We are desperate to book another cruise, but the logistics ($$$$) will require some finagling....I have been looking at the early saver rates on Carnival and I have some questions
1....it says something like "bookings up to 3 months in advance". Do they mean at least 3 months...if we wanted to sail in July, would we have to book by April at the latest???
2....it looks like there is at least a $50 non refundable deposit...will they allow me to change dates/sailings without losing the money, or will any change make me lose the deposit?? will it matter if I have insurance??:???:
3...I see that they will continue to drop my price to match any advertised price I find that is lower up to 2 days before sailing...will this make booking with an agent over Carnival direct (or vice versa?) the better idea?
4...Can any of you knowledgeable people think of anything else I should be asking or checking into???
thanks in advance! We have 2 cruise sailed and would like to do it again this summer........ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh;-)
Location: Originally from NY but now live in Baltimore, MD
I think the ES rate is only available up to 3 months out for shorter cruises and up to 5 months out (I am pretty sure) for longer ones... so after that time there will no longer be an ES rtae, only the regular fun saver type thing.
As far as booking through an agent vs. carnival directly- if you go direct w/ Carnival you will have to keep checking to see if the rate drops- if it does you fill out a form from the carnival website and get either $$ off the amount you owe (if before final payment) or as an OBC if after final payment date. A good travel agent will keep checking rates for you- and the TA would need to submit the form, not you.
You have to be very careful because some agents will only allow 1 price drop- after that they charge fees that may eat up any price drop savings. Carnival will allow you as many price drops as you are eligible for- right up until 2 days before sail date.
The entire deposit is non refundable. You can change sailing dates or change ships for a $50 per person fee and the deposit is applied to your new dates but no refund.
My choice would be to book with Carnival and watch the price myself. Agents are booking many people so they don't always have you as a priority. The price drop will not happen unless you submit the online form.
I agree with Scurvy dog book with Carnival directly and watch the rates yourself. If you book early saver rate with a TA you can not put in the early saver price drop yourself. It has to go through the travel agent.
I had no choice, I was using cruise rewards points to book so I had to use the credit card company's travel agent. We made 3 early saver requests. When I went to put in the fourth early saver request in they wanted to charge me $50 for "changing the reservation." It took a lot of calls, but the issue was worked out in a way I was happy with.
We paid $509 the price at one point dropped to $404. The price of the cruise for my cabin is now $654. I have $210 of OBC. If you book early saver yourself you need to watch the rates and put in the request at the right time. My last request hit the low of the price range. I was lucky, however, I was watching the rate almost every day. The $404 rate was only on the site 3 days then the price went up. If I was watching once a week I might have missed it.
__________________ One part age; three parts liquor!
Freedom of the Seas 2012
Carnival Splendor 2010
Carnival Freedom 2008
Carnival Elation 2007
Celebrity Infinity 2006
Carnival Ecstasy 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
Star Princess 2002
Viking Serenade 1994