
I'm a 'shopper' type of person.... I compare prices, what you get for your money, etc... (not necesseraly always the cheapest price but the best bang for my buck, if that makes sense). I always spend days even finding the best deal. When we were looking for cruise prices I found a couple of sites that beat Carnival's cruise price but found out that when I called them the price listed does not include (a $20 service charge)... I think what they're doing is offering CCL's prices and giving the TA on their site $20 for making the arrangements.. Not sure, just my assumption. I even had two TA's tell me I'll do better by calling my CCL myself and booking the room...

I'm not saying that other TA's don't offer better deals (b/c my last cruise in 2005 was through a TA and got a better deal at that time then I could get through CCL) but just make sure you ask if they charge a fee for the service that makes the price higher than CCL.

And remember, no matter who you go throu (CCL, TA, etc) you have taxes and fees above and beyond the price listed. For example, the trip we're taking right now has taxes/fees (I assume port charges for the most part) of $47.50... So depending on your destination, ports of call, and length of your trip you can't get away with out paying these fees. The cruise line has to pay per person to let you enter their foreign or domestic ports... Just an incidental we have to deal with.

So with carnival the price you see for the room type you choose is THE COST, no $20 extra booking fee, but you also pay the taxes fees even with CCL.

Hope this helps!!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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I found the cheaper price on CCLs website actually though I know will match any sites.

I'm also the shopper for everything..I hate to pay more than I needed to. I have found that most of the other sites like expedia, cheap cruises, and vacationstogo all offer the same deal which may be what CCL offers but have not seen it be less than CCL offers.

The best deal I've gotten has been through the TA. Mine booked me with another group so with my cruise came a photo voucher, $50 OBC, and a room upgrade. Those were good perks for me!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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I always book with my CCL PVP - I was just curious when you said you are checking the rates several times a week, are you doing this on CCL site? or other sites?
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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I think the natural instinct for the agents that have been in the industry for 10+ years is to simply protect their commission instead of honoring the policy. My travel agent was completely unaware of the policy on my fare type and I had to school him. Can't wait until I can just book my own cruises as my own travel agent. At least I know I would get great service then.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punk
I always book with my CCL PVP - I was just curious when you said you are checking the rates several times a week, are you doing this on CCL site? or other sites?
We've been checking our rates on CCL's site only; the reason is, back when we were bargain shopping we found that the rates on all the other cruise sites we went to had the same price listed as CCLs (but when you call there's the $20 service fee addition) and of course CCL and the online sites as well as local TA's all charge the taxes/fees because it's a 'have to' thing...

So to answer, yes, checking on CCL's website, but if you find a better deal on another website and booked through CCL you can get the discount via www.carnival.com/earlysaver. Otherwise, if you find a better deal and you've booked through a TA or an another online site, you will need to check with them to get them to fill out or correspond with Carnival about the OBC for difference in room rates...
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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I check CCLs website every day. Like I mentioned, the other sites were at or higher than CCL all along so I don't bother with them. I do the same with airfare...I check every day and boom, I get the best price! love Southwest
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I think the natural instinct for the agents that have been in the industry for 10+ years is to simply protect their commission instead of honoring the policy. My travel agent was completely unaware of the policy on my fare type and I had to school him. Can't wait until I can just book my own cruises as my own travel agent. At least I know I would get great service then.
My CCL TA told me that at CCL they don't get their commission on how much they sell the room for.. For example, if they sell a suite for $1,000 or a inside Riviera cabin they get the same commission. She told me that They get 'per head'.. In other words, it's not the amount of the total trip cost to the customer, it's the numbers of guest. So for example, there's fifteen of us going.... let's make up a pretend number of say $20 a person, then she'd be getting $300 commission off of our group.

She told me that most TAs, local or internet, get 'perk' or bonuses if they upsell a room and the customer pays more money... I don't knwo if it's that way for all TAs and online sites but she said many do it that way.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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I personally favor JetBlue for my domestic and Caribbean, Mexico, and Central & South American travel. Gotta love having satellite tv and satellite radio while flying. Besides, fares are lower than Southwest usually so I don't mind the second bag fee.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llb
I check CCLs website every day. Like I mentioned, the other sites were at or higher than CCL all along so I don't bother with them. I do the same with fare...I check every day and boom, I get the best price! love Southwest

I'd love to know how you get the best deals with SouthWest.. To be honest they're my favorite airline, and a few years ago when I traveled a lot with business, I could usually fly SW for cheaper. But seems like the last few years, whenever I go there, try to fly out of SDF (Louisville) to any place in southern FLA I always end up with a rate that's like $100 more than I can get by using travel.yahoo.com or expedia or orbitz, etc... And of course, don't know who all has noticed this, but SW doesn't offer fares on the online sites like expedia, orbits, etc... All I ever see are like AA, Delta,and several other of the big ones...

Frankly, the last couple of trips I go straight to the airline's website (ie. delta.com; americanairlines.com, etc) and price the flight... And usually always get a better price there than I find on the online sites like Orbitz, etc.

I buy a lot of stuff online and have no problem with it, but when I buy airfare or cruises I like to talk to a person, I do this because I feel like I can ask specific questions that I can't ask an internet website. When I called Orbitz to book one of our tickets (an add-on last minute person who decided to go Delta didn't show the flight but Orbitz did) but I wanted to buy the ticket via a rep instead of the website b/c I wanted to see if he could get this guy a seat close to the rest of us... Anyway they informed me that if you call them there's a $20 charge that you don't pay if you order online. I called Expedia and was told the same thing.... And of course, as mentioned earlier I think, when I called vacationstogo and a couple others during my cruise pricing process, they each told me that they also charge $20 extra to book in person... But CCL does not charge this fee, which make me happy
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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I have been on about 5 trips with Carnival all thru the CLL/PVP . When prices went down they always adjusted most thru upgrades or OBC .. they have always made it right
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Angela, the standard is a 10% commission on cruises, though many agencies get what are called overrides, which is an additional percentage. The way this works out is part goes to the agent, the rest to the agency. The split depends on the arrangement between agent and agency.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Angela,

So for the best deals on SW, I check daily, and I start to figure out the pattern. They usually never open the fare at the cheapest price and they will change it daily most of the time. They also seem to charge less for Nonstop flights unlike most airlines.

I'm leaving Buffalo on a Friday night and flying back on a Sat. I check other outbound Fri flights for weeks prior to and beyond my departure date and I do the same for the return. When I see it go down for other weeks, I always wait and it always goes down for my week. It's like a game. I only bite on the purchase after I've done my hoemwork. Plus, they have a fare tracker on their website where you can click and view which days it's cheapest to fly with them. Also note, they offer the best deal to those booking online with the "web only" fare.

You can always call their CS and ask the questions after booking not to mention, they don't charge a change fare. Soemtimes, I book the cheapest price for a time a really don't want and then when I see that price hit the time I do want, I change it for no charge.

The fact that they don't charge for bags makes a huge difference. No one out of Buffalo comes close to SW fares once you factor in the bags. I just pad $74 to go to the FLL, that was $95 with taxes/fees. With no bag fees to worry about, cannot beat it.

Also, farecast.com will tell you what SW flights are offered though they won't list the price. So, when I was booking, I went there to find out what flights SW "could" be offering. Then I watch SW website to see if those times open up.

Really, just a big game for me! AND, I like to win!!!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Change fees are irritating when they are above and beyond the cruise line's policy.
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