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-   -   What do you find a better deal for booking, online travel agent or Carnival agent? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/376076-what-do-you-find-better-deal-booking-online-travel-agent-carnival-agent.html)

zanemoseley August 12th, 2010 09:41 PM

What do you find a better deal for booking, online travel agent or Carnival agent?
 
Our last two cruises we've gone on with Carnival we went straight through them with their personal vacation planners which were nice. However, the rate's they are giving me are the same as the online prices, all they give you is a slight cabin upgrade for repeat customers.

I was reading in a CM's newsletter today about flat pricing where everyone pays the published price however perks and upgrades can be included to entice you.

Do you guys find you get the best deal just taking the room upgrade or are there some online agents you have found that make it worth your while to book from non-Carnival agent.

robh August 13th, 2010 02:03 AM

The question is really what bulk discounts have been given the Online Agent by the cruise line itself to offer you.
Certainly compare various agents though you should also chat with a local Travel Agent as they have access to bulk arrangements with cruise line representatives.
Booking by yourself thru the cruise line will not normally give you a large discount though it helps to compare the prices available.

all the best

zanemoseley August 13th, 2010 01:11 PM

But if I understand the "flat" pricing the travel agents aren't suppose to give a discount over booking straight with the cruise line but they are allowed to give incentives up to $150. On the other hand Carnival gives a repeat crusier incentive of upgraded cabins.

Dutchman August 13th, 2010 01:29 PM

Beginning on Aug 1 no TA can price a cabin below the rate that Carnival has established on the web site...

The rumor for the amout per person they can perk/incentive is $25. So you can get a bottle of wine or OBC maybe. Price will be the same. Several other lines had this system for several years.
Things changed. We don't bother anymore , we go direct to our PVP. Most things we now do ourselves on the puter. We find out what the best price for a balcony is and best time to go. We don't need a TA to do it. Everything you want to know is out on the WEB. several years ago you could't do that.

johnthed0g August 13th, 2010 01:30 PM

All I know is that in the UK most cruise specialist TA's give a better deal than booking direct.

robh August 13th, 2010 02:24 PM

Flat pricing vs. bulk
 
I agree with John as the TA is the best bet but in today's world you at least have the ability to look for alternatives.

What I meant by bulk pricing is the TA group can decide to sell a set number of cabins and this allows the cruise line to reduce the overall pricing which in turn allows the TA to reduce the package.
Much like if you get xn friends together for xn cabins and act as the buyer then you will get a free cabin which allows you to reduce the overall price.

Be aware though of internet pricing that does not include port fees and taxes plus possible CC charge and processing fee. Then add up the total. Also ensure the Internet company is bonded with your local / country travel insurance.

Moiraine August 15th, 2010 06:42 PM

I just call the PVP after I've looked around on the website and found the cruise I want.

SMOM August 20th, 2010 12:54 AM

Have done it both ways and was much happier letting the TA do it for me.

Dutchman August 25th, 2010 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moiraine (Post 1309790)
I just call the PVP after I've looked around on the website and found the cruise I want.

We have been doing that for the last 6 years. If you can think it you can find it on the Net. The only thing we run into is the special Players club deals mess us up with to many cruises in a short time. Can't pass them up.

lhp August 27th, 2010 12:58 PM

We have used the same PVP for years...and he watches the prices for me and reduces my rates if the drop is before the final payment.

I don't ever ask for upgrades after that since I select the cabin I am happy with when I book.

IF free upgrades are offered by the upgrade fairy, I consider them and make a decision at that time.

IF the Upsell fairy calls (meaning it costs more)....I usually say no.

We have only done one group cruise (Bloggers in Feb 2009) and got an excellent deal on that through a TA..... we will consider group cruises in the future when they are available.

skymaster August 27th, 2010 04:33 PM

I've used the same T.A. for a number of years, and ALWAYS have gotten the best price from her. Perhaps she is limited to $25 per person,,,,,well,,,,for me and the lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) that translates into $50 the way I see it !My T.A. takes VERY good care of me, and she does watch for price reductions as well, and takes care of that long before I notice it! How can I go wrong?

"SKY"


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