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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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Default Group discounts? - Need help!

Our family and friends are completely disgusted by our constant cruising and frolicing around. They want to go now!

I was doing some research on the group discounts available. I heard that Carnival offers 1 person free for every 15 booked. Yeah, but the rates are $120 per person higher than XXXTRAVEL.com!!! Even with the $50 pp ship credit, it's still no deal.

What kinds of bonuses do some of the travel companies offer? Can I bargain or negotiate? Help! Chances are good that I will want to do this online to save some money but I'm open to ideas.

Also, what is the easiest way to book all these cabins when most of the people are using their own credit cards?

Gen info: Family and friends are from all over the US. Mostly 2 people per cabin. So far we need 6 cabins but are still confirming some.

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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

Last time I looked into this, in 2003 for a family reunion cruise, the cruiseline was offering 1 free cabin for every 8 cabins (double occupancy) booked. Sixteen people booked = 2 people go for free. They would also arrange for a party room with free champagne for about an hour or two (I don't remember which.)

We didn't quite get 8 cabins since some wanted their kids in their rooms with them instead of separate cabins. Oh darn!

Also, I would NOT, EVER, EVER, take charge of the organization of this. I did, and it was a nightmare. "Can't we go the following week, little Johnny has a soccer game that week." ....."We are going to XXXX in that same month, it will be too hard on our finances to go that week"..........."My husband doesn't want to do that trip again, we've already been to those islands twice".............."We have to have early dinner seating because of the kids"...................."We don't want early dinner seating because we'll have to rush back to the ship when we want to stay in the port longer".................. you get the idea.

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Thomas
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

Thanks Thomas. I think I have a handle on the excuses! Everybody knows that we are set on the itinerary and they will loose their money if they cancel out. They can pick their own dinner seating etc. They're all following our lead though.

Carnival emailed me and said 1 free person for every 15 people booked. They didn't offer it on a per cabin basis. They also said the "free person" was to pay $165 is misc fees and charges.

How do you handle payment on a big group? I guess I could just get all their info and do it online myself. ??

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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

Happy, check out the e-mail I sent you as that should help. Also make sure that EVERYONE has a valid passport! That will be necessary next year and is a good idea anyway so get them NOW. <G>
Jim

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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

Thanks Jim! I'll go check it out.

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Old May 4th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

1 free berth for every 15 people booked is about the norm. Occassionally a cruise line may run a special reducing that to 1 free for 10, but that's a bit rare.

If the group gets larger, you may get other perks thrown in.

If you are serious about putting together a group... GET AN AGENT. Booking it directly with the cruise line makes no sense.

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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Group discounts? - Need help!

totally agree with Kuki, with a group, your best bet is to turn it over to an agent.
Don't even think about trying to handle the payments yourself, that could turn into a logisitcal nightmare. You might even do better pricewise and perkwise dealing with a travel agent. This way all you need to do is tell your group that "Mary" at travel agency XYZ is handeling everything, call her with any questions or problems
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