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-   -   "Personal" Vacation Planners (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/334005-personal-vacation-planners.html)

reverendjeff May 30th, 2007 07:57 PM

"Personal" Vacation Planners
 
Today I recieved a call at work, a call on my cell phone, and a call at home from Three different, "Personal" Vacation Planners. What is going on? Has Carnival outsourced this segment to a call center? Can they not get me with just one person?
Last time I sailed Carnival I got an e-mail saying that the following Wednesday was thier biggest sale ever. I waited for Wednesday, made the call, and the price had actually gone up about $40.00 per person. Thier reply was that the "sale" price gave me a "free" upgrade.
I moved up one whole deck in the same class of cabin.
My instinct was to seal the deal earlier at a price I felt was good. I allowed thier e-mail to sway me into a $120.00 mistake.

And here I thought that I had forgotten my bitterness. :cry:

nlb1050 May 30th, 2007 10:00 PM

Don't know why this happenned But it could be because Carnival is moving (at least expanding) the PVP's from Miami up to Fort Pierce and they have a lot of new people. They are also moving the reservation Sales Agents up too.

I know this because the wife of one of hubby's friends is now there and now a neighbor,too.

reverendjeff May 31st, 2007 09:43 AM

The person who actually took my reservation was located in Colorado Springs. Does Carnival have people who are contracted to work from thier homes late at night?

nlb1050 May 31st, 2007 12:44 PM

Colorado Springs is one of the call center locations and they have Reservation Sales Agents . That way they have people who can make calls to people in the more western states in the evening. And I'm sure they don't really know if they are calling a person in same or earlier or later time zone.

The Reservation Sales Agents work from 8pm for an 8 hour shift and on the weekends. The PVP's work 11am to 8pm Mon - Thur and 9am - 6pm on Fri with the weekends off.

DavidBgood May 31st, 2007 03:32 PM

Rev, did these people say they worked for Carnival?

Was it regarding something you had already booked, or something you "may" want to book in the future

reverendjeff May 31st, 2007 04:13 PM

Thanks Nancy that explains the agent I booked with.

DBG: The three identified themselves as Carnival reps and each had a different extension. They were calling to try to see if I had an interest in any future cruises.
I would imagine that there is a good deal of turnover in those postions. I have never booked through the same person twice and I book at least twice each year.

nlb1050 May 31st, 2007 04:47 PM

Glad I was able to help.

Floridanamaw May 31st, 2007 11:31 PM

Ok, stupid question. What is the difference between a PVP and a reservation sales agent?

nlb1050 June 1st, 2007 09:24 AM

The PVP is given names and numbers of people who have called the 800 number to inquire about a cruise.

The PVP's will be the ones who will really get to know you and when something comes up that they think you will be interested in will call to tell you about it.

From Carnival's site: The primary function of a Reservations Sales Agent is to answer incoming calls from Travel Agents regarding new and existing bookings.

Floridanamaw June 1st, 2007 09:59 AM

Okay, thanks. I thought it might be something like that.

kryos June 2nd, 2007 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reverendjeff
The three identified themselves as Carnival reps and each had a different extension. They were calling to try to see if I had an interest in any future cruises.

I think Carnival is unique in that they are not really supporting their travel agent network. Most cruise lines stay away from marketing their own cruises to the general public. Instead, they encourage people to "contact your travel professional." The cruise line's marketing efforts are generally focused on the travel agents. They depend upon them to sell the cruise line's product.

Carnival is engaging here in a risky business strategy. If they try to market directly with the PVPs, they'll lose the support of the travel agent community ... especially if those PVPs are underselling the travel agents.

Travel agents are the bread and butter of any cruise line. They basically are the unpaid sales staff for the line. Yes, they get commissions, but those commissions are only on what they sell. It's a great deal for the cruise line. Their marketing costs are actually relatively low, and the loyalty of their travel agent network is what keeps those ships sailing full week in and week out.

I have noticed that Carnival is bucking the trend of referring people to travel agents. They are doing a lot of direct marketing via their PVPs. This will eventually lose them the loyalty of travel agents since the TA's are getting no referrals from them ... and, in fact, may be getting undercut by the line's PVP's. Those travel agents will simply "sell" the product of other lines to their customers ... nudging them in the direction of those other lines.

Remember, many, many people are first time cruisers. Others really have no loyalty to any particular brand. A travel agent has a lot of influence on these types of people ... and while they may walk into their office asking about a Carnival cruise, they very well could walk out having book a Royal Caribbean one. The travel agent can make that happen. Carnival had best not alienate those travel agents. Most of the other cruise lines don't ... and there must be a good reason for that.

