Just went to the Carnival website to peruse future cruises for the time period Oct - Nov 2012. At first, there were two suggestions for $289pp. As I was on one of the booking pages, the prices never went below $319. Then I reset the page and only one page of suggestons came up and the price, even though $289 was showing, $319 was the least expensive on the booking page. Happen to anyone else??
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This is one reason why it's always best to book with an agent because they can explain all the various prices in detail so you know what's going on and the options available to you.
With that said, if you read the fine print, the price shown on the initial screen is a 'from' price, meaning the cheapest rate available starts at that rate, but you have to search to find out exactly the date, itinerary, and ship that is referring to. And even if you find the right one, the price is liable to change. The advertised rate WAS the cheapest at the time they put it on the website, but that price may have sold out and is no longer available.
Plus, the cheapest price being advertised is something you either may not want or you do not qualify for.
For example, many times the cheapest price is for an Early Saver Fare. This requires full deposit at time of booking and it is non-refundable if you need to cancel or change before final payment is due. (However, they will allow you to move all of the deposit, with the exception of a $50 fee, to another cruise.)
The fare could also be for residents of certain States and your State is not one of them that qualifies. It could be for seniors, military, interline (airline employees), etc.
Also, the cheapest rate could be for a Category 1A cabin (upper lower bunkbeds) and not something you might want.
Often when specials are advertised, they are 'capacity controlled' and once they reach the total number of space allocated, the special is closed out. Unfortunately, the rate may still be advertised because it takes a while for them to delete it from the websites. And those advertised in print can often sell out before the printed special is even received since it takes a while for the print version to get to its intended audience.
In other words, there are alot of things that go into the advertised rates and that's why agents can be invaluable when researching fares.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/13 yrs exp and 48 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Also, if you are logged in to Carnival.com and are in their records as a "high roller" or spend alot of time/money in the casino, you will see a "casino fare". Our experience showed the rate significantly lower than the other rates....like $200 less!
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