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Using "Personal Cruise Consultant"

Using "Personal Cruise Consultant"

Old Sep 2, 15, 10:57 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
Of course there's always the dream that you book an inside cabin guarantee and get upgraded to the penthouse suite. I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that passenger might be interested in.
I've been a cruise travel agent for 14 years now, and I have seen that rare upgrade happen just once for a client, and that was just lowest inside category guarantee to balcony. I think I was more shocked than she was.

I have seen a ton of balcony to suite upgrades, but even those are happening less and less now as more cruise lines are playing the last minute upsell game instead of true upgrades.
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Old Sep 3, 15, 7:00 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by ak333 View Post
I've been a cruise travel agent for 14 years now, and I have seen that rare upgrade happen just once for a client, and that was just lowest inside category guarantee to balcony. I think I was more shocked than she was.

I have seen a ton of balcony to suite upgrades, but even those are happening less and less now as more cruise lines are playing the last minute upsell game instead of true upgrades.
One of my favorite guarantee upgrade stories is a guy who posted a couple of years ago on the Holland America section of Cruise Critic that he and his wife would never cruise with Holland America again. His reason? He booked a inside guarantee cabin and that's what they cruised in. His interpretation of guarantee was that he was guaranteed to get a better cabin than they booked and didn't get one so they'd lied to or misled him.
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Old Sep 3, 15, 10:28 am
  #18  
 
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I have booked inside guarantee once and got upgraded to oceanview that time. Every other time, I look for a cabin I want and book that. My parents last year were shocked though. They booked pretty last minute on Carnival, booked the cheapest cabin they could (they winter in Daytona but had to leave their timeshare for bike week, so they decided to cruise instead of staying somewhere else this time). They ended up in a balcony, and this was the height of spring break season. She was sadly disappointed this past winter when she ended up in the inside they booked lol.
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Old Oct 15, 15, 4:49 pm
  #19  
 
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I've booked all my cruises except one online at Carnival and made a good deal. I was assigned a PCC, but if you don't answer their e-mails or phone calls they will go away.
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Old Oct 19, 15, 2:38 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by rokwldr View Post
I've booked all my cruises except one online at Carnival and made a good deal. I was assigned a PCC, but if you don't answer their e-mails or phone calls they will go away.
Booked directly on line with Carnival and got a deal? What kind of deal? My personal experience with Carnival, and all the lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella for that matter, is that you pay full brochure price when dealing directly with their lines. A $25 bottle of wine or a "free" dinner at one of the specialty restaurants is no a good deal.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 3:01 pm
  #21  
 
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Well, it's not quite as bad as Randy says, Carnival's internal sale folks don't charge brochure rates, but they certainly can't offer you anything you can't book yourself. Either use a TA or do it yourself - a TA might be able to sweeten the deal slightly.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 8:42 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by synergistic View Post
Well, it's not quite as bad as Randy says, Carnival's internal sale folks don't charge brochure rates, but they certainly can't offer you anything you can't book yourself. Either use a TA or do it yourself - a TA might be able to sweeten the deal slightly.
Sure it is. Barring a sale, which pretty much any TA has access to, Carnival PCCs can't discount their published rate. Find a good discounter and save yourself some real money.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 8:50 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
Sure it is. Barring a sale, which pretty much any TA has access to, Carnival PCCs can't discount their published rate. Find a good discounter and save yourself some real money.
Current published rates, sure, but not brochure rates - those are crazy high numbers that I'm not certain exist in the real world. I agree about finding a TA that either has a group blocked or is willing to rebate you some of the commission as cash or OBC. Carnival PVPs, afaik, don't have the ability to offer you anything that isn't already on the Carnival site.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 6:26 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by synergistic View Post
Current published rates, sure, but not brochure rates - those are crazy high numbers that I'm not certain exist in the real world. I agree about finding a TA that either has a group blocked or is willing to rebate you some of the commission as cash or OBC. Carnival PVPs, afaik, don't have the ability to offer you anything that isn't already on the Carnival site.
My bad for using "brochure" in a generic sense when I really mean the published rate. Sometimes, particularly right after the printed brochures are published, the fares on a lines Internet site match but sales or price adjustments happen dictated by whatever marketing analysis the line does. Obviously slow or poorly selling cruises are prime candidates for fare reductions and the best place to track those is on the line's website. Some lines don't print fares in their brochures and simply say "call our cruise consultants or your travel agent for current pricing". Others use inserts or separate printed sheets that they can send out with mailings but then again those have a limited shelf life.

To the best of my knowledge no line has separate pricing for internal/direct bookings versus what an external TA can get. If TAs ever found that out that a line was underselling them they'd probably raise a stink like they did about discounters publishing their discounted rates on their websites. It was actually brick and mortar TAs threatening to not book cruises that forced lines to clamp down on discounters. TAs can deal with the minor gifts or OBCs cruise lines hand out but a significant discount for booking directly with the line would get their attention and not in a good way.

What I'd like to see is cruise lines offering discounted rates for early bookers. A few do this but it's not an industry wide practice and even the ones that offer the discount it's often only for their longer more expensive cruises. There are some changes happening, though slowly, in that a few lines are now offering low price guarantees so that early bookers are no subject to being locked in to a price only to see the fare drop.

Last edited by Randyk47; Oct 21, 15 at 8:47 am
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Old Oct 24, 15, 3:53 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
There are some changes happening, though slowly, in that a few lines are now offering low price guarantees so that early bookers are no subject to being locked in to a price only to see the fare drop.
Carnival has had their Early Saver product for 7 years now, where you are guaranteed to be able to get a refund or on board credit if the same class of cabin you book lowers in price right up to 2 days before you sail. Most other lines will honour a price reduction up to final payment date but after that, you are stuck with what you paid. The trick with the Carnival ES rate is they charge you a fee if you make any changes, and will keep the deposit as a future cruise credit if you should cancel after booking. Also, if you book under a deposit sale, where you only have to put down, say, $50 per person to book the cruise, and then see a lower rate after you book, they will ask you to pay up the whole regular deposit amount before giving you the lower price.
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