Blue skies ...

--rita

nlb1050 June 2nd, 2007 07:00 PM

kyros,

I have to agree to a degree. All of the email I get from Carnival (even those signed by the PVP) have a statement at the bottom to contact either your PVP or Travel Agent.

We haven't even sailed with Carnival but still had a PVP assigned to us since we have sailed on Princess.

And we are not sure if we really want to sail with Carnival. There are a few things that we just don't agree with. Mainly being the waiters having to sing and dance during dinner. Oh we don't mind them singing Happy Birhtday but scheduled songs/dances to us is just too much.

kryos June 2nd, 2007 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nlb1050
I have to agree to a degree. All of the email I get from Carnival (even those signed by the PVP) have a statement at the bottom to contact either your PVP or Travel Agent.

We haven't even sailed with Carnival but still had a PVP assigned to us since we have sailed on Princess.

I get emails just about every week from my Carnival PVP. I too have never sailed Carnival and don't have any desire to. They do mostly short cruises, and are known as "party boats." Just not my cup of tea.

They may have a statement at the bottom of their emails about contacting your PVP OR your travel agent ... but believe me, just from the way they are doing their marketing, it's pretty clear they want you to deal with the PVP. If such wasn't the case, Carnival would refer anyone who called to a local "Carnival-certified" travel agent.

Blue skies ...

--rita

Abaco Angie June 2nd, 2007 07:28 PM

I mainly sail on Carnival, and used to get e-mails from two or three different PVP's. Now I get e-mails from only one, and I use her exclusively. She's extrordinarily kind, efficient and knowledgeable. If I see a deal through an agency, I always call her to see if it can be matched, and it usually can. I am very happy with her service.

Bobby_G June 17th, 2007 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abaco Angie
I mainly sail on Carnival, and used to get e-mails from two or three different PVP's. Now I get e-mails from only one, and I use her exclusively. She's extrordinarily kind, efficient and knowledgeable. If I see a deal through an agency, I always call her to see if it can be matched, and it usually can. I am very happy with her service.

Same here. The agents can't or won't match the prices my Carnie PVP gives.

Travelin With Theresa July 14th, 2007 01:16 PM

Well this is from agent who has been in this business since 1988, and boy have I seen the up's and downs in this industry with airlines, cruise industry, travel agencies merging or going out of business, and than 911. I now work for myself and in the past I have worked and helped manage agencies of $200,000 million in sales to a little agency $5 million. I have seen plenty of million dollar agents that know their craft and seen this industries market change.

Agents are a big bread and butter for cruises. Tons of groups sailings, reservations booked a year in advance that hold 100 rooms etc. Cruise line do not get this from individual cruisers. Agents spend alot of time getting these kind of cabin together. It just does not happen. Look at the airlines, after commission cuts in the early 90's are you getting any better service from them? So, it is sad that Carnival decides to market outside of travel agents and beat their prices that they contract to each agency in the first place. I have heard many bad stories from agents with Carnival.

Carnival I do not book much. Frankly, my clients do not like them and their more of a nuisnance. This is not a team effort between Carnival and the agent. I don't care of they say call your travel agent in their advertisement. What thier doing on the inside marketing to people at their homes is another reason why I do not sell Carnival too much.

Travelin' With Theresa

mehawk July 14th, 2007 01:59 PM

I don't get the telephone calls but I do get the emails. I have three also that email me. :)

Travelin With Theresa July 14th, 2007 02:15 PM

Mehawk:

f you have cruised 5 times on Carnival they love you. But I think you are the one using a travel agent, and not using marketing promotions. Do you ever find that all these marketing startegies that business use to sell travel most of them are not what they are. You find out later that," oh you have to do this, or do that and leave at this time and this date and this catagory.Blah Blah Blah.

Travelin' With Theresa

flowers July 14th, 2007 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nlb1050
kyros,

And we are not sure if we really want to sail with Carnival. There are a few things that we just don't agree with. Mainly being the waiters having to sing and dance during dinner. Oh we don't mind them singing Happy Birhtday but scheduled songs/dances to us is just too much.

I don't see the difference between Carnival's singing waiters or RCI's singing and marching. Not a whole lot of difference to me between marching and dancing and both sing.

We were on the Rhapsody and the waiters were going to march and sing again my wait person said I should stay and I said thanks, it was great, Im just ready to go. But they were pretty good.

FYI, of course Iv heard that the singing waiters on Carnival are being discontinued....just saying I dont see why folks object to it being done on Carnival but I never read objections to RCI doing it. What's the difference?

nlb1050 July 14th, 2007 08:43 PM

flowers,

I did not know the singing was done on RCI. Guess that will be another reason we probably will not sail with them. Of course oour first is having to pay (in the cost of a cruise) for items we would never use. such as rock climbing walls, bungee jumps. I don't mind these things being on but don't feel the need to be paying for them. Now if RCI reduced the prices of thier cruise and made things like that extra charge then maybe we would go.

Cabana Boy July 17th, 2007 08:32 PM

I inquired about Alaska pricing on line and then the emails started coming .. from three different people. Then one of them started to call at 6:00 am . He didnt bother to look that we lived on west coast. I finally called his supervisor to tell him to stop calling and warned them about their privacy invasions as I had checked no phone calls when I signed up for on line pricing. I ended up booking a Princess cruise ( for the 4th time) and emailed this info to the persistant one. The communication finally stopped. I would NEVER book Carinval for anything.

stnzie July 18th, 2007 06:06 PM

I also receive calls daily from Carnival, only at home, thank goodness not at work!!! I receive many emails about "specials" they are having but usually can still find a better deal somewhere else. The calling is very annoying.

Cici2007 July 19th, 2007 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nlb1050
Don't know why this happenned But it could be because Carnival is moving (at least expanding) the PVP's from Miami up to Fort Pierce and they have a lot of new people. They are also moving the reservation Sales Agents up too.

I know this because the wife of one of hubby's friends is now there and now a neighbor,too.

Hi there nlb..
I posted a couple threads elsewhere on these boards with not a lot of response....I hope this doesn't sound rude, but i am seriously considering a move to the Port St. Lucie area from another state and was wondering...do you know the approximate pay range for the PVP? I know they make base plus incentives. I am curious. I think it would be a good job for me when I get to that area. I'm "mature"-- 40ish female. Is this a job more for younger people, or are your friends "mature" also? I know they cannot exclude age groups, but how old are these PVPs?

Finally, do you know of any other cruise lines office locations in other parts of the state besides Miami/FLL that would be posibilities for employment. I just don't want to do the Miami thing, and would want shoreside - not shipboard. I have been watching all the lines postings of open positions, not too much info on there.

I'm really sorry if this offends...it's hard to get answers to these kinds of questions. This is a legit; I'm not a troll or have any other motives than love cruising and love Florida and would love to have both in my future!
TIA

nlb1050 July 19th, 2007 08:23 AM

Cici2007, both people that I know are mature. Base is about 16K but if you are good you make 60K or maybe more.

I don't know of any other locations besides here and Miami.

OldFhart July 20th, 2007 03:33 PM

Dont go into crusing as a "whatever" unless you understand the basics.

Basics mean if you are on ship, and your are really nice to me, and you do everything I expect of you. I will give you a big tip to make up for your crap salary. Hey thats how it works.

People serving table or rooms on 10K per year from the ship can if they are good at their job make another 50-90k in tips alone.

Age does not matter, what makes bucks is the sevice presented, and they are the people that make money

Cici2007 July 23rd, 2007 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nlb1050
Cici2007, both people that I know are mature. Base is about 16K but if you are good you make 60K or maybe more.

I don't know of any other locations besides here and Miami.

nlb, thank you very much for your information. Definitely is worth looking into in the future. thanks again.

lhp July 25th, 2007 07:35 PM

Re: "Personal" Vacation Planners
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by reverendjeff
Today I recieved a call at work, a call on my cell phone, and a call at home from Three different, "Personal" Vacation Planners. What is going on? Has Carnival outsourced this segment to a call center? Can they not get me with just one person?
Last time I sailed Carnival I got an e-mail saying that the following Wednesday was thier biggest sale ever. I waited for Wednesday, made the call, and the price had actually gone up about $40.00 per person. Thier reply was that the "sale" price gave me a "free" upgrade.
I moved up one whole deck in the same class of cabin.
My instinct was to seal the deal earlier at a price I felt was good. I allowed thier e-mail to sway me into a $120.00 mistake.

And here I thought that I had forgotten my bitterness. :cry:

I would be livid. I do not tolerate any type of "telemarketing". My PVP knows better....at least if he wants to keep being my PVP!!


